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Polls, pols and reality

May 21, 2008

Re "Polling's fuzzy math," Opinion, May 14

Crispin Sartwell's philosophical musings about polls and pols hit the mark on issues far more important than the current election. Surely Sartwell knows well that such flimflammery has long been the stuff of spin. But Sartwell stumbles over, and ironically fails to recognize, that real fuzzy math (as conceived, and playfully named, by Lotfi Zadeh in 1965) is the solution to sampling reality more accurately.

Sartwell, and the rest of us, would be well-advised to recognize that reality, in all its dimensions, is fuzzy, and consists of gradations. Not only politics but our future may well depend on our perception of reality -- and a means of continuously predicting its trends rather than relying on "hard" numbers. Wayne Tyson

San Diego

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