Tuesday, February 10, 2009

How Big is a Trillion?

Jason Hartline comments on a report by CNN about the size of the government bailout.

"To put a trillion dollars in context, if you spend a million dollars every day since Jesus was born, you still wouldn't have spent a trillion," McConnell said. CNN checked McConnell's numbers with noted Temple University math professor and author John Allen Paulos. "A million dollars a day for 2,000 years is only three-quarters of a trillion dollars. It's a big number no matter how you slice it," Paulos said.

Conclusion: At least one CNN reporter either doesn't know how long ago Jesus was born or cannot do basic arithmetic, so they found a mathematician who knows something about Jesus (John Allen Paulos is author of the book Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don't Add Up) to ask for verification. Furthermore, the CNN editors found this to be reasonable investigative reporting. What!?!


  1. The sad fact is that I don't even find things like this surprising anymore...

  2. Journalists are typically taught that, no matter how obvious they think a fact is, they cannot publish their own opinion--instead, they must find someone else to say the same thing and quote them. This is probably what has occurred here.