Damen Shipyards

In deep waters: Maritime vessels from Damen Shipyards, Netherlands, acquired by the previous administration for the T&T Coast Guard.

In a recent interview, the Chief of Defence Staff was asked the question: exactly how many vessels does the Coast Guard now have in operation to help protect the nation’s borders?

He would not give specifics but said, “62 per cent of our assets are working and, within the next week, this will rise to 75 per cent.”

And I wondered why such mathematical obfuscation was necessary. Couldn’t he just give the actual number of working and non-working vessels?

But, interestingly, I think the answer is hidden in the numbers he did give. “Sixty-two” is an unusual percentage; not simple like 25 or 50, or even 60 per cent.

If he had said 50 per cent, we all know it would mean “half” the vessels were working. But would it be one out of two, five out of ten, or some other number?

The percentage does not tell us that.

I knew, in this scenario, “62 per cent” could not mean 62/100 or 31/50 (we have nowhere near that many vessels).

Then it struck me. What if it wasn’t 62, but 62.5 and, in speaking, he just shortened it to “62”? That would be exactly five out of eight (or ten out of 16—which seems implausible).

If he gets one more vessel working “within the next week”, that would be six out of eight, exactly 75 per cent!

I guess a “rise from 62 to 75 per cent” is much more impressive than “one more”?

He could have saved me the time to write this letter, and my speculation, by simply saying, “five of our eight vessels are currently working; we expect another to be available by next week”.

Or something along that line, using the actual numbers.

Noel Kalicharan

via e-mail

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU

We urge everyone who, whether mindlessly or maliciously, is sharing erroneous, partial and manipulated information about the Sinopharm vaccine to consider the harm they are doing to others.

The working week began with a shock, as a result of which we must ask the Minister of Health for truthful answers.

The Prime Minister hosted a news conference on Monday last, in which he announced increased lockdowns. At that event, our trusted Chief Medical Officer, Dr Roshan Parasram, disclosed that he had drawn attention to “the worrying trend of climbing Covid-19-positive numbers since early March”. He did so after more ministerial lectures about our personal responsibility not to contribute to the further spread of the Covid-19 virus by “gathering”.

THERE are times when I feel ashamed of being Trinidadian. On such occasions, I feel almost like a traitor, having to admit that some of my countrymen are bringing shame and disgrace to our otherwise proud nation.

BASED ON an assessment by Johns Hopkins University, Trinidad and Tobago is now ranked fifth among countries in the developing world, India included, with the highest rate of Covid-19 infections.

TERRENCE Clarke was on the cusp of achieving the goal to which he had aspired for the 19 years of his life: a career in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Today we celebrate the declaration by French statesman Robert Schuman in 1950 of the proposition to create a pooling of European coal and steel production.