Pi Attitude Zone: Conformity & Stability

... And A Statistical New Year ...

Pi welcomes in the New Year with a look at five statistical insights that seem to say something about the consumer, and go some way to explaining prevailing human attitudes. 

These fascinating numbers are selected from a list compiled by Robert Samuelson, a nationally syndicated American columnist writing in the Washington Post.  All point up the strangeness of the world we are living in.

  1. In 2013, a year which for many was characterized by lingering socio-economic devastation in the aftermath of the Great Recession, America’s stock market rose in value by 30%, putting another notional $5 trillion dollars in stockholders’ pockets.  The year produced market all-time highs more than 50 times, the biggest cluster of market peaks since the year when Windows 95 was launched and Forrest Gump won the Oscar for best picture (1995).  This renewed market exuberance served to widen still further the prosperity gap between America’s haves and have-nots, and further exacerbated the uneven distribution of wealth.  Pi says:  Mind The Gap.
  2. On each day of 2013, over three thousand American teenagers smoked their first-ever cigarette.  Pi says: human habits, and people’s propensity to adopt them,  die harder than you’d think.
  3. Sales of diet and low-carb sodas, having climbed steadily for twenty years, actually declined in 2013 by almost 7%.  Pi says:  do we humans really know what’s good for us?
  4. The Voyager 1 space probe was launched in 1977, (the year that Saturday Night Fever stormed the charts, Rocky won the Oscar, and Elvis left the building).  By end-2013, Voyager was 12 billion miles from Earth and was still sending and receiving signals.  In an interesting aside, the bottom-of-the-range iPhone turns out to have 240,000 times more computing memory than Voyager’s entire systems.  Pi says:  have we maybe started over-engineering things just a tad?
  5. The percentage of Americans with internet access who use social media topped 72%.  The college-educated tweeters and facebookers slightly outnumbered the high-school dropouts, but by a pretty negligible margin, which is interesting in itself.  Following the trend line, Pi estimates that humanity will finally drown in mindless drivel a week or two before the end of 2014.

Pi wishes all its readers an interesting and thought-provoking new year.

Zone: Conformity & Stability Country: USA / North America Product – Other