Surveying a Fact

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AACT Festival Day 4 (Sat June 28) Blog Home Looking beyond the "Facts"

My actual very first Blog entry (8-Feb-2003)

I always figured that a blog should be made up of the random thoughts that one has at times. Since I recent decided to start one (though it won’t be online for some time after I write it), here goes with my first:

I was just watching CNN, and they had an online poll where they ask people “Do you believe that there’s a connection between Iraq and al Quida “ 68% thought that there was.

My thought? What an immensely dumb idea for a poll question. What they are voting on is a fact: There either is a connection between them or there is not. Opinion doesn’t enter into it. Imagine, for example, taking an opinion poll on whether it is going to rain tomorrow. If 68% of the people said “yes”, what does that mean? Will the clouds succumb to the will of the people and decide to downpour? Of course not. So, then, what does it mean? Maybe some of them heard from someone that it might rain tomorrow; some might just think we’re due for rain. None of it has any meaning. If you want to know if going to rain, you ask a meteorologist, who know how to read the signs.

Which bring us bring to CNN’s question. If you want to know if there’s a connection between Iraq & al Quida, you ask the foreign intelligence community, who have the foreign agents, informants, spy satellites etc to have a fairly good idea what going on (or at least a far better idea than the public at large) And the CIA, our very own experts on matters like this, says there’s no connection.

By the way, on the matter of gratuitous pretentious details, I’m writing this on an iPaq PocketPC using a Targus folding keyboard, while on a plane flying to Seattle.