Jon Lauck, in The Lost Region: Toward a Revival of Midwestern History, p.47 (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2013): “[Allan] Bogue and other Prairie Historians expanded on this tradition of economic history by promoting the broader use of statistical and quantitative methods. Bogue said statistics were ‘like drug addiction. I realize that I am hooked, regret it periodically, but keep coming back.'” (footnotes omitted)
When we go to investigate it, we shouldn’t pre-decide what it is we’re trying to do, except to find out more about it. I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers, and possible beliefs, and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I’m not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don’t know anything about. But I don’t have to know an answer, I don’t feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without having any purpose, which is the way it really is, as far as I can tell possible.
From Daniel Kahneman, as quoted in Freeman Dyson’s review of Mario Livio’s Brilliant Blunders in the March 6, 2014 New York Review of Books: “We can’t live in a state of perpetual doubt, so we make up the best story possible and we live as if the story were true.”