Tuesday, January 29, 2008

There are predictions, and then...

It really irritates me when people predict things and then claim them as being fact. This seems to happen more and more with less and less data.

The best example of it is the recent trend on predicting the outcome of elections. It seems that every election prediction is less accurate than the one before it. Not only that, the news outlets seem to announce the winner before the votes are counted.

Now, we know this has always been the case, and it was shown in the presidential election in 2000. Here, was a great example. It was one of the first times that you could see real-time results from an election of the internet. If you looked at the actual numbers from Florida, you would have seen Bush in the lead when the news agencies declared Gore to be the winner. They then rescinded this. Later, they declared Bush to be the winner, but the real time counts were either showing Gore with a slight lead or it being way too close to tell. Yet, the media was relying on their own polling and prediction models to make these declarations.

I know there is always a race to be the first with the news story, but this is a bit ridiculous! Why would you want to put your own integrity at stake for the sake of a new headline? Yet, they seem to do it all of the time and are not learning from their lessons.

Now were are in Florida again for the 2008 primaries. Here again, if you look at the numbers and the remaining precincts to count, it seems to not be clear cut yet, but they are announcing McCain as the winner of the Florida Republican Primary. Not just the probably winner, or the likely winner, but the winner. Now, like most states, Florida will take a while to count all of the votes. There are also varied political leanings in different parts of the state. Why would you want to make this prediction early?

I attribute it to a more general problem with much of the media today. They trust themselves. In most business, if you see you customer base shift or even if you don't, you take a look at yourself occasionally and make sure that you are serving your customers the best that you can. Those that don't eventually fail if they don't make corrections. The media does not seem to do this. They see the market shift away from newspapers and they blame the internet, the radio, the video games, anything but themselves. They trust themselves that they know what the truth is, that their methods are best, and that they know what they should print. Whether it be intentional bias, pure narcissism, or simply that is "the way it has always been done", I don't know, but the news media that wakes itself up could end up pulling a lot of customers away from the others.

I hate to use it as an example, because they have their own faults, but Fox News does not get its high ratings because they do it the way it has always been done. No, they realized their was discontentment and went off on their own, their own way.

And, as a lesson, that is what we as voters need to do. Go our own way. It is obvious that all media has an agenda, even if it is in a minor way. What we need to do is take all of it with a grain of salt and form our own opinions.

America will fall when we give our freedom, and especially our minds, over to others to control for us. Whatever the intentions, let not reports or predictions prevent you from using your God-given gift of independent thought. Otherwise we won't need someone to predict the outcome, because we will no longer have control of it -- it will be disastrous.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A New Year and a New Course

Well, it is a new year, and I have decided to take control of this ship. After months of listening to various advisors, and other various captains trying to dictate where we should sail this ship, or what the current topic of discussion should be, I have told them all to fall in line or walk the plank.

That is right, I am the captain of this ship, and I will dictate which way this ship will go. From this point on, we will sail my way, and not be like the other ships.

Now, since I am captain and navigator (my navigator chose the plank), I have grabbed my sextant to plot the course. [Side note, I just had to throw another crew member off for snickering at the last sentence]. My personal favorite course would be to take the second star to the right and sail straight on until morning, but in this case, I don't want my next post to be from neverland. So, I will sail, you just sleep, and I will wake you when we get to our next stop.