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14 July 2008 @ 07:20 am
Sometimes a data point...  
...is just a cigar.

It's an interesting sociological exercise to examine the baggage people use to interpret what one says, writes, and does. The personal mental spin they put on things, which is often out of line with the person from which an opinion originates. It's a normal and expected part of life - everyone does it. The trick is do people realize they are doing so?

I do have a bit of a problem that many people view things through negative glasses, thereby ascribing the worst motives and intentions to things they encounter. Don't get me wrong - I can be a dyed in the wool cynic with a dry, dry sense of humor, so I certainly have my own set of glasses. I guess the difference is I don't wear that pair all the time. I avoid them with people I don't know well. Usually I view the world through my inquisitive scientist glasses, which are much more about neutral observation and data gathering. It's more useful (and fun) to interact with people and learn about their experiences and points of view.

Recently I was questioned and perhaps lightly chided ("I used to enjoy reading your blog but this post gave me pause.") for including data points in the discussion of an event. Failing to enjoy reading my blog (in which I've not seen this individual comment, at any rate) due to the mention of equation variables (data points) is something just I don't understand, perhaps because my training is in the sciences. It's obvious they don't have the scientist glasses, because they questioned the use of one variable, but not another. Their mental spin is quite obvious and predictable. They obviously didn't get the reference to doing the math. These are the days I think my geekiness is really showing...

Today I may amuse myself by switching between various news outlet's coverage of the same story. It's all about the spin, baby!

-the redhead-
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Bill the bold bosthoonwcg on July 14th, 2008 02:46 pm (UTC)
So, have you seen the cover of the latest issue of The New Yorker yet? Following the spin on that will keep you entertained all day!
-the redhead-theredhead on July 14th, 2008 05:15 pm (UTC)
You are an evil, evil man... and we love you for it ;)

-the redhead-
-the redhead-theredhead on July 14th, 2008 05:20 pm (UTC)
PS -

Colorado is 3rd in the nation for lightning strikes. It's partially that whole being closer to the sky thang +waves hand+

In Boulder County there are roughly 40 human lightning strikes per year, with approximately 15 injuries, and 3 - 4 deaths. Earlier this year some guy was struck while riding his motorcycle on the road out of town.

This concludes the geeky portion of the show. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

-the redhead-