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Journal Journal: Chances of being killed by police in the USA

So 104 people were killed by police in the USA during August, 2014. To my eyes, that's an absolutely enormous figure. As a Brit, I compare it to the 1 person killed over 3 years by the UK police. Yes, they're two different countries, yes there's a lot more people in the US, yes they have different cultures, yadda yadda yadda; people are dying here.

Let's do some maths:

  • Population of the USA: 319 million (source:
  • Percentage chance for a person to be shot in August is then: (104 x 100%) / 319,000,000 = 0.000033%

That's a scarily huge percentage, given that it's normalised by population. Bear in mind that police in the USA are not ... shy ... at shooting at suspects, and neither are they 100% accurate. Some of the casualties are in fact bystanders.

Now let's consider extrapolating for the period of time that most shootings occur (i.e.: suspect between the ages of 15 and 40), and see how that changes things:

  • Chance to be shot over 25 year period = (104 x 12 x 25 x 100%) / 319,000,000 = 0.0097%
  • Rounding that, since this is an extrapolation, we get 0.01%

Now that's an amazingly large percentage chance of being shot dead by a policeman. Let's do the same thing for the UK:

  • Population of the UK: 65 million (source:
  • Percentage chance for a person to be shot over last 3 years is then: (1 x 100%) / 65,000,000 = 0.0000015%
  • Therefore percentage chance for a person to be shot in August 2014 is 0.0000015 / 12 / 3 = 0.0000000427%
  • Therefore percentage chance to be shot over 25 year period is 0.0000000427 x 12 x 25 = 0.0000128%

Compare 0.01% and 0.00001% and remember these are normalised by population. Yeah.

User Journal

Journal Journal: I am a masochist 5

I'm a masochist. No, not of the sexual variety. Of the slashdot variety. For some reason, not only do I still continue to read this site, I click on links to stories about cars and phones. The raging stupidity and arrogance is amazing.

And yet I come back.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Obama Lied About Benghazi 8

Some people don't know that Obama lied. But it's obvious fact based on the evidence. In another discussion some apparent trolls were complaining about the claim, but I am uninterested in discussing it, but for those who are interested, the basic summary is this:

* The administration said, for weeks, that the video and the unrest around it was a cause of the attack on the embassy in Benghazi.

* They claimed that the evidence led them to say so.

* They have never provided any such evidence. Some of what they claimed happened -- such as protests existing at the embassy in Benghazi -- was false, and there was never any evidence it was true (maybe in the first hours, but not after the first days).

* There was much evidence, even in the first days, that the attack was preplanned, but it was ignored in favor of the nonexistent evidence of spontaneity.

* The documentary evidence shows that, from the beginning, they had evidence that it was preplanned, and the only "evidence" of spontaneity cited was that it happened soon after protests in Cairo.

Draw your own conclusions, but I do not believe that the President would say it was a spontaneous reaction to the video without some evidence of it, and he had none. He said it because he thought it was believable and wanted to win an election, and if it were preplanned then it is a failure of his administration.

If you want more, check out last week's 60 Minutes report by Lara Logan. Most of it has to do with showing that we a. knew the attack was coming and b. didn't take reasonable steps to prevent it.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Does anything work anymore? 3

Does anything around here work anymore? I go to the page (uid changed to mine to protect the guilty) to try to change friend/foe/neutral status, and I get:


The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

Please contact the server administrator, and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

More information about this error may be available in the server error log.
Apache/2.2.3 (CentOS) Server at Port 80

I have to click in three different places to find the right link to let me do a JE.
I was gonna give a laundry list, but fuck it, it's just pissing in the wind. I figure Dice was able to buy it for, what, the price of one week of coffee at Starbucks?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Foes

I just got foe'd by someone named 'ScienceFail'. Found it quite curious as I haven't posted anything even remotely close to controversial in quite a while and this guy has zero posts. My best guess is he is an alternate account for someone. I wish there were some mechanism for letting someone know why you foe'd them (or friended them). Just curious.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Slashdot ID's by year 18

I've asked the question and so have a lot of slashdotters... Given a slashdot ID, when did it become active? Okay, this is less than perfect, but after a couple hours reviewing December 31 story postings for the past 14 years, I have a pretty good idea of which Slashdot ID's were active by end-of-year.

Date Highest ID Source
12/31/2011 2537066
12/31/2010 1968314
12/31/2009 1711968
12/31/2008 1435429
12/31/2007 1210278
12/31/2006 1045190
12/31/2005 942449
12/31/2004 840443
12/31/2003 735991
12/31/2002 636838
12/31/2001 545364
12/31/2000 267378
12/31/1999 131305
12/31/1998 ??? No posts in 1998, yet I see a usre id of 170,000+ on 1/1/1999. Does not correspond with 12/31/1999 findings.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Going back to school at 40+

Switching from Tech to medicine (RN) is a heck of a headspin. The pre-requisite classes at night: basic biology, 2 semesters of Anatomy and Physiology (including dissections and tons and tons of tissue sample slides and biochem of physiology), and Microbiology (stinky things and lots of prepping samples and slide and microscope work) - its bee pretty damned fun, even if I was the oldest person in the class and one of the few males there. Nice thing is all my old college stuff counts too, so no need to retake freshman comp, or any humanities or math courses (thank goodness for engineering calculus, finally Im using it in a productive fashion by avoiding classes). By the time I start my RN classes at the university, they will be the only thing I need to take, no "needed electives" like psychology (taking it this summer) or management (already have graduate work in that). Its going to be interesting, because I have been told that I will likely be A) the oldest person in the class, and B) The only male (or at most 3 in the entire cohort admitted that year to the RN courses)

User Journal

Journal Journal: Slashdot takes a page from the users 2

It seems that slashdot is learning from the users. If ever there was a Troll Tuesday for the front page, it is today. Let's see, we've got a story taking advantage of gender divides, a story taking advantage of Middle East division, several Apple stories, climate change/evolution, and a game console story. Still a few hours to go, so perhaps there is still time for a coding language story, a text editor story, and a distro/desktop story.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The best thing about trolling APK? 62

The best thing about trolling APK? Sometimes I want to read an article a few days later when more discussion has occurred. If I put a reply in it, APK will helpfully respond to it. Next time I login, there is a convenient reminder in my message list.

Thanks Alex!

May all your PUSHes be POPped.