Monday, August 3, 2009

In Case You Still Don't Believe O'Reilly is an Idiot: Life Expectancy with Billo

In case there was any doubt left in your mind that Bill O'Reilly is an idiot, watch this video of him explaining away Canada's greater life expectancy than ours by noting that:

"we have ten times as many people as you do, that translates into ten times as many accidents, crimes, down the line."

Yes you blithering idiot, and it also translates into ten times as many people in the denominator of the calculation of life expectancy. You don't increase an average just by changing the number of people in your sample. Add "life expectancy" to the terms O'Reilly, and apparently his viewers, don't understand. Is it any wonder that we can't have a reasoned debate on these subjects when so many people are grossly ignorant of the most basic aspects of the issues?

Let's also note that this is another classic example of substituting conjecture (if our population was the same size as Canada's, so would our life expectancy) for actual data. So much for "the party of facts".

7 comments:

Lim Leng Hiong said...

Haha, that's incredible.

Maybe Bill O'Reilly should also try to explain away why the European Union (with a weensy population of, oh, say 500 million people) has a higher life expectancy...

foodandotherrequirements said...

I would say that Bill needs a refresher on the "per capita" concept, but he's probably very well aware of it and is simply choosing to be intentionally obtuse. As usual.

ScienceAvenger said...

You always wonder that with anyone in the Murdock machine. That's the one thing that stands out most to me when I compare broadcasts under his umbrella with others. Murdock's people seem almost fake, like they are playing a role a la Colbert.

Modusoperandi said...

ScienceAvenger "Murdock's people seem almost fake, like they are playing a role a la Colbert."
Even if that's true, Colbert is playing to an audience that knows he's playing, while O'Reilly & Friends are playing to people that don't (Colbert is a show, O'Reilly is "news"). Birther nonsense on Colbert's show serves an entirely different purpose than the same on Rightwing TV, even when both of them have Orly Taitz (or, say, Richard Dawkins) as a guest.
I used to view frauds with a hint of a smidge of respect versus True Believers (since movies about grifters are so entertaining, probably), but since the frauds and the True Believers pitch the same crap to the same audience (an audience that can't distinguish between the two), knowing lies and ignorant lies both get treated as gospel.
On a tangent, they also treat Gospel as gospel. True story.

ScienceAvenger said...

I agree 100% Modus, it's the same as the difference between David Copperfield and John Edward (the supposed psychic). One's an entertainer, the other a fraud. It's insightful to note there are significant numbers of right-wing viewers (30% IIRC) of Colbet's show that don't get the joke.

Troublesome Frog said...

I really only think frauds are clever and entertaining if they manage to ensnare people who aren't already credulous morons.

Alternately you can earn points with me by accumulating a huge following of the easily duped and making it it as obvious as you can that you're messing with them. How many hints can you drop that you're yanking them without them catching on? Think O'Reilly's chair with Sacha Baron Cohen sitting in it.

Modusoperandi said...

ScienceAvenger "It's insightful to note there are significant numbers of right-wing viewers (30% IIRC) of Colbet's show that don't get the joke."
That's the thing with literalists...