Surveys

  • by Lawrence Mark Lesser

    In ev'ry line,
    the rhyme design
    would sure confine
    the flow so fine,
    a twisted vine.

    As odds decline,
    I do opine:
    "Things may untwine
    here after nine,
    ending differently."

  • If you make soup, tasting it is a way of taking a sample of its flavor. If you don't stir first you might taste only the last seasoning you added and get the flavor wrong. 

    Jaana M Goodrich (1955 - )

  • Lyrics © 2016 Lawrence M. Lesser
    may sing to the tune of the Beatles' "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"

     

    Picture statistics in the newspaper
    With context all missing or half summarized;
    Somebody chose just who would be surveyed
    And the order the items arise.
    Stats are each chosen and given a setting, polished and cut for a view:
    Look for the angle that reaches your eyes when they're done.

    CHORUS: This is how stats are like diamonds,
    This is how stats are like diamonds,
    This is how stats are like diamonds, ahhh……

    Follow the chain of a long calculation
    For students who view stats as math mechanized.
    But when you tell them "all stats are constructed",
    Their eyebrows will rise up so high!

    Newspaper numbers appear on page 4, labelled and grouped for display:
    Like a nice gem, this story now sparkled, unlike rocks. (Repeat Chorus)

    Picture a stat with no error or bias,
    Without a confounder that's lurking disguised.
    Take care that you see how that stat is presented:
    Most jewels have a flaw to apprise. (Repeat Chorus twice)

  • Q: What type of survey can give accurate results even though the subject cannot speak or write a response?

    A: A land survey!

    Larry Lesser & Dennis Pearl

  • Q: Why did someone think the first scientific opinion poll was done by a knight?

    A: Because he heard it was a SIR-vey, by George!

    Larry Lesser

  • from Greek, psēphos  for pebble and vote
    by Eveline Pye

    I have hands the size of Scotland; 
    my fingers reach through dense cloud
    scoop up bundles of balloon-words
    from a thousand interviews.

    I mould answers into mountains,
    calculate contours
    as public opinion surges and slips,
    moves like a wave through days.

    I am a conduit for the crowd’s roar
    in a  vast virtual amphitheatre;
    voters, drowned in data, becalmed
    in a fog of facts, listen as I speak.

    Do I affect what I only seek to measure:
    the observer-effect multiplied
    on a million screens? I cast a pebble: 
    a Marbled White unfurls its wings.

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