Politics: 30 August 2010

I don’t want to keep hammering this, but the media coverage of the estimates of the attendance of Glenn Beck’s rally are really bugging me. Let’s look at what News Provider has to say:

Beck says that the attendance could have been between 300000 (low end) and 650000 (high one).

Some firms that were hired to estimate the attendance said that the attendance could have been between 78000 and 96000. The average of what analysts said was around 87000.

What’s the truth? Impossible to say.

My emphasis!

What we have here is a contrast between Glenn Beck’s self-aggrandizing estimate and actual scientific measurements taken by an established company, AirPhotos Live, that has been doing this kind of work for over a decade. How did they do it? They took high-resolution images of the event from balloons. Then, they gave the images to three independent technicians to make estimates. Their result: 87,000 +/- 9000.

In the end, it will be reported that there were 300,000 people at the rally. Why? Because that is the middle number between the low scientifically derived 87,000 and Glenn Beck’s “more than twice the legal number allowed” guess. We all know our Aristotle, right? The truth is somewhere in the middle. So it must be 300,000.

I’m going crazy!

Yes, I know it is the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. And I am sad for this suddenly very white city. You know the blues is really a white art form. Just listen to Albino Tommy Johnson who sold him stock options for supernatural guitar prowess.

I gotta go now.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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