In need to find something?
Custom Search
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Monday, December 03, 2007

Statistically Stupid

Technorati tags: , , , , ,

This is one of those WTF news items that could do with a cycle or three in the Unwashing Machine.

Image hosting by PhotobucketSignificant statistical insignificance...

It originally appeared in last Sunday's Berita Minggu (a NaSTy Pee publication, in Bahasa Malaysia), and was reported today in The Star. It's one thing coming from a politician, but when a doctor starts making distinct correlations based on something statistically insignificant, Walski really gets worried.

Okay, let's do a little math. 27 out of 5,529 cardiac deaths were attributed to illicit sex. In other words, sex without a license - or something like that, Walski supposes. That amounts to an incredibly significant percentage of 0.4883% - give or take a few hundred thousanth of a percent.

In fact, taking the entire 34 gives us a percentage of only 0.6149% - which, in a real world sense, amonts to another statistical insignificance. It's the bad ticker that kills ya, not the sex.

Spin, spin, spin... and the poor doctor gets the blame for being statistically stupid.
(stupidly promoting a moral agenda, and more, in the full post)

To Walski, however, the blame lies squarely with the reporting. Nowhere in the article does it indicate that the conclusion even came from the cardiologist in question (Dr Wong Teck Wee, of UPM).

There also wasn't any further details on the 7 poor fucks that didn't make the statistical news focus. Could it be that because they were having "legal' sex, that there wasn't any "stress to the heart", and that their ticker decided to give way because of.. what? Boredom?

And for you skeptics who think that it could've been something lost in translation, here's an excerpt from the original article (in Bahasa Malaysia, emphasis by myAsylum).

KUALA LUMPUR: Seramai 34 daripada 5,529 pesakit jantung di beberapa negara Asia meninggal dunia akibat melakukan aktiviti seksual termasuk 27 daripadanya secara haram.

Angka berkenaan menggambarkan aktiviti seksual yang dilakukan secara tidak sah boleh memberi tekanan kepada jantung seterusnya menyebabkan kematian mengejut.

(full article here)

It's no surprise that Berita Harian/Minggu has a moral agenda, but c'mon... do they really think their readership is that dumb? Because if that's true - that their readership is really so gullible - it's even a scarier shocker than the 0.4883% illicit sex correlation...

Then again, it could be that their readership comprises of the very same people who religiously read, and believe, every single dubious story published in Mastika... it's definitely a statistical possibility that's nowhere as stupendous. Or stupid.