Posted On: Saturday - December 5th 2020 7:00AM MST
In Topics:   General Stupidity  Media Stupidity
No, not poled, as in up the ass, with more government/lefty/commie/feminist/ PanicFest stupidity, such as we have been writing about for 4 years running. I was polled with 2 "L"s, as in by the big un', Gallup Polling. This call to my cell phone* was at least 1/2 an hour long, maybe even 45 minutes. This was about 2 weeks back, so I need to write this now, before I forget more of the questions I was asked.
I have lost more of whatever confidence I had that these pollsters knew what they were doing after this call. I don't mean the young lady asking me questions, of course. She was as polite as can be, but would cut off any extraneous part of any answer. She had to be as patient as all get-out to keep that job, as I'm sure she hears all manner of ranting (not me, this time) and if anything went seriously wrong during the call, I'm guessing the whole set of answers gets trashed. That's not a successful call, and it's not likely an employee there gets any kudos for having too many of those.
I'm not sure if the pollsters in charge have ever heard the simple saying: Ask a stupid question; get a stupid answer.. That applies to the call I got, for the most part.
The first 1/3 of the call consisted of questions to ascertain who was this guy she'd called. "Do you make between $X and $Y?" "Would you say your race is white?", "Are you between 35 and 55?", etc., each with a set of 4 answers (probably so she wouldn't get "what was the middle one?" all the time ;-}) Sure, you've got to get that info. for the independent axes of the graphs, such as with Audacious Epigone's many bar graphs.
Within all that were mixed-in other questions, possibly to get the respondent to figure "we are getting somewhere". There were 4 questions in a row about "have you not had enough money for food due to ...?", as an example. Really, is that ever the case in this age of welfare? What was the point of that series of stupid questions. How about "how much have your health plan costs gone up?", you know, something that is a real problem?
For a while, we got down to business. Still, the questions just made me roll my eyes and wonder who made these up? It's not the subject matter. There were at least a couple of political subjects that the pollster wanted opinions on.
A series of questions was about feminism, for instance. Again, it was another set of stupid ones though: "Do you strongly disagree, slightly disagree, slightly agree, or strongly agree with the statement "women should be allowed to work outside the home"? "What is the percentage of your friends, would you say, who would agree with "women should be allowed to work outside the home", under 50%, between 50% and 90%, over 90%? There were 2 more of the same. It was just tedious and stupid!
How about "do you think it's better for society if most women stay at home with their families?" and "what percentage of your friends ...?"? Give me a non-stupid question, and you may get some important data! Was the point to use this question to tell the users of this data that pretty much all Americans were pro-feminism? Or, did they ask non-stupid questions to other respondents, and I just got the stupid ones as part of some control group? Are they very very smart or very very dumb? I'm going with number 2 for $800,000, Alex.
We got to immigration even (yea!), but most of the questions were stupid-obvious there too, as in, with only one non-completely-stupid answer. I finally got to one that was straightforward. "Do you strongly disagree, slightly disagree, slightly agree, or strongly agree that there is too much immigration?" There's one for our side. That was the only question I remember to which the answer could be used to actually determine something useful.
The poll wrapped up with "what's your zip code?", and that was it. The process was extremely disappointing, and I see it as at least 1/2 hour wasted.
Is it possible that Gallup Polling asks so many stupid questions as just part of a long series gradated among respondents from stupid-obvious on one end to stupid-obvious on the other, with the discerning questions in the middle? Nah, I doubt that. I believe it comes down to the same stupid question I asked above. The stupid answer again is: These people are very very dumb.
NOTE: If I remember some other questions later on, I'll update this post.
* I still answer calls from numbers I don't know. It's hit or miss. See Modern Peak Stupidity telephone etiquette, along with Hanging up in Style.