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Data analysis and experiments - John C. Kirk — LiveJournal

Oct. 15th, 2006

05:12 pm - Data analysis and experiments

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Date:October 16th, 2006 04:54 pm (UTC)
I'd expect a lead ball bearing and a lead cannonball to fall at the same speed

Likewise :)
If objects were falling in a vacuum, then I'd expect the pillowcase and paperweight to fall at the same speed, since air resistance would be irrelevant

Yup - I'd expect that too. The only one I disagreed with you on was the two equal boxes, one full of iron, the other full of feather. I expect the feather one to fall slower.

I was reading a conspiracy theory about that recently

That does sound pretty horrid doesn't it? Well, whether it's deliberately faked or not, I guess it's certainly the case that folk who volunteer for a reality TV show are a self-selecting unrepresentative sample. In the "Trading Races" programme, the emphasis of the programme was on a number of discrete experiences, so the folk who self-selected were predominantly woolly liberal. In the US show, I guess the emphasis may well be on the life and the characters, so the folk who self-select are attention-seeking.

In fact, here's an interesting "middle way" theory, to counter the conspiracy one:

The TV network want ratings. The concept is enough to get liberals to watch, so the character selection will be more profitable if they appeal to the homer simpsons of the country - with big characters. Now, imagine you're a publicity hungry small family, with a some acting experience between you all, but not enough to pay the bills - so you all have day jobs. If what you want is to act, then you understand the value of reality show publicity, and you understand what sort of characters the TV network will be after to emphasise the point of their show... How would it be best for you to behave when the cameras are around, in order to maximise your publicity?

See, the TV network doesn't need to lie at all. The families probably don't think of themselves as lying either - if they're aware of what's going on at all, they probably just think of it as a kind of selective editing, nothing more.

OTOH, that's just a theory, based on no evidence whatsoever ;)
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