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View Full Version : Percentages are fractions based on a denominator of 100

Earl Snake-Hips Tucker
03-02-2000, 08:26 AM
Chances of Y2K problems:

Bad credit reports due to Y2K errors: 70%
Loss of electric power for less than one day 55%
Loss of electric power for more than one day: 40%
Loss of international phone service: 35%
Errors with social security payments: 35%
Errors in first January paycheck: 30%
Errors or delays in tax refunds: 30%
Airline flight delays/cancellations: 25%
Loss of local telephone service: 20%
Manufacturing shut downs of &lt;1 day 20%
Errors in bank account balances: 15%
Disruption of stock market trading: 15%
Errors in hotel/motel reservations: 12%
Delays or cancellations of shipping: 10%
Delays in UPS or FedEx deliveries: 10%
Food shortages/rationing: 3%
Death of injuries due to Y2K 1%

This was a blurb that appeared in a local paper when I was in Florida over New Year's.

How did these people arrive at these percentages?

What two number did they divide to come up with them?

I bet two numbers did not exist, and they're just WAGs.

OK, so how did they arrive at such WAGs? Ya know, what "formula" tells you there's a 55% chance of a power outage?

The source was a "Capers Jones, CEO of Software Productivity Research of Burlington, MA."

milroyj
03-02-2000, 08:36 AM
Of course, the irony is that exactly 0% of those things happened as a result of Y2K.

WallyM7
03-02-2000, 08:49 AM
They pulled those numbers out of their ass.

Polite people call it "media hype."

I call it bullshit.

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Voted as the poster you'd most like to meet.

I demand a recount.

C K Dexter Haven
03-02-2000, 09:54 AM
See, for something like payroll errors in January, they say there are three possibilities:
- There could be a mistake due to Y2K
- There could be a mistake due to something other than Y2K
- There could be no mistake

Thus, the probability of a mistake due to Y2K is 1/3 or 33% which they round to 30%. Simple, isn't it?

Spiritus Mundi
03-02-2000, 10:51 AM
Yet another case of fabricated statistics being used to manipulate the public.

Pardon me while I reel in shcok.

dekayx
03-03-2000, 12:25 AM
Remember - there are 2 kinds of statistics.....the kind you look up and the kind you make up

Anyway, over 60 % of all statistics are invalid, including this one.

Great Dave
03-07-2000, 01:19 AM
Also, 60% of statistics are false.

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It's not how you pick your nose, it's where you put the boogers

fippo
03-07-2000, 04:24 AM
People can make up statistics to support any position. 14.5% of all people know that!

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Fippo-

Through our bleeding/We are one

Surgoshan
03-07-2000, 09:47 AM
84.91% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

Whaddaymean it's a tired old joke?

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I sold my soul to Satan for a dollar. I got it in the mail.

Arjuna34
03-08-2000, 07:06 PM
One possible way is this:
poll 100 electrical utilities and ask them if they think there will be loss of electrical power for less than one day. If 55 out of 100 say yes, then give it a 55% chance. If they're fancy, they'll weight each response by how many customers each utility has. This can be repeated for each of the numbers. Of course this assumes that the "experts" you ask aren't just making up numbers too!

Of course, I'd bet that they just asked someone in each field what they thought, and printed a number that each mentioned.

Arjuna34