I saw this headline today on theroot.com: A Judge Asked Harvard to Find Out Why So Many Black People Were In Prison. They Could Only Find 1 Answer: Systemic Racism The author of the article is someone named Michael Harriot, whose bio describes him as a “world-renowned wypipologist.” (Look it up.) The section that caught my attention was where the author proposes and rejects other explanations for the number of black people in prison. An excerpt: “White people make up roughly 74% of the Massachusetts population while accounting for 58.7% of cases in our data,” the study explained. “Meanwhile, Black people make up just 6.5% of the Massachusetts population and account for 17.1% of cases.” Of course, that could only mean that Black people commit much more crime, right? Nope. That’s it. No further explanation. No link to relevant data. Just “Nope.” I added a comment to the article: “Of… Read more →
EppsNet Archive: Statistics
The U.S. reports a record day of cases: 36,880 new coronavirus cases were reported on Wednesday, which is the largest one-day total since the start of the pandemic. Florida, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas reported their highest single-day totals. — Medium This is misleading, isn’t it? We’re doing more testing. It’s a lot easier to get tested than it used to be. You don’t need to have symptoms. You don’t need a doctor’s order. Pharmacies are now doing drive-thru testing. The CVS in my neighborhood takes testing appointments at 10-minute intervals from 9am to 5pm. And they’re not easy to get. People are booking them up. I just got my test yesterday (results next week). It sounds like from that 36,880 number that more people are being infected. It sounds like that is what’s being implied. But there’s really no way to know that from the data provided. Obviously if… Read more →
According to the American Cancer Society, smoking kills about 1 in 5 people in the United States. Is that bad? If so, why? You’ve got to die somehow. Would it be better if those people died from some other cause? How would you prefer to see them die? Also: Some percentage of Americans would rather be dead than alive anyway. I don’t know what that number is, but I’d bet it’s higher than 1 in 5. (If you Google “percentage of people who would rather be dead,” the top results all point to a 2008 survey in which 52 percent of respondents said they would rather be dead than disabled. If you change the search to “percentage of people who would rather be dead than alive,” you get a mishmash of links, including a few more links to the “dead vs. disabled” survey, but you still don’t get the number… Read more →
I’m abandoning the notion of moral certainty and replacing it with statistical significance . . .