The Communist News Network

October 7, 2008

Hey, guess what?  We had another crappy debate between two crappy candidates!

I will forgo the laundry list of complaints.  This time.  Now I think I shall complain against CNN, the Communist News Network.

During the debate, CNN had a focus group of 25 people (should that be in quotes?) with those dumb electronic dials that they turn when they hear something they like, or don’t like, or have to go to the bathroom.  These people were reportedly evenly divided between undecided liberals, undecided conservatives, and undecided independents.  Mistake Number One! 25 divided by 3 equals 8.333…  How does that work?!?  Well, CNN can’t do math, obviously.  So why should we ever listen to them when they talk about the $700B bailout package?  Or the debt?  Or ANYTHING except dogs riding skateboards?

Anyway, after the debate, the News Lady (she deserves no more grandiose title than this) asked the evenly divided undecided voters “Who thinks Obama won/Who thinks McCain won?”  Twelve said Obama, ten McCain, three abstained.  Thus, she immediately declared that Obama won.  Mistake Number Two! If you take one person off the street and ask “Boxers or briefs?” and he says “boxers” and you declare that everyone wears boxers, or boxers are better, or if you declare anything except “This one person prefers boxers,” then you are an idiot of the ultimate degree.  And you probably majored in journalism.  But I repeat myself.

Here is how the News Lady SHOULD have handled that.  First, one must determine the standard deviation.  Since there were 25 samples (25 people), the standard deviation (or “uncertainty”) is sqrt(25) = 5.  It is actually pretty advanced math, but to find the uncertainty (in the purely mathematical sense) of a sample, take the square root of the sample.  So the number of people who thought Obama won was really 12 +/- (plus or minus) 5, and McCain was 10 +/-5.  So if you took another similar group of 25 people (same proportion, whatever that was, of undecided voters), you would have a pretty good chance of finding between 7 and 17 Omaba supporters and between 5 and 15 McCain supporters.  Actually, mathematically speaking, that should happen 68% of the time, but that is some more advanced math.

Really, we do not know who won that debate by just looking at the votes of those 25.  Incidentally, this formula does break down in at least one place.  If 12 were for Obama and 10 for McCain, 3 must have been undecided.  Or should I say 3 +/- 5.  Theoretically, 8 people could have been undecided, or -2 people could have been undecided.

And I proudly declare that I am one of those negative two people!


One Response to “The Communist News Network”

  1. drbolte Says:

    i tried. i tried SO hard to watch. i think i made it through like…five minutes. when mccain said cronies and obama smirked, i turned on discovery health. because hearing about somebody else’s intestinal tumors is better than causing my own ulcer through stress.

    on another blog i read, someone asked “how can anyone be undecided still?”

    uhm, because i hate EVERYONE and can’t stand to listen to them to figure out what they stand for? and oh wait they don’t say what they stand for anyways so what does it even matter?

    pandering politicians make me want to throw up. i’m becoming one of those people who watch abcfamily instead of the debate. i hate that.

    i will say that i love tom brokaw. although he looks like he had some work done.

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