1/7/14 Just Like Me

Do not mistake the voice of a single London alehouse as the voice of the kingdom.

Jonathan Swift

Who? Me? Would I do that?

Certainly the alehouse I do all my business in, the one that has all my friends, the one I choose because those in it are the most like me, those with whom I am the most comfortable, those to who I can speak my mind with impunity, receiving reinforcement rather than retribution…that one….mine…well, it speaks for the kingdom: overwhelmingly so.

Yours? Well, maybe yours does, but I’d have to spend some time in it before I could vouch for it because maybe it doesn’t. And You? Maybe you, but certainly me. My opinions are the ones shared by the majority of Americans because I am the majority of Americans. Most Americans are just like me. There is the odd exception, but I tell you it is truly odd, perhaps even more than odd…aberrant might be a better term, even perverse. Yours? Well, unless yours is like mine, you will likely be counted among the aberrant. Since I know you, I may not even call yours aberrant, but rather, misguided or uninformed. That should do it. If you’ll get a good tight grip, you’ll come around to the right way of thinking, then I won’t even have to visit your alehouse, you’ll come running over to mine.

Normal thinking people think just like me, look just like me, have the same religion as me, eat the same foods as me, vote like me, dress like me, even root for the same football teams as me. Of course, they like football!! What could you possibly be thinking?

And music? Well, naturally they like the same kind of music I do while simultaneously detesting every kind I find objectionable. Now I realize that the music I like is not what one might term popular, but I’ll give a little on this, choosing to recognize the eclecticism of my music and the aberration of other’s tastes as it co-mingles with my abhorrence of it. I’ll forgive them their ignorance, though. They just need to be enlightened.

Nearly everyone drives a four-wheel drive pickup truck, just like me. A few of them may drive an imported four wheel drive pickup, which I will allow, but nearly all of them drive large, American-made versions. We will include Hummers in this crowd, since we are diverse in our ubiquitous unanimity. We are not prejudiced, but allow all others to participate since all others look like us anyway, so much so that we can hardly tell each other apart. We frequently mistake ourselves for each other. I very nearly shook hands with myself as I passed by a mirror the other day, and once, caught between opposing mirrors, I got a glimpse of the real universe of which this one is a mere facsimile. I was elated at the sublimity of the vision before me. I don’t know why I should have been surprised. It is the way the universe is supposed to look….just like me.

We are informed by who we are, our background, and our training. Most of us are a lot like our parents whether we like to admit it or not. We look suspiciously like them, and as men, we sound a lot like our fathers. A few of us sound like our mothers, but some of us did not have fathers around to sound like; we were blessed with mothers made of some stern stuff.

We are fortunate if we know who we are, since a lot of folks aren’t really sure. Well, a lot of them are unsure of who I am, but some of them are even more unsure of who they are. This is terribly unfortunate, for they may not even recognize themselves if they came face to face. I can spot me a mile off, even without my glasses. Though similar poles repel with magnets, in the political spectrum, identical polarity is a powerful attractant. I understand that this runs counter to the laws of physics, but we are talking politics and political science, not real science.

I have done some scientific research on this whole issue though. I am going to present it here as proof that everyone thinks just like me whether they know it or not. At least that is what I am hypothesizing. The proof will follow. There is no need to question my methodology or any of my research. I got all my information right off the internet, and in a few cases where I could not find exactly what I was looking for I extrapolated. Well, maybe extrapolated is a little strong and perhaps more than a little bit misleading. Perhaps I could use the word “prevaricated” and be more accurate. Certainly “embellished” will serve. It is up to the reader to determine the correctness of my methodology and the veracity of my research, though I don’t want to hear about it. I am satisfied that what I am presenting here is the truth just as surely as you heard it on the evening news, or read it published in some academic paper. Since everyone is like me, I realize that I am preaching to the choir, but the choir will be the better for it.

One of the methodological arguments you professional statisticians may have is that I have not used weighted numbers which make allowances for duplications in segments of the population. I did not have time for any of that foolishness. When you do your own study, you are free to employ the methodology that makes the most sense to you, flawed though it may be, since I have noticed that when the results of scientific studies do not line up with scientific prejudices, the methodology is always the first thing to be attacked. Help yourself and attack away, but do it on your own time and your own blog…you can’t do it here.

The US Bureau of the Census’ 2013 estimate of the population of the USA is 316,364,000 people, nearly all of them just like me except for the few aberrations previously mentioned. We must make a notes of these.

48.5% of the population are males, just like me. I must subtract the 51.5% who are not males, or 162,927,460 from the total population. This leaves 153,436,540 people just like me.

63.7% of the population are White/Non-Hispanics, just like me. That leaves 16.3% of the population total that must be subtracted, so 128,426,384 people are just like me.

The rural population of the country is 15%. Since I live in the urban metropolis of Porterville, Mississippi, I must subtract the rural population, and never you mind that some of them are women and minorities who may have been already counted somewhere else. If I make this too complicated, you may never understand it. Remove 19,263,957 rural people from the balance of folks, and that leaves 109,162,426 people just like me.

Now some music vendor trade association website somewhere, you try and find it if you can, said that there were 62,000,000 musicians of varying degrees in this country…that means professional and amateur, or someone who bought a guitar and a Mel Bay book with then intention of bigger and better things, perhaps even a top five appearance on the X Factor or American Idol or some such show, or perhaps they believed Reverb Nation’s promises of great exposure leading to some big record deal. That is 20% of the population, leaving 80% of the total population, or 87,329,941 people who are not musicians of any degree, which I must subtract from the balance, leaving 21,832,485 people just like me.

Now, 75% of the population, or 16,374,363 people identify themselves as Christian. I do, too. I will subtract these from the balance, and I know what you are thinking. Yes, I am subtracting people who are like me rather then unlike me, but it is too tedious to go back and correct this since I have made the numbers work out and do not like it that flawed data skews my results, so I will make it fit and just say, “tough luck” if you don’t like it. That leaves 5.448,121 people just like me or not like me whatever the case may be, but I’m going with just like me. As I said earlier, do your own research and write your own scholarly paper if you don’t like mine.

Now of those 5,448,121 people just like me, 25% are Roman Catholic, which I am definitely not and must subtract. That leaves 4,093,591 folks that are more or less like me.

Mississippi has a population of 2,963,440 people. Though I am a Mississippian, I will take them out anyway, since it was convenient, and that leaves 1,130,151 people kind of like me, per se. (per se sounds much more scientific than “sort of,” doesn’t it?)

44.7% of all Mississippians do not own firearms. I find this hard to believe, but the evidence is the evidence, so I will have to go with it, thus I will remove 505,177 people, leaving 624,974 people that have a strong similarity to myself, though they may not be just like me. While this is not exactly headed to where I want it to go, true science declares that we must go with the evidence regardless of our pre-concieved notions, otherwise known as prejudices, perhaps even called bigotry, though I am still trying to make errant pieces fit this puzzle and will soon resort to a larger hammer if necessary.

Of those 624,974, 60%, or 374,984 are not conservatives, so let’s get rid of them. That leaves 249,989 folks with a rudimentary disposition like mine, except for the 30.4% of them who are cat owners, and they must go. Take out those 75,997 cat owners and you have left 172,993 people who look and think more like me than a couple of the previous categories. I should have taken the cat owners out much sooner so the actual numbers would have been larger, since I detest cats. We are honing it down now, even if it is in seemingly in the wrong direction, but having the cats gone makes me feel much better.

Now, I could not find the next statistic published anywhere, so I just went with my gut. Now others will see it published and be able to use it freely in their own research, and for this I deserve no thanks; it is just my contribution to the scientific community. 87.6% of the folks out there like Pop/New Country/Hip-Hop music. They have got to go because they don’t think a thing like me, so that will leave us with a grand total of 23,054 folks who think, and mostly look, just like me, sort of, per se, and ipso facto.

Of those, subtract the Ford, Dodge, and other than Chevrolet pickup truck owners (60%) and that leaves 9,222 folks.

Bear with me now, because we are getting to the good stuff. If you bail out now, you’ll be missing the best part and you don’t want to do that after having wasted, I mean invested, all this time.

I found a website that had the very specious statistic that said 28% of Americans have not read a book in the past year. I find that dubious. I suspect the number is a lot higher but have no evidence of it but will reject what evidence I have for a much more reliable intuition. If we pause to consider what types of books the alleged 72% are reading, we may decide that their reading efforts are similar to having not read at all, so extrapolating from there and using my very reliable scientific gut instinct, I strongly suspect that 87.6% have not read a worthy book in the past year. They must go. That results in subtracting 8,078 people from my previous total of 9,222, leaving 1,144 more or less sort of ipso facto per se like me.

Now to the meat of the matter. I found a number on a leukemia website that had an absolute number of the people alive in the USA who were diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. It’s a larger number than you think. 3/10 of 1% of the entire population have CLL, which means 99.7% do not have it. Apply that to the number left and I am down to 12 people kinda sorta maybe more or less like the per se ipso facto ad hoc me. If the numbers don’t quite add up, it is because I am rounding off to single digits, since there is no percentage of a person in spite of the fact that there are many half-wits out there. We are trying to be gracious and conceal their whereabouts.

Of those 12 people, 28% of them have an unfavorable complication in the genetics of their CLL called Unmutated Heavy Chain Variable Region Gene (IgVH). That means 72% of them do not. We must rid ourselves of the 72%, or 9, which leaves us with 4 people sub rosa sort of kinda like the ipso facto ad hoc per se meme me.

Of those 4, we must now remove the 50% of CLL patients with Unmutated IgVH who died within five years of their initial CLL diagnosis. That leaves a grand total of 2 people. One of those two people is me. I have not met the other one, yet, but I hope to meet him, soon. Maybe the next time I go to Hemosapien’s office I will.

Now we abandon percentages altogether and go for hard numbers. One of the two people owns more than one banjo. It is almost a scientific certainty that the other one does not. It’s likely as certain as anything can be certain. I am not the banjoless one or the owner of a single banjo. Lets remove the less than two banjo owning Mississippian who drives a Ford, Dodge, or other than Chevrolet, likes Hip-Hop, does not play any sort of music, is a non-conservative, female, African-American/Hispanic/Asian, cat-owning, agnostic. That person does not look like me nor think like me.

There are many ways to interpret this. Since we got down to two people, one like me and one not, we could surmise that half the folks thought and looked just like me. I was setting out to prove that most folks thought just like me, but apparently they don’t. This is very disappointing, but it’s the way science works.

Apparently, there is only one person who looks, thinks, talks, and acts just like me, and I’m pretty sure I know just where to find him if I needed to. He’s not very far away, though sometimes he is too busy to give me any of his time.

The one thing that worries me the most is that the other man, the other remaining man . . . well, he has no banjo of his own. As soon as I can find him, I’m going to give him one of mine if he will have it. If he will, then the entire demographic will change and an entire new study will be required. Maybe I can get a grant, a big fat government research grant. “Alehouse Tribal Permutations and the Banjo in Political Science” I’ll call it. I’ll need a dozen research assistants, three of whom will be designated drivers. We’ll get a big motor home. We’ll tour alehouses all over the country, particularly those that feature banjo music. We’ll include anecdotal evidence of all kinds, while making up our statistics as we go. It’ll likely take years to do the research.

So much for the science of alehouse groupthink. It seldom gets any farther than the alehouse. One would do well to visit another in another part of town or in another town altogether. One may find that there are fewer of him than he thought.

Everyone is not like me. Most are not like me. I’d far rather have them become like me than for me to become like them, but neither is very likely. It’s just good to hear their voice and know that is it not the same as mine. I may not like it, but I am not required to like it. I am not even required to listen to it, but it won’t hurt me to just be still while the other voice is struggling to be heard.

By the way, I do know another person with CLL that has multiple banjos. He has the kinder, gentler Mutated IgVH Gene. We both wish each other well, he and I. I promise I am going to see him soon.

There are no facts here worthy of repeating. This entire thing is a prevarication containing no veracity whatsoever. No matter how hard I try to tell folks this, there will be some who will think I am being coy and cagey. You have been warned. Where fact and fiction meet, I’ll take whichever one seems most convenient to me and never give it a second thought. It is up to you to have some judgment. And you most likely do, since if you are reading this, you are likely in the very small percentage that actually read a good book in the past year

If you did, then you are just like me.

CORRECTION: 1/7/14 6:30am Usually there is no need to correct drivel such as this, however, this correction must be made: The website I consulted estimated that there are 117,000 patients living with CLL in the USA at this time. That is not 3/10 of 1% of the population (.003), rather it is 0.00037%. The rest of the numbers don’t matter, but that one does. Each year there are about 15,000 new cases.

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