By jingo!

This is the Daily Telegraph Medals Table, as it stands:

Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 China 18 11 5 34
2 United States 18 9 10 37
3 South Korea 7 2 5 14
4 Great Britain 6 6 6 18
5 France 6 5 6 17

More importance is attached to the number of gold medals, and after that silver, than the overall medal tally.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/

However, USA Today displays them as follows:

Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 United States 18 9 10 37
2 China 18 11 5 34
3 Japan 2 6 11 19
4 Great Britain 6 6 6 18
5 Germany 5 8 5 18

The news paper attaches more importance to the overall number of medals. I wonder what would happen if China were to win fewer gold medals but more medals over all. Would USA Today put China in first place?

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/index

Lies, damned lies and statistics

Warning: this is very long. It is a response to a blogger on MyT, who quoted some statistics.

If you are remotely interested in responses thereon, here is the post.

It was intended to explain a little more about the use and misuse of statistics, and how demographic projections are produced and their validity.

Some observations  from the Pew Report.

All the statistics  and quotations, unless otherwise attributed are from this report entitled “The Future of the Global Muslim Population -Projections for 2010-2030” and from  here “Faith on the Move-The Religious Affiliation of International Migrants”

But before I begin, I would remind you of a particularly misleading video clip which has been doing the rounds for quite some time. This is one of the many examples of how statistics, and these particular numbers are wildly inaccurate, are used in an alarmist way.

Continue reading “Lies, damned lies and statistics”

The meaning of life?

According to recent research by Nielsen, the countries where people are most pessimistic are:

1. Greece (hardly surprising)
2. Portugal (ditto)
3. Hungary

On the other hand, the countries with the most optimistic people are:

1. India (!)
2. Philippines (!!)
3. Indonesia (!!!)

Flabbergasted reader’s reaction: DUDE, WHAT ARE YOU ON??? (Can I have some too?)

All Hell Let Loose

I was reading a copy of the BBC History magazine the other day when I came across an article by Max Hastings. He has written a book about the Second World War called, ‘All Hell Let Loose’. He says he was asked how it was possible to write yet another book about that period in history. Surely it had been done to death. He counters by providing a number of facts and statistics that may surprise many. The book is written with ordinary people, soldiers and civilians, at the centre of events, rather than the big-name politicians and generals who usually occupy that ground. Continue reading “All Hell Let Loose”