In the quest for page views and visitors, bloggers and content creators skate the ethical borders. They steal content. They create meaningless lists. They perpetuate inaccuracy with statistically ridiculous online polls. Do not nibble on these cognitive candy bars; they make for flabby brains. So I offer you a post that is not pilfered, that […]Read More Five ways to detect Internet BS
The protesting masses in Egypt exposed another worldwide problem: the 24-7 idiocy of instant punditry. You’d think an exposé showcasing problems with self-proclaimed “experts” would create a more skeptical media. But some outlets, desperate for instantaneous analysis, lured commentators to the airwaves who offered little more than uninformed opinions about what was happening in Egypt. […]Read More The Egyptian revolution: Exposing the weaknesses of media punditry
Mashable offers some of the smartest online commentary and how-tos about social media on the Web. Except for its online polls. As statisticians know, most open-community online polls are garbage. You cannot generate a reliable sample for generalizing, and the results basically mean nothing. Take Mashable’s latest declaration: “Nexus One crushes the iPhone 3GS in […]Read More Note to Mashable: Online polls are garbage
My first reaction to the NYT piece about the romantic maneuverings of Obama budget guru Peter Orszag was an audible gag. Even in the piece itself, writer Mark Leibovich revealed a touch of nausea at having to write about the subject (boldface mine): “Everyone feels the need to say, ‘I’m really sorry I have to […]Read More OMG! Covering the personal failings of giants
As a researcher, I do believe surveys are valuable, important tools for understanding public sentiment. But polls have become one of the most abused items in today’s society, to the point that some outlets even ask clueless people about who they think perpetrated a crime. If there is a number available, we believe the statistic […]Read More Most-admired woman? Or best brand?