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Comment Time to Stop with Political Correctness (Score 4, Funny) 244

Okay, folks, it is time to get rid of the political correctness and call a spade a spade.

There is one group of Americans who cause the vast majority of violent crimes in the United States. They commit a disproportionately large amount of homicides and make up a vastly disproportionate amount of the people in prisons across the country.

They are responsible for being a majority of drug offenders. They cause most fights in schools and make up the vast, vast majority of high school drop outs.

They are also responsible for a vastly disproportionate amount of DUIs.

But political correctness will not allow us to talk about this problem. If we simply locked up this part of society, we'd all be better off.

And I think we all know what group this is.


Males. Lock 'em all up and throw away the key.

Comment What if she is in fact suspicious? (Score 1) 334

It's well known that Putin funds both far-right and far-left extremists to increase social divisions in the West. Cuba has also funded or blackmailed American activists before. Anyone notice how Alex Jones hates the US military, for someone who calls himself a conservative patriot?

Comment Re:How does one tell the difference? (Score 1, Troll) 103

I decided to log in for this one.

OP asked a question. You obviously do not know the answer because you just made a stupid, insulting reply. Perhaps if you don't know the answer, don't reply. I don't know the answer either, but would be interested in knowing the answer as well and would have asked the question had the AC not already asked. But instead of an answer you just shit all over it and are apparently offended that it got asked. Get over yourself and realize that some people aren't afraid to ask questions when they are ignorant... you might want to try it.

Comment Confounding factors (Score 2) 361

Retail music stores have disappeared, MTV has faded into irrelevance, so how does anybody know what the "top charts" are anymore? In all seriousness, where does one find these? There are a million web sites all claiming to have authoritative lists. Also, with the recent availability of unlimited streaming, I have experienced an explosion in diversity of musical tastes in my mid-40s. I no longer have to take chances on albums or individual tunes I might not like -- I can listen to a hundred different artists in one day.

Comment Non-Falsifiability (Score 3, Interesting) 157

Similar claims have been made about how human anatomy allegedly conforms to mathematical constants. But when we make actual measurements of individuals, nobody fits the constants perfectly. What is the allowed margin of error? One can make just about any number be close to some "elegant" mathematical constant -- pi/2, pi^2, e/phi, whatever.

Similarly, today I just judged a paper about childhood obesity submitted to a scientific journal. Childhood obesity is confounded with low socioeconomic status, so how do we separate the two? Of course, children of lower socioeconomic status have poorer outcomes in terms of health, occupation, and mortality. (Incidentally, the children with the worst outcomes in terms of future health, income, and mortality are the underweight kids who look like walking skeletons. Most scientific papers on obesity exclude that population.)

Comment Re:Narrowing the context (Score 1) 60

Yes I did. There were a few thousand responses that fit on a single spreadsheet, and after an hour spent coming up with buckets and keywords for them, I couldn't find any exceptions from the above. I'll keep an eye out for future changes, though I doubt they will change much. I know the hospitals and their problems.

Comment Narrowing the context (Score 2) 60

I analyzed the free-text field on hospital surveys. A simple keyword search gave me very reliable results on what the patients were complaining about -- they fell into the categories of bad food (food, cafeteria, diet, tasted, stale), dirty rooms (dirty, rat, blood, bathroom), rude staff (rude, ignore, curt), noise (noise, loud, echo, hallway), TV broken (TV, Television, "can't see"). So if the context is narrow enough, even simple searches work.

I agree that more broadly worded questions require more sophistication. I've looked at word combinations and so forth, though I haven't really needed to use them yet in analyzing health care data. We would not trust a computer to parse a full doctor's report, no matter how sophisticated the software; that will require manual inspection, often by multiple people to agree on a consensus interpretation.

Comment Spontaneous Quitting (Score 1) 178

Substance addicts will often spontaneously quite their habit when the pain of continuing the habit becomes greater than the pain of quitting. A year ago, I had severe stomach pains and was hospitalized for 3 days. I figured the chewing tobacco was upsetting my stomach, so I went cold turkey. As it turned out, it had nothing to do with the tobacco -- it was intestinal colitis. Anyway, I'm off of nicotine permanently now.

Comment Except when scientists do it (Score 1) 497

When mathematicians vote on whether to accept a new theorem, when psychiatrists vote on which diseases should be included in the latest version of DSM, when NIH panels vote on whether to fund a grant. No, science couldn't possibly be run by the tyranny of the mob that refuses to believe in ideas that are too new and radical.

"The hands that help are better far than the lips that pray." -- Robert G. Ingersoll