Keeping perspective on the polls

| January 7, 2008

The media tends to operate on a hype/anti-hype cycle (following Shannon’s theorem that the value of information is inversely proportional to its probability). So it was refreshing to read this post over at The Jawa Report that takes the current poll swings among Republican presidential candidates — each of which has been declared ‘toast’ or some variation thereof in the past few weeks — and subjects a little real-world perspective:

Yep, it looks clear to me....

Go read the whole article to see what the graph means. It’s clear that the author of the post (“Ragnar Danneskjold, R.I.N.O. Hunter”) has read his Edward Tufte — or, at least, has the same good common sense when it comes to representation of data. ..bruce w..

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Category: 2008 Election, Main, Media, US Politics

About the Author ()

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.

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