Andrew Pollack's Blog

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Please, make it stop!

By Andrew Pollack on 10/26/2004 at 07:59 AM EDT

I tend to consume informational media of all kinds pretty much all day. That either makes me a fountain of obscure information or a complete bore -- the difference depends on how much you like or dislike hearing me rant about it. I wake up to NPR, BBC World News, and Marketplace then during work my home page is a news aggregation site. In the evening I watch our local news, which in this small, rural state is largely without the nightly death toll reports of the major cities like New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Phoenix. In fact, a car accident with major injury is headline stuff here.

Right now, dealing with both the end of the election cycle and at the same time nearly constant mindless baseball talk is truly maddening.

I cannot watch any television any more because I can no longer stand all the patently hostile and grossly inaccurate political ads, the telephone hard-sell, the push to watch free propaganda videos that supposedly counter the big Mike Moore film, and the push-polls (a push poll is where they call you and ask "questions" which are really negative statements about the other guy, the goal of which is to convince to vote for their guy).

If I turn to any other media source, I'm forced to see or hear the most inane attempts at enlightened discussion about baseball. I've learned to appreciate some of the subtleties of the game despite not having played as a kid, but I still have little patience for the sport and none for the endless stupid discussions of meaningless statistics without sufficient baseline to be of any real predictive value. I'm fairly sure he was talking about baseball when Churchill said "There are lies, damn lies, and statistics."

As the month of October draws to an end, I can only hope for two results from these not-so-epic battles; that whoever wins the election does so by sufficient margin that we stave off endless and ultimately unsatisfying legal action as a resolution, and that the Red Sox win the series if for no other reason than because it just may reduce the endless drivel about a curse laid on a city by a drunk ball player more than three quarters of a century ago.

By the way, its spelled "Socks". They are called the Red SOCKS because they have, yes, RED SOCKS. There are no such things as sox. Get over it.

There are  - loading -  comments....

My own thoughts on this are...By Ben Langhinrichs on 10/26/2004 at 10:50 AM EDT
I'll second both of those wishes. Like you, I live with media input all the
time, and I am sick to death and well beyond with the political "news". I
avoid more of the baseball "news", which is at least guaranteed to be over
within the next week.
My own thoughts on this are...By Richard Schwartz on 10/26/2004 at 11:12 AM EDT
Ummm... see where you're redirected to if you try

See also Merriam Webster, and note the acceptable plural form.

Finally, nobody is really quite sure who said "Lies, damned lies, and
statistics" first, but it was definitely not Churchill.

OK... I'll stop now :-)

Bah! You baseball fans....By Andrew Pollack on 10/27/2004 at 07:49 AM EDT
You've corrupted Merriam Webster! I'll bet you'll try for Daniel Webster next
(I hear he's tougher).

As the official editor of this site, I've gotten in touch with IBM and will get
their marketing people to declare "Churchill" to be a "Brand" which encompases
many different specific "People" who say many different things, not just the
individual "Winston Churchill" line itself.

Its all in the branding, Rich.
"Lies, damn lies, and statistics"...By Rock on 10/27/2004 at 10:26 PM EDT
Mark Twain popularized in the U.S. Benjamin Disraeli's statement, "There are
three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics."



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