Monday, March 09, 2009

Law of large numbers

It is a fact that humans absolutely blow at estimating the number of individuals in groups, and determining crowd sizes at rallies is as difficult as it is controversial.

Many years in front of groups of people (in bands, as a teacher, doing stand-up) have exposed me to the common practice of doubling crowd sizes in hindsight. When the promoter tells you about the awesome show last night before a crowd of 200, there were 75-100 people there. Tops. No harm is intended, it's just something people do and we take these figures with many grains of salt.

Putz, on the other hand, isn't content to jack up his ridiculous Teabagger event crowds by a mere 100%. He says the event in Green Bay attracted 1200. Look at this picture (more, including their hilarious signs, here).

If that is 1200 people, I have a 5-foot cock. That is maybe 200 people judging by some of the other photos. Maybe. Here's a picture of the "400-500" attendees at the Lafayette, LA circle jerk:

Note the clever use of an old photographer's trick, taking the picture from ground level to minimize the rear of the crowd and make a small group look like a throng. And if you really want a giggle, check out this crowd of "75" in Salt Lake City.

Come on, Putz, this is one of the basic rules of showbusiness. Everyone expects you to make shit up, but it has to be at least plausible. Don't get greedy.

No comments: