Monday, April 20, 2009

Half the Population will be Serfs

If you cannot understand a weather forecast, then you will be a serf, not a leader:
"only half the population understands what a precipitation forecast means well enough to make a fully informed answer, a new study finds.

If, for example, a forecast calls for a 20 percent chance of rain, many people think it means that it will rain over 20 percent of the area covered by the forecast. Others think it will rain for 20 percent of the time, said Susan Joslyn, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Washington who conducted the study.

Joslyn said that the research, funded by the National Science Foundation and detailed in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, shows the difficulty of making decisions where uncertainty is involved. People find it easier, she said, to simplify the situation to a single outcome: that it will definitely rain, but not for the whole day or the whole area."
So sad. They should not worry about the weather, and instead go back to watching American Idol or the Miss USA Pageant.

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