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Posts Tagged ‘Communication’

Precision and Accuracy

While it might seem an exercise in splitting hairs, in Approximate quotations by Mark Liberman, the author opens up the basis for a good discussion on the differences between approximation, precision and accuracy.  All three aspects are important and necessary but they are different and are each more appropriate in different contexts.

An approximate quote can yield a better general sense of what was being communicated but then the accuracy depends on the interpretation of the journalist.  A direct quote as from a transcript is more precise but more burdensome to the reader.

Sometimes the need for precision is paramount.  On other occasions, an approximation is more efficient.  It is a matter of horses for courses, as long as we keep the distinction between precision and accuracy clear.

Sharing the decision

Diffusion of Innovations by Everett Rogers.

Originator of the term early adopters, Rogers laid the foundation for much contemporary work on the diffusion of ideas. His model remains in wide circulation.

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