Category Archives: Uncategorized

How Not to Have a Discusssion

I can be a jerk. I get that. I don't pretend to be a nice person. Being nice isn't important to me. What is important to me is being reasonable. I may disagree with you quite violently, but I will listen to what you have to say and try to understand it befor I dismiss it as stupid. That's why you would never see me write a post with a title like:

The Dummy, Dishonest and Intolerant Left

Though an additional reason you would never see me write a post with such a title is I have a basic understanding of grammar. I'll get back to that in a second. First, I want to address how the author of the post with that title said:

By criticizing the Left in a very strong manner, I have thrown down the gauntlet. If I am wrong, those who disagree with me can blast away at my arguments. If no one can disprove or take down my arguments, I at least have a record of the Left’s dishonesty and stupidity that has not been rebutted.

Which is just stupid. Nobody on the "left" who reads a post with a title like that would ever have try ot have a discussion with its author. This would be like me saying people could challenge me when I say their mother was a hamster and their father smelt of elderberries. Nobody would. Anyone who saw me say that would just think, "That's stupid.. You're just being a dick. Why would I ever want to talk to you?"
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A New eBook, Coming Next Month

Hey guys. As you may have noticed, it's been a while since I published my last eBook. There are a variety of reasons for this which I won't go into, but I do want to discuss one reason.

You see, I had started an eBook last year and made quite a bit of progress on it before discarding it. I thought the subject matter didn't merit an eBook, thinking it was only personal grievances that made me want to write it. Today, I realized I was mistaken. I should have stuck with the eBook and published it a year ago. As such, I am happy to announce my next eBook will be finished next month.
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A Quick Reminder

My last couple posts have examined how it appears data used in two scientific papers, making up a significant portion of a PhD dissertation by Kirsti Jylha, has been tampered with. I don't want that issue to dominate the discussion though. While data tampering would obviously be a serious problem, I want to remind people this work was complete nonsense even without concerns of data tampering.
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Can You Explain This?

In my last post, I asked for help explaining correlations between Rater IDs for people who took a survey and the responses they gave to that survey. The order in which people take a survey should not affect how they respond to the survey, yet according to a data set I was examining, they do.

Today I'd like to go further and show even more inexplicable results. I don't like accusing people of fraud or tampering with data, but I can't come up with any other explanation. Perhaps someone else can help me come up with one.
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Please Help Me Find A Better Explanation

I do not like making accusations of dishonesty. I have done so plenty of times, but each time I did, I first put significant effort into trying to find an alternative explanation. Today's post is for that. I have encountered data with properties I cannot explain. I am hoping someone can find an explanation for me that isn't, "Someone fabricated data."
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Who Needs a Court System?

Readers will know I am not a fan of Donald Trump for a variety of reasons, like him constantly saying things which aren't true. That he was elected as president obviously bothers me. I've been trying not to talk about that though. The point of this site is ultimately to explore my belief the world is insane, but Trump's election is too obvious an example.

Still, I can resist only so much. It would be fun to talk about how Trump managed to issue an executive order in a more incompetent manner than has ever been seen before. It would be fun to talk about how Trump claims the cancellation of his meeting with the President of Mexico was mutual because on Twitter he said:

And the guy responded by canceling the meeting. I mean, not only is that an incredibly strained definition of "mutual," it is hard to resist talking about how Trump apparently thinks he negotiated this cancelation via Twitter. Still, I managed. I managed right up until I saw this tweet:

I had to check for myself because that seemed too funny. How could the government fail to include one of its three branches on its White House website? I don't have an answer for that, but I can confirm it is true. The judicial branch no longer has a web page on the White House website.
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Downplaying a Massacre

I've chosen to not get involved in discussions of the current Syrian civil war. Unfortuantely, I am exposed to theses discussions anyway because of the people around me. Normally, I just ignore it. However, sometimes something comes up that I cannot ignore. One examplel is this tweet I came across earlier today:

This tweet includes a screenshot from a piece written by a Nassim Taleb. I've seen his name name has come up in some discussions, but I know almost nothing about him. All I do know is his reporting shown in that screenshot:

Note 2. Recall that I am a statistician. When I took a look at the statistics of the conflicts, most appear to be fabrications inflated by Qatari-funded think tanks and their useful idiots?—?by a mechanism the Indians call “Salma told Sabrina”. For instance, we know that Hama’s toll was not the 30–40,000 people report but the only real evidence is closer to 2,000.

Is wrong and should not be taken seriously. Given Taleb is downplaying a massacre, I thought I'd write a short post about this. Because, you know, downplaying massacres is a bad thing.
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Statistical Woes - Impossible Results

I've owed you guys a post for a little while now, and I apologize for how long it's taken. I just can't get past a certain problem. As you may recall, I recently discussed how "correlation is meaningless" in relation to a paper which claimed to demonstrate climate change "deniers" possess certain characteristics. For a quick refresher:

The reason the authors can claim there is a "statistically significant" correlation between these two traits is they collected almost no data from anyone who "denies" climate change. The approach the authors have taken is to draw a line through their data, which is how you normally calculate the relationship between two variables, then extrapolate it out far beyond where their data extends.

There are a lot of ways of describing this approach. When I've previously said correlation is meaningless, I used an example in which I demonstrated a "statistically significant" correlation between belief in global warming and support for genocide. It was completely bogus. I was able to do it because I used the same approach the authors used. Namely:

1) Collect data for any group of people.
2) Determine views that group holds.
3) Find a group which is "opposite" the group you study.
4) Assume they must hold the opposite view of the group you studied on every issue.

This will work with literally any subject and any group of people. You can reach basically any conclusion you want because this approach doesn't require you have any data for the group of people you're drawing conclusions about.

Today I want to move beyond simple correlation coefficients and get into some of the more complex modeling the authors performed. There's a problem though. You see, the results the authors published are impossible to achieve.
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