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Respect, It's Earned

Of course there is this



Wow. Counting Google hits... That's top notch journalism right there!

'Obama Jesus' = 27,000,000 hits. Which, by the way, is less than 'God Jesus'. Ladies and Gentlemen, I think we have a new member of the Holy Trinity. A Google hits count can't be wrong.

Fuuck. Trust me to screw that one up. I meant "more than", not "less than". In fact, Obama is 350% more Jesus than God is.

And Bush is 280% more of a bully than Hitler was.

Google doesn't lie.

Google hits represent a level of interest--and in that sense, can sometimes be good measure. For instance, Google is now developing a tool to track flu outbreaks and their epidemiology using web searches.

Highly fallible? Yeah. Total nonsense? No, not quite

It is total nonsense the way the TV guy presented it: "I searched Bush and bully together, and get this! X million number of hits!!"

It's just a phoney trick to take advantage of people's perception of "million" as a really big number. Anything that is related to "two million" of something, has got to be significant, no? No!

I think the problem is not so much with the use of Google hits as it is with the lack of comparison. A sensible thing to do might be to look at the proportion of total "Bush" hits that "bush bully" makes up, and compare that to some other adjectives.


Actually, the flu thing is pretty much nonsense too. Flu is low hanging fruit-- comes every single year, arrives at more or less the same time, affects generally the same groups of people, and arrives in the midst of various other respiratory illnesses from which it's rarely even distinguished at doctor's offices, let alone by searches for words like 'fever' and 'sore throat'. And... you can't do anything about it except get the vaccine (most logically done BEFORE the season starts) or be a hermit. Pretending that Google will let you know the right moment to begin and end your stay at the hermitage (or get the shot) is just silly, because it's only helpful when it happens to tell you AHEAD of the actual flu arrival (doctor's reports), and you can only know that IN RETROSPECT! And finally, when you use something like searches for keywords (even pretending that words like 'fever' and 'sore throat' have a 1:1 correlation with influenza), you're using a surrogate for the actual disease (lab reports). That's sort of OK and often necessary, but now, with this new system of Google's, a certain unknown percentage of people will instead start using the flu trend data (rather than their own searches) to try to decide if what they have is the flu (and some people will use it out of curiosity and some will use it to decide whether/when to get the shot). So now the model is even more unstable as people start using a surrogate for the surrogate. This is a wonderful example of what happens when you try to massively ramp up sensitivity while ignoring specificity. You get a model that looks really cool but that in the real world (esp. in the case of flu) means nothing.


Dude as much as I would be ready to agree with Rick Sanchez (who is a douche) on this one, he got it plain wrong. Bush had already done greetings and pictures with every single one of them. Here's the video:

I’m so glad you posted this, Norm. I saw this at the time. Wow! Look where we are as Americans. We have a president that is so despised that no world leaders will even look at him much less shake his hand. And I don’t blame them. He’s taken an enormous dump on this planet. I guarantee you that they will all shake Obama’s hand the next time they all convene. They know that he’s got a lot of Bush’s mess to clean up and the world is ready to help.

Disrespect is also earned, in this case.

There's been a ton of vitriol after this last election from those on the right who don't want to respect Obama because others didn't respect Bush. They don't seem to get that we (or at least many of "we") have respect for a lot of Republicans, but not Bush, Rove, and their ilk.

Even Merkel didn't shake Bush's hand - the end of madness indeed.

The handshake video was effective, but about the Google hits reference at the end, I have to agree with Krisitan Z. that it is fluff journalism of the urban legends variety--just throwing out, "A search for George Bush and bully gets over 2 million hits" has little meaning unless it is qualified. I just tried it, and the best I could get was 1.1 million ("george" and "bush" and "bully" got a low return; "george w. bush" and "bully" got the highest). Even then, a quick glance at the top 20 returns showed that about half of them were references to Bush calling Putin a bully! While I agree with Adam that Google search trends can be an important resource for some kinds of research and tracking, I think it's a little sad to see it turned into a one-liner on a news program.

Thanks for that link. Something struck me as implausible about the whole thing. Too bad it got reported as news -- Bush really is pretty widely despised, both at home and abroad, but as the reporter points out, handshakes are standard, regardless of personal feeling.

CNN are a bunch of hacks with fancy graphics. :-)

CNN = hacks

+1 for closing with the phrase "old coots"

Also ironic that CNN is debunking its own journalism here. I say: what about the paradox potential? Space-time is a harsh mistress.

Figures that Bush is palling around with Berlusconi because the Italians I know are as embarrassed about him as we are about Bush. As far as just publicly making an idiot of himself, they think Berlusconi's worse - just less visible.

Your glee is palpable, Syngas. But as for bubble bursting, you could've just pointed out that Norm's "of course there is this" link at the bottom of the vid revealed the same thing.

Isn't it obvious that he nor they were looking to shake hands (with him)? Maybe he just had lunch with them. Maybe it was pre-arranged by the Secret Service, but I don't think he was being dissed, as much as I wish it were so.


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