Dr. Ben Goldacre is correct about statistical noise to a certain degree, but not as exemplified. “Statistical noise” is useful as a sociopolitical tool to motivate politicians and government to do something positive; for example with high unemployment figures being reported by the BBC news media.
The same could be said of the recent riots in England, where social networking was used to bring communities together to clean up effected areas. However with many in the media focusing and reporting in a knee-jerk manner (BBC News 24 coverage over the period of disorder for example), important messages get lost in statistical noise. Continue reading