26% of people watched fewer NFL games because of Colin Kaepernick?!?! Or is it 3%?

This is an interesting case of how numbers get reported and what they mean. Often the numbers that get reported reflect a desire to grab people’s attentions or simply to tell the story the media outlet wants to tell. If you report 26% or 3% neither one is necessarily lying though the two numbers are referring to two different things. (Here is a link to an earlier post about how an Illinois tax increase was reported)

12% of respondents to a recent survey said they watched fewer NFL games and of those 26% said that the main reason was Colin Kaepernick’s protest during the national anthem. How should that get reported? And what impression gets left in people’s minds based on the wording?

Another way to think about it is this: 12% of the 26% who watched fewer games comes out to about 3% of the total number of people who watched football. Hmm. That leaves a very different impression than 26%.

Here is the original, misleading ESPN article whose headline has since changed I believe.

http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/20171611/national-anthem-protests-no-1-reason-viewers-tuned-nfl-games

“National anthem protests were the top reason that NFL fans watched fewer games last season, according to a new survey released by J.D. Power.

“The pollster said it asked more than 9,200 people who attended either one football, basketball or hockey game whether they tuned into fewer games and why. Twenty-six percent of those who watched fewer games last season said that national anthem protests, some of which were led by Colin Kaepernick, were the reason.”

And here is a link to a Huffington Post article discussing the issue with how the numbers are reported:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/colin-kaepernick-sports-ratings_us_597a2382e4b02a4ebb73e064

The Slants on the Power of Repurposing a Slur

“The idea of reappropriation isn’t new. The process of turning negative words, symbols or ideas into positive parts of our own identity can involve repurposing a racial epithet or taking on a stereotype for sociopolitical empowerment. But reappropriation can be confusing. Sometimes people can’t figure out the nuances of why something is or isn’t offensive — government bureaucrats in particular.”

 

Monuments or Memorials? “The Meaning of Our Confederate ‘Monuments’”

Interesting discussion on the difference between “monuments” and “memorials” and how that distinction plays out with the contemporary controversy around the removal of Confederate Civil War statues.

“The debate around these monuments — Should they be destroyed, maintained or removed elsewhere? — has been heated and, I believe, misguided. We should be asking other questions instead: Are these statues really “monuments” by our present standards? Or are they rather “memorials”? Are we misled by the avenue’s name? Do we need to rename the avenue itself as we attempt to remedy our deferred maintenance of history?”

A Map of Lexical Distances Between Europe’s Languages

lexical-distance-among-the-languages-of-europe-2-1-mid-size

How does this visual representation give us a different sense of meaning than a traditional map?

“This linguistic map paints an alternative map of Europe, displaying the language families that populate the continent, and the lexical distance between the languages. The closer that distance, the more words they have in common. The further the distance, the harder the mutual comprehension.

“The map shows the language families that cover the continent: large, familiar ones like Germanic, Italic-Romance and Slavic; smaller ones like Celtic, Baltic and Uralic; outliers like Semitic and Turkic; and isolates – orphan languages, without a family: Albanian and Greek.”

http://bigthink.com/strange-maps/a-map-of-lexical-distances-between-europes-languages

Here is a site with some additional posts and discussions of related issues by the creator of this image.

https://alternativetransport.wordpress.com/category/linguistics/

How do language and lifestyle affect your perceptions?

Part of an interesting video series, Do You See What I See. The first part of this link shows an African tribe, the Himba, whose language and environment differ so much from ours that they are able to distinguish different shades very differently from us. The link below is for the part that shows the Himba tribe. At the bottom of the video player are links for the rest of that show.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xl7eh1_horizon-do-you-see-what-i-see-part-4-4_shortfilms

Here an article about how those same people are able to discern optical illusions better than people who live in modern societies.

The Astonishing Vision of Namibia’s Nomads

“The Himba people of Namibia can see fine details and ignore distraction much better than most other human beings – a finding that may reflect the many ways that modern life is changing our minds and abilities.”

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170306-the-astonishing-focus-of-namibias-nomads