July 14th, 2003


the gelded age of wireless...

Kirsten, whose mobile plan was about to expire, decided to stick with Verizon, but got both of us their latest phones, which have built in cameras, email, SMS, and general web-related features. (If I know you well enough, you can email me and I will pass along my #... otherwise, people on my friends list can send me text messages through the LJ interface, though I can't guarantee a quick response... or any response at all, for that matter. Email remains my favored means of communication.)

I'm not sure what I think about having a phone with me wherever I go. Really, I usually hate phones, and I'm skeptical about how connected I really want to be with people, at least by voice. It's bad enough having to carry a pager around in my past life, but a phone is *really* asking for grief. Ideally, I will be able to use it more often for doing internet-related things as opposed to talking on the phone all the time.

One thing I am curious about is using it to post to weblogs... ideally to LJ. There are some ways of doing this with the LiveJournal clients MoJo and TapJam, but really that's not what I want. I'd like to be able to snap photos, add a bit of text, and effortlessly post them to a weblog. I have some ideas on how best to do this, too... which I might talk about more once I get it to work.

Ultimately, I am of two minds on mobile phones. They are starting to become somewhat interesting, somewhat useful gadgets... but part of me hates phones and always will. Bah, I say. Phones are annoying, and people with mobile phones doubly so. Being bugged in real-time by people actually projecting sound through their larynx and out their mouths sounds *soooo* archaic, doesn't it? ;->

Reuters pulls a Bush...

I have significant ire for a Reuters headline which went out on the wire and was repeated by some as gospel...

US Loses 32nd Soldier in Iraq, Council Starts Work

Um... no. The US has lost more than 32 soldiers in Iraq, but for the average American, they will look at this and interpret it as God's truth.

No wonder only 17% of those polled recently correctly said that none of the 9/11 hijackers were Iraqi... or that a third of the public believes that US forces found WMDs in Iraq. The media, despite their supposed editing prowess, seems no more capable of properly representing the facts of the war than the president.

I've emailed FAIR -- I hope that they make a point of addressing this issue, and in ideally humiliating those responsible for such shoddy reporting. Really, someone should be fired for this... If we want our president to be accountable for what he says, shouldn't we expect the same from our media?!

(no subject)

Here's a simple poll regarding the war... I'd be interested in getting a wide response on this poll so that I can better judge public opinion -- obviously my readership is more liberal than most journals -- so if you can pass it around, that would be appreciated.

Poll #156735 Public perception of casualties

Quick -- without thinking or looking anything up -- how many US servicemen do you think have died in Iraq?

How do you feel about the US in Iraq?

Strongly supportive of continued involvement.
Moderately supportive of continued involvement.
Moderately against continued involvement.
Strongly against continued involvement.

The previous poll...

I wanted to check to see if there was a correlation between how people estimated casualties and what they thought of the war. By no means do I have enough data to make a serious statistical analysis, but the results are interesting.

Over 2/3rds of those who support continued US involvement in Iraq significantly underestimated US casualties... their estimate of US losses were approximately 30% of what the actual casualties are. 25% of those in favor of continued involvement in Iraq were approximately correct, and 13% in favor considerably overestimated US casualties.

Of those against continued US involvement, about 35% significantly underestimated casualties, about 33% were approximately correct, and the remaining third overestimated casualties.

Basically, about half of those who took the poll significantly underestimated casualties. The poll also showed a significant correlation between people's underestimation of US casualties and their support for the war.

I can only make guesstimates, but it seems likely based on poll results and the level of support for the war in the US that over half the country is significantly underestimating the casualty total of the conflict by over 50%. This discrepency is almost certainly caused by how the media has been reporting casualty figures.

The actual number of US casualties in Iraq as of today is approximately 220. Given the current rate of US casualties in Iraq, it is quite likely that casualties for the first year of US occupation in Iraq will be roughly equal to all US casualties in Vietnam from 1961 to the end of 1964.