*** 20th Anniversary: 2003 to 2023 ***

Government Spin

by Jules
(London, UK)

For those who use science for dishonest purposes

For those who use science for dishonest purposes

Thanks for the site. I use math to uncover Government spin with statistics. After all, you can find angles in the figures that support whatever line you want to push.

One of the things I can't bear when I hear politicians citing statistics is the dishonest spin they give them; on the surface, their conclusions look OK, but if you dig beneath, you find that there's a whole other story there. Thank God for journalists and bloggers who seek to redress the balance.

As for what type I am, I guess the above all fits with being an intuitive type. Curiosity, wanting to get behind the story and discover the truth for myself. Math helps. It's a discipline that enables you to analyse a proposition critically and come up with alternatives.

To give an example, the statement that during this Monday's snow storms in the UK, 25% of employees didn't turn up for work. That was used to conclude that, in effect, 1/4 of the nation's productivity on Monday had been lost.

But let's have a bit of awareness here; if over 50% of the national product is derived from tertiary service industries and a great many workers in those industries have IT capability at home where they can log into their company's systems, and have mobile devices that allow them to take calls and make deals when they're away from the office, the picture might not be all that bad. I couldn't see that this element of the equation had been taken into account when the sweeping, negative statements were made on the news that day.

Barry's Response Thanks Jules. From Dictionary.com

  1. information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement,
  2. institution, nation, etc.
  3. the deliberate spreading of such information, rumors, etc.

...and a few other definitions are included relating to the church and whatnot.

Is the purposeful manipulation of seemingly objective data often done to achieve one of these ends? I think so, and we need watchdogs like you to blow the lid off of these nefarious operations.

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