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Old 10-25-2017, 06:12 PM
 
Location: Mendocino, CA
462 posts, read 215,946 times
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Is math a part of science? This question is about math.

I read in the news the following expression:

"...all three networks spent over an hour talking about the Trump meeting, devoting 62 minutes and 18 seconds to the Don Jr. story... The nets spent just 3 minutes and 1 second to the Obama Administration and Hillary Clinton working with foreign agents. Thatís 20x less coverage than the Trump Jr. meeting."

When we have a "B is less than A" situation, does the "X times less" concept even make sense? And if so, is the calculation method in this example the best way to do it?
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Old 10-26-2017, 03:59 AM
Yac
 
5,515 posts, read 5,771,293 times
I'm hesitating to close this right away, this is not a "math" issue, it's a "journalism" issue .. and they write whatever they want and facts be damned, quite often.
But .. well, we'll see. Just remember this is not the politics forum
Yac.
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Old 10-26-2017, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
15,559 posts, read 47,057,783 times
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It only makes sense in a very crude fashion. As for the math, yeah, whatever.

There are various reasons why journalism allocates as it does. Station and network owners have various agendas, the FCC has certain requirements that have to be met to retain a license, and advertisers can exert a huge influence.

A while back I did a similar study of how much coverage was given locally to the Women's' Marches in Nashville and Birmingham compared to the soft news and far-right news. The bias against proper neutral coverage was obvious (as I had expected).

"When we have a "B is less than A" situation, does the "X times less" concept even make sense? And if so, is the calculation method in this example the best way to do it?"

The human brain does not input information equally based upon minutes of time of coverage. I'm sure you have tried to take in a boring lecture, and I'm sure you have a few seconds when you just missed getting injured in an accident that is burned into your brain indelibly.

The first moments of something novel have great impact. Attention is peaked and it is also possible to induce trance. The science of this is Neurolinguistic Programming. Those who know it can have great power over people. I learned it more because I was interested in why people were swayed as strongly as they were, often without logic.

A perfect example of this occurred in the Trump/Clinton debates. Trump understood NLP, Clinton didn't. Trump almost physically grabbed the floor initially, made simple and memorable statements that appealed directly to emotion. In three minutes, he had yanked all of the emotion in the audience to him. The rest of the debate was just words.

The media pundits were claiming that Clinton won the first debate, but she lost in the first three minutes, before she had barely said a word.

The concept of 20 X the coverage is the same type of thinking that helped Clinton lose.

If you plan on studying NLP, start with Grinder and Bandler.
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Old 10-26-2017, 01:43 PM
 
4,695 posts, read 3,791,548 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhbj03 View Post
When we have a "B is less than A" situation, does the "X times less" concept even make sense? And if so, is the calculation method in this example the best way to do it?
Like Yac pointed out - it's a journalism thing, not a math thing.

A mathematician would not say "five times less" but rather "one fifth as much".

To draw it closer to your example, one might say that "network media coverage of Donald Trump was twenty times more than the coverage of Hillary Clinton", with the equivalent being "network media coverage of Hillary Clinton was one twentieth of the amount of the coverage of Donald Trump".

Keep in mind, television news network types aren't the rocket scientists of media. NBC gave us the mathematically incomprehensible slogan "Now more than ever".
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