Tuesday, November 28, 2006

An Excellent Book For All Political Readers

This book will help you evaluate what the writer wants you to think.

How to Lie With Statistics by Darrell Huff, Irving Geis

Sorry, but its a slow-loading Amazon.com link.

An example. A weblog gets 7 hits in one day. For joesnewblog.blogspot.com that would mean a 600% increase in one day because it was launched yesterday with only one hit. For DailyKos, 7 hits is nothing.

Unless the author is neutral, if you aren't supplied with all the data, you don't know what the author is trying to make you think.

A neutral author would not bring up the 600% fact. The data would be presented like this.

Joesnewblog.blogspot.com which was launched yesterday with one hit had 7 new hits today. Now the reader has the info to know its a small new launch and probably insignificant.

An author with an agenda would say joesnewblog.blogspot.com is growing like wildfire with a 600% increase in readership just today.

The idea for this post and the example came from Echidne of the Snakes.


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