Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Books and other stats

I have two things to share with you today. The first is a short article from the Globe and Mail: Not Anticipated: A preview of 2010's worst books. It's not only amusing but there is a link to another article about how huge advances for celebrity-written books are impossible for the publisher to recoup. Here, though, is my favourite bit on Mitt Romney's release.

No Apology: The Case for American Greatness
By Mitt Romney
From Wikipedia: "The Dunning-Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which ‘people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it.’ The unskilled therefore suffer from illusory superiority, rating their own ability as above average, much higher than actuality; by contrast the highly skilled underrate their abilities, suffering from illusory inferiority."

The next stats are from Harper's Index, February 2010:

  • Price last fall for which a North Caroline middle school allowed students to buy extra credit points on any test: $20. 
  • Factor by which the average time a 15-to-19-year-old U.S. girl spends dong housework each day exceeds that of a boy: 2
  • Percentage of the California state budget in 1979 that went to higher education and prisons, respectively: 15, 3
  • Percentage today: 12, 10
Health care:
  • Estimated number of U.S. veterans under 65 who died in 2008 because they lacked health insurance: 2,266
  • Factor by which this exceeds the number of U.S. soldiers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan last year: 5
  • Percentage of all food in the U.S. supply chain that is wasted: 40
  • Chance that a child in the U.S. will be on food stamps at some point during his/her upbringing: 1 in 2.
 Makes you think, doesn't it?



  1. you can BUY grades??? WRONG, so wrong

  2. Yes, it does. Me and my fellow countryfolk have a lot to be ashamed of. I did a bit of study on poverty and hunger in the US while I was at the University of Florida.

    I think that's when I grew up.