Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A Victim to Statistics

In a previous post of mine, I somewhat scolded our government for the apparent lack of concern with which it was regarding the victims of Katrina, for which the casualty count was purported to soar into several thousands.

Everyone says we should all be wary of numbers, stats, and the weighty opinion of "experts," but I was reminded of the need for prudence when making judgement based on numbers after reading the book, "Freakonomics," which turns many of our conventional beliefs about crime rates, quality of education, and cheating completely topsy-turvy.

I still don't know what the exact number of the death toll was from Hurricane Katrina, but a 9/21/05 article on CNN.com, http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/09/21/katrina.impact/, approximates a number of 1,033 as of that date, a ten-fold difference from the forecasts directly following the natural disaster.


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