How to calculate the truth

Through Fark I saw this article: The Myth of 90 Percent: Only a Small Fraction of Guns in Mexico Come From U.S.

The sum of the article is that there have apparently been lots of media stories saying that 90% of the drug war guns in Mexico come from the U.S. But the article claims that the 90% number is bogus and should be 17%.

Let’s run with that.

You can calculate the 17% pretty accurately by noting that if there’s a repeated, repeated, repeated number under-pinning a story, story, story that matches the media’s core beliefs, then you must multiply the number by the 80% chance that the number is BS, that is, a 20% chance the number is accurate.

90% * .20 = 18%

Which is pretty close to 17%, is it not?

This method of calculating the truth says that Madoff swindled not 60 billion, but 12 billion.


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