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Americans see gloom, doom in 2007
December 31, 2006 8:42 AM   Subscribe

Poll: Americans see gloom, doom in 2007. Another terrorist attack, a warmer planet, death and destruction from a natural disaster are predicted by most Americans. 35 percent predict the military draft will be reinstated and one in four, 25 percent, anticipates the second coming of Jesus Christ.
posted by stbalbach (67 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
I predict more polls.
posted by srboisvert at 8:45 AM on December 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


Whoa! One in four Americans is retarded?
posted by jonson at 8:48 AM on December 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


I predict several "close calls" as well as a couple dozen new outrages/disasters/fears heaped on the pile in the comming year.
posted by Balisong at 8:48 AM on December 31, 2006


Actually, the second coming of Jesus would great right about now.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:49 AM on December 31, 2006


We'd lynch Him.
posted by Balisong at 8:50 AM on December 31, 2006


Came, went, nobody noticed.
posted by aletheia at 8:51 AM on December 31, 2006


Jesus is coming back, and he's going to be pissed!
posted by anthill at 8:51 AM on December 31, 2006


I predict the rich will get richer and the poor willl get poorer, and affordable plasma screen TVs will soothe any ideas of revolt among the masses.
posted by disgruntled at 8:56 AM on December 31, 2006


2007 will be a great year. chill.
posted by phaedon at 8:56 AM on December 31, 2006


Americans who are willing to answer telephone polls see gloom, doom in 2007.
posted by furtive at 8:58 AM on December 31, 2006 [2 favorites]


More bread and circuses please!
posted by knapah at 8:58 AM on December 31, 2006


Optimism reigns in 2007
posted by Balisong at 9:05 AM on December 31, 2006


Same poll, different spin: Most Americans are optimistic about 2007:

Seventy-two percent of Americans feel good about what 2007 will bring for the country, and 89 percent are optimistic about the new year for themselves and their families, according to the poll.

Gloom, doom in 2007? Uh, ok. Your mission, stbalbach, is to find a link to the full poll instead of different newspaper editors' versions. Thanks in advance. :)
posted by mediareport at 9:06 AM on December 31, 2006


*shakes fist, curses Balisong's children to the seventh generation*
posted by mediareport at 9:08 AM on December 31, 2006


Whoa! One in four Americans is retarded?
posted by jonson


No. One in four Americans is desperately and willfully stupid. Retards can't help it.
posted by SinisterPurpose at 9:09 AM on December 31, 2006 [2 favorites]


furtive makes a good point. Many Americans no longer have access to land-line telephones in their houses, and such people are completely ignored by these kind of telephone demographers.

I'm furthermore willing to conjecture that the younger, more educated community is less likely to own a land-line phone, and that the people who believe in nonsensical fairy tales are less likely to adapt to new technologies, or at least supplant old ones.
posted by baphomet at 9:11 AM on December 31, 2006


I wonder if Associated Press Writers Nancy Benac and Darlene Superville have ever met. Or if some AP supervisor said "Here, Nancy, you write the optimistic version and Darlene, you write the pessimistic version. Then we'll send them both out and let the papers pick which one to run based on their own biases." Modern professional journalism.
posted by wendell at 9:16 AM on December 31, 2006


64% of statistics are made up on the spot.

But assuming these aren't, can any math whiz mefite provide us an equation with which to remove the contributions of the 25% awaiting the rapture? Polling unreasonable people skews the results, I'd figure.
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:21 AM on December 31, 2006


It's always the apocalypse and Christ is always about to arrive, forever and ever, world without end.
posted by Artw at 9:28 AM on December 31, 2006


"Americans are known world-wide for their friendliness, optimism, and 'can-do' attitude."

OK, except maybe the optimism part.
posted by kozad at 9:33 AM on December 31, 2006


But if 25% of the population is made up of unreasonable people, we need to know that! We need a good measure of how many Americans are going to be disappointed when they survive the next year, in order to determine how much champagne to make for next New Years Eve.

It's like the religion poll in which 10% MORE people believed Jesus was literally the Son of God than believed in the Virgin Birth. WHAT DO THOSE PEOPLE THINK HAPPENED 9 MONTHS BEFORE? Come to think of it, I don't want to know...
posted by wendell at 9:34 AM on December 31, 2006


It's always the apocalypse and Christ is always about to arrive, forever and ever, world without end.

And so I'll fill up my SUV and leave all the lights and appliances in my house on all day, and vote for the same tired warmongers once again, because i just know Jesus is right around the corner.
posted by baphomet at 9:35 AM on December 31, 2006


I predict the IMG tag won't make a comeback.
posted by b1tr0t at 9:37 AM on December 31, 2006


Jesus is right around the corner.

Actually, he is working that corner and is here illegally.
posted by srboisvert at 9:40 AM on December 31, 2006


Kozad - howabout: Americans are known world-wide for their friendliness, optimism, 'can-do' attitude, and utter manic depressive tendancies?

Honetsly, most of the time it;s all "rah rah rah, we are great", but one Vietnam-level military faliure and it's like worlds ending. What are you, Russian?
posted by Artw at 9:44 AM on December 31, 2006


wendell: "WHAT DO THOSE PEOPLE THINK HAPPENED 9 MONTHS BEFORE?"
They don't think. It's as simple as that. They have no desire to think, they have learned to ignore their own curiosity, they just accept someone else's thought as a substitute for their own. In my opinion that's the saddest thing a human being can become; yet I still hope for skepticism and independent thought to make a comeback. Maybe 2007.
posted by PontifexPrimus at 9:45 AM on December 31, 2006


The problem, baphomet, is that the EXACT SAME line of reasoning you just posted was used to explain why, contrary to the polls, Kerry was going to cream Bush in 2004.

Do I need to say more?

And in unrelated news, when I saw that statistic about J.C., my first thought was to wonder if it was up or down from previous years. Because I'm pretty sure 10%-20% of the population, at any given time, is convinced the world is going to end RIGHT NOW AAAAHHHHHHHHH.
posted by InnocentBystander at 9:54 AM on December 31, 2006


And so I'll fill up my SUV and leave all the lights and appliances in my house on all day, and vote for the same tired warmongers once again, because i just know Jesus is right around the corner.

Hey, the faster you fuck up the world, the faster he'll get here. FACT.
posted by duffell at 9:54 AM on December 31, 2006 [1 favorite]




The margin of sampling error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Could somebody please tell me the point of having a margin of error for polls involving speculation? If people guessed differently, would it have a bearing on the outcome?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:00 AM on December 31, 2006


Ironically, Iraqis are pretty optimistic about the next year.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:18 AM on December 31, 2006


I am pretty sure Jesus will be around in 2007. He runs a great little taqueria, and I hope he keeps making those awesome chorizo tacos.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 10:26 AM on December 31, 2006


Could somebody please tell me the point of having a margin of error for polls involving speculation? If people guessed differently, would it have a bearing on the outcome?

It means there's a 95% chance (or 90%, or whatever number they've chosen) that if you asked the entire population, you'd get a number within 3 points of the poll results. It's about how representative the sample was of the whole population's opinion, not of reality.
posted by cillit bang at 10:33 AM on December 31, 2006


Ironically, Iraqis are pretty optimistic about the next year.

Because you can't fall off the floor.
posted by srboisvert at 10:39 AM on December 31, 2006


35 percent predict the military draft

that's funny.
posted by tomplus2 at 10:43 AM on December 31, 2006


can any math whiz mefite provide us an equation with which to remove the contributions of the 25% awaiting the rapture?

-and-

Could somebody please tell me the point of having a margin of error for polls involving speculation?


If you're using the poll as a forecast model (iow, to predict the future,) then knowing 25% of your respondents are batshitinsane will increase the uncertainty of the results, unless it turns out that being batshitinsane is sufficiently tied to responding in a certain way and you can make allowances for that. Real statisticians* here might be able to supply the math.

The point of supplying a margin of error is to indicate how closely you'd expect the results of the poll - which only questions a few people - to differ from the answer you'd get if you questioned everybody in America. If the point of the poll is to predict the future, and if it is the case that a poll of everybody would lead to a good prediction, then the margin of error would tell you how good the poll's prediction can be expected to be, roughly.

Of course, the point of this poll is really to serve as a national mood barometer, so the margin of error really tells you, roughly, how closely the pollsters expect their results to reflect the feelings of the nation as a whole.

*My sister-in-law is a statistician, so take this response like the one you might get to your question about brake jobs from your friend whose buddy owns a garage; in other words, it's almost certainly superficial and very likely substantially incorrect. I've been led to believe that's practically as good as the truth, at least in Metafilter.
posted by Opposite George at 10:44 AM on December 31, 2006


I never believe these kind of egregiously large percentages. I look around where I work, and there's at least 100 staff there. I'm supposed to believe there's a full 25 people in that mix that expect Jesus Christ to be back in 2007? I'm sure there's at least one or two people who believe that, but 25?
posted by WCityMike at 10:54 AM on December 31, 2006


I have yet to meet Jesus and I live in Texas ffs!
posted by Talanvor at 10:56 AM on December 31, 2006


Your mission, stbalbach, is to find a link to the full poll

I looked but I don't think it exists online. So I posted a direct link to AP's website. The "Optimistic 2007" story Balisong (and mediareport) found is an interesting look behind the curtain of how the press works.
posted by stbalbach at 10:57 AM on December 31, 2006


InnocentBystander:

You make an excellent point, I concede this. But you do have to admit that surveys like this suffer from a sampling bias that did not exist, say, 20 years ago, or even 10 (to a degree).
posted by baphomet at 11:00 AM on December 31, 2006


I met Jesus and Buddha coming down the road.

Being highly confused, I killed both of them. Sorry.
posted by loquacious at 11:21 AM on December 31, 2006


While we're on the subject of polls, Miltary Times polled the troops. Here are their responses. (Via)
posted by John of Michigan at 11:26 AM on December 31, 2006



-25 percent anticipate the second coming of Jesus Christ.

-19 percent think scientists are likely to find evidence of extraterrestrial life.


Considering the probable lack of overlap between these two, seems like we're at least 44% batshitinsane around here, one way or the other.

But wait - if Jesus is an undocumented alien, then...
posted by ab3 at 11:29 AM on December 31, 2006


WCityMike - but you live in Chicago. Move to somewhere in the bible belt and there might be 80 people out of 100 that believe expect baby Jesus to show up next year.
posted by porpoise at 11:32 AM on December 31, 2006


you do have to admit that surveys like this suffer from a sampling bias that did not exist, say, 20 years ago, or even 10 (to a degree).

Almost every poll you see coming from a responsible, professional polling organization is adjusted for the myriad of inevitable biases resulting from their sampling methodology. It's possible the pollers' model is flawed, but it's probably unfair to suppose that folks in the business aren't at least aware of this very major shift in land-line ownership and trying to adjust for it. Heck, the Literary Digest debacle is one topic you're almost guaranteed to run into in any intro to stats and sampling course.
posted by Opposite George at 11:35 AM on December 31, 2006


Whoa! One in four Americans is retarded?

Wow, I was going to look it up, but it seems like everyone working on the Wikipedia Article for I.Q. is a bell-curve reading idiot.
posted by delmoi at 11:36 AM on December 31, 2006


Considering the probable lack of overlap between these two, seems like we're at least 44% batshitinsane around here, one way or the other.

Actually a lot of scientists are looking for evidence of microbes on mars, that sort of thing. I doubt it would happen in 2007, but it wouldn't be that surprising.
posted by delmoi at 11:38 AM on December 31, 2006


When they called me, I responded "yes" to the Second Coming question. With all the people who'll get zapped into the sky, I had to answer "yes" to the act of mass terrorism question, too. I bet a lot of respondents found themselves in that situation. That might have skewed the results somewhat.
posted by ibmcginty at 11:42 AM on December 31, 2006


I just got laid off - out of the blue - so I can only hope 2007 will be a good year for me.
posted by rougy at 12:18 PM on December 31, 2006


I just got laid off - out of the blue - so I can only hope 2007 will be a good year for me.

Hope jessamyn is gentle with your exit interview. Can I have your karma points?
Kidding aside: hang in there, rougy.
posted by hal9k at 12:43 PM on December 31, 2006


Coincidentally I'm watching a documentary about The antichrist right now on the History Channel - yes they've fallen a long way. Not long ago I saw an awful documenatry about space aliens causing the events of the bible, which is probably their nadir.

Anywya, I'm guessing this was filmed over a year ago as Ted Haggart features quite prominently, banging on about the end times...
posted by Artw at 12:52 PM on December 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


"We demand rigidly defined areas of uncertainty and doubt!"
posted by StrangeTikiGod at 1:36 PM on December 31, 2006


Somebody needs to start a Reverse Mortgages for Evangelicals loan program. Folks who know that the rapture is coming should be happy to get, say, $0.50 on the dollar for their homes, with the understanding that they can continue to live there until the rapture, or January 1, 2008, whichever comes first.

I think that's a pretty great deal.
posted by waldo at 2:02 PM on December 31, 2006 [2 favorites]


Rapture? Parousia? Who cares? What will really highlight 2007 is a massive flameout in MetaTalk that will run to 1500 snarks until cortex and itsrainingflorencehenderson make droll comments that make everyone laugh. Isn't that what we all joined MetaFilter for?
posted by Cranberry at 2:16 PM on December 31, 2006


A draft? No way. Jesus and Mohammed will fly into Jerusalem on a jewish unicorn before that happens.
posted by Liquidwolf at 2:46 PM on December 31, 2006


EatTheWeak:
64% of statistics are made up on the spot.

That's a lie, a damn lie!

Everyone knows the correct number is 57%.
posted by oncogenesis at 3:30 PM on December 31, 2006


Given the supposed 60 percent of Americans (or whatever) who don't believe in evolution, this all sounds about right. Too bad the rest of us have to face extinction too.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:39 PM on December 31, 2006


1 in 4 Americans are fucking cop-outs and do not deserve the very existence bestowed upon them by wild fortune and chaos.
posted by tehloki at 3:41 PM on December 31, 2006


Artw wrote:
as Ted Haggart features quite prominently, banging on about the end times...
Somethin' about bangin in the end, just made me guffaw.
posted by notsnot at 4:12 PM on December 31, 2006


Him too, apparently.

It was really rather odd seeing him in his natural pre-outing habitat. Smug, secure, batshitinsane...
posted by Artw at 4:17 PM on December 31, 2006


wendell : It's not unusual to see two versions of a report, upbeat and downbeat, come out on the AAP feed one after another. Media outlets just choose the one they want to suit their prevailing mood.
posted by Pinback at 5:28 PM on December 31, 2006


25 percent, anticipates the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Watch therefore, for you don't know the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.

Matthew 25:13


Arrogant bastards...
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:29 PM on December 31, 2006


The Secret Life of Gravy Super Scientific Poll of 2007

82%: President Bush will stir up some shit

72%: Condi Rice will spout some supportive shit

60%: Oprah Winfry will give away some shit

42%: Contaminated fresh vegetables will cause some bad shit

13%: Britney Spears will take a public shit

4%: God will reveal that he actually doesn't give a shit

2%: Extraterrestrial aliens will come to earth and snork up all the monkey shit they can find, resulting in a world wide monkey shit shortage crisis.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:07 AM on January 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think most of america's problems are brought own by american. We could all use a course in anger management
posted by angryinla at 12:17 PM on January 1, 2007


the second coming of jesus actually sounds pretty dope. imagine...millions of people that get on your nerves, suddenly vanishing. it'd be paradise on earth!
posted by mcsweetie at 12:32 PM on January 1, 2007


Can we please stop joking about the fucking rapture like it doesn't mean anything? There is a large group of people who believe that they will be carried off to paradise just in the nick of time by their imaginary friend while the world is destroyed and the rest of us will burn in fire and pain for all eternity. That is a big fucking problem.
posted by tehloki at 5:37 PM on January 1, 2007


Can we please stop joking about the fucking rapture like it doesn't mean anything? There is a large group of people who believe that they will be carried off to paradise just in the nick of time by their imaginary friend while the world is destroyed and the rest of us will burn in fire and pain for all eternity. That is a big fucking problem.

That's why it's so damn hilarious. In a tragi-comic way to be sure, but sometimes you just have to laugh and shake your head.
posted by modernnomad at 5:19 PM on January 2, 2007


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