You can do anything with numbers. You can add, subtract, multiply, divide. But almost as importantly, you can use numerical information to justify virtually anything. Or you can use stupid (and mostly made-up) statistics to come to the most illogical and absurd conclusions.
For instance, if 5 percent of U.S. car owners drive hybrid autos, and white-haired men make up 5 percent of the U.S. population, clearly all hybrid car owners are white-haired men. Simple, right?
Obviously, 100 percent of humpback whales live in the ocean. Of course, 100 percent of them are mammals. So, one can conclude that 100 percent of humpback whales spend 100 percent of their time humping. That visual is not something I want to stay with me.
What about education? The average person has at least graduated from the fifth grade. And 100 percent of men with the last name Dumbass went to school. Which means that all Dumbasses are limited to a fifth-grade education. Makes sense, right? Actually, it makes absolutely no sense.
How about dog walkers? Based on years and years of extensive scientific research, 37 percent of those who walk dogs have a pronounced limp. Additionally, 82 percent of dogs walk with humans. One can easily conclude that 93 percent of dog walkers step on their poor dogs’ tails.
Twenty-four percent of office workers begin their lunch break promptly at 12:07 p.m. Sixty-two percent of them have tuna salad for lunch. So it’s easy to conclude that 100 percent of office workers skip lunch on Saturdays.
If 75 percent of smokers live in the southern U.S., clearly the warm weather causes one to be addicted to smoking. Now that makes perfect sense.
When you make a point with someone, throw in some made-up statistics. As long as you sound like you know what you’re talking about, others will rarely challenge you. The more authoritative you sound, the better. And the more absurd, the better. You’ll see how stupid people really are.