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How little math knowledge does ABC News think its viewers have?

In this short clip (3 min) ABC News interviews the statistical forecaster Nate Silver on his projections for the 2014 elections in the United States. At around 2:44 in the video, Nate Silver references the normal curve to explain what he means when he says that something has a 60% chance of occurrence. At this point, ABC News stops the tape, overlays a dramatic screen twisting effect, and plays the sound of a vinyl record scratching... all to apologize to the audience for making use of the normal curve.

Aside from knocking me off my chair in laughter, I thought this was a very sad reflection on popular attitudes toward numerical literacy.

On the up side, Silver has just launched his new statistics savvy journalism site. You can read the mission statement here

Note by Josh Silverman
3 years ago

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