Far better an approximate answer to the right question, which is often vague, than an exact answer to the wrong question, which can always be made precise.—John Tukey
An approximate answer
Projects by FlowingData See All →
Data Underload #3 – The Resolution Cycle
Late at night, the new year’s resolution longed for a straight line.
Who Makes More Money
Someone mentioned that $400,000+ per year was commonplace in American households. That seemed like an odd comment.
Data Underload #5 – The Portfolio
Lazy Bob called himself an information designer, but everyone else knew the truth.
I would add relative to what question or situation
i would rather have the exact answer of:
you must add 5lbs of salt and 1 teaspoon of sugar to your margarita mix to make it perfect than…
the approximate answer of:
if you move approximately 5 feet to the right you might miss the head on collision a few feet away
Edward Tufte started an “Advice for effective analytical reasoning” thread with a (similar?) Tukey quote:
“Be approximately right rather than exactly wrong.”
I think you mean “wrong question”, not “wrong quesiton”…
And the point is still valid.