I don't normally get involved in American politics, but I think these need further publicity.
Two heinous examples of abuse of statistics for political ends, vialyssiae:
- The left have been leaning heavily on a study showing that abortions increased since Bush was elected in 2001. Turns out that more comprehensive studies contradict this (rather startling!) conclusion.
Mind you, for a political movement who seem to elevate preventing abortions above all other possible aims, and seem happy to do so almost at any cost, a 1% annual decrease, in line with a 20-year downward trend, is not particularly impressive. Still, it's a very good example of what can happen when a small, limited study is over-hyped beyond what the data can support.
I think zestyping's article really speaks for itself; there's not much I can add. Read the link and be appalled.
Explanation of the post subject: my brothers had a teacher in primary school who tried to quote Disraeli's famous saw and accidentally said lies, damned lies and dishwashers. Since then, dishwashers has been a term in my family meaning spurious statistics, or deliberate misuse of statistics to deceive.
Today is Lag b'Omer (the 33rd day of the Omer). Yay! That makes four complete weeks and five days of the Omer.
Oh, I completely failed to notice. I mean, I was aware it was the 33rd day of the Omer Well, it does kind of defeat the object of counting if you don't actually pay attention to the numbers you come up with! What will happen when it gets to Shavuot, are you just going to continue counting on beyond 50 because you don't see 50 as a significant number?!
my reaction was limited to vaguely observing that made it 25+1. This reminds me of how you noticed the lack of telephone points in the Kettles Yard museum. *smile*
For a nice trip on Lag BaOmer I had a two hour meeting outside on the balcony overlooking the M40. That's very no fun, I'm sorry. I didn't do much for the festival either; we were supposed to have a picnic yesterday but it was way too wet.
I am going on a post-Lag BaOmer ramble in the countryside tomorrow, though. Very glad to hear it. Yay countryside. Enjoy!
What will happen when it gets to Shavuot, are you just going to continue counting on beyond 50 because you don't see 50 as a significant number?!
For a nice trip on Lag BaOmer I had a two hour meeting outside on the balcony overlooking the M40.
That's very no fun, I'm sorry.
It wasn't too bad actually; it was nice to be able to get outside. Rhonagh, whom I had the meeting with, got all excited afterwards about catching the sun. (I told her to put it back where she had found it.)