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Comment Re:some facts (Score 1) 934

Considering most murders are committed with handguns, just the overall rate of gun ownership is pretty meaningless. I don't know about Iceland, but here in Canada, there are tons of rifles and shotguns, but very few pistols and revolvers. I expect European countries with a high rate of gun ownership will be similar.

Comment Re:Teach to the test (Score 1) 263

It's not just like that in Asia. When I came to Canada from Argentina, I had just finished grade 3, and I was given a bunch of tests to see what my level was. In particular, I was tested at a Grade 9 level in Math, and I wasn't privately tutored or anything like that.

Of course, my parents could afford to send me to a good private school, where I worked very hard. Argentina as a whole did rather poorly on this test because those whose parents don't have money go to schools with no budget for anything and teachers that are on strike half the time.

That said, I never had any homework, and the school didn't filter incoming students with tests or whatever, anyone who could pay could get in. However, the work was rather hard. For example, in grade 3, one was expected to write 3-5 pages by hand for a 1-hour test. In Canada, I only started to see that kind of crunch in grade 10.

Comment Re:Phases of Evolution (Score 1) 343

I get the feeling Musk & Tesla are purposely drumming up the fire non-story as a way to draw attention away from how they missed expectations last quarter. In particular they lost 38 million last quarter, which is not as much as a year ago. However, with the heavy R&D done, since they got a good car to market, they should start actually generating revenue soon, but they also cut sales forecasts. So the stock tanked because of missing the expectations, but Musk is probably trying to get people to think the drop was due to the fires.

Comment Re:The real issue (Score 1) 182

Actually, there is a really good reason to use least-squares regression. A model that minimizes squared error is guaranteed to minimize the variance of error, obviously. Now assume that in a model you have taken into account all variables that have real predictive value, and are fairly independent. Then your error should be normally distributed, and randomly over the range of your data by the Central Limit Theorem. So if your data looks like that after fitting the model, your model probably has very good real predictive value. Note that this definitely may not hold for data where there is no clear causative link, I assume that the variables chosen to predict the response have clear reasons to provide predictive value. For example, if trying to predict the yield of a farm, the soil type, rainfall, sun coverage, and so forth clearly have a part in the resulting yield, but what the farmer drinks on a Sunday night might not, so it's best to exclude from the model even if the variable has a p-value0.05.

Comment Re:What is odd about those results? (Score 3, Informative) 449

In fact, your local Department of Insurance wouldn't allow the insurance company to lower premiums by that much unless there was very strong evidence that the computers would cut claims by at least that. (Rules like that are so that Ponzi schemes can't disguise themselves as insurance companies. That is, a company could undercut all its competition massively without the regulations, and it could pocket big profits in the short term, but long term, as the bulk of the covered people die, and so forth, it would go broke.)

Comment Re:lower insurance? (Score 1) 449

Ontario has no-fault insurance as the standard car insurance now. That means that if you're injured in a car accident, if you get a note from a doctor saying you need something, you get it pretty much right away, and the insurance companies sort out the liability between themselves. So insurance like that would still be useful for automatic cars, especially in a place like the US where with the glacial courts and lack of a proper health-care system it might take years to get the money for physiotherapy, replacement of lost wages, and whatnot.

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