Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Fareed Zakaria Proof Not Every Indian Math Whizz

For the past two decades, for example, China has grown at approximately 9 percent a year and the United States at 3 percent. For the next few years, American growth will likely be 1 percent and China's, by the most conservative estimates, 5 percent. So, China was growing three times as fast as the United States but will now grow five times as fast, which only brings closer the date when the Chinese economy will equal in size that of the United States.
Fareed Zakaria,Wanted: A New Grand Strategy, TIME
What’s wrong with this logic?

Hint: If China were growing by 0.05% and the United States were growing by 0.01%, it would bring “closer the date when the Chinese economy will equal in size that of the United States.” NOT.

Next hint: 00005% vs. 00001%. NOT.

6 comments:

Janne Morén said...

The mathematical literacy of most media workers and the arts in general has long been dismal. Worse, it is for some a point of pride that they do not "get" math, logic or science; they believe that those fields are in direct opposition to appreciating art and beauty or to be a caring, feeling human being at all.

As someone who did a science doctorate "embedded" in a liberal arts faculty I unfortunately bumped into this with depressing regularity.

MTC said...

Okumura-san -

Bizarre. Pathetic. Bizathetic.

Jun Okumura said...

Ramesh Ponnuru saves Indian face by taking out Fareed Zakaria with an “honor killing”. Just kidding, guys.

Janne, you are proof that, improbable as it may seem, some scientists are caring, feeling human beings.

Janne Morén said...

"Janne, you are proof that, improbable as it may seem, some scientists are caring, feeling human beings."

Well, you haven't actually met me - perhaps I'm just good at faking it online ^_^

kildare.d.dr said...

they also rather miss the point that Chinese growth was a leveraged play on the american consumer,who is,....errr.....skint.

Jun Okumura said...

Janne, you’ve snagged a really nice lady off-line to drag around Kanazawa and other parts of Japan, which means you must be a caring, feeling guy. Unless you’re actually a Norse/Dane, which makes you a caring, feeling lesbian NTTIAWWT.

kildare.d.dr: For China, a drop to 5% growth at this point in its development would be totally unexpected and is likely to have serious consequences for its internal stability. And yes, it could only happen because the Chinese growth relies heavily, directly and indirectly, on the US economy. The 5% estimate actually recognizes that.