Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Public Figure Who Works in Government??? (Score 2) 136

Perhaps he might think of a better way to spend his time if he thinks nobody should publish his name.
How are the people to know what government officials are doing/saying/thinking if a newspaper or anyone else can't attach a name to a piece about them?

Comment: Re: Thanks, assholes (Score 1) 573

by Wild_dog! (#48756949) Attached to: Gun Rights Hacktivists To Fab 3D-Printed Guns At State Capitol

"And it isn't a scientific hypothesis, so any definition of proof per scientific terminology is moot."

Science and scientific method is never moot when one is studying any issue in my view. The truth is there to discover if a good enough method to crack the enigma is there.
A scientific hypothesis is merely a question put under scrutiny. The hypothesis in this case is that more guns equals fewer deaths. I would have to disagree that this is moot as a scientific question. Anything can be put under scientific scrutiny with scientific methodology. That is how most studies including those related to guns and violence are conducted.
But I would further say that up until now there hasn't seemed to be an easy way to answer the questions surrounding this complicated issue. There are so many variables to control for. People use statistics to illustrate their points, but these points are largely moot at this stage without better designed ways of looking at this complex issue. Certainly using a data set with 2 points and no controls is not a way to find out much of anything most of the time.

I find it especially interesting that republicans removed funding for the CDC's research into guns and violence. I suppose if we remain in the dark regarding these questions and keep the issue from scientific scrutiny, we can continue to debate blindly ad nauseum.

For now we are stuck with people finding spurious correlations from data sets to disagree with each other on. It seems plain that most people on both sides of the political argument are not really interested in anything but fodder for their political ambitions. Truth is not really what they are seeking.

"Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."
George Orwell

Comment: Re: Thanks, assholes (Score 1) 573

by Wild_dog! (#48756793) Attached to: Gun Rights Hacktivists To Fab 3D-Printed Guns At State Capitol

"I'm merely pointing out that this is more akin to a debate scenario"
Ah, I understand better where you are coming from.

"You can't just say, well it's statistical data so you're probably wrong and then dismiss the claim."
That isn't what I was trying to do. I never meant to say that statistical data is likely wrong and therefore can be dismissed. What I was saying that proof usually has something more concrete than merely someone picking out a data set and then applying graphs that would seem to indicate what they believe is right. Trying to make a one factor correlation when things are much more complex multifactorial and interrelated things seems to me to likely to end up with false conclusions. I read recently that Statistics are like a Drunk seeking a lamppost for support rather than illumination. I found this to be a rather fitting synopsis.

My disputing the OP’s proof lies in the fact that it may likely be a misuse of statistics and therefore invalid. To support my supposition perhaps I was not very clear. It is the OP's position it would seem that more guns = fewer murders based upon the data set chosen. The OP further uses a statistical chart to make the point. So then, the central question becomes does this correlation actually exist or is it some brand of false causality.

From the Wiki:
When a statistical test shows a correlation between A and B, there are usually six possibilities:

A causes B.
B causes A.
A and B both partly cause each other.
A and B are both caused by a third factor, C.
B is caused by C which is correlated to A.
The observed correlation was due purely to chance.

Merely because one can find an apparent correlation in a random data set does not mean that the data set is a proof that the one thing leads to another. Since the supposed proof of the OP is based upon a simple 2 factor correlation then the fact that there are other options in interpretation means that the Proof is not really a Proof, but merely an interpretation which may or may not be valid. Certainly there can be no conclusion drawn from spurious correlation other than to point to the fact that further and more specific studies or data would need to be done regarding the question.

As an example of why this actually needs to further illumination I found these other ridiculous spurious correlations to illustrate my point.
http://www.tylervigen.com/

Things can be shown on charts which have no bearing on reality.

Comment: Re: Thanks, assholes (Score 1) 573

by Wild_dog! (#48749875) Attached to: Gun Rights Hacktivists To Fab 3D-Printed Guns At State Capitol

Semantics?
That is simply a way of defining what is being discussed.

"Someone says more guns less deaths. Another asks for proof. First person provides proof. It's then on the second person to disprove them."
The question is whether the first person's proof is worthy of questioning important. What exactly is proof in this case?
Is the first person's proof actually a proof or something entirely different.
If it is not proof, does anyone need to disprove such a thing?
Can there truly be a proof in this case? Has anyone designed a well run study on this subject with tight controls or are they just manipulating wide open date with lots of different uses to make their own point politically.?

What happens when a purported truth might be or might not true?
What is the proof?
Do More Guns = Less deaths?
Is the result of less deaths equivalent to more guns?
Are fewer deaths related to more guns or related to something else?
Are more guns related to other factors which could lead to fewer deaths?
Are more guns and less death entirely unrelated?

Given the data that we currently have it seems that such an assertion of proof may be less about proof and more about backing up a point of view.
Questioning assertions is a perfectly valid way of defining what we are talking about.
Being flippant about the idea of what "Proof" is a distraction.

One can make the same argument that more gun laws equals less violence.
However this also uses the same shoddy understanding of data that saying more guns equals less violence uses.

Comment: Re: Thanks, assholes (Score 1) 573

by Wild_dog! (#48747349) Attached to: Gun Rights Hacktivists To Fab 3D-Printed Guns At State Capitol

Interesting.

I think this analysis potentially may suffer from the Misuse of Statistical Data to produce a result that supports a belief.
The idea that there is a correlation seems to be conflated. It is not certain whether this might be false causality or not.
Anyhow ... someone with greater statistical savvy might be able to tackle this better than can I.

As far a proof....Proof is a a very intriguing concept.
One of my science professors told me once there can be no Proof of anything in science. Only the failure to disprove.
That has always stuck with me whenever I hear someone says something is PROVEN.

Comment: Re: Thanks, assholes (Score 1) 573

by Wild_dog! (#48746455) Attached to: Gun Rights Hacktivists To Fab 3D-Printed Guns At State Capitol

But are the guns the reason the crime rate is low?
Also... does everyone carry their guns around with them all of the time?
Was there high crime before that has diminished since they passed the law?

I am not certain that data shows anything in the case you put forth.
We have a tiny town where most people own guns that has a low crime rate continues to have a low crime rate after a law requiring people to have a gun in their house is passed.
Somehow I fail to find that any real correlation is to be made in this case.

Additionally, this law was passed to counter the law banning firearms in another town Morton, IL.
From what I read... the burglary rate went down there after the law, but one would be hard pressed to say the crime rate was affected because of the firearms ban any more than the crime was affected in Kennesaw, GA by their mandate of having firearms.

So in Kennesaw you had a population of around 5k with minimal crime and high gun ownership when the law was passed. Today we have a population of 35k with minimal crime rate. Even though the law is in effect not everyone has a gun since there is not really any enforcement and as the police chief noted, most of the new people in town are unaware of the law.

Without some sort of relevant long term statistics, I would say your example doesn't quite indicate what you would wish it to. Additionally, using an isolated town where there wasn't much crime to begin with is not a recipe for showing that guns reduce crime.
We would need a larger experiment such as requiring everyone in say LA or Chicago to be packing all the time. I would expect the results might be different there from what people imagine, but I could be wrong I suppose.

Comment: Re: Thanks, assholes (Score 0) 573

by Wild_dog! (#48745875) Attached to: Gun Rights Hacktivists To Fab 3D-Printed Guns At State Capitol

Hmmm.... where on the planet exactly does increasing the numbers of people carrying weapons make for a safer society? Seems like most of the places where there are large numbers of people carrying weapons are more dangerous and tend to be like the wild west where towns made you check your guns so they would have less gun related casualties.

Not saying one way or the other that guns are safe or not, but I think your statement about what is reality might need further clarification.

Comment: Re:competition (Score 1) 112

by Wild_dog! (#48289249) Attached to: US Post Office Increases Secret Tracking of Mail

There is no monopoly on where Fed Ex and UPS can deliver. But to deliver to a large chunk of America is a money losing proposition when you figure in logistics. Maintaining fleets of trucks, the cost of transport and the labor involved in supporting it is cost prohibitive.
Yet the USPS is mandated to deliver to every corner of our country even when losing money.

If you believe there is a USPS monopoly, please elaborate exactly how?
Would you believe this alleged monopoly could somehow become profitable if it were run by UPS or Fed Ex?

Comment: Re:competition (Score 3, Insightful) 112

by Wild_dog! (#48257395) Attached to: US Post Office Increases Secret Tracking of Mail

Somewhere in the neigborhood of 20% of our country has no UPS or FedEx. Both of those companies rely on the USPS to deliver for them since they would make no money doing it themselves. If the mail system were privatized there would be a lot of this country where there wouldn't be any mail since it would be a money losing venture.
Luckily the foundation of the USPS was considered vital enough for our republic that its establishment is in the constitution.

Comment: George Washingtons Fault (Score 1) 112

by Wild_dog! (#48257361) Attached to: US Post Office Increases Secret Tracking of Mail

It all started with George Washington and that damned Cumberland Highway. If he hadn't set a precedent of using money from outside of the actual area where the highway was built, the government wouldn't have gotten in the way of free enterprise which would have certainly built a toll road there. Redistribution of wealth by the government has happened ever since and I lay this precedent firmly at the feet of our first president!!!

ASHes to ASHes, DOS to DOS.

Working...