This study, conducted over the third weekend of July, randomly selected two adults in each state.
“We have analyzed the data countless times, and we have concluded that this study reveals that either Americans are very positive, or not at all realistic,” Dr. Claire Yung, an Associate Director of DUST explained to this Modern Philosopher. “One might say that the way you interpret the results tells those around you if you see the world as half perfect or half imperfect.”
Dr. Yung giggled after that comment, leading me to believe that it was some sort of inside statistical joke that my creative mind would never quite grasp.
The pursuit of perfection is a sore subject for me, Modern Philosophers, and the reason that I chose to write about this obscure study. When I was growing up, my Evil Step Mother was constantly pointing out my imperfections. When I’d get a 99 on a test, she would demand an explanation for why I hadn’t earned a 100. There were days when I was sure she was going to try to return me for another stepson merely because I was left handed, which could be seen by some as an imperfection.
I decided to bring this survey to another data team to see what its members made of the results. Dr. Jonathan Feivor of Minds Outside Limited Data (MOLD) told this Modern Philosopher that he didn’t think much could be made of the results simply because the sample size was too small, and the control question too vague.
“A hundred people surveyed, top two answers are on the board, am I right?” Dr. Feivor asked with a chuckle. “Are the DUST mites phoning it in? Pun intended, of course. Who does a phone survey of only one hundred people? They’ve got the budget over there, so what in the world are they spending it on if not data collection?”
What was his problem with the survey question? “Do you think perfection is attainable?” he asked as he upgraded his chuckle to laughter. “First off, it’s a stupid question. Who cares if people think perfection can be achieved? How is that going to stop hunger, end wars, or help to find a cure for cancer? How non-committal can a query be? Perfection by whom or what? Over what time period? What’s your definition of perfection? Does the government really finance such stupidity?”
I wanted to tell Dr. Feivor that it was an imperfect world, but I didn’t want to be so on the nose. I did, however, leave MOLD headquarters feeling much better about how trivial a pursuit perfection actually is.
One thing still weighed heavily on my mind, though, so I went back to the DUST lab to ask Dr. Yung a final question. I had to know in what state the lone holdout lived. Where was that respondent who kept the survey results from being perfect?
I knew it! The Evil Step Mother lives in Virgina…
Embrace your imperfections. They make you unique and prove you’re not a Machine!