Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Great Insight on Talking about the Future

From the NYT on how an official can avoid looking stupid:

Walter Heller, who went from the campus of the University of Minnesota to become chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, had briefed reporters on the administration’s plans to deal with an ongoing recession, and gave them actual numeric goals that began appearing in newspapers around the country. “Never do that again,” Kennedy told Heller in an angry telephone call. “Forget those numbers. Numbers can come back to haunt you. Words can always be explained away.”

Clearly this is true, but it really depends on one's audience and objective.

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