Thursday, January 16, 2014

Eighty Percent

I've always been aware that statistics are not to be trusted; they can be read in so many different ways; interpreted to 'fit' the situation.

My daughter told me she'd seen a stat that said that 80% of people have bad thoughts. Hmmm, I thought to myself, that is strange. (not sure if that can be considered a bad thought *g*)

So I googled it and found two threads by two different people saying the same thing. Now, I'm not going to get into whether or not I agree or disagree - what I'd like to offer is my horror at the fact that these two people (I could have looked further but I didn't) offered the same opinion and never qualified where they got that 80% stat. Also, neither identified the other as commissioning the study; they both owned it. 

Plagiarism or some such, I'm telling you. How could someone write that stat and claim it as their own when it is obviously not there own. I remember some wild plagiarisms by well-known authors a few years ago and am concerned that plagiarism might be rearing its ugly head again.

It gives me pause to remember to put notes at the end of my book with where I found some of the information I use in 'The Other Side'. (I still don't like that poor period sitting outside the quote mark. Doesn't it look sad?)

Now that we've looked at that dismal 80% stat - there's another one: 80% of people are optimistic, whether they believe they are or not. I like that stat! I'm always working on optimism myself, though I find it difficult to maintain when the Muse hides under the kitchen sink. Dratted Muse.

I like Oscar Wilde's quote: "The basis of optimism is sheer terror." I certainly feel that when the Muse won't cooperate. And Voltaire's quote: "Optimism is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable". I SO relate to that. It's my mantra and I didn't even know it! 

One thing I found interesting and disconcerting at the same time. Many of the quotes at the above website intimate that optimism is for the young. I truly don't agree (except when it comes to health). My friends are optimists and we are not of the current generation. Perhaps I, without conscious thought, surround myself with optimists?'

Besides all that, I think writers have to be the most optimistic of all people. We start to write and believe that we will finish. Is anything more insane!?! Love writers to pieces!

Whatever. Give yourself a pat on the back today and remind yourself that life is good, that you are loved by somebody somewhere (how about that Higher Power!), and that being optimistic is not only fun, but fulfilling.

Life is optimism. 

PS - And take care of yourself. It's cold and flu season and being sick sucks.


  1. The name of the person eludes me at the moment: "There are lies, dam* lies, and statistics." ;-)

  2. You speak the truth, girlfriend, whoever's words you use.