Bloggers Bloggers Everywhere

A NYT editorial points out that if the blogosphere continues to expand at its current rate, every Internet user will soon be a blogger.

The story theme "If small thing continues to expand at its current rate, it will shortly be larger than big thing." has accounted for more dubious headlines than Britney Spears. The current favourite is "China’s per capita GDP" and "America’s per capita GDP", but the line it routinely employed for any new technology or fashion. If they really believe their own gumph, one wonders when journos will start writing stories like "If my 3 month old baby continues to expand at its current rate, she’ll grow up to be taller than King Kong."

I predict that if the number of lazy journalists writing linear extrapolation stories continues to expand at its current rate, we’ll soon be reading about nothing but linear extrapolation.

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4 Responses to Bloggers Bloggers Everywhere

  1. Andrew Norton says:

    Blogger Nic White picked up on a nice example of this recently – how smoking will end in WA by 2030: http://52nd.blogspot.com/2005/07/smoking-history.html

  2. Andrew Leigh says:

    Very nice. Indeed, presumably this method tells you that for any rising trend, we’ll eventually all be doing it, and for any declining trend, there will eventually be no-one doing it.

  3. John Quiggin says:

    OTOH, I remember reading Clifford Stoll, criticising projections of Web growth in the early 90s and saying something like: “If you extrapolate this to 2002 everyone in America will be connected to the Internet. That’s absurd”

  4. Andrew Leigh says:

    My fave is Gareth Powell, the SMH computer editor in the 1980s, who thought it was absurd that any program would ever need 64kb to run.

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