Friday, May 12, 2006

Polling By Phone About Taps

In all honesty, I'm not exactly sure how I feel about the data-mining of tens of millions of American's phone conversations (but that's completely depending on how the data has been used...if it's being used for anything other than terror investigations then I would be adamantly against it).

But I am exactly sure how I feel about the concept of polling people by telephone to measure the country's feelings on telephone surveillance.

It's retarded.

What exactly is the plus/minus for people who don't talk to pollsters on phones?

And what - could one presume unscientifically speaking - would be the percentage of people that would be against telephone surveillance, wiretapping and datamining, that would never talk with a pollster by phone?

According to the data for the Washington Post/ABC News Poll (link), 502 adults were "randomly selected."

How many adults were called?

I dunno. Maybe it's just me but I can't believe that anyone would even use telephones to ask such questions. I would think any question that deals with how Americans qualify their privacy would probably be tough to accurately measure, but calling people to ask them about how they feel about the government tapping their phones is just plain lunacy.

If the Washington Post/ABC News pollsters phoned people and asked how many would be willing to talk to pollsters then I guess the results would be something close to one hundred percent since the only people responding to the question would be those people already talking to pollsters.

Do you see what I'm getting at?

People who respond to pollsters on the telephone aren't going to be as concerned about privacy issues as people who don't want to talk to pollsters by phone at all.

Would a door-to-door poll work better?

I don't know.

I live in New York City and it's damn sure hard to find anyone who thinks that government tapping or data-mining is okay, but I have no idea how other parts of the country feel about it.

All I know is that trying to figure out this shit by phone is just plain stupid, period.


At May 12, 2006 9:32 PM , Blogger Sine.Qua.Non said...

Here is the thing about polls:

There are only so many methods for polling available. The most predominant is that of the telephone. This is because you can random access dial a phone and you can also initiate a phone poll and have quick results. Valid phone polls have viable questions, do not push for a swayed answer in the way they phrase a question, and they all have variables which define and focus on a subject. This is simplistic for a rather complicated process.

Other methods include interviews in face to face settings. These are difficult, because you actually have a control group. Generally these are used for marketing new products or medical research, for example. Inernet polls can not be controlled, so statistically, they are invalid.

But I DO get your point regarding using a phone to poll people about the NSA illegally gathering phone records.

At May 16, 2006 2:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

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