The Numbers Game


All the figures are estimates and best guesses, with everything from annual spend and collateral damage pulled from a metaphorical hat. It has always been thus, and the only thing that’s changed is the hat. Hard to believe now, but when I was a kid, it was a bowler, with all its attendant reassurances of history, stability, and upright fair play, and the numbers were articulated with the authority of clipped precision. Nowadays, it’s a slouched beanie, and the shifty bearers of stats and percentages barely have a final consonant between them. 86% of people my age will tut at this sad state of affairs, but I find the sloppiness comforting. Twenty-seven percent increase in the cost of livin’? Thirty thousan’ dead? It’s easier to take it with a pinch of salt weighing, say, 0.3-0.4 g, or with 75 mg of the wonder drug du jour, prescribed by a doctor who’s fifteen years old, can’t imagine a twenty-five percent rise in real per capita disposable income, and has never even heard of the thirty thousand – sixty-five thousand? – civilians bombed out of existence in a popular holiday destination.



Oz Hardwick
Picture Nick Victor





This entry was posted on in homepage and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.