More Amazing Amazonian Mathematics

on December 6, 2012

Amazon announced today that “[a]pp downloads in the Appstore have grown more than 500 percent over the previous year.” ~ via Gigaom

Of course, we don’t know 500% of what, but what the hey, 500 is a big number, right? We should be duly impressed, no? As they say, it’s all geek to me.

We really need to coin a phrase for what Amazon is doing – releasing numbers without context. Not that Amazon is the first to do this, mind you. I’m sure the Romans were pulling this kind of stunt too:

“First Citizen, Julius Caesar announced today that ‘Our troop strength in Britain has grown by more than MDCCCLXXXVIII over the previous year.”

(That’s 1,888, in case you were wondering.)

Amazon can make all the pronouncements they want. But until they release real numbers, 500% or MDCCCLXXXVIII% of no information still remains…no information.