Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Ron Johnson, your order is up

Though he's got a background in accounting, GOP US Senator Ron Johnson doesn't believe the data supporting climate change science.

But there is a statistical proof he's enamored with:

Orders of Magnitude.

No: not a video game that came with his new PS4. It's a mathematical-political way to claim superiority over Russ Feingold, the former Senator and possible opponent.

A few months ago, Johnson wowed a crowd with this boast he's added to his website:
Sauk County Sup. John Dietz asked Johnson to consider adopting a policy of the man he replaced. Russ Feingold held listening sessions in each of the state’s 72 counties every year and Dietz said Johnson should, too.
“We see you on TV all the time but where the work gets done is in a room like this,” Dietz said. 
Johnson said he recently finished his 34th telephone town-hall meeting in which more than 400,000 Wisconsin residents have participated, expanding his reach by “orders of magnitude” beyond the numbers Feingold achieved in his face-to-face meetings.
So take that, former Senator Abacus. thought our grandiose incumbent might want to take some related advice from an expert, here:


Many pretentious writers have begun to use the expression
“orders of magnitude” without understanding what it means. 
The concept derives from the scientific notation of very large
numbers in which each order of magnitude is ten times the 
previous one. 

When the bacteria in a flask have multiplied from some hundreds 
to some thousands, it is very handy to say that their numbers have 
increased by an order of magnitude, and when they have increased
to some millions, that their numbers have increased by four orders 
of magnitude. 

Number language generally confuses people. 
Many seem to suppose that a 100% increase must be pretty
much the same as an increase by an order of magnitude, but
in fact such an increase represents merely a doubling of quantity. 
A “hundredfold increase” is even bigger: one hundred times as much. 

If you don’t have a firm grasp on such concepts, it’s best to avoid 
the expression altogether. 

After all, “Our audience is ten times as big now 
as when the show opened” makes the same point more
clearly than “Our audience has increased by 
an order of magnitude.”


Max B. said...

After reading the definition of 'Order of Magnitude' , I daresay I understand it well enough to declare that RoJo's EGO has increased by order of magnitude since he was mistakenly elected to the U.S. Senate.

Max B. said...

I wonder if the "Order of Magnitude" comes with a swell velvet cape and a fancy hat (would the Pope's discarded Pope Hat be suitable?) big enough to accommodate the enlarged RoJo head?