data belief or data relief?

It seems Seth Godin (marketing guru) is pretty much right on with today’s post: Too much data leads to not enough belief. He also seems to nail his points with few words – i.e. short posts. Here’s the post:

Business plans with too much detail, books with too much proof, politicians with too much granularity… it seems as though more data is a good thing, because data proves the case.

In my experience, data crowds out faith. And without faith, it’s hard to believe in the data enough to make a leap. Big mergers, big VC investments, big political movements, large congregations… they don’t usually turn out for a spreadsheet.

The problem is this: no spreadsheet, no bibliography and no list of resources is sufficient proof to someone who chooses not to believe. The skeptic will always find a reason, even if it’s one the rest of us don’t think is a good one. Relying too much on proof distracts you from the real mission–which is emotional connection.

Yes, sir.

A little scan of papers, reports, and “briefings” related to the wild salmon discussion in just B.C. alone – suggests an average length of about 50 pages. Many are well over 100 pages; some sneak down into the 20 page range.

For example, the Suzuki Foundation has five nice looking wild salmon related reports on their website. Total length 282 pages – average length 56.4 pages. Now don’t get me wrong some of these reports have some decent content and interesting perspectives – and lots of pretty pictures.

I’m just left wondering if the 200,000+ Gumboot Army – average B.C. folks that don their gumboots and head out to their local streams to look after wild salmon runs – as well as thousands of First Nation community members intimately connected to wild salmon – (and don’t forget those busy politicians who are the ones that actually need to have the will to make brave decisions) can wade through the logjam of  reports?

Does 300 pages of proof create an emotional connection? Or, maybe that’s not the purpose of the reports?

Any thoughts?

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