The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. - Wm. Blake

Thursday, January 19, 2006

What is wrong with journalists?

Not a political post. And I'm an unabashed Mac fan, but this isn't really about that, either. Can anyone tell me what's wrong with the following sentence from the AP, via the New York Times?
[Apple] shipped 1.25 million Mac computers in the quarter, up slightly from 1.05 million units a year ago
Yes, you in the back?

That's right. In no rational world is 19% year-on-year growth in an established market considered "slight."

What's that? The others? The same or less. Dell 20%, HP 16%, Lenovo 13%.

Look, if Apple having the second-biggest growth of any PC company is going to be dismissed as "slight" growth, then what's the point of having journalists? Maybe we just need numbers to be released, and let people draw their own conclusions. Because the effect of this nonsense is to have people skip making conclusions and accept the perceived expertise of the journalist. "Hmm, looks OK to me, but Mr. Business Reporter says it's 'slight.' Maybe everyone else did 40%."

Hopefully, Brad DeLong will fix all this.


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