The Corner

The Too Much Information Age

A blast email that a reporter from a New York publication sent out today:


“I’m working on a funny piece about the potential for an Obama baby boom 9 months from election night. Did you make love in the name of Obama on election night? Were you feeling particularly romantic because your candidate won? If you seriously plan to conceive, are you happy you’ll be bringing a child into an Obama administration?

I’m looking for funny and/or stories and anecdotes. If you’re not comfortable having your name used, please let me know and we can likely work around that.

Well, once again we have a reporter who flunked statistics:

Because variances in birth rate are an ordinary phenomenon, spikes in the number of births will occasionally coincide with a newsworthy event that took place three-quarters of a year earlier. Those who cling to the belief in blackout babies fail to accept that the same communities they point to as proof of the theory saw even greater leaps in number of births in years that weren’t preceded by memorable events. Blackouts, snowstorms, and the like are more usually followed by perfectly ordinary birth rates nine months afterwards, but because human nature is what it is, we tend to remember only the events that fit the pattern we’re determined to see and unconsciously discard all the rest, Thus, we’ll recall that the Great Storm of 1983 was followed by a deluge of babies in the Fall of 1984, but we’ll completely forget that the Great Storm of 1987 was followed by a perfectly ordinary turnout at the maternity hospitals in the Fall of 1988, or that the Great Baby Boom at the end of 1999 wasn’t presaged by anything unusual that occurred in the Spring of 1999.

Such a query does, however, seem to confirm that no one was more turned on by Obama’s victory than the media.

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