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Comment: Re:Environmental Factors? (Score 1) 180

by SEE (#48715527) Attached to: 65% of Cancers Caused by Bad Luck, Not Genetics or Environment

The problem with sophistry is that Aristotle himself arrived at the following "facts" through strict reasoning (as opposed to, you know counting or measuring:

(1) Women have fewer teeth than men

That's a very common lie about Aristotle, but it's false. The exact quote from Aristotle (On the Parts of Animals: Book III) is:

âMales have more teeth than females in the case of men, sheep, goats, and swine; in the case of other animals observations have not yet been made.â

That is, Aristotle did not "reason" that women had fewer teeth than men; he depended on a mistaken observation. Much like every textbook between 1923 and 1956 misreported the number of human chromosomes as 48 instead of 46 because of mistaken observation.

(Except, of course, more forgivable in Aristotle's case, because between tooth loss/decay and irregular rates of wisdom tooth formation, observations of human tooth number is a lot noisier than observations of human chromosome number. Lots and lots of textbooks managed to publish the 48 number right next to photographs clearly showing 46 chromosomes.)

Comment: Re:If I was running counter-intelligence for the C (Score 2) 340

by SEE (#48395601) Attached to: Alleged Satellite Photo Says Ukraine Shootdown of MH17

I have no idea why a sane person would suspect Mossad.

Oh, that's simple. The Russian tradition of conspiracy theory always blames the Jews. If you're the sort of person used to reading and believing conspiracy theories that justify Russia, it would take exceptional intellectual effort and insight to realize blaming the Jews makes no sense at all in a particular case.

Comment: Re:Prison (Score 1) 407

by SEE (#48173109) Attached to: As Prison Population Sinks, Jails Are a Steal

But incarceration rate per population doesn't tell you if the population is being over-incarcerated unless you know the crimes-worthy-of-incarceration rate. If America's rate of crime-worthy-of-incarceration is several times the European, then it's perfectly natural the US has a several-times-higher incarceration rate.

Now, there are all sorts of difficulties in calculating such a rate. But it doesn't seem too unreasonable to guess that, however it's calculated, the general rate of crime-worthy-of-incarceration would correlate with the homicide rate. So, let's use the homicide rate as a normalizer. How many incarcerated persons does a country have per annual intentional homicide? Using the Wikipedia numbers for prisoners and annual intentional homicides, we get:

Australia: 121
Belgium: 68
Bulgaria: 73
Canada: 74
Croatia: 90
Czech Republic: 163
Denmark: 91
Estonia: 46
Finland: 36
France: 103
Germany: 98
Greece: 71
Hungary: 142
Iceland: 157
Ireland: 74
Israel: 138
Italy: 111
Japan: 170
Latvia: 56
Lithuania: 48
Luxembourg: 164
Netherlands: 91
New Zealand: 203
Norway: 33
Poland: 175
Portugal: 115
Romania: 96
Slovakia: 134
Slovenia: 94
South Korea: 109
Spain: 180
Sweden: 86
Switzerland: 145
Taiwan: 91
UK: 147
US: 147

Thus, the US incarceration rate differential is within the normal variation seen in developed countries, after you account for the fact that the US has a lot more violent crime than other developed countries (as seen in its much higher homicide rate).

Comment: Re:Price of using scientists as political pawns (Score 1) 342

I don't think any serious person thinks that Galileo woke up one morning and said lets do politics.

Oh, yes, every serious person thinks Galileo was being completely apolitical when he published a tract in the common language of the people of the Papal States that put quotes from the sovereign of the Papal States in the mouth of a character named Simpleton.

Comment: Re:Not illegal (Score 2) 218

by SEE (#47078981) Attached to: Amazon Escalates Its Battle Against Publishers

Yes, it's one of the fundamental distinctions between the capitalist US and the corporatist EU in anti-trust law. In the US, you are expected to show the business practice harms consumers; in the EU, you merely show it hurts the profits of existing businesses.

Thus, for example, fixing the price of books is an illegal conspiracy under US law, but mandated by law in Germany.

From Sharp minds come... pointed heads. -- Bryan Sparrowhawk

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