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And another thing—

When weather forecasters—har-RUMMPH, kaff-kaff—I mean meteorologists on television predict something, they always use round numbers: a 30 percent chance of showers, a 70 percent chance of snow, etc.

The only thing significant about those figures is the zero. I mean, what's the difference between a 70 percent chance of showers and a 72 percent chance, when you get down to it?

That's how I would make forecasts if I were a television meteorologist: "There's a 63 percent chance of showers tonight, and that probability climbs to 87 percent tomorrow."

Round numbers are boring.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
nodressrehersal
Oct. 12th, 2011 01:42 am (UTC)
Since they all suck at what they do, why don't they just go with, "There's a chance of rain tomorrow" and they'd be as right as if they'd said, "A 72% chance..."

They could even go with ambiguous descriptors, like, "A titch of a chance of rain" or "A fairly decent chance of rain" or "A more likely than not chance of rain" because their numbers mean NOTHING.
patrick_vecchio
Oct. 12th, 2011 10:44 am (UTC)
I'm thinking you lost faith when they all missed that huge snowfall coming off Lake Erie a few years ago.
nodressrehersal
Oct. 12th, 2011 12:51 pm (UTC)
It happened six years earlier than that...

One day during our displacement due to the house fire, it started snowing so incredibly hard, I drove the the elementary school early in the day and made them give me my kidlet. They all, of course, thought I was crazy, since nothing bad had been predicted weather-wise. I tried to drive to the high school to pick up the bigger kid, but the small hill up a side street to school was unnavigable. (is that even a word?) For an hour, I tried every which way I could to get to him but failed. They finally realized we were in for a HUGE storm and loaded the kids on a bus midday. The bus got stranded. They left them sitting for HOURS until they all decided to just get off the bus and walk to the middle school. Another dad picked him up there and brought him to the condo where we were staying. I was like a deranged mother bear, yowling for my cubs.
patrick_vecchio
Oct. 13th, 2011 10:54 pm (UTC)
In today's "No Kid Without a Cell Phone" era, a similar situation would be a lot less stressful, wouldn't it?
nodressrehersal
Oct. 14th, 2011 04:11 pm (UTC)
Because of the house fire, he/we DID have cell phones. But this was back in the day of horrific Cingular service and no calls were getting through.
vivitalia
Oct. 12th, 2011 02:20 am (UTC)
Plus, it'd sound more accurate your way. "There's a 67.5 percent chance of rain, assuming Neptune falls into the third quadrangle of the moon's fourth hemisphere. If not, that probability decreases to the mathematical means of 72.4, if pi is multiplied out to the 75th digit."

That way, if someone tells you the forecast was wrong you can just sniff pretentiously and say, "No, I'm afraid you just didn't understand the calculations properly."
patrick_vecchio
Oct. 12th, 2011 10:46 am (UTC)
You right: There's a time for a pretentious sniff. Can't rely on "har-RUMMPH, kaff-kaff" all of the time.
(Anonymous)
Oct. 12th, 2011 05:53 pm (UTC)
It's not meteorologist. It's meaty urologist.
patrick_vecchio
Oct. 13th, 2011 10:56 pm (UTC)
That's an "ugh" comment on about twelve different levels.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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