I found this [2009 JSA talk][1] by Thad Tarpey to provide a useful explanation and commentary on the Box passage.

Here’s the abstract:


> Students of statistics are often introduced to George Box’s famous
> quote: “all models are wrong, some are useful.” In this talk I argue
> that this quote, although useful, is wrong. A different and more
> positive perspective is to acknowledge that a model is simply a means
> of extracting information of interest from data. The truth is
> infinitely complex and a model is merely an approximation to the
> truth. If the approximation is poor or misleading, then the model is
> useless. In this talk I give examples of correct models that are not
> true models. I illustrate how the notion of a “wrong” model can lead
> to wrong conclusions.

  [1]: http://andrewgelman.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/tarpey.pdf