By Heinonen J., Kilpelftine T.

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**Example text**

Contrast this abundance of personal particulars with most scientific studies where, while there may be a very large number of people (or other data), the people surveyed are flat, having only one or two dimensions— who they will vote for, whether they smoke, or what brand of soft drink or laxative they prefer. Stories and statistics offer us the complementary choices of knowing a lot about a few people or knowing a little about many people. The first option leads to the common observation that novels illuminate great truths of the human condition.

People often cite statistics in bald form, without the supporting story and context*needed to give them meaning. Part of context is internal and attitudinal. As will be discussed in a later chapter, people don’t fully realize that how we characterize people and events, how we view their circumstances and context, and how we imbed them into stories often determines to a large extent what we think of them. For example, if we describe a person, Waldo, as coming from country X, 45 percent of whose citizens have a certain characteristic, then it seems reasonable to assume (if we know nothing else about him) there is a 45 percent probability that Waldo shares this characteristic.

An ELS is a sequence of letters (Hebrew in this case) each separated from the previous by a fixed interval of other letters. The words of the text are run together and the spaces between them ignored. Thus the English word generalization contains an ELS for “Nazi”—geNerAliZatIon—in which the fixed interval is only of length 3. ) The paper found that ELSs of (some variants of) the names of famous rabbis who lived centuries after biblical times and that of their birthdays were often close together in the Torah text, and that the probability of this was minuscule.