Author: Darren Roache | Date: 10 January 2020
Precision and accuracy are two words that are often used interchangeably. The fact is, precision and accuracy are NOT the same thing.
Dictionary.com defines precise and accurate as follows: -
Precise - adjective
1. being exactly that and neither more nor less: a precise temperature; a precise amount.
2. being just that and no other: the precise dress she had wanted.
Accurate - adjective
1. free from error or defect; consistent with a standard, rule, or model; precise; exact.
2. careful or meticulous: an accurate typist.
Whereas accuracy confirms precision, precision does not equate to accuracy. Here is where the clarification is often required.
Consider the following:
If one sets out to describe a sequence of events and one depicts them exactly as they have occurred and in the exact order of occurrence, then that depiction is deemed accurate.
If one then sets out to change the order of the sequence of the events, and repeats this changed order 100 times, whereas one may be precise in their repeatability i.e. 100 times, one is still not accurate compared to their initial, correct, depiction. What they have done is essentially repeated a lie.
It is these precise liars who are particularly dangerous. These individuals are capable of repeating exactly the same lie again and again, to the point where it is taken as truth. What is even more destructive about these individuals is that the “lie” is often made up of certain elements of truth which are twisted and distorted to convey a particularly inaccurate message; the twisted elements make the lie even more believable.
Sadly, these precise liars tend to exist in a world of their own making. They are not immune to their own poison and often become infected to the point that what once was them knowingly lying, evolves into a reality that only exists to them and those who choose to believe in their precise lies.