Election Polling: I’m Not Getting Older – My Hard Drive Is Just Too Full!

Those of us old enough to remember rotary phones, black & white TV, and cars without seatbelts are now at an age when a forgotten name or misplaced car keys can make us worry about age-related memory loss. My response is always to joke about my hard drive being full— it’s not age, it’s data overload.

And that actually makes sense — by the time we’re in our 50s, we’ve had so many experiences, met so many people, learned so many facts, and memorized so many phone numbers that it’s amazing we can remember our own names. (And as far as the phone numbers — anyone under 30 has it far easier, because these days who needs to memorize a number when your smart phone does it for you?)

This sense of data overload is particularly profound during campaign season — which these days is pretty much all the time, given that we’re already talking about 2016 and we haven’t even had the 2014 election yet. It’s not just that every news outlet has its own poll, which all seem to contradict each other, but now pundits are making a science out of poll data aggregation, and none of them agree all of the time. Plus the results seem to change on a daily basis, depending on the latest lawsuits or stories of errant behavior.

Since this relatively new field of unending data aggregate analysis feels a bit like the untamed Wild West, I thought it was appropriate to memorialize it with a Wild-West-themed song (and one which only those of us old enough to remember rotary phones are likely to recognize):

 

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