Dr. Weeks’ Comment: A fun tale about how false conclusions derive from associations which are not always causal.
Cold Winter Ahead
Its late fall and the Indians on a remote reservation in Mattawa asked their new chief if the coming winter was going to be cold or mild.
Since he was a chief in a modern society, he had never been taught the old secrets. When he looked at the sky, he couldn’t tell what the winter was going be like.”¨”¨Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, he told his tribe that the winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the village should collect firewood to be prepared.”¨”¨But, being a practical leader, after several days, he got an idea. He went to the phone booth, called the Weather Network and asked, ‘Is the coming winter going to be cold?’
‘It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold,’ the meteorologist at the weather service responded.”¨”¨”¨So the chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more firewood in order to be prepared.
A week later, he called the Weather Network again. ‘Does it still look like it is going to be a very cold winter?’ ”¨’Yes,’ the man at Weather Service again replied, ‘it’s going to be a very cold winter.’
The chief again went back to his people and ordered them to collect every scrap of firewood they could find.”¨”¨ ”¨Two weeks later, the chief called the Weather Network again. ‘Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?’
‘Absolutely,’ the man replied. ‘It’s looking more and more like it is going to be one of the coldest winters we’ve ever seen.’
‘How can you be so sure?’ the chief asked.
The weatherman replied, ‘Because the Indians are collecting a s–tload of firewood’