Completely and totally worthless. Actually, not worthless (value 0), they are worth-negative, as they actually prevent good decision making.
And as Kahneman and Tversky discussed, the availability heuristic and the ease of remembering the outliers makes for very bad decision making. This is exacerbated by the modern un-filtered news system (aka, "the web" cross the "infotainment industry"). This warped noise delivery system, masquerading as "news you need to know" results in a really bad decision making process. Modern medicine (where I worked as a statistician) is unable to help with this extra-scientific process.
But the old days of raising armies only when needed has gone the way of the horse and buggy. Unless you are the Swiss, who count on others to provide defacto long-arm defense, you probably cannot count on an armed population either ("Red Dawn not withstanding)
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed
Nice platitude. Prove it.
"do no torture on my behalf",
we should perhaps scream
I am willing to let X=8,143 people a year die from terrorist attacks rather than use torture
The number 8,143 is what we are arguing about.
The CIA thinks X is something small, like 1 child or 3 innocent adults.
The rest of us must think X is closer to 1M. Interestingly, it is the scientific humanists among us who claim X=Inf, even though they do not have a moral compass like the church telling them that. More proof that it does not take a religion to make one moral.
My outrage over failures of the Obama administration pales in comparison to my outrage over the war crimes of the GWB administration.
Then the second generation of guards at Nazi camps is exonerated because they did not start it?
When couples marry, people will give them dates and peanuts – a reference to the wish Zaosheng guizi or “May you soon give birth to a son”. The word for dates is also zao and peanuts are huasheng
The powerful date and peanut lobbies are up in arms, claiming that such a ban will cost them more than peanuts. Their claim? "If you outlaw puns. Only criminals will have puns.""
The most fundamental difference between the data that conservatives prefer—that the 10 poorest cities are longtime Democratic strongholds—and the data that liberals will be more inclined to cite—that the 10 poorest states are predominantly Republican, is that conservatives can point to actual policies that Democrats implemented that contributed to the impoverishment of the cities, while the liberals cannot point to specific GOP policies that have caused the poorer states to lag behind.
The Democratic case is illusory and circumstantial; the Republican case is solid and substantial. However, in a country where so many people are economically and historically illiterate, combined with the human proclivity whereby “a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest” (Paul Simon, “The Boxer”), the Democrats may be able to score some points with a hollow argument. The Republicans, though, have the facts on their side.
Ref: Are the 10 Poorest States Really Republican
How can we argue with an author who quotes Paul Simon?
We are in a dark cave, the wumpus is loose, and the only people with lights are lying religious fanatics whose reason is their sacred writings and whose swords are, more rapidly than we might wish, the actual swords they raise against the unbelievers. Chop. Chop.
(Footnote: I believe in the 2nd amendment not because I can expect to win but rather because I can expect to make it a little more expensive for the eventual winners.)
It is really too bad when science comes down on the side of the iron fist, but the studies show over and over that justice requires peace, and peace requires trust, and diversity reduces the social capital necessary to assure trust.
On the other hand, who wants to live under ISIL or similar diversity busting regimes? But one of the first prerequisites for a peaceful society appears to be a shared culture first, at least with respect to how people treat each other. It would be nice if we could use clothing to mark culture, so that when I see someone wearing a hoodie I could KNOW that indicated a peace-monger, but it just is not so, any more than someone wearing a sash with a swastika is identifying themselves as a keeper of the word of gawd.
The question has to be, how to get social capital higher and the science appears to suggest homogeneity. I don't like that answer, any more than I liked it when simulations showed "tit-for-tat" was the preferred strategy in cooperative games. I don't like that I cannot just flap my arms and fly either, but at some level all of these findings are our realities.
Come back if/when you grow up.
So, yes, popular jargon sells more books, why oh why are you surprised?