I know I've said it before, but I have to say it again:

I hate bullshit statistics.

A professor of mine once said that if someone starts a comment by saying. "Studies show..." they are about to lie to you. It's not always true, but it's definitely true more often than not. Statistics are a great tool, but the majority of the time the results are fudged to fit what people want to show.

I've been watching TV and just in the last hour or so I've seen 3 commercials that are misleading people under the guise of studies or annecdotal evidence.

1) Cingular wireless - This one pisses me off the most. The commercial claims that Cingular has the "fewest dropped calls" of any wireless network. I believe that statement to be true, but not indicative of the quality they want it to. Cingular is the 3rd or 4th largest wireless network in the country, far behind Verizon and Sprint/Nextel, and running close to T-Mobile. Their statement means exactly what it says, they have the fewest dropped calls. But when two of their competitors have at least 2 to 3 times as many customers and many times the number of calls on their network every day, you should expect more dropped calls from the bigger networks. So the only network that Cingular is really beating is T-Mobile. If they said that they had the lowest percentage of dropped calls, I'd be a hell of a lot more impressed.

2) I don't remember the company, but it's some company that offers one of those "train yourself at home" things for high school dropouts. The commercial claims that high school grads can make up to $200,000 more over their lifetime than a non-grad. Ballpark the timeline at 55 years (grad at 18, die around 73) and that means that a high school grad, at best, can make $3600 a year more than a non grad. That's the best a high school degree can offer. That's just sad. Saying $200,000 makes it sound like a huge difference, but it's really not. Boo statistics.

3) This last one is more just me being pissed at commercials for useless products. There are a lot of commercials for Stacker2 weight loss suppliments where some woman is talking about how she took them and lost 60 pounds in 8 months. Although if you actually listen to what she says and read the fine print at the bottom of the screen, the whole thing is bullshit. Sure, the woman lost weight, and I bet she really was taking the Stacker2 products, but more importantly what she did was this: eat no more than 2000 calories a day (fine print) and start exercizing. If you are in any way overweight and you limit your calories and exercize, you will lose that weight no matter what other shit you take with it.

All right. I think my ranting is done. I needed to get that out.