Wednesday, April 05, 2006

More about Illarionov

Dietwald Claus wrote an interesting article on the topic of Andrei Illarionov state of professionalism. "A latter day George Kennan? A Second Look at Andrei Illarionov" can be found here.

Besides some highly original data fishing and flimflamming, Mr. Illarionov presentation is a text-book example of how to use statistical data selectively and misleadingly in order to prove an arbitrary point. Impressive as his tables and charts may appear, at closer inspection most of them turn out to have been selected and presented in a manner that is not technically justifiable: scales of comparative data do not correspond, while others are chosen to deliberately over- or understate trends, depending on what Mr. Illarionov is trying to say. Almost always, these distortions are cleverly done, hard to spot at first glance, and difficult to criticize immediately. Criticizing each and every one of them would require far more time than Mr. Illarionov’s original presentation. Clearly, Mr. Illarionov knows exactly what he is doing.

Anybody who has had to with politics in any detail is familiar with the phenomenon that reported opinions tend to sound less reasonable than they are. The strange phenomenon with Mr. Illarionov is that when one reads directly what he has to say, and looks at the data he provides to back up his opinions, he appears increasingly unreasonable. In fact, he gives the impression of not only being wrong, but outright dishonest.


english_teacher said...

Dishonest, unreasonable, and wrong describe the economic policies of Russia under Putin and the subsequent loss of freedoms they have produced. A corporatist state, complete with the destruction of a free market, free press, and individual liberties, exists now in the Russian Federation where once there was hope of democratic life. More power to Andrei Nikoleyvich.

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