Sunday, May 24, 2009

Of polls, presidents, and kangaroos

An informal readers poll in the Sydney Morning Herald gave some interesting results for kangaroos and presidents.

The sample size given was 1256. Of those, just over three quarters felt that kangaroos "should be killed to provide meat for human consumption".

Of the quarter that didn't agree, doubtless some of them thought kangaroos were just too cute and furry. But the environmental debate is all but won by the carnivores.

Assuming there is a certain amount of inevitability about meat consumption, it would make more sense to harvest kangaroo than cow. They're lean, and built for the Australian environment - and so have far less effect on the Australian environment - and the global one, for that matter. Most overseas-originating arguments against it seem somewhat specious*.

And how do you think President Obama's going? About one in seven thought he was brilliant - somewhat less than I might have expected. Most just thing he's good. Some don't know, some go for the average... but less than two percent think he's performing poorly. That's surprisingly low, especially as one could expect there to be a reasonable number of partisans from the right in that sampling. And Obama has already been faced with a high number of no-win situations in a short amount of time.

I still contend that he imparts wisdom more consistently than any other players around him, but I would think that the mass judgment counts wins more than anything else. And it's hard to say that what clear wins he has had.

With any luck, the general public is collectively trying to use a bit of wisdom. Now that would be about as much of an ask as calling for a wise leader...

*Update 29-May-09: There have been some instances of bad industrial ethics/practices in the kangaroo industry (including brutality and lack of hygiene), but these are certainly not intrinsic to the issue of kangaroos vs cows.

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