Texas sharpshooter

I really like this formulation of a common apophenia-caused fallacy: a Texan guy who shoots several times at a barn wall and then paints a target centered on the tightest cluster of hits, calling himself a sharpshooter.

Texas sharpshooter is a metaphor for the process everyone uses to some extent in their daily lives. It maybe useful in some cases (to generalize), but when applied to complex systems with a lot of contradicting data, it usually leads to errors.

The examples are numerous: climate change deniers choose specific regions/time-intervals to illustrate their point (although that is becoming increasingly difficult), parapsychologists find clusters and patterns in large amount of random data, betting companies cultivate the myth that lotteries can be predicted.

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