Jonathan Field - Maker of Random Stuff

What’s wrong

I think this graph might actually represent everything that is wrong with mankind.

No no, it’s not a Bush bashing thing at all. It doesn’t matter who the chart is about. It could be about me or your mother. What bugs me is how the presidential approval rating shoots up on 9/11. I mean, why would anyone’s opinion of a president change at all (least of all go up) from an unexpected attack? I can certainly see rallying behind the president as he moves forward, and I can see approval rising as he took actions, but how could the attack itself make you feel he was doing a better job the day after than the day before?

Yeah, this is old news, but I came across the chart the other day when looking to see exactly how disliked our current president is, and that spike at 9/11 jumped out at me again.

What weird, weird, creatures we are.

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10 Responses to What’s wrong

  1. I don’t know, dude. According to the red arrow pointing out 9/11, the huge spike in Bush’s popularity seems to have occurred about a week or so before the attack. I think that’s the real head scratcher here.

    What does that say about mankind as a creature?


    • Holy shit, you’re right!

      I guess it says that we have collective telepathy.

      And also that we’re really stupid.

    • Curiously enough if you draw a line straight up from the nearest marker on the Y axis, which is 9/20/01 it intersects the graph below the third horizontal line marking 85%. Something about the graph is way way off.

      • er.. I mean “draw a line from the nearest marker on the X axis…”

      • Hey, are you implying that a 5% margin of error in sampling is too much for sound policy decisions? Love it or get out!

        • hey, all I’m saying is 9/11 comes before 9/20. I swear that’s all I’m saying. I love America, swimsuit models, and the Gregorian Calendar. Please love me.

          • Nine-Twenty

            As I recall, Bush did not really become more popular until four or five days after 9/11. At first he seemed like a wooden lost soul, but then he got into the rhythm and seemed caring. This is what Giuliani seemed like too, a concerned and moved person, and that’s what has brought him to a possible presidency seven years later. Maybe they really did feel that way, although it’s not a good political guide for the rest of us.
            People’s opinions aren’t as primary as we like to think. People felt scared after 9/11, and Bush reassured them and they loved him for that. That’s a positive opinion. I noticed at the time that he seemed more likeable. But judging things by people’s “opinions” is pretty foolish; I’m not sure what to use instead, aside from truth.
            I’ve noticed that graphs are often misaligned, so I don’t know what the graph means exactly except that people tended to like Bush more after 9/11, which is a chilling thought, especially if 9/11 was fabricated. Pyerezvon {:-B

          • Re: Nine-Twenty

            Well you know, maybe I misjudged the graph a bit. If there was at least a few days of assessing the situation before the rise in approval, I can understand a little better. But I still think the rise is far too dramatic far too quickly. That kind of unmeasured response bugs me.

          • Re: Nine-Twenty

            I agree with you, but I had another thought. If a person gives, say, President Bush a 40% approval rating, and then after 9/11 gives him an 80% approval rating, that is rather foolish. But if 40% of the public gives Bush more than a 50% rating, and then after 9/11 80% give him more than a 50% rating, it’s not the same. Each individual may have felt only 5% or 10% better, and it’s not his or her fault that a lot of other people reacted the same way rather than only a few.
            Do svidanya for now. Pyerezvon

          • Re: Nine-Twenty

            Ah! The old dog can still teach the young dog a few tricks! Though I suppose calling myself a young dog at this point may be a bit much.

            It’s an excellent point you make. I see that I may have misinterpreted a seemingly simple statistic. Now I’m not sure exactly what the spike in the graph means. I mean, even I may have felt a small rise in my approval rating for Bush when he didn’t start a misguided war immediately after the attack. Of course that ended up a short lived bit of hope.

            I’ve come across this kind of thing so many times, where a statistic seems to imply something until you dig. And yet I can still fall for it! I suppose people like myself who are easily misled by simplified statistics are the _real_ problem with mankind!

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