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Saturday, September 04, 2004

Causation vs. Correlation in Sri Lanka

I always figured that the medicine man was the one guy who knew how to predict a lunar or solar eclipse (or some other such natural event), and used this information to make his tribe believe that he could foresee the future and/or control the stars. In return for keeping this incredible power under lock and key, or at least only pulling it out for special occasions, the tribe would give the medicine man all he could eat, all he could wear, and perhaps a bride or two.

Evidently, in Sri Lanka they still fall for this. Water blessed by Buddhist monks was sprayed out of a helicopter over a drought striken area. Next thing you know, it's raining to build an ark. Do the Buddhist monks have the internet and weather.com?

We in the United States feel that we have come much further than the medicine man of olde. We don't believe that an individual can control the moon and stars, but we do believe that one man in the White House (whether Democrat or Republican) can make a $12,000,000,000,000 economy become a $12,480,000,000,000 economy (that's a four percent growth rate). So maybe we aren't so sophisticated after all.

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