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> Proofiness, or "the trumped up numbers game"
CWB
Posted: February 25, 2012 03:02 pm
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there have been discussions/threads here about some topics that involve data/numbers .
there has been questions about the validity of those numbers/data .
for those of us here , we tend to have a skeptical eye and are more likely to spot bogus information more readily than "joe schmuck" .

i just started reading a book entitled "proofiness" or "how you are being fooled by the numbers" , written by charles seife .
i am not very far along in the book but it promises to be informative and useful .
the basic premise is that if you attach "numbers" to *something* you can/it make(s) even the most ludicrous subject seem plausible or believable and tend to be taken as a whole without question .
for some reason people have been conditioned to think/believe "if has numbers to it , it has to be true" ... and some folks believe the most asinine "information" to be gospel in truth .

the book starts out by shedding some light on senator McCarthy and his infamous communist "witch hunt" and the "numbers" he used .
this was a truly an ill use of office by a small minded selfish person with a black heart that used the gullibility/ignorance of people , from little old ladies to the upper reaches of individuals in the white house and congress .
i am certain that every country has had some type of "senator McCarthy" in their government .

from politics to advertising to talk shows , the news and more , "bad data" is chewed up and spat out for the consumption of clueless individuals .

if you can obtain a copy i would recommend this book as a good read .
a library should be able to order one up if they don't have it on the shelf .
or maybe it is in ebook form ?



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Geek
Posted: February 25, 2012 03:30 pm
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Count on me looking for that. Thanks! thumbsup.gif


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MacFromOK
Posted: February 26, 2012 12:33 am
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Hehe, I just googled the following:

"of all surveys are inaccurate"

And got 6 hits. These are from the results page:

- 73% of all surveys are inaccurate
- 92.3% of all surveys are inaccurate and biased
- 40% of all surveys are inaccurate
- 68% of all surveys are inaccurate
- 50% of all surveys are inaccurate
- 76% of all surveys are inaccurate

The whole thing reminds me of the signature sherlock ohms uses:

"Quotation marks make sentences appear more meaningful."

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Sch3mat1c
Posted: February 26, 2012 06:49 am
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79% of all statistics are made up, anyway. But that's mainly because 83% of believable statistics are prime numbers.

Tim


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crane550
Posted: February 26, 2012 07:27 am
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QUOTE (Sch3mat1c @ February 26, 2012 06:49 am)
79% of all statistics are made up, anyway. But that's mainly because 83% of believable statistics are prime numbers.

Tim

Beat me to it!


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Geek
Posted: February 26, 2012 11:12 am
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Lies!
Damn lies!
And....

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CWB
Posted: February 26, 2012 01:32 pm
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heh heh heh ...

i am a bit further along in the book .
the author gives real world examples of "fruit packing" (including the subdivisions of it) .
one example is the "cherry picking" and comparing "apples to oranges" of the numbers involved with GW Bush the 1st and his "no child left behind" campaign .
and as i have suspected all along ; somethin' aint quite right here .
if the kids were/are supposed to be getting smarted how come they sure seem to be dumber ?

the equestrian and bovine fecal matter is of rather copious quantity and highly odoriferous .


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Jimthecopierwrench
Posted: February 26, 2012 04:28 pm
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I think it all started with four out of five doctors...

Statistics can be collected to spin any side of any particular story. It's not the fault of the numbers though, it's collection methods that don't follow the scientific method - usually to blatantly stack the deck.



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