Monday, November 02, 2009

Some men you just can't reach

So the New York Times had an article about a poll they conducted recently about texting and driving. They found that 97% of the people surveyed believed that it should be against the law.

However, this line drew some attention on Gizmodo:
The nationwide telephone poll was conducted Oct. 5-8 with 829 adults and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Apparently some people saw the 829 figure and were confuzzed. "Number too small. All numberz bad. Survey bad."

I attempted to address the issue with a brief description of sampling, but it didn't do much good, and of course because this is teh innernets, stamping out ignorance is like putting out a grease fire with water: if you don't bring an incredible amount of water, you'll be overwhelmed by the fire, but either way, there won't be much left when you're done.

So I had my say, and now I'm moving on.

Not quite sure why the Times said 3 percentage points, though. I got 1.5 from this online calculator, but then I wonder if there is somehow a one-tailed vs. two-tailed issue here. Just curious ...

1 comment:

  1. Seriously...why didn't I see the fireball in the video. I feel cheated. Is there another one?

    You is crazy to try and reason with crazy people on the Internet. The sheep love to wallow in their ignorance.


There was an error in this gadget