How to not spot trends

In which B follows A but not because of A.

Trainspotters waiting for a steam train

Interview with the Vampire was release in 1994, and then a few years later the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer started. For some this is a trend that all media in the 1990’s became vampire obsessed, for me it’s a matter of selecting two incidents of non related media events and building a connection.

Pic-Causation 2

Cum hoc ergo proctor hoc and all that.

Being an analyst I am very aware that because A happened, then B occurred it doesn’t necessarily imply that A caused B. Sometimes it was C, and yes C may have some causal relationship with both A and B, but is not directly implied by either to actually have existed.

It’s like me locking the screen on my monitor (A) before going to the loo (B) at work. The act of locking the screen didn’t cause my need to go, it was in fact the large amount of tea (C) that I am drinking causing my bladder problems. Also in this case A is due to B, I did lock the screen because I was going to the loo, but this was also because of D (the fact we have a policy to lock the screen when I’m away from the desk).

Pic-Causation 1

So in summary, A didn’t cause B, which was caused by C, but B did cause A due to D. What we have got here is a classic case of common-causal variables with a dash of reverse causation.

Stating that two independent events in the 1990’s was indicative of some sort of Nosferatu-based love-in from Hollywood is a total fallacy, just as saying that as Planet of the Apes and King Kong were released in the 2000’s means that this can be called the simian decade.

The argument also ignores the fact that the film of Buffy was released in 1992, or Queen of the Damned in 2002…but we don’t talk of them as they were crap.

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. Not sure how to participate? Here are the steps to get started.

Source: Connection

Author: geekergosum

Ah, so you worked out the riddle. You just needed to use dwarfish and the doors to Geek Ergo Sum opened. Or perhaps you just used Google. Either way you are here, on my little corner of the Internet.

One thought on “How to not spot trends”

Think inside the box, feel free to leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s