Friday, July 20, 2007

Telling Numbers

We had been running our polls for about one month at a time. The last one, our 14th, showed a trend that was not obvious in its running results. Because of that, we carried it longer and cut it off at 100 responses to see if the trend held. It did.

The poll was immediately noticeable at the top of the Forum’s left column. Anyone who reached the Forum could but was not required to vote. Only one vote was allowed to each user. The current results could only be seen after voting. There was no way to know the choices of particular individuals. The question asked was “If you had to fight for one, which would it be?” Possible responses were “Al-Qaeda” and “United States”. Here are the results.

It looks pretty even with a small majority supporting the United States. The numbers might be prejudicially suspect appearing on a politically leftist forum. They may be more representative however than that assumption would lead. We have had contacts from 140 nations. A large share of those originate from search engine queries devoid of significant political content and hitting on words and phrases of our posts.

The US backing of 55% is especially notable because that number also pops up in another context. Coupling the two appearances seem to reveal something otherwise hidden. The Forum’s Privacy Policy explains that the data we gather includes analysis of contacts by originating nations. It turns out that 55% of them are from the United States. Perhaps the two “55”s are not coincidental.

It is probably so that most voting Americans would support the US. How about the others? Focus on the remaining 45% from rest of globe who backed Al-Qaeda. Those outside the US seem in close unanimity to share Al-Qaeda’s evident belief the US is a justifiable military target.

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