Play the Percentages

Discussion in 'Politics' started by B_VinylBoy, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    Poll data sucks. There, I said it.
    Regardless if it's slanted to make it look as if one particular person or party can't do anything right or if it's geared to make it look as if they're the second coming of the Messiah, polls (especially on the Internet) cannot accurately predict or summarize the overall atmosphere or thoughts of a nation. Even if you collected the information of the "most trusted" sources and took averages, the numbers that generate would still be a small figment of the actual voting population. Case in point, over 120 Million people voted in the last presidential election. How can any 24 hour poll that takes in the opinions of a few thousand mean anything substantial?

    To prove a point, I have provided a simple, yet mindlessly rhetorical question... Person #1 takes a test that has only 27 questions, gets 25 of them right and passes with a 93%. Person #2 takes a test on the same subject that has 143 questions and answers only 86 of them correctly, barely passing with a 60%. But who's smarter and why?

    Your answers will reveal much about your political beliefs. Give it a shot.
     
  2. HazelGod

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    Captain Obvious is going to sue you for infringement if you keep this up, VB. :biggrin1:
     
  3. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    Now you're just being silly... :tongue:
     
  4. dandelion

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    By very carefully shoosing the few thousand so they are representative sof the whole 120 million! Pollsters typically reckon about 5% or better accuracy.

    I have no idea. Insufficient information, but my money is on the professor of ancient sanskrit who failed the test on street slang, not the ten year old they pulled in from aforesaid street.
     
  5. ColoradoGuy

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    I would offer up this book as instructive in a debate such as this. Very enlightening reading. It's also a short book -- perfect for those with less than average attention spans.
     
  6. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    I didn't mean this thread to be a "shoosh", but more of a request for people to really think about what numbers reflect. Many people grow too comfortable with numerical statistics from supposed unbiased sources where their reputations precede them. That's dangerous to some degree, as there is no such thing as a completely unbiased news source. They all have some level of agenda and/or slant to propagate.

    You're correct in suggesting that we could use more info. It's always better to make decisions when one has more details. However, that doesn't stop people from using their supposed titles and ranks to generate an opinion that may not be 100% factual nor does it stop these same people from getting in verbal (and sometimes physical) altercations when another comes to a different conclusion. In the end, you have two people providing opposing points of view that are both lacking in any real substance and a bunch of disgruntled spectators who just want to know more before they make up their own minds.

    I'm just curious as to how some people would react to such a weird conundrum. Every answer I've received from it through my own personal friends have slightly differed.
     
  7. lucky8

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    I finally feel vindicated
     
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