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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!?!

2 comments:

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

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  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.

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