Reality of Historical Records

Posted Apr 29, 2012

Something to consider:

We lie. We exaggerate. We conceal. It's human nature, especially under personally stressful cases, such as sales, war, crime, etc. And the fact that we fill out "official documents" doesn't change that fact. We simply place these lies on paper.

And yet, we rely on official documents to give us historical data.

When we use these documents to asses historical trends, activities, etc. the rarest action we take is asking "what if these are not correct?"

When the more likely fact is that a huge amount of the records we keep are not accurate (to various degrees) we should be very careful about the decisions we make by using them.

Here's a perfect example: The US IRS tax codes practically encourages people to fudge numbers in order to gain bigger tax returns. (I recall that in their documentation, this is almost expressly said so, but I can't relocate this information, so I may be wrong on that.)

Now, those official tax return documents are used to "paint" a picture of economic activity, and those pictures are used to make decisions and actions on a Federal level, affecting the entire United States of America.

Do they ever ask themselves where the data they're looking at may be flawed? Do you? Maybe you should.

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