Planet China

Poetic data

In common parlance, statistics are often associated with ‘damned lies’, and rarely with poetry.

But with the People’s Republic this week celebrating its 60th anniversary, China’s statisticians have turned poetical.

The Wall Street Journal reports on the case of Wang Jiaowei, a 30 year-old from the eastern town of Maidian. China employs at least 110,000 statisticians to compile its GDP numbers. But Wang was one of only 100 who answered the call to submit a patriotic poem to the bureau’s website.

His verse: “In life, some mock me for doing statistics/ 
Some loathe me and statistics/ 
Some don’t understand what statistics are/ 
Why is it that statistics,
put a calm smile on my face? 
Because of statistics I can solve the deepest mysteries/ 
Because of statistics I will not be lonely again, playing in the data/ 
Because of statistics I can rearrange the stars in the skies above.”


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