“Prove it!”

This is the default mindset of the analytically oriented. Their beliefs are based on facts and calculations, not instincts and assumptions. They are suspicious and skeptical, in a healthy sort of way. They demand a higher burden of proof.

The critical question that emerges then is: How do I prove it? What facts can we collect, what analysis can we perform, what experiments can we conduct that, taken together, sufficiently substantiate our belief?

This “designing of proofs” is an incredibly important task in our analytical work, requiring creativity, logic and critical reasoning. It is also far more difficult than most would imagine. Many aren’t willing to invest the time and thought and simply say, “it’s obvious.” Others go to the opposite extreme, drowning their doubters in data, most of which is irrelevant. Neither approach is effective.

All this came to mind recently while reading “Sons of Sam Horn,” a Boston Red Sox web board. Many of the contributors to the board were deeply concerned over the physical condition (or lack thereof) of Pablo Sandoval, based on the picture below, who the Red Sox recently signed to a five year, $90 million contract to play third base.

“He’s out of shape! He’s going to have a horrible year!! What a terrible waste of money,” cried many. Their underlying belief: A player’s performance is negatively correlated with his weight.

A contrarian group came back with a simple request. “Prove it!!”

How would you?

This entry was posted in Problem Solving, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>