Monday, September 04, 2006

Interesting Statistics

As you may have guessed, I'm a big fan of statistical analyses. I know the old saw about "figures lie, and liars figure," and also Mark Twain's commentary about "there are lies, damn lies, and statistics," but I prefer to present the raw information wherever possible and let res ipsa loquitur. The BBC has some interesting statistics up, showing how the US has changed since September 11, 2001. The variables they track are defence spending, air travel, Presidential approval rate, the reported anti-Muslim hate crimes rate, and media mentions of Osama Bin Laden. The latter two are annual totals.

While the entire feature is chock-full of useful contrasts and figures (check particularly the anti-Muslim hate crimes rate, and how it remained relatively constant at around 30/a until September 11, 2001 and then jumped to just under 500, falling back only partway), this one in particular jumped out at me:

This image is a close-up of the chart showing defence spending, and where it upticks. Note that it climbed first after the USS Cole bombing, but also note that it has continued a smooth upward climb ever since.

In any case, please go check it out. Draw your own conclusions, make your own comparisons, and see the data for yourself.


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