Wednesday, 14 January 2015

The Statistic That Seems to Matter

I'm not an engineer or scientist.  Frankly, I'm glad I didn't go off into either such direction as a kid because it'd just be total chaos for me.  But I like both professions greatly today and can appreciate what it takes to be either.  The one key ingredient?  Facts that matter.....numbers that matter.....solid evidence that leads to better conclusions that 'guessing'.

People in the news media and in politics.....come around to tell you things which come mostly out of opinion or just slanted views of life.  I'd prefer facts and statistics....because it might be more truthful.

This week, I noticed a report from the kind folks at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. They put up a simple polling question to thirty-four-thousand American adults.

The poll question was: “Which of the following best represents how you think of yourself?”

You had five possible answers: straight, lesbian/gay, bisexual, “something else” and “I don’t know the answer.”

Now, you can note here.....the transgender folks weren't mentioned.  I don't know the reasoning, or if it was purposely done, or just that the Center didn't know such people existed.

Here's the thing....out of thirty-four thousand folks.....only 1.6 percent said they were lesbian/gay.  Only .7 percent said they were bisexual.

After that point, the "something else" and "I don't know the answer" crowd ended up with a total of 1.1 percent.

Yeah....roughly ninety-four percent were straight....more or less.

What does this say?  There just isn't a large crowd out there who practice anything beyond straight.  They didn't split this off into men or women.....or age groups.....which have told more of the story.

To put this into leave work this afternoon and go to Wal-Mart.  You walk in and assume there are six hundred customers in the store.  At of those customers are gay/lesbian.  Four are bisexual.  And six folks are "something else".  The other 583 folks are all straight.

The fact is.....there are likely more people in the store who graduated from college with a Master's degree than gay/lesbian.  There's likely more more people in the store who've been to an Indian casino in the last year.....than gay/lesbian.  And there's likely more people in the store who've read War and Peace....than are bisexual.

Now, if you walked across the the gay bar there next to Wal-Mart, and noted the sixty folks in there.....fifty-eight which are gay/lesbian....well, it's a statistic but it's not really a number you can use for a CNN journalist's article or round-table discussion.  

Bottom line?  It might help to work with facts.

The "Homeland" Show

There are a dozen-odd current US TV programs which I might have curious nature over and watch.  I admit.....I still have an enjoyment of watching the Simpsons and South-Park.  I still have some interest in watching the Big Bang Theory.  I enjoy Pawn Stars off the History Channel, along with Amish Mafia (I know, it's fake).  Among this entire group, I have a curious nature with Showtime's "Homeland", which I've probably watched a dozen of the episodes with the series.

I noticed in today's news....the Homeland production team is looking at the next season theme, and have decided that unlike the previous themes for each year.....the new season won't involve Muslim terrorism.

Naturally, you'd ask the are these CIA folks who get all hyped up and charging off to protect America, and you need a pretty hefty subject area to charm the audience....but then you Muslim terrorists?

North Korean terrorists?  No, I doubt that you can use that theme because North Korea would get upset and do some bad things (or least say they might do bad things).

Mexican terrorists?  The show would end around the fourth episode because you can't invent that many scenarios or situations with the current situation.

Canadian terrorists?  Maybe you could invent some bad French guys from Montreal, who steal liquor trucks in New Jersey and sneak them across the border to sell untaxed US booze in Canada.  And then what?

Brazilian terrorists?  It'd mostly involve sexual or arousing type scenarios....with hot lusty stuff.  It'd be tough to make this a weekly show.  Course, you could inject some Brazilian transsexual terrorist operation as the theme...just to be different.  Folks might get the wrong idea about the show.

Alabama terrorists?   Inventing them straight out of some US state and hype up the CIA guys on an internal threat....with a Rambo-like Bama guy leading the bad guys? just won't work.

French terrorists?  Guys who sip fancy wine and eat shrimp by the bucket?  Bad guys?  No.

English terrorists?  Well....they'd be soccer thugs or hooligans.....drunk most of the time and charged up on soccer violence.  It won't work.

Russian terrorists?  Hey, it'd be simple to bring in twelve actual real Russian mafia guys....teach them to act....and build the Homeland theme around real living Russian mafia thugs.  But who'd be foolish enough to be that creative? And what if we suddenly liked the Russian guys, then hating the fake CIA guys off Homeland?

Frankly, I think Homeland has come to the end.  They've used up every piece of creativity, and it's downhill from here.