Monday, 4 August 2014

Statistical Warfare

Years ago, I was in the Air Force and stationed at McChord AFB, Washington.  Around 1979....this major on the base was doing a master's degree program in statistical analysis.  He had a class project and just decided to ask Air Force people how they prioritized their benefits and what they really wanted.

Roughly a year later....he's finished with the thesis and data collection project....publishes it and even sends on copies to Air Force leaders within the Mobility Command.  It was a wasn't the top priority....what people wanted was stability and time off.

Naturally, a fire-storm erupted....who gave this major permission to collect data?  This conflicted with the fake reality that Air Force leaders had of their people and their priorities.  It was the first time that someone ever sat down and asked real people their opinions, and it disagreed with the perceived "truth".

This past week.....I noticed that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) got itself into a fire-storm.

For some reason, the CDC felt that it needed to know an accurate number of how many gays, lesbians and bi-sexuals there were in America.  They went out and collected data....polling 35,000 Americans.

The end result?  Basically....1.6-percent of Americans fall into the category of gay, lesbian or bi-sexual.  That would end up with a rough number of 3.8 million (give or take).

Yeah, that's it.

It's a problem now because the general perceived number in America is somewhere between twenty and thirty percent....meaning that somewhere between fifty and a hundred million Americans fall into this category.  You can ask various journalists, political figures, and prominent-know-nothings....they will all cite the twenty-five percent number as they are interviewed.

So, it's disturbed some folks. It's a heavy weight that is being carried by these 3.8 million gays, lesbians or bi-sexual folks.  Millions of hours have been put into the gay marriage issues, personal rights, and various other civil discussions....over roughly 3.8 million individuals....which compares to the state population of Oklahoma.

Anger and hostility at the CDC?  Yeah.  Questions are being raised about who authorized the the polling was done....and if there was some political agenda at work.

It also poses some curious questions.  If there are only 3.8 million people fitting into this category....then the max number of special marriages can only be 1.9 million.....if every single gay, lesbian and bi-sexual married one of their own.  That's it.  Course, you could marry the wrong guy....divorce him.....find another guy.....marry him....divorce him.....and then repeat this five times....just to build up statistical numbers.

How did we ever get to the imaginary number of twenty-five percent of Americans being gay or lesbian or bi-sexual?  I'm not sure.  I doubt if it was ever a scientific poll, and maybe it just got printed out on some news article....fake data....for a fake political agenda.  People just read it and believed it all to be true.  Kinda like Vulcan-mind-control, and how a hundred-thousand Americans believe it's a real feat that some folks are capable of.

Does the 3.8 million number matter?  It's a big difference when people were thinking fifty million Americans were gay, and now they might realize it's just under four million.  It's kinda like building a big new five-hundred-million-dollar football stadium for some professional team, and you can barely get ten-thousand people to show the stadium is mostly empty.  What was the hype that got the stadium built and how can the team get any real news coverage?

It's hard to say where this goes.  I'm guessing some professors will now assign various studies to students and find that new polling data goes into different directions.....maybe forty percent of all women are bi-sexual and ten percent of all Alaskan men are gay.  Maybe the polling data will show the student population of Texas Tech is ninety-eight percent gay.  Maybe sixty percent of all CNN correspondents are bi-sexual, while ninety percent admit they are Democrats.

Yeah, it's statistical warfare.  And it's not clean, pure, logical, or perfect.

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