Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A Surfeit of Surveys

There are continents of knowledge and information I've yet to explore. Looking at the hour glass and watching the sand rushing through it (and settling mostly on my bottom) I've accepted there's just going to be stuff I'm not going to know about.

It's okay for the most part since often the keenness of my disappointment in not knowing something or someone is tempered and balanced quite nicely by my total lack of interest and caring.

We're all about the same in terms of passions and fashions. We have the former that result in our championing and/or despising the latter. Meanwhile in the middle of all of that, and occupying a great swath of our emotional and intellectual property are the things we don't know that we don't know.

It's how we handle that part that makes it interesting to be on the planet. There are X number of things we all have feelings about, positive or negative. The things themselves vary to some extent but the emotions are pretty constant.

I'm always impressed when I see an online poll or read a news report about a public attitude as revealed in a survey. How can anyone believe that the moonwalk was faked or that the left Twix bar tastes better than the right one? Or any other pressing matter where people choose up sides.

Actually, that people can end up on opposite sides of stuff like that isn't the impressive part for me as nearly a math major at Rutgers if they hadn't added the alphabet to all those damn equations. My point is that when you add up the percentages on these things, it should be 100% but quite often isn't because of (my favorite) the "I don't know" and "No Opinion" answers.

The surveys are not naturally occurring phenomena, boys and girls. You must dial a number or click a box and answer a question you chose to have an opportunity to answer. So, the other day, for reasons that I don't pretend to think too much about (see paragraph two, above), my local newspaper asked those of us who are online readers "How do you feel about clowns?"

I think the next question they should offer is "what kind of people go to the trouble to log into their online account to take our 'what do you think?' survey question and then respond with "No Opinion."

And then they can ask me for a colorful essay describing what kinds of people I think they are. Of course, we will have to change the rating on the newspaper's home page but I'll bet a lot of folks won't have an opinion on that either. Smile, John.
-bill kenny

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