Lies, damn lies, and statistics

Regarding the recent news article about frequent orgasms helping to prevent prostate cancer, here’s an interesting article about health & science news that popped up on IO9 today:

I Fooled Millions Into Thinking Chocolate Helps Weight Loss. Here’s How.

The article itself details the Nutrition Science version of the Sokal Hoax, and I really can’t give it a good summary – just click the link and go read it.

But the take-away is this: Science journalism is much like any other kinds of journalism in that writers don’t fully understand the topic, and often draw the wrong conclusions based only on the press release and a quick skim of the material (if that). Then editors will throw a click-bait headline on it, and the entire thing is geared to sell ad space.

So, let’s remember to use some common sense, and to not believe the first thing that we read. This goes for science news as much as it goes for all those “true stories” on the BDSM blogs.


Well, except for this, of course. I came home from work one day and Mrs. Edge had totally converted into my dream/nightmare Domme. No, really.  This totally happened.

About Tom Allen

The Grey Geezer Dauntless defender of, um, something that needed dauntless defending. Dammit, I can't read this script without my glasses. Hey, you kids, get off my damn lawn!
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8 Responses to Lies, damn lies, and statistics

  1. steeledsnakecharmer says:

    Doesn’t that happen in all households? I mean, I started dressing like that, my hair turned blonde and everything just fell into place. 🙂

  2. Tom Allen says:

    Of course. Also, Mrs. Edge could orgasm just from caning me.

  3. Tom Allen says:

    Well, slaves can’t just whip themselves now, can they?

  4. I remember in the early days of a certain toothpaste – they used to claim “9 out of 10 dentists recommend…” and they proved it. There were 10 dentists, complete with white coats, standing there – 9 were smiling.

    Then people finally figured out that they could just keep looking until they found 9 that agreed (or took the cash) and claim their stats. Brilliant.

    My Stats prof, back in the day, said that “stats are there to prove your point.” He supported this by using the same number sets to show exactly opposite results. It really is true.

    10 of 10 guys indicate that they are much better average. But when you point out that that flies in the face of “average” – they stumble off muttering. “Must be the other guys…” Gotta love statistics.

  5. Kitty says:

    I’m very new to the online side of chastity, so I still find the search terms used to reach my blog both strange and funny. Mr Kitty has mentioned before that fantasies about losing bets and being caught cheating were popular. He wasn’t joking.

    As for science journalism, it is an unfortunate reality that much of the scientific knowledge of the general population comes from said journalism. =/

    • Tom Allen says:

      Mr Kitty has mentioned before that fantasies about losing bets and being caught cheating were popular. He wasn’t joking.

      I think I wrote about this a while back – for some reason, much submissive kink porn has some common tropes, including the “I never meant for this to happen” and the “Be careful what you wish for” trope being IMO the most common. A lot of Femdom fiction (man’s perspective) centers around being “caught” doing something (cheating, lying, forgetting the milk, whatever), while the long-suffering wife snaps and suddenly becomes the Domme from Hell. “You like visiting/looking at women in leather? Well, you’re going to get more than you bargained for, you pervert.”

      Sometimes I think this is because we find the development of “how we got here” much more interesting than the “how we are maintaining things.” Because, when you think about it, the “getting there” is the more dramatic transition. And even in real life, I enjoy watching Mrs. Edge take on something new and play around with it a little bit.

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