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Messages - Stormthorn

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Adult Discussion / The Care and Handling of Statistics
« on: January 01, 2014, 11:03:41 PM »
Statistical data. Often cited in arguments. Often ignored. Comes up a lot in places on forums where people argue. But ignoring it is the wrong thing to do. Statistical information cannot be discarded as false simply because one disagrees with it or has yet to see personal action that backs it up. I, personally, have never seen China with my own eyes. Yet it would be monstrously foolish of me to pretend it doesn’t exist given the evidence to the contrary.

Instead, when considering things like statistics in matter of health or politics, one actually needs to peer closer. Up close, they can be examined for the tell-tale signs of an attempt to fool or manipulate. Running away from a statistic or denying it without evidence that it is bad simply makes one look foolish or willfully ignorant. For if believing a falsehood is bad, certainly the only thing worse is refusing to acknowledge the truth. And so I have a small guide here to help you all, and an excerpt from a little-known version of "The Emperor's New Clothes"

“So off went the Emperor in procession under his splendid canopy. Everyone in the streets and the windows said, "Oh, how fine are the Emperor's new clothes! Don't they fit him to perfection? And see his long train!" Nobody would confess that he couldn't see anything, for that would prove him either unfit for his position, or a fool. No costume the Emperor had worn before was ever such a complete success.
"But he hasn't got anything on," a little child said.
"Did you ever hear such innocent prattle?" said its father. And one person whispered to another what the child had said, "He hasn't anything on. A child says he hasn't anything on."
"But he hasn't got anything on!" the whole town cried out at last.

To which the Emperor thought: “Mass media has misinformed these people. Good thing my personal panel of experts all agreed that I was indeed wearing clothes. Now THOSE are professionals who have data you can trust.”

Things to be on the lookout for:

Who collected/made the statistic – Some groups have agendas and may attempt to maliciously alter data or only report what is favorable.

Who you got the statistic from – Even less trustworthy are agenda-toting groups and news agencies who will try to cherry-pick statistical information. Generally this problem is unavoidable unless you get information directly from a site that compiles and reports data or also look up what the counter-argument side is reporting on.

The sample – Was a large sample taken? Was it representative or as close as possible? Self-report bias, the tendency of only interested or otherwise involved people to get involved and return surveys can be a problem here. If I mailed a million people a questionnaire about satisfaction with Obama most people will not respond. Of those that do, most will be that who hate or love him with apathetic people less likely to bother. If I sent 95% of my surveys out to Lubbock, Texas and the remaining 5% to other cities I would of course be skewing my results towards conservative responses because of the population trends in that city.

The questions – How a question is worded effects how people will respond. “Do you drink coca-cola” and “Is coca-cola the best soda ever” are VERY different questions and a lot less people would respond with an affirmative to the latter. If I was reporting my results as “the % of people who like coca-cola” and I asked the second question, I would have a lower number than if I asked the first.

Putting some of the above together I could end up reporting almost anything I wanted if I had an agenda. Let us use that survey that was mostly taken in Lubbock. Let us pretend that the only options are “Obama is better than Jesus” and “Obama is worse than Hitler.” I end up reporting:
“According to a recent nationwide survey 98% of people believe that Obama is worse than Hitler.”
I leave out that I forced any negative opinion to be stated that way, that I overwhelmingly only asked conservatives, and that a grand total of 500 people out of 1,000,000 responded (most were too lazy, didn’t care, or were offput by my question).

Also to consider is how the data was manipulated (here meaning how much math was done to it). A mean (average number of cats per household), direct report (# of pet cats in the US), or per-capita (cats per 1 million people) cant be manipulated if the data itself was collected properly. A report of “significance” is a lot more dicey. P<.05 and P<.005 look a lot alike, but are an order of magnitude apart. And a P value of .06 usually isn’t significant in a scientific manner but it means the data was 94% likely, we think, to be a result of the situation and not happenstance. If the data was about whether or not eating lead solder leads to brain damage and the results say “Yes” but only to p=.06 you may want to consider that you essentially have only a 6% chance of the report being wrong and a 94% of it being right and ending up with brain damage before you dig into that solder-dog (this is a silly and simple example, but you get the idea). Conversely, significance doesn’t mean the results MATTER at all. Some statistical procedures are flawed and will almost always be significant if you have a large enough sample as long as any difference exists. If the mean number of socks men lose in their lifetime is 68.223 and for women its 68.224 and I choose to round to three places then if I get a low enough P-value I can tell you that “Women lose significantly more socks than men” when the differences is actually trivial. If I ALSO had an agenda, I might word it as “Women are significantly more likely to misplace household items” or something like that.

Lastly, be wary of correlation data. Just because I can prove that a significant correlation exists between ice-cream sales and murder doesn’t mean ice cream CAUSES murder. In this case, I would be failing to account for the effects of the summer heat on my statistical model. I would also be claiming causation, which is a very sticky territory indeed.

Fun House / Re: Rate The sig above you.
« on: October 20, 2013, 10:02:25 PM »
6/10. I wont say the art is great...but you get a 7/10 just for having it. Sadly, a point was lost due to the use of a hashtag.

Adult Discussion / Re: Saw this and wanted to share it 2.0
« on: October 20, 2013, 09:31:56 PM »
i didnt realize it was my news site, i wonder where my paycheck is.

so now all peopel who read the blaze are liek that? way to stero type.

i noticed you get pissed off easly, expcialy when it comes to me. that says somethign about you.

theres a lot of liberals that are antisematic. not all.

you act liek only isreal ever does wrong in the world, a typical leftist veiw point that lieks to ignore the horrors the palanstines comit against isreal civilions. if the isreals didnt do what they do they would have been wiped off the face of the earth by now. but your idea is that tehy shoudl bend over and take what ever there suriding enemys have for them. you hate isreal so much that you would see them all die? that is terrable.

so becuse one isreal spary paitns something all of a sudeen they should all die? so when i see blakcs or mexicans spray paint somethign they shoudl all die too now right? your leftist veiw is terrable.

a commen misconception from the left, hitler was a leftist, not on right.

A: You're right, i shouldnt stereotype Blaze readers.

B: Yes, I do get mad easily when it comes to you. Less so in general. More...people with political viewpoints that seem undefensible make me mad, and lack of supporting evidence make me mad. You have a counter political viewpoint to me, and usually just link one article on something. Note how for the republicans getting blamed thing, I used both left-wing and right-wing news (and a graphic) to make sure i had my bases covered? I prefer that sort of stuff when possible. So yes, you tend to make me mad*. I also dont like blatantly false attacks on people. Look what you said:
you hate isreal so much that you would see them all die?

so becuse one isreal spary paitns something all of a sudeen they should all die? so when i see blakcs or mexicans spray paint somethign they shoudl all die too now right? your leftist veiw is terrable.
I never said that. I even pointed out that I consider the right of the country to exist something very different from the crimes of the state. If you think im going to just sit around while you accuse me of wanting to commit genocide with no basis whatsoever, you have another thing coming.
C: I didnt say Isreal was the only one doing things wrong. I was pointing out that the state isnt innocent.

D: Ok...who told you that Hitler was leftist? What Historian says that?

*I dont dislike you, but some things cross a line. Like calling all leftists racist or trying to accuse me of being an anti-semite and supporting genocide. It goes...too far not to be bothered.

Adult Discussion / Re: Saw this and wanted to share it 2.0
« on: October 18, 2013, 02:19:32 AM »
if you ever bothered to listion to beck you would knwo he currntly hates the GoP. and has for soem times now. he expsicaly hates there leadership. and feels betrayed by them for bnending over to the left time and time again.

are you really taking a coment by a random person on a site that any one can sign up for and comment on as the defince of what the politcal ideas of said site are? you i or any oen can sign up to it to post a comment in the comment section. just liek on huffpost or any news site that always comments like what you see after a story. i've talked with daunt before in here about the sillyness of the coments section. just becuse someone posts X in the comment section should not take away form the story. and its silly i even need to exspalin this.

It was a comment made on YOUR news site of choice. I suppose it may have been part of some vast conspiracy but it sounded like a typical Blaze reader to me.
If I sound pissed, its because you pissed me off by trying to tag liberals as anti-Semitic, which is blueberrying bullavocado. Israeli soldiers, agents of a government that kidnaps, assassinates, hordes WMDs, and does nothing to curb the rampant anti-arab and anti-Palestinian racism  are a very different thing from the right of Israel to exist or the sanctity of their religion. The State of Israel and the Jewish people are different. I could hate the state policies and still not disavow the people.

If I had to guess, I bet stuff like this is more along the lines of why Israeli soldiers would get an icy welcome in our universities. The grave of an Arab Christian. It reads "Die Arabs" in Hebrew.   You were just complaining about how we pretend Muslims don't abuse Christians in the middle east. What about this?

The issues are complex and, I might remind you, the most famous anti Semites of all time, the Nazi's, were politically right leaning, not left. I note "leaning" because the political spectrum was different at the time. For instance, you didnt have to be a capitalist to be on the right (and Hitler hated capitalism) because you could be Mercantilist (and he was).

Adult Discussion / Re: Ho-mo sexuality discussion thread
« on: October 18, 2013, 02:01:17 AM »
Well, Hunt did break the law by sleeping with someone four years her junior. Now, I think if she was a guy the other parents might have been annoyed but wouldnt have called the cops on Hunt. Lesbianism probably aggravated things.

And she might not have had to take a plea but she did some stupid teenage stuff and violated her parole and got slapped with two new charges (parole violation and the one you get when you send dozens of nudie pics to your underage girlfriend). At that point the deal probably became a better option.

Adult Discussion / Re: Ho-mo sexuality discussion thread
« on: October 17, 2013, 08:38:37 PM »
Forgot to mention a couple weeks ago that Kate Hunt, the teenager charged with sexual misconduct for having sex with her underage girlfriend, took a plea deal. A few months in jail and then 2 years of house arrest.

Adult Discussion / Re: US Government Shutdown?
« on: October 17, 2013, 08:11:13 PM »
its only far rigth becuse your far left ^_^, its only center right if that. you keep on getting bombared by news organazations that you claim to be fair liek abc, yet they keep on going fruther and fruther left. making things that are really center or center right look far right.

I didnt really want to snip down your post but this needed to be responded to directly. I am a registered independent voter with left leaning ideas. Stalin was far left.
Winners and losers ^ page. The Blaze had a page detailing which winners and losers pages were best and this was one of them, so in the interest of offering a conservative-approved opinion i post this.

One strong trend is that the US tends to be blaming republicans for the shutdown. I feel sorry for moderate and responsible republicans, because they have to take the bullet for the tea party people at the core of the shutdown.
Here is a small quote that highlights the lack of republican faith and tea party involvment:
Even some core GOP groups, such as rural residents and older men, are more likely to blame Republicans for the standoff. White Americans, who held more favorable views of the GOP throughout the 2012 election year, now view Democrats more favorably.

Obama’s base, meantime, has held firm. The Democratic incumbent has also seen slight improvements in his standing among white college graduates and college-educated women.

One finding likely to exacerbate internal differences within the Republican coalition is that the strategy of tea party hardliners appears to have undermined the very goals they cited in forcing party leaders to adopt it.

The general trend of course was that America is mad at everyone, but republicans took it worst.

Adult Discussion / Re: Saw this and wanted to share it 2.0
« on: October 17, 2013, 03:35:01 AM »

terrable that there civil war has goten to this point. fighting each other over a reasion i cant ever understand (the shunies vs shisas).

of course hes getting this crap form our universatys, there leftist spawning grounds.
my favrite line is the one person calling him a racist becuse he wont ggrape paltisinie women......(looks for buttion to end world).

The religious fighting is religion goes sometimes. Look at the history of the catholics and protestants.

The anti-semetic viewpoints are just Americans being stupid. My college isnt particularly anti-semitic. I find college campuses a mixed bag. They do have a lot of great liberal people and democrats and cool stuff, but they also breed libertarians and foster an unhealthy respect for Ayn Rand.

Now...Glenn Becks history lesson glosses over a few things (like the second treaty) but is just not sure how applicable it is. My guess is he is trying to rally the republicans to keep their shutdown going because he has conservative ties, but I guess he could be refering to our dealing with Russia somehow maybe?

Also, I thought this was very funny, you posted about how liberals are apparently anti-semitic in college but the first comment under the article was this:
TheDankOct. 14, 2013 at 9:40pm Indeed, the Palestinian people appeased the invading Zionists when they first showed up and look what happened to them!
Guess anti-semitism is rampand on The Blaze as well. Maybe, just maybe...being leftist ISNT what causes people to hate jews? Food for thought.

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