Monday, September 14, 2015

Stats I Hate

There are some journalistic tendencies and imprecisions I despise. Here's one of my top pet peeves:
Every year, 864,950 people attempt suicide, which means 1 person attempts suicide every 38 seconds.
This suggests someone is staring at a clock and waiting for the 38-second mark so they can attempt suicide. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and bet not.

I understand it's an average of the number attempts in a year, down to the minute and second. But still I hate it. It's misleading. I suspect more suicides happen at certain times of the day as compared to others. Evenings, for example, as compared to mid-morning. In other words, there may be a whole hour of the day in which no one attempts to commit suicide. So it's not every 38 seconds.

End rant.

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