Rob Neyer’s latest column is ostensibly about baseball, but in fact reveals a weakness common to nearly every human being — the inability to get past one’s preconceived notions and think in a systematic, rational manner. It’s one of the key reasons why we have bad government and bad companies. Rather than looking at the numbers and seeing what they reveal, people come up with a notion and look for numbers to back it up. The classic real life example is crime, few people look at crime statistics and draw conclusions based on them. Rather they come up with some conclusions and then mine for statistics that seem to substantiate their position. It’s lazy, sloppy, and counterproductive. That said, I’m probably as guilty of it as anyone.