I got a statistic for you-- imagine an average American. Got it?
OK, now imagine that 50% of the US is dumber than that. Now give 75%
of Americans access to computers. Finally set up a "news" site entirely
devoted to reporting on the outcome of polls and combine that with the
recent finding that show the more incompetent you are the less likely
you are to know it... Volia-- Yahoo! Public Opinion.
Ah yes, public polling! How in the world did I manage to get through my day
without knowing that "40.4% [of adults nationwide] agreed that indoor plumbing
has been the single greatest addition to the 20th century home." Or that "Bugs
Bunny & Friends Show was chosen Best of the Century by 26.3% of respondents."
Eh, but it all sounds so harmless, a kinda small-scale online mob-mentality that
can reassure America's dumb-asses that they are in the in-crowd, at least when
it comes to plumbing and cartoons. But what about real issues? Does the fact
that 61.6% of 968 adults (who had nothing better to do than answer a phone
survey) think Elian Gonzalez should be returned to Cuba mean
Why do 968 random people's opinions matter more than one random person's
opinion? What if you went to the hospital for major surgery and instead of 1
trained doctor you had 1324 adults from a nation-wide sampling vote on how to
Now I'm not saying I'm some kinda anti-democracy freak-o or anything-- I believe
people should be able to vote on things that will affect their own lives. For
example dumb-asses should be able to be ruled by dumb-ass laws. Self-righteous
pricks have my blessing to elect self-righteous prick officials.
But that's exactly what's wrong with all the big hype and attention that's given
to public polls. They shouldn't be part of a NEWS site, they should be on the
back page with the horoscopes and comics... but that's just my opinion.