Glenn Reynolds linked to a NYT article t…

Glenn Reynolds linked to a NYT article talking about flu epidemics that included this quote: “A two-week difference in response times, according to the researchers, is long enough for the number of people infected in an influenza epidemic to double three to five times.”

So, that’s the difference between doubling three times (2 to the 3rd, which is to say, 8 ) and doubling five times (2 to the 5th, 32). That’s a very broad range, but either way, it’s an order of magnitude. Wouldn’t a rephrasing like “the number of people infected increased by a factor of between 10 and 30 times” be much more accurate?

It seems like unnecessary complexity. Humans aren’t binary machines.