Thursday, January 25, 2018

Of statistical bias in Lebanon and politics

Artwork by Tarek Chemaly
Talk about statistical bias!!! I just got a call from an agency doing statistics, wanting to ask me a few questions. The first was about which political personality represents me. When I answered "none" they wanted me to pick any Lebanese public figure.
Then they asked which political party I wanted to vote for. Lately I am not a big believer in the Lebanese political system so I answered I might just put a white ballot. Then they gave me three names of politicians to pick from asking me who was my favorite. When I said "none" - the woman would not have it. The option did not exist.
This is when I totally blew my lid off. I told the woman that she was committing statistical bias, she was forcing me to give her a name she wanted and that ethically this a corrupt way to doing statistics. Apparently, they are working under the idea that we are all "sheep" who belong to either this or that political party, that none of us has ideas of their own, that we should be guided by specific choices among pre-defined politicians otherwise we do not exist on the map.