Nonce post: Double-checking corrections

I’ll hold off on the post I was going to write, in the (probably forlorn) hope that some reader will actually take a crack at the previous post. I can almost hear the silence…

Meanwhile: Started reading the February 2010 Fast Company (in print, and I’m usually about a month behind on magazines). Here’s the first item in the “Fast Fixes” spot at the end of the Letters column–FC’s version of, you know, corrections:

In the October 2009 issue, the China graphic in the Now section misstated the country’s 2009 GDP. The correct number is $4.3 billion.

I vaguely recall the October graphic–I think it showed China’s GDP as $43 trillion, which is clearly improbable.

$4.3 billion, on the other hand, isn’t improbable–it’s flat-out impossible. I’d guess it’s off by three orders of magnitude: That the right number is $4.3 trillion.

Actually, turns out that’s wrong also–according to China’s own numbers, 2009 GDP was $4.9 trillion. (They know their 2009 GDP by February 2010? Really?) But an error of 20% is a whole lot better than being off by a factor of 1,000!

Heck, FC doesn’t run that many corrections; you’d think they’d have someone double-check them…

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