Misleading Maths

We all know that the incorporated politicians and the incorporated media are not doing their jobs properly. They are twisting every aspect of reality in an attempt to wring out every last ounce of money and power they can get. All without a thought toward their long-term profitability.

But one key to their deception is found in mathematics. Not high-level holy-cow-you-can-do-THAT kind of math, but just a trick so simple that you’ve probably been graded down a hundred times for doing it on accident.

That trick is leaving things out. Oops, you forgot to carry the one. Your answer is wrong. -1. But when they do it, they seldom get marked off. They are bold enough to dispute everything.

One example of this I’ve seen lately is the math of activity-impacts on climate change. Whether it’s calculating that an electric car pollutes more than a combustion car, or that bicycling is worse than the combustion car, or that the average car moves at so many miles per work-hour.

To calculate these things is an exercise in aggregation. And it’s easy to leave some out. It’s difficult to not disclaim the result, or discuss why you may be wrong. And that’s the bit the incorporated entities leave out. They leave out the humbleness of humans. They act like the math is so obvious that it couldn’t possibly be wrong.

Guess they haven’t learned anything from the math that sank the markets only a stone’s throw back.

But it is the humility, the acquiescence to reason and margin for error, that marks the true champions of our species. The incorporated have no humility for the masses. They are there to sell. A sale cannot be predicated on an admission of doubt, for then caveat emptor (may the buyer beware). Can’t have that.

Or can we? I question with only mild reservation the sage wisdom that politicians must follow that line, where the candidate cannot honestly say, “maybe my opponent is your better choice for you. I believe I’m better, and I will make that case, but I may in fact be wrong.”

I question the wisdom that the climate skeptics and deniers try to sell, that we ought do nothing. Any who will say, “though you may be in grave danger, do nothing until such time as blood is drawn,” must either be kin to the undertaker, of a sadistic bent, or simply deluded.

Indeed, if there had been humility leading to the war against Iraq, it might have taken a far different course, as if there had been the same skepticism applied to the claims of that administration as there are to the science of the climate.