I see that the Times is putting its columnists into the pay per view section of their site. Too much reeling from the bloggers.
Seneca,How can we be sure that the NYT is not completely accurate in their assessment of the numeracy of its readers? There are, after all, people who subscribe to the Times in the belief that it is a newspaper. I believe that Lincoln correctly identified the Times market niche with his quotation concerning fooling "some of the people all of the time". It's rather unfair to say that the NYT "plays" its readers when experience suggests that it simply "knows" its readers.
Seneca and Rick,I'm glad y'all are willing to take up this issue. To those unfamiliar with KitchenTableMath (one of Our Lil' 'Speriment's links on the right side of the main page) should drop in and check it out. Catherine and Friends are doing some heavy lifting over there.
Rick, it's a fair point. Not just numeracy (although one would hope the average educated person is more numerate than the apparent average at the Times) but also simple access to information. I've lived in North Carolina, but wouldn't have had any idea whether to believe the number they quoted, or anything to compare them with. When you read a newspaper, it's entirely too easy to imagine that you can trust what they're saying.
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