Insignificant digits

Who’s a better student? The one with a 3.95 GPA or the one with 3.96?

Neither or both, actually.

These metrics are foolishly and incorrectly precise. The decisions that led to this average had far more than a hundredth of a point of randomness and judgment calls along the way.

Who’s richer? Someone with 3 billion dollars or someone with 3.1 billion?

They’re both the same. They can buy anything they want and one won’t run out of money before the other.

And the same goes for clickthrough rates, body temperature and most of the other ‘measures’ of our life that deserve air quotes around them.

Just because we can increase the digits doesn’t mean we can see more clearly.