For about the nine squillionth time, I’ve been forwarded the link to the video “Did You Know?” (a.ka. “Shift Happens”). You’ve probably seen it. It sure does impress people. And it has a lot of impressive numbers in it.
I have to admit it’s at a bit of a disadvantage from the beginning with me due to the fact that “Did you know?” in any forward is almost a guarantee that I’m about to be told something that’s inaccurate. Also, I’m getting tired of the music, which has been used on another video since, and is now for me, at least, the leitmotif for hype and hand-waving. It is rather apposite, though, in that the words start with strong-sounding repetition of a straightforward phrase without actually specifying what is right here, right now, and then go into something that sounds like detailed content but is actually indecipherable.
The video does present a fair bit of interesting food for thought, and some of the numbers are quite impressive (if wanting more context), but it can be remarkably fluzzy and often not especially thoughtful in itself. (Nor are the data referenced, so they could just be making it up, or misquoting, getting it badly wrong…)
So I just wanted to pick on a few things in it, as a bit of an editorial fact-querying exercise: Continue reading