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10:14am on Sunday, 18th September, 2005:

UK Averages


The Independent on Sunday ran a piece today about cocaine use, basically saying that we shouldn't criticise Kate Moss for taking cocaine because so many people who read and write for TIOS take it it's not just her who does it.

As is often the case, I'm not going to talk about the actual issue here, but rather about something that caught my eye in the reporting. Scared as it is of mathematics, The Independent frequently cites statistics in an effort to enhance the fright value of its reporting. It often does this by having a sidebar describing "<whatever> in numbers".

This was included in today's "cocaine in numbers":

Hmm, 1,000 grams in a kilogram, £42 * £1,000 = £42,000... The price of cocaine in Scotland must be negative.

Scared of mathematics...

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Copyright © 2005 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).