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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Please Don't Tell Mom I Am A Pollster, She Thinks I Am A Piano Player In A Whorehouse

Every election cycle, there they are. The polls. People who make their living by "polling" other people and asking them their opinion. It is one of the most inefficient intelligence gathering methods that we employ- easily manipulated- and even if polls were accurate which they are not, they are of dubious value anyway.

If we removed polls, just completely got rid of them altogether and forgot that they ever existed, would we miss them? That is the standard for judging whether something has value or not. If I remove it from my life- does my life change?

I see bloggers every day- talking about polls like they actually mean something. Or getting all lathered up when pollsters manipulate demographics to get the results that they want.

Psst, newsflash here. People have been lying and manipulating information since the cave days.

Does anyone really think that there is this giant pool of voters, who haven't made up their minds yet, who are going to be swayed at the last minute because of some new tidbit of information? A giant bloc of secretive voters who unbeknownst to the general public are going to decide the election?

Not hardly.

Polls are like the official gossip of our country. Gossipers love to hear the latest piece of information first. That way they can feel good about themselves as they go about telling uninformed people things they don't already know. They feel valued by their target audience that way. I knew a couple of folks like that. 

If I am ever at a party sometime and someone introduces themselves as a pollster, let's say for Rasmussen, I am gonna puff out my chest and proudly announce that I am a piano player in a whorehouse. I can feel good about myself. I am doing something useful with my life.

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