Tuesday, January 17, 2017

No one knows anything

I ran a quick experiment to see if anyone knows anything about current events. Not issues like Syria but just day-to-day type situations.  The result: most people are clueless. Here is the experiment I ran:

By now you must have heard that President-elect Donald Trump attacked Representative John Lewis. The word attacked is used over and over in the news.

After I heard of the attack, I immediately researched it by 1) going on Twitter and 2) going on youtube. Once I read Trump's tweet and listen to John Lewis, I summarized the event:

  • John Lewis told NBC that he does not think Trump is a legitimate president. 
  • Donald Trump said John Lewis should be worried more about the area's he represents. (Tweet 1, Tweet 2)

These statements are more like insults you throw at someone before the teacher starts the class, where thereafter you forgot about it and move on.

But this was reported as an attack, so I wanted to find out what people think about the event.

My simple hypothesis is that the majority of people do not know what was said in the above-mentioned incident. To test it at my work, my gym, a bookstore, in Uber/Lyft rides I asked the question: What happened between Trump and Lewis?

With a sample size of 30 people that knew what I was referring to:*
  • 11 people could accurately recite the words in the exchange. (Note: most people then gave their interpretation, saying they hated Trump or liked Trump)
  • 1 person thought Donald Trump physically attacked someone
  • 5 people said Trump is just not being politically correct. 
  • 4 people thought Donald Trump said something "racist."
  • 9 people said Donald Trump said something that I grouped as "terrible."

Again, all I wanted to find out is if people knew what was said in the exchange, but only a third did.  We all need to start reading this more instead of just summarizing what we hear on the news.

*I ignored people that didn't know of the quarrel, so this isn't an empirical study.



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