27/73: Poll Attacks, part 4

Okay. You have been evasive, curt, and devious. Time to move on.

The third step is more aggressive, and not suited to everyone. It requires firm purpose and — it has to be said — a flair for colorful language. When the pollster says, “This will take only a moment of your time,” you reply, “What the bleep makes you think I have any blippering time to waste with blanks like you?” That is pretty well guaranteed to end the conversation.

This, however, is but a temporary fix. For a month or two, with many callers refusing to cooperate, the pollsters will be off their stride. But they have in their keep hundreds of mathematically clever persons, who will develop schemes to out-maneuver the uncooperative. New selection patterns, new polling techniques, and we’re back to the starting line again.


Until the second-tier obstructors begin. Those in the second tier, those willing to invest more time than it takes to say “No,” are the next ploy. They answer all questions, but with mental reservation. Which is to say, they lie. Deliberately, blatantly, they lie. Now the pollsters and mathsters have yet another hurdle. How can they tickle out of this morass of lies and refusals anything like an idea?

If you doubt their ability to do so, you know not whom you confront. They are devious, powerful, persistent. Techniques will be devised, refusals interpreted, lies uncovered.

It is next to the third tier we turn. These are the people who blend truth with lies, further confusing the mathsters and their masters. But even this confusion may not endure.

On to the final step, where the challenge is met.

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