Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Just Fire Everyone

In the NYT today:

The Dow Jones industrials gained 485.21 points or 4.68 percent, to 10,850.66, halving the 777-point decline on Monday.
485.21/777 = 0.6245 or, just about as equally close to 3/4 (0.75) as it is to 1/2 (0.5). Why the fuck would you call that a "halving?"

Doesn't anyone know anything anymore? Or do they just want us to panic as much as possible?


Anonymous said...


It could be that think the average person could better visualize 0.5 rather than 0.75. Then again, you could argue that the average person doesn't read the New York Times.

Though technically speaking, if one were to round to the nearest quarter, then 0.5 would be closer. Though technically speaking, I would also be a jackass since this comment added nothing in terms of quality.


NutellaonToast said...

They could've said "reducing by 60%" or 3 5ths or anything remotely accurate. The difference between .5 and .75 is .1245 and .1255 respectively. To the third decimal place that is ZERO difference. It's an idiotic thing to do.

The problem isn't who is visualizing what, the problem is that it's flat out wrong.

SV said...


I suppose so...and perhaps rounding to the nearest quarter is too arbitrary, (and like you argue why not to the nearest tenth etc).

I was just trying to find a argument for which the NYT could use to justify their use of 0.5 rather than 0.75.