Statistics and stuff

Microsoft – ever the bashful types – are proclaiming that the release of Halo 2 is “poised to generate more revenue in 24 hours than day-one sales of any full feature movie in entertainment history, including Spider-man 2, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Matrix: Reloaded”. Strictly speaking, that is of course perfectly true, yet the picture they are trying to paint is decidedly false.
If the cost of a cinema ticket were equal to the price of the software (fancy dropping it M$ just so we can have a true comparison ? I’ll forego the popcorn) then a comparison may be in order, but it’s not. It’s typical manipulation.

It’s the same thing with these adverts for skin creams that women should apprently use. “Over 76% of women reported an improvement !!” screams the TV ad. Yea…. but seeing as the trial sample was only 24 women, it’s hardly breaking new boundaries is it ?
This was a headline at The Register – Three-quarters of Brit workers drunk after lunch. Sounds like we are the lush nation doesn’t it… but then you read the article. First, only 68% went for a ‘liquid lunch’, but then 33% of those said they did that 3 times a week, and it was 76% of that 33% who were apparently drunk. So it’s actually 76% of the 33% of the 68%. Makes the final figure much smaller, and in no way deserving of the headline. Note too that the nature of the work these people did was not mentioned, nor was the location. Given my cynicism, it’ll be workers in a southern city, or the headline would have been more along the lines about pissed Northerners.
Do people really get taken in by such junk ? Are we not credited with the intelligence to look further ?

The other news story that irked me was the Govt appointing a ‘super nurse’ to lead the fight against hospital infections, and giving the power to the ‘matrons’. Utter crap.
The ‘super nurse’ will be on a salary of over £40K, she’ll get a secretary and some other minion. They will swan around dispensing all manner of wisdom, and not a penny piece in cash. The ‘matrons’ are a joke – what they mean is existing ward managers but using the old title ‘comforts’ the public. Yet they too will get no more money and sure as hell no more staff. I’ve ran wards. I ran a group home, and the simple fact is that looking after the people comes first. Yes you say, but having a clean ward is doing just that – maybe so when clients don’t move much, but when you’ve got people self-injuring, smashing the place up, crying or desperately needing someone to talk to, some mashed potato on the floor comes a long way second. Cleaning takes time. Time is money. Money is people to do it. No money ? No people. Believe nothing they say about the subject.

2 thoughts on “Statistics and stuff

  1. Talking of false or misleading advertising, have you seen that ad over here Mark with that actress from the Carry On shows? I think she is advertising some kind of pensioners life insurance or the like [might be Lifeplan or AXA] and she says in a very positive tone at the end of the ad – how if you cash in your policy early you will get very little return and lose out on your investment. It is very cleverly done because her voice is pitched in such a positive way – even though she is actually describing the downside of the scheme.

    Then there are the other ones that do much the same thing when advertsing these insurance schemes for people ‘who have had an accident at work or on your way home’ etc. They also use positive inflection when they say such things as ‘there is nothing to pay – guaranteed…’
    I can’t help but smile every time I hear them because they must catch so many people out and by rights they are saying nothing wrong.
    It’s a jungle out there…
    By the way – ‘decidely’ a typo?

  2. Typo sorted – thanks, I’d missed that.

    What’s amazing is that people use these tricks daily themselves.
    They talk nicely to the cat/dog to get it to do something then trick it.
    They con kids by promising them good things when they do their homework / tidy their room.
    All this and more, they they just cannot see it when it hits them..

Comments are closed.