Re: More doom and gloom

From: John W Burgeson <>
Date: Fri Aug 13 2004 - 10:32:04 EDT

>>But this missing barrels thing has been around for years and years. It
isn't something new. It is clear that either we are producing less than
we say or are consuming more. And the bias is always in the same
direction. That argues against it being random error.>>

I did not call it "random" error -- just error.

In the PC market Research world, we had a similar situation which lasted
from at least 1981 to 1994 (when I left the game).

The internal IBM groups and the external gurus (such as IDC) reported a
stream of PC sales and removals, year by year. Consistency with past
reports seemed always to take precedence over accuracy. After about 8
years of this the numbers were considerably off. In my own group I could
show this by simply taking IBM shipments and demonstrating that they were
inconsistent with industry figures. This did not make me popular with
some other IBMers! Not to mention IDC.

You are correct in observing that a systemic error exists. At 2% (in my
case it was a 30% discrepancy), that error does not seem (to me) to be

I am puzzled that you cannot answer my three questions. Surely a barrel
of oil must logically translate into SOME number of gallons of gas. I am
missing something here, and it is probably profound.

One reason I asked -- there was an ad in the NYT last week about the sale
of hybrid busses to -- I think, San Francisco. The ad concluded with the
statement that if the seven largest cities in the US would also buy a
fleet, 40 million gallons of gas a year would be saved, and that would be
a big impact. My skeptic meter told me that such an impact would not be
more than a lea bite. Was it right?


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Received on Fri Aug 13 11:12:40 2004

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