The above comic is created and licensed by xkcd.com.
Though news media is in the business of selling ad spots and not in the business reporting honestly, it is dishonest in part due to the rampant innumeracy in America.
Filed under Humor.
Ok I am not a math geniuos here and I am slightly confused. Aren’t those numbers the same thing? I thought I got the humor until I read the text below. I am lost so clarify (and by doing so making it not funny. Yeah I know sorry.)
You have it right, Big C; the numbers in the left panel are the same values as the corresponding ones on the right. The text below is a little confusing.
I thought the comic was obvious.
It’s the presentation of the data. As very large numbers our brain fails to intuitively grasp the actual comparisons of the figures. 165million seems like a hell of a percentage of 170billion at a glance until you do the math and find it’s less than 0.1%. this is more intuitive with 170000million as your eyes can do the intuitive comparison. The sip of wine, 30seconds with your daughter I think is much the same. A sip of wine is 1000 times less Alcohol than the bottle of gin, same for the time with the daughter.
Of course the point is valid, as egregious as it is for execs to get rewarded for their foolishness. The actual cost is a drop in the ocean compared to the total stimulus package. The story is not really a big news item but it’s sexed up by representing the numbers in this way.
I get the pleasure of watching news media all day long thanks to my job (we choose CNBC because well quite honestly because they focus mainly on business stuff and they have the better looking anchors!) and the cartoon is so correct. Not once did anyone mention the extreme difference between the two values and it is on for 12 hours a day five days a week in our office.
I am not saying I am a supporter of the bonuses because I am not, I find it insulting that people can make millions of dollars through ineptitude but after working in corporate America for so long I almost find that hard work and intelligence are not rewarded instead stupidity and laziness are the virtues that reap the most praise and reward.
Oh and hello to those who remember me, I have been away for sometime and thought I would drop a line.
You picked a good time to return. I just fixed all the problems caused by last week’s server switch. Everything seems to be in working order now.
Hilarious analogy. Great point!
Funny and true post and very much on point.
One of my favorite topics here.
Don’t even begin to get me started on the use of percentages (or lack of) in the news.
e.g. Deaths on the road up 100%
Could mean last year 1 death this year 2.
We need a point of reference….
yeah, that xkcd graphics is right.
I really love all of their daily comics strip.
It is really good, yet sarcastics.
Just like this one. hehe
It’s been a month now. Did you use all your words up?
Twitter is eating all my words.
Sid sometime when you are not twittering take a look at ted.com then margaret wertheim and her talk about crocheting hyperbolic spaces and coral. It probably does’nt have much to do with philosphy but it does have deep roots in math.Thank-you for putting me on to ted to begin with.
I totally agree — I think they should run news stories with all the zeroes so people really know what type of number’s were talking about with these bailouts.
yeah, number can be very confusing sometimes. Unless it is represented in numbers not words.
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