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Caveat Emptor

The opinions expressed on this page are mine alone. Any similarities to the views of my employer are completely coincidental.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Perception Gap

Trivia. I've been wasting time taking the Guardian's latest perception gap quiz, you know, the one where you're asked some  questions about the population of your country and you get to see whether you are better informed than the average citizen. So in 8 out of 11 questions I did better, usually much better, than the UK average and was pretty much on the money. In 3 I was a bit off target and slightly worse than the UK average. The summary conclusion from the Guardian's algorithm was:  

I don't know the UK as well as people in the UK :(

Uh? Given my pattern of results this is a bit counter intuitive. I'd love to know how the aggregation worked. Hey, who knows? Maybe a life-time of doing quantitative social science means I don't know shit about my own country. I'd be the last to dismiss the possibility. Or maybe this is just the usual Grauniad bollocks. 

Here's my totally speculative guess. Somebody has implicitly given more weight to questions where the responses are scaled in millions of people than to questions where the responses are scaled in terms of percentages.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Greg Lake RIP

So. Farewell then
Gregory Stuart Lake.

You began with frippery,
Stood on a Persian rug
And believed in Father Christmas.

Keith's mum said it
Was pretentious.

We were invited
To the show
That never ends.

But now it has.

R. W. Emerson 12½

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

May: Si tu dois partir

It suddenly struck me that if the EU's Brexit negotiators have need of a motivating anthem they could do worse than this weird franglais version of an original penned by an anglophone Nobel laureate. Listen out for the broken milk bottle (a pint of course) round about 1:57.