Lying Media Bastards

September 20, 2005

Removing All Doubt

The problem with making factual statements is that people can write them down.

Posted by Jake on September 20, 2005 8:39 pm

11 Comments »

  1. There’s a copy-paste error in the link.

    Comment by mjb — September 20, 2005 @ 9:25 pm

  2. After posting the comment above, I got a bunch of PHP errors from your WordPress installation. The comment went through though.

    Comment by mjb — September 20, 2005 @ 9:29 pm

  3. The error messages start with this one (it might be the only thing that needs to be fixed):

    Warning: Unknown modifier ‘#’ in /home/.tahiti/lyingmed/lyingmediabastards.com/wp-includes/functions.php on line 1348

    Comment by mjb — September 20, 2005 @ 9:30 pm

  4. The link works just fine for me.

    Comment by LB — September 20, 2005 @ 10:58 pm

  5. But I did get all the comment errors :(

    Comment by LB — September 20, 2005 @ 10:58 pm

  6. Hmmm. The chart shows coalition deaths over time, which is mildly misleading. Why would deaths be expressed in a graph? It’s not as if deaths are going to go down (unless the administration has discovered, at long last, the secrets of the zombie army). Setting up the numbers in this way suggests that the death rate is increasing over time, which is just not true. The death rate appears to be relatively constant.

    The basic point still applies (no, we are not “turning a corner” in Iraq), but I think we do our side more harm than good by presenting potentially misleading evidence.

    Comment by Robby Simpson — September 21, 2005 @ 4:45 pm

  7. Your comments are valid Rob, however from a statistical perspective it’s the concern that the trend or slope of the graph has not significantly changed over that period that suggests Zero Change has been achieved.

    To be truly accurate the data would require some additional processing but the results would no doubt still support the point.

    Comment by Obsydian — September 21, 2005 @ 8:55 pm

  8. “Setting up the numbers in this way suggests that the death rate is increasing over time, which is just not true.”

    Only if you can’t read a graph. A line graph is a pefect way to visualy point out changes in rate. If the line gets steeper, the rate is increasing. If the line gets flatter, the rate is decreasing. If the line plateaus off, that means the death rate has come close to zero. If there is no change in the slope of the line, there is no change in rate.

    Comment by LB — September 22, 2005 @ 1:21 pm

  9. Thanks for the smartass comment. Point being, death rate/time would be more informative and easier to read than death/time, and the latter is just inane, as deaths are not going to decrease at some point, whereas death rate might.

    Comment by Robby Simpson — September 22, 2005 @ 6:03 pm

  10. I reckon its a really effective graph - reductions in death rate can easily be seen by the flattening out of the graph, and the way it is doesnt lose sight of the fact that the people it counts are still dead - wonder how tiny it would look superimposed on a civilian deaths graph for Iraq??

    Comment by kandyA — September 22, 2005 @ 8:01 pm

  11. Actually, I agree with Robby here. Making the primary line equal the cumulative number of dead rather than the number of people killed on a certain day is an odd choice. But it has little impact on the main point, that all of these proclamations that the insurgency is just about done have had no basis in reality.

    Comment by Jake — September 22, 2005 @ 10:50 pm

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