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May 23, 2010

TruthOrFiction Fiction

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 11:48 am

Continuing Retard Week: as bad as Annenberg Political (humorously known as “FactCheck.org”), Politifact, Snopes and the rest of the “your opinions are myths, mine are facts, nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah” web sites may be, one site among them, TruthOrFiction.com, warrants special attention. Check out their entry purporting to debunk the popular “doctors are more dangerous than guns” meme. While the author of the page acknowledges that the figure on licensed physicians in the U.S. was probably good (700,000 in the year the email originally circulated vs. 780,000 in 2008), they label the email as fiction because, in their view, “not all of the statistics appear accurate.” They proceed to identify the statistics they believe to be inaccurate, and offer statistics of their own:

Figure
Email Version
TruthOrFiction Version
Number of physicians in U.S.
700,000
780,000
Accidental deaths caused by physicians
120,000
225,000
Accidental deaths per physician
0.1714286
0.2884615
Number of gun owners in the U.S.
80,000,000
294,000,000
Annual accidental gun deaths (total)
1,500
776
Annual accidental gun deaths per gun owner
.0000188*
0.0000026
Factor by which doctors are more deadly than guns
9,143
109,288

If you’re not a retard, your first reaction to the above table would be to say “Wow, not only are doctors 9,000 times more dangerous than guns, as originally claimed in that email, the real figure is much worse than that!” Your second reaction would to say “Wait a minute, that higher figure on gun ownership can’t be right. Sure, we have one of the highest rates of firearm ownership in the world, but with a total population of 305 million there is no friggin’ way that 96% of us own guns.” Of course, if you are not a retard, you are also overqualified to write for TruthOrFiction:

Regarding gun owners, figures from 2002-2001 from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives said there are 294 million gun owners in the U.S., a much higher figure that [sic] that quoted in the email.

Most of us count years from 2001 to 2002, not from 2002 to 2001, but never mind that. Between this crazy statistic (vs. 80 million, a figure that is well established among anyone with a passing knowledge about firearms in the U.S.), the fact that they deem something “fiction” when their own stats suggest it is an understated fact, and stamping the page as last updated on 2/20/07 while quoting stats from 2008, they seem to be on a mission to make James Frey look credible. I mean, at least in his case you can be reasonably sure that Chapter Four really was the fourth chapter in the book, and that he really does have parents. Remember this the next time anyone sends you a link to anything on TruthOrFiction.com purporting to prove anything.

*The number quoted in original email, as reproduced at TruthOrFiction, is actually off by a factor of ten, reading as 0.000188 instead of 0.0000188. However, they must have used the right figure in the actual calculation, else they would have concluded that doctors are only 900 times more dangerous than guns rather than 9,000.

One Response to “TruthOrFiction Fiction”

  1. Bobby Says:

    If I had to guess I would bet that they took the total number of guns and mistakenly used it as the number of gun owners…but ya, it is a pretty stupid mistake.
    Bobby´s last blog post ..Best Golf Rangefinder

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