There’s lots of studies. I’m in one and being studied right now, except the study I’m in is called a trial, though it’s a study just the same.
“Studies show” has become the hallmark defense of mostly indefensible opinions. There’s lots of opinions, and nearly three times as many studies. You can choose from the lot of them as you will, never giving a second glance to any study that shows something other than what you want to see. It is likely that any study revealing something I’m not particularly interested in is a fraud at worst or at least succumbs to a flawed methodology. This seems to proliferate in studies in the social and political sciences. Some studies show that some climate science studies are more akin to social science studies than hard science. Humanity is so variable, and all variables observed can be named and studied even though they are variables, not subject to rules.
Studies show that the social sciences are no longer social and never were really science other than the science of economics since entire institutions are built and funded around them. I’ve seen some of the studies done by social scientists, which ultimately wind up supporting the premises set forth prior to the study. I’ve run some studies myself, and that is what they all concluded. I’m thinking of having a couple of my studies published in those fee based peer reviewed journals.
Remember Earl Scheib? “We’ll paint any car for $99.95.” And ol’ Earl would, too. If you wanted your car painted in any one of four pastel colors in a flat wall paint finish, ol’ Earl would see that it got painted. Of course, no one wanted anything like that on their car, so they were immediately directed to the $199.95 switch list of colors only slightly less putrid than the colors on the bait list. Then, if you wanted the car washed, sanded, de-gritted, and properly masked prior to painting, then clear coated afterward, that would be an additional $1,299.95. If you wanted the interior portions also painted the same as the new exterior color, add another $399.95. Studies show that six cans of flat black Krylon with some careful application would earn you about the same results as Earl, and that would only cost about $18.00. Studies show that no one was ever happy with an Earl Scheib paint job. I did my own study and asked the two people I know who actually had Earl paint their cars. As we looked at their cars, the three of us, they two and me, decided we didn’t like the nightmarish anomaly of a paint job. The result of the study was that 100% of the people who had Earl Scheib paint their car were dissatisfied. We reported this to the Better Business Bureau, who said Earl was a paying member in good standing and their study showed a 100% satisfaction rate.
Studies show that Earl Scheib’s business model is similar to today’s pay-to-publish academic journals. “We’ll publish any academic study for $499.95” says the ad in the back of the South-Central Academic Quarterly Review. “Peer review certification is an additional $699.95.” reads the fine print. “Show us rejection letters from five recognized peer-reviewed journals and receive a 5% discount if you pay in cash,” the fine print reads further. Of course, the ink color your study can be printed in can be one of any of four delightful pastel colors. Black ink on white paper is available for an additional charge.
I’m running a study right now. If you are reading this say, “Amen.” I can probably extrapolate that of the four people reading this, my mother, my wife, my daughter, and my son…well…not my son, he ain’t gonna read it….so make that three people….and all three likely said amen, if not out loud, then to themselves, which means 100% of the people who have ever said “Amen” read this blog. That makes for some pretty significant numbers.
I saw a study that said 795,000 books are published in the USA each year, with this year expected to yield a record number, nearly all published by unheard of presses, many of them as new as the record labels everyone owns. Studies show that that number is far less than the number of publicly performing bands in the country, since studies show that there are sum total of 300,000,000 bands, solo performers, or DJs all struggling to land the 150 paying gigs open this Friday night, the 1,000 non-paying gigs that include supper, the 200,000,000 gigs that offer free exposure if you will pay to play, the two gigs that offer you the opportunity to be on the same bill as someone actually famous and getting paid, and everyone but everyone is clamoring for the single last remaining gig that offers free draft beer. Studies show that nearly all of the latter venues are decorated in one of four beautiful pastel colors and favor bands wearing matching polyester leisure suits. Studies show that bands wearing pastel blue leisure suits playing against backgrounds of pastel blue walls have equally camouflaged music. Earl Scheib can paint the venue and the band. I’m sure Earl would study it if you asked him, and likely determine that each band member could be painted for $99.95. I’d say that’s a bargain.
I’ve been encouraged to write a book, which would result in 795,001 books this year.
“About what?” I ask those who encourage me.
“Whatever you want,” they say.
“My attention span is too short to write a book. I can only write essays and usually tire of them before I get finished,” I reply.
“Publish your essays,” they say.
“I already have,” I reply.
“No, that’s your blog. Blogger’s writings get lost in the millions of other bloggers writing about politics, recipes, and crocheting,” someone chimes in.
“And my book won’t get lost among the other 795,000 books published this year?” I ask.
No one said anything for a long time. Studies show that the quieter people are, the more they actually have to say that is worthwhile. I waited for the worthwhileness. It never came. If they had something worthwhile, they weren’t saying. It’s just as well.
Studies show that in an election year, people lose all sense and sensibility, particularly, say the studies, in an election cycle where no one is really voting for anyone, just against someone else. Studies show that in spite of not liking this, the people continuously nominate candidates they have no enthusiasm for, thus wind up voting against their candidate’s opponent rather than for their candidate. While the results may be the same, the studies show that people would rather have a candidate they can rally behind because of their candidate’s own merits. The studies do not indicate why people nominate slackers, dullards, and those prone to continual prevarication. Perhaps that should be studied.
I’m not so sure about all that in reflection. My own study reveals that voting for the lesser of two evils among generally disliked and untrustworthy candidates is a good thing, since a politician that has no mandate can’t really do anything, and doing nothing is at least doing no harm, which would be all right with Hippocrates, who made physicians first and foremost swear to abide by that premise.
Studies show that modern medicine is a miraculous bewilderment of dissatisfied doctors, befuddled patients, predatory insurers, and harried hospitals. Studies also show that the only folks happy with things as they are are the bureaucrats that administer the exceedingly complex regulations, which, as an employer I find are confusing, expensive, unsearchable, and as dynamic as the wind direction in a passing tornado. Eventually it will be too expensive to have any employees at all. Businesses will pay to stay in business much like the 300,000,000 leisure-suited bands are all jostling in line to pay to play their music in pastel colored venues that lack free beer.
Studies have shown that pastel blue polyester leisure suits cause intense nausea, vertigo, and depression to those who see them. The same study indicates that the wearers of such costumes are unaware of the effect they have on others.
Earl Scheib likely never ran his commercials past a focus group, like some political candidates do, testing every word to prepare a script to stick to even as circumstances render the script irrelevant. If Earl had, he might have learned that no one likes pastel colors on cars. He should have done a study. He could have had it published in a peer-reviewed journal. He could have even written a book about it.
Now that you’ve read this drivel, you know why I’ll never write a book. I’m tired of it already, having said nothing of value, offered no insight, nor even entertained.
Perhaps I should put on my best leisure suit before writing the next one. Studies have shown it can’t hurt.
©2016 Mississippi Chris Sharp