Thursday, March 7, 2013


This article from Time Magazine, of all places, is good, and really worth a read.  But please, dear god, make the journalists stop writing sentences like this:

we spend more on health care than the next 10 biggest spenders combined: Japan, Germany, France, China, the U.K., Italy, Canada, Brazil, Spain and Australia. 

What kind of an irrelevant factoid is this?  How hard is it to simply write that we spend twice the amount PER CAPITA as everyone else?  When I see  statements like this I just shut down immediately, even when I already agree with the point.  On the other hand, it seems to me that most people are drawn to striking images like this, regardless of whether they present meaningful data.  But this means that you can convince these people of anything as long as you give them some striking but irrelevant factoid.  We should all be very scared when people agree with us for the wrong reasons.