I’m trying to wrap my head around some numbers. I generally like the stories numbers can tell. Statistics can provide an insight into events that anecdotes hide. Mapping statistical evidence onto sensory data can be like getting a new sense; a sense of reality.
Unfortunately statistics are more prone to falsification than the natural senses are prone to neurological glitches; for instance a larger percentage of the statistics I have been given have turned out outright lies than things I’ve seen have turned out to have been optical illusions.
Statistics are often no fun to bring up in conversations. Unpleasant sensory stimuli can be. I’ve heard people laughing over having detected someone’s flatulence by its odor, but I have rarely heard people laughing over having discovered that something they thought was true did not fit statistical evidence.
Discovering that one is wrong can sometimes be exhilarating, but is usually more comfortably done in private.
Most statistics have no impact on previously held positions in my mind. Despite the fact that I actively try to think about many things there is more data about the world than I have even considered.
There is an old expression for unrelatedness of information to a particular train of thought. It goes something like this: “What has that got to do with the price of beans in China?”
Did you know that you can get a ton of beans from China for about $1,000.00 (minimum order 20 toms)?
So, I’m trying to wrap my head around some numbers. They are TV show ratings, and I don’t watch TV. It is not so much what the ratings mean; it is what they really mean.
The National conventions of the two political parties worth noting in the USA have come and gone over the past couple of weeks. These are televised extravaganzas where a great number of political speeches defining the proposed direction of the competing national interests are delivered with great rhetorical vigor. I have listened to a few on YouTube, and have become convinced that it is inconceivable that anyone could vote differently from the way I have decided to vote. I mean ... how could anyone think that way?
However, many of the people with direct TV access to the National conventions did not watch them. Instead many people watched a show called “Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo”. The Republican National Convention actually lost out to “Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo” when they went head-to-head; The Democratic National Convention narrowly beat out “Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo”.
So what is this show that is more important to the American people than there next president you might ask? I wanted to know as well. It only took a few seconds of searching to find out that it was a spinoff of a show called “Toddlers and Tiaras” , which is a reality show based on kid beauty pageants like the one featured in the movie “Little Miss Sunshine”. Honey Boo-Boo is the nickname of one 6-year-old girl who regularly drinks a mixture of red-bull and m Mountain Dew her mother mixes for her, and then acts spastic. Here is a clip that purportedly captures the tone of the show.
There may be more to the show, but I’m not inclined to research it further. I very much liked the movie “Little Miss Sunshine”, but finding out these types of pageants are real is icky.
So what does it say about the status of America’s republic that “Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo” is equally, or more, popular than the national political conventions?