Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Is this poll a searing indictment of our youth?

A couple of weeks ago, we learned that 23% of Americans polled think the sun goes around the earth.  That seemed quite reasonable to me. I've watched the sun pretty closely over most of my life and with all the setting and the rising it keeps doing, it does seem to be going around the earth, and at a fair speed too. People were probably thinking about that rhythm - what it appears to do once a day. I'm sure if you phrased the question in the format, "Does the sun go around the earth once a year, or does the earth go around the sun once a year?" you'd get a completely different set of answers.

But today we learn from the LA Times that a new poll found:
27% identified "gigabyte" as an insect commonly found in South America. A gigabyte is a measurement unit for the storage capacity of an electronic device.

  • 18% identified "Blu-ray" as a marine animal. It is a disc format typically used to store high-definition videos.
  • 15% said they believed "software" is comfortable clothing. Software is a general term for computer programs.
  • (Amongst other things.)

    This is according to a survey by whom I had not heard of until now, and that may well be the point.

    This seemed less likely to me, so I polled everybody who's awake at the moment in my house (one of the geckos, three hundred fifteen crickets and me) and asked them what they thought. The results of my sci-o-tiffic poll are as follows:
    When asked dumb questions on the internet, 104% of respondents make shit up for the lulz. 
    Also, a majority wanted another carrot as they're feeling a bit thirsty tonight, and a  vocal minority said he fancied a handful of crickets. (Actually he said, "Gecko! Gecko!" but I think that means he wants crickets.)

    A gigabyte, yesterday*

    *(I didn't make this up.)

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