Thursday, March 8, 2018

Statistics: Snakes in the Social Grass

Every year some 100,000 people die from snakebites.  What a huge number. 3 of them were in Oz. It is of course catastrophic for them so we should do away with cats. The chances of you being in that death stat are what? (It is zero cuz you are still alive. Duh ! Maybe next year, eh?). 100k in 7.5 billion is a percentage (or even an old-fashioned fraction) that most who were educated in our schools since, say, 1990 could not work out and could not even guess at the significance. (Try working it out for yourselves) 

3 in 25 million (the Oz population) is pretty insignificant too (except to those who died and they are no longer around to care). We have the most venomous snakes in the world which slither about in the outback where few people live and few go. So, you are likely to be pretty safe.

But the raw number is pretty scary. And that's what stats are used for these days: to scare you into thinking 'social' 'issues' are terrible when they aren't and aren't when they are. That done, taxpayers' money can be demanded to 'fix' the 'problem' with some social engineering.

Our PTB collect statistics in a very haphazard manner and use them to scare by presenting them to meet financial objectives. It certainly isn't to actually help you. Most people have only the very slightest grasp of statistics gleaned from the news media and bamboozling them is a doddle.

You are more likely to be bitten by a venomous statistic in Oz than by a snake.

Our media - even our many levels of Gummunt - are snake charmers.

It isn't as though all the stats themselves are 'true'. Most are incomplete: they are often just guesses; they are all too often extrapolated from a small population onto a larger one; some are downright fictitious. 

In the DSM (the shrink's manual) there is a category called 'Factitious Disorder' which does not mention statisticians nor women who cry rape whenever they have fornicated in an unsatisfactory manner. These women can be catastrophic too. 

As catastrophic as a feminist-inclined Gummunt Minister.

Stats are used to ask further questions and those too are all too often the wrong questions or again designed to confuse, outrage and gain funding. Hey, it employs otherwise unemployable ladies (usually) and gives them Titles, like 'Director'.

A customer pointed some salient 'issues' with stats out the other evening. First though, before I pull his pint, let me just say that some stats are useful and true. Figuring out which though would defeat even those who have graduated from our Universities so full of those factitious stats that they pour from their lips like drool.

So to Anthony Esolen. A litre of Ale (1.75 pints or thereabout depending on ambient temperature and pressure) was sat upon the bar for him.
Statistics We Refuse to Collect 

“There are no statistics!” cried a critic of an article I wrote for Crisis a couple of weeks ago. I had asked a prominent Jesuit to open his eyes and look at the vast human misery caused by the breakdown of sexual mores in the West. 
Had I laced the piece with statistics, people would have complained that I had failed to listen to actual human beings and their woes. Instead I recounted stories; and they were by no means the worst that I could have told.

Ah, statistics. Mathematics was my first love, and I know a lot about probability and statistics, enough to know that the worth of the latter depends not just upon the keenness of your observation, but on the questions you ask in the first place. My first encounter with the deliberate fuzzing of numbers in order to tell political lies was when I read James Burtchaell’s book, Rachel Weeping: The Case Against Abortion.
Customers might also like to consult Darrell Huff's capital little book on Huffograms. How to deceive with charts. Sometimes a pie is venomous, like some snakes.
In that book, Father Burtchaell followed the threads of statistical fabrication and error, repeated, embellished, misapplied, and divagating, so that politicians could say, without any sense of unreality, that hundreds of thousands of women used to die every year from “back alley” abortions. 
(No less an authority than abortion advocate Mary Calderone, fifteen years before Roe v. Wade, said that almost all illegal abortions were performed by a doctor or a nurse, and were safe, with antibiotics ready at hand to protect against infection. The story changed when it needed to change.) 
From that point on, I have given little credence to statistics that fly in the face of common sense and common observation, or that are vitiated by a flaw in the question.

Let me give an example. Common sense tells us that cohabitation is less stable than marriage, because each person knows that he or she can pack up and leave without legal consequence, and without qualms for having broken a sacred vow. 
It is also more volatile, since by the testimony of many who engage in it, it is a trial run. Youth, instability, volatility, and sexual passion make for quite a canister of nitro-glycerine. 
We know that a girl is far more likely to be beaten by her live-in boyfriend than is a wife by her husband. But if for ideological reasons you want to obscure this fact, and if you don’t care overmuch for the safety of the girls you are putting at risk, or rather if you do wish the girls well but you hate marriage even more, you will fold the two things together, and invent the category “domestic violence.”
Ahh. Domestic violence. Another 100,000 stat in Oz. No-one gives a damn that 100,000 babies are killed in the womb by their mothers and do not even get include as the grossest and most egregious form of domestic violence in the DV stats. Because it is all about women. 
Official Bullshyte. But people buy it through Taxes.

100,000 DV incidents a year in Oz (a guestimate as the numbers from each State and Police force are not collated nationally) include - but do not state - two teenage brothers fighting on the front lawn are an 'incident'

two lesbians having a disagreement over who should make the sammich and resorting to throwing crockery (lesbian violence runs at some 12 times man-woman DV) are an 'incident'

Man and woman shouting at one another about overspending on face cream when the pantry is almost bare is an 'incident'. 

But there are 'official' exemptions too. Aboriginals for whom it is 'traditional' to abuse one another: and of course the Muslims who give 'how to beat your wife' lessons in the mosques. These are never even indentified. No 'sub-stats for them.

All 'incidents' are considered violence against women. Despite at least 40% being against men. But hey, let us not mention that. Official stats don't.

No, we are fed by every Gummunt and taxpayers funded body in the bizzo that 1:4 (that is 25%) of women will be sexually assaulted. Not counting the 9 year old fourth wives deflowered by some hairy old guy who has knocked her quiet with his koran.
68k in 4 mil. 0.017

In Tasmania there are some 3500 such counted 'incidents' a year and the police, when questioned, will admit that it is always the same few yobs no more than 1000 in number for whom they are repeatedly called out. 1000 in 500,000 population. Work out the percentage for youselves. The mental exercise will do you good.

All 'incidents' are portrayed as violence against women. Follow the money all the way to shelters, free housing, 'Directors' of Wimmin's cooperatives of a dozen ilks all getting huge salaries and perks, and court fines from the menfolk. Oh, and police budgets too.

Meanwhile 100,000 babies a year are 'terminated' and not by Arnie 'I will be back' the robot but by a Doctor being paid $5000  a dismemberment by a mother. Do a quick stat on the dollar value to the GDP.
Or suppose you want to obscure the fact that in the United States, almost all people who contract the HIV virus are either homosexual men, or people who have sexual relations with, or who share infected needles with infected people—in other words, that homosexual men are the gate of the disease and by far those most likely to suffer it.
We are urged to be compassionate to these unfortunates. 

Bugger That!! 
You can deflect attention from one form of probability to another, or you can ask a misleading question. So you can say that “more than half of new HIV cases are among heterosexuals,” a statement that is almost meaningless, given that heterosexuals outnumber homosexuals by 40 to 1. 
What we want is to isolate the sexual factor. Given that A is a heterosexual man who does not use intravenous drugs, what is the probability that he will contract the HIV virus, relative to that of B, the homosexual man who also does not use intravenous drugs?
That would defeat almost any Uni graduate today. Heck over half of the graduates are wimmin with the cradle marks still on their bums and an attitude so venomous toward men that they would cheer that ALL men get blamed.
Or you will ask not about the probability function but about its first or second derivative. You ask, “Is the rate of increase of HIV infection among homosexual men lower or higher than the rate of increase among heterosexuals generally?” That too is almost meaningless. 
When a certain population has been saturated with infection and exposure to infection, its rate of increase will level off, and at that point just about anything else can be made to look more virulent, more threatening. It is like saying that a car just beginning to pull out of a driveway has a greater acceleration than a car speeding at ninety down the highway. 
It does, but so what?

Journalists used to know a little of history and the English language. They hardly know those, now, so I should not expect them to grasp the concept of conditional probability. 
I hear, for instance, that “a majority of child abusers are heterosexual.” 
Again, meaningless; more people die by car accidents than by lightning, but that does not mean that driving a car is more dangerous than is standing in a golf course during an electric storm, holding your nine-iron high above your head. It merely means that a lot more people drive a car than are outdoors welcoming the lightning. But the statistic also does what the “domestic abuse” statistics do. 
It folds together unlike things. 
Let me explain. 
A normal man does not commit incest. 
He does not abuse his own children. What he wants to know is, “Given Mr. A who is heterosexual, and who does not live in my house, what is the probability that he will abuse my daughter, relative to that of Mr. B who is homosexual, abusing my son?” 
That is just a complicated way of specifying the condition, and removing from your statistic what for your purpose is irrelevant noise. But if you put it that way, you get something like what the priest-scandal should have taught us by experience.

Let me then ask some relevant questions.

What percentage of people over a certain age (20, 25, 30, 40) are or have been once-married, without divorce? We can call this the basic Index of Marriage. The converse we can call the Index of Unmarriage.

What percentage of people over a certain age have never given or received a serious proposal of marriage? We can call this the Index of Loneliness.
 What percentage of marriages and quasi-marriages end in divorce? Suppose you have a society in which a lot of people don’t bother to marry in the first place, but they shack up, they make babies, and more often than not they split.  

The divorce rate in that society may level off or take a slight dip, but that will mask the very real confusion beneath. I define a “quasi-marriage” as any sexual liaison that lasts more than one year. We can call this the Index of Sexual Dissolution.

What is the average number of children a woman will bear within wedlock? This is a combination of two statistics, each of them important, but for different reasons. The first is the birth rate: a country with modern medicine will age and lose population over time if the rate is less than 2.1, unless the shortfall is made up by immigration. 
The second is the percentage of children born within wedlock; in the United States, slightly less than 60 percent. 
It seems to me that a low out-of-wedlock birth rate, such as obtains in Italy, is of itself nothing to cheer about, if no one is having any children at all; and a near-replacement birth rate, such as obtains in the United States, is also nothing to cheer about, if two out of five children are born into moral and social chaos. We can call this statistic the Index of Family Richness.

What is the average number of years, out of his first twenty, that a child will live without both his mother and father in the home, setting aside children adopted at an early age, and children who have lost a parent to death? We can call this the Index of Moral Orphanage.
What is the median number of pornographic images that a boy will have seen before his fifteenth birthday? I specify “median” rather than “average,” because the median will give the more conservative number; an average would be much higher, as the minimum is bounded by zero, and there is no maximum. We can call this the Male Index of Moral and Intellectual Rot.

What is the percentage of people between 20 and 30 who have never fallen into regular fornication, but who are either married now, or who have been in a normal relationship of at least six months’ length, whether by dating or by courtship? That would have been almost everybody, in my parents’ time, and very few people now. We can call this the Index of Pre-Marital Health.

What is the percentage of people between 15 and 30 who have had sexual relations with someone who was a stranger—that is, someone whose name they did not know, or with whom they had not, before that day, exchanged more than fifteen minutes of conversation? We will call this the Index of Lonely Whoredom.
What percentage of people, arriving at the age of thirty (then 35, then 40), are married, without ever having known a divorce or the breakup of a quasi-marriage? We will call this the Index of Clear Skies.

What is the number of children per 1000 women of child-bearing age, both those born and those murdered before birth, conceived outside of wedlock? How does that number compare with those conceived within wedlock? We can call this the Ratio of Wrong and Right.

Most of these questions have not been asked. 
Is there anybody alive in the United States who believes that the answers will not range .....
from disappointing to staggering?
OK, a lot to consider. I suggest sitting down with a pint of Ale with Integrity and put your skeptic hat on. Then ponder the Truth, meaning and intended deception of the next lot of bogus numbers you come across from some impeccable (hah!) media source.

Thank Anthony for the new Indexes to consider.



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  2. It's funny, I think it's rare we critically think/evaluate statistics unless they're political or social - and it's usually because we don't want to believe them.

    One of the most memorable classes I ever took was Social Psychology. It was interesting because the class was required for two sets of people - those headed towards psychology, sociology, and counseling fields and those in marketing/advertising, communications, journalism, and law.

    The class was required in all of those fields because it's about how the individual brain perceives and retains communicated information, especially in groups, and oddities of human behavior in groups.

    (So in other words, people like us were there to learn how to undo the damage that would be caused by the other half the class lol.)

    Our guest professor, Dr. Monteith, had worked with Bandura on the social learning experiments (which you're probably familiar with.) At the time, a new study had just come out on watching violent media/video games and violence. (Forgive me for not recalling the study name right off.)

    So when she presented the actual full study to the class for review, the conclusion said: "Video games cause violence in those already prone to aggression"."

    However, do you think that's what the news reported? Heck no. They conveniently left the "already prone to aggression" part out - which was the most important aspect of the study!

    Did the press care? No. They just wanted to scare everyone for ratings, as you said :)

    So sometimes I wonder if it's not the stats themselves that are faulty, it's the way others are interpreting or presenting them.

    And again, it seems to be the subject matter, the emotional strings attached to it. Like if I said "The odds are "1 in 10 million you'll be struck by lightning." (I have no idea if that's what the odds really are, I just made that up as example.)

    Nobody says, "They were probably near water or out golfing or near something that attracts lightning - they probably brought that on themselves."

    We don't really evaluate what factors went into that stat, the variables or assign blame, we just take extra precaution to not become a statistic, whatever the numbers are.

    And that's probably the boiled-down value of stats - not necessarily the numbers, but the validation that it's real, increase awareness, and take extra precaution.

    Having said that - I can care about abortions AND rape or domestic violence, ya know I don't have to choose between them.

    Because here's some critical thinking for you, why are abortion and rape/domestic violence on opposite political sides in the first place?

    That should tell us something right there - because to me, they aren't - they're basic issues of humanity.

    All I need to know is someone is suffering, because that's all Christ needed to know - sometimes as the result of our own poor choices, yes - but he showed us mercy and grace anyway :)

    Because he stood in front of a prostitute/adulterer and prevented her stoning by the men - and what he did not do is tell her that suffering wasn't real, her condition was all in her head, she brought it all on herself as the result of a "factitious" disorder.

    He had her take responsibility for her part and asked the men to do the same both receiving his mercy and grace regardless :)

    And it could be argued that people who just choose not to believe the statistics or facts because they don't fit their political narrative may suffer from a "factitious disorder" themselves, but since so many misinterpret them (intentionally or not), as we said - we won't go there. Much ;)

    If we want to critically-think and evaluate stats, IMO, it's extremely important that we remove our biases about what we already want to believe first?

    1. Nice one Chrystal. Some fine points in there.

    2. Because here's some critical thinking for you, why are abortion and rape/domestic violence on opposite political sides in the first place?

      Are they really on opposite political sides? How many conservatives who oppose abortion have come out in favour of rape? Or domestic violence, or any other kind of violence.

      Pointing out that feminists lie through their teeth on the subject of rape and grossly and deliberately exaggerate the figures does not imply that someone is in favour of rape. Oftentimes it's quite the opposite - those who are concerned about the feminist lies are concerned because those lies end up hurting women who really do get raped. Counting every unwanted sexual advance as rape insults women who are genuine rape victims and trivialises their pain.

      Social conservatives are also concerned that policies pushed by feminists end up increasing the chances that a woman will be raped.

      The issue that social conservatives have is that feminists exploit rape, and in doing so they exploit real rape victims.

      I think you'd find that the average social conservative would actually be in favour of much stronger penalties for actual rape.

    3. Indeed. The abortion nexus with DV was deliberately pointed to above where I said, specifically...""Ahh. Domestic violence. Another 100,000 stat in Oz. No-one gives a damn that 100,000 babies are killed in the womb by their mothers and do not even get include as the grossest and most egregious form of domestic violence in the DV stats. Because it is all about women. ""

    4. Of course, that isn't at all what I meant, DforD :)

      I don't think in such black/white terms - lack of focus on a subject, even not speaking up in support, doesn't necessarily mean approval, at least in my world - does it yours? :)

      I don't see too many Americans speaking out against both abortion and aggression towards women and I'm not sure why that is, is all.

      I will say that these days, I don't see too many American conservatives standing up against sexual harassment, assault, or Domestic Violence - unless they are female - they seem mostly concerned with abortion?

      Does that mean they support aggression towards women?

      Of course not.

      In fact, let's not limit that to Americans -case in point, I have yet to see this blog nor a single male commenter here offer actual support of women on the subjects of sexual harassment or assault or Domestic Violence - in fact, it at least appears you seem more interested in trying discredit women making these claims. Am I wrong?

      No offense, I'm sure you all have your reasons, probably prior personal experience with certain types of women, but regardless, like I said, lack of support doesn't automatically mean approval - so that doesn't mean that I think anyone here actually approves of these things, either.

      Interestingly, some liberals try to make the same argument for abortion - they say Pro-Choice doesn't mean Pro Abortion.

      Conservatives often say you're either Anti-abortion or Pro-Abortion, either for or against.

      Well, by that logic, then you could then one could only be either for or against aggression towards women.

      However, as I said, I'm not much of an always/never, either/or, black/white thinker - I allow gray areas depending on individual or unique situations :)

    5. ""Am I wrong? "" (C.C.)


      I condemn Domestic violence. You have been arond here long enough to know my views. I also point out that 'oils ain't oils' and when DV against males and children by women are classed as an 'incident' and the numbers rolled into the violence against women numbers that we have a serious social problem.

      I have pointed out the near 100 million ozbucks spent on just one anti-DV ad campaign alone on TV in which ALL victims were women and ALL perps were men, despite 40% of victims being male.

      I have also pointed out that almost invariably a man is arrested when an incident occurs, regardless of who struck blows and who started the fracas. I have pointed out that the language of the Duluth model is anti-male when every item on it is in fact a female abuse strategy. I have condemned the Law in Tasmania, for instance that has a man kept in jail until he signs a document promising not to be violent again, before he is allowed infront of a Magistrate. That is, he has to admit guilt, even when innocent and even when the victim, just to get his day in court, where his 'admission' is taken as a guilty plea.

      Have you raised your voice against these sorts of denigration of real domestic violence? Is it only women you care about? I care for all.

    6. "Have you raised your voice against these sorts of denigration of real domestic violence? Is it only women you care about? I care for all. "

      As a matter of fact I have, including same-sex men and women, speaking of all - on my blog and real life :)

    7. PS - Speaking of caring for all, you must've missed my other comment, last night.

      I asked how many posts about women's issues you saw on my blog versus yours?

      I wrote one a few months ago on the actual definitions of sexual harassment VS. abuse VS assault - and I included men, both straight and gay - and that was my last post on the subject. I rarely write about women's issues or gender issues.

      So it's not me making things only about women, Amfortas. Again, please don't throw me in that box.

      If society is making things about women, why are you helping them out by writing about them so much, hmm? ;)

    8. I don't and won't throw you in a box, m'dear.

    9. Amfortas, I don't. I get it. You post a lot about the male side of things because you believe women now have too much power in society, there's no balance.

      However, do we restore or create balance by tipping the scales too far in any one direction or the other?

      No, we don't. In fact, that's what's wrong with modern-day feminism. Women have gone from seeking equality to wanting control and power IMO. (I'm an old school feminist, not a modern-day feminists who want power and control)

      Lastly, how do these women doing these things make you feel, Amfortas - pretty powerless?

      Is it possible some women became "Femnazis" because the particular men in their lives made them feel that way? (I think that psychologist clip you presented not long ago even stated that directly.)

      Is the way to deal with that to fight them to use fire with fire or water, at least trying to understand their suffering? You know, you could even try to be "that guy" that changes their view of men after bad experiences. Not your job, but that is an option?

      So perhaps the powerlessness-then-anger at injustice is righteous, on both sides, sometimes - but it won't solve the problem, and actually becomes poison to the self and society if we don't let it go, at some point. I just saw a movie on that subject.

      I have my own bad experience with a couple men, but I won't allow them to infect me with their hate and rage disease - then they've won. Will you allow the nasty women to infect you? :)

    10. I do not believe women have too much power. Feminists do. Too many people in governments at all levels are in fear of them and refuse to stand up against their ridiculous demands. Women are suffering as much as men and children in this unholy battle.

      Do I feel powerless? No. I have a voice. Babies are powerless and I stand, speak and pray for them. I chose my battles. I often take arms against stupid and bad men too.

      Women do not become feminists (nor men who do) because of men in their lives. Saying that simply shifts the blame to men. They become feminists because they are seduced by feminist women. They are seduced by their own feeling of powerlessness and their failure to get all that they want and which they are not prpared to work to get.

      I have spent quarter of a century helping women, and men and children, cope with mental and emotional illnesses. I have delved into the most awful places in people lives and minds. I have worked with many women who hate their lives and life itself, damaging themslves and others in their own unreality. I do not need a movie.

      Chrystal, I feature customers and their views as well as my own. I do not always agree with those customers but I listen to their words. Sometimes they seem cogent, sometimes not. I leave you to decide which. I may make comment.

      I do not hate. I pity. I have compassion. I can be fierce in defense and I can attack when needed. I do not fear. I have my Supplier to keep me pointed in the right direction.

    11. Fair enough. However, if I may clarify something residual that I fear you've misunderstood.

      As a psychologist, you know that sometimes both men and women who had doozies of parents hold onto their pain and anger into adulthood and often "punish" the entire gender as a result - their earliest relationships tainted their view of a particular gender.

      And sometimes men and women do as the result of trauma caused by someone of the opposite gender.

      I personally do not associate violence and crime with gender, race, or religion (though for a time, I did fear men after a particular trauma, but it passed - plus I met some doozy women, too :)

      I don't think you hate, no - but I do see anger - and I do see that personal experiences with women becoming entertwined in your arguments.

      BUT that's true of all of us, male and female - and it's normal to be angry at injustice, particularly if we've had a personal stake in it - but at some point, it can consume us - and then they've won.

      Forgive me, but I do worry sometimes it consumes you, when I know there's so much more to you than that :)

      And if it makes you feel better, Trump's personality reminds me of someone in my past and I have to watch MY transferences. Honestly, he really is like this person, but still, I have to recognize my overreaction and deal with it accordingly.

      That doesn't make either one of us mentally ill or weak, it makes us human with baggage we're still trying to unpack - but at least we're trying :)

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    1. Yes, my writing skills are fabulous, aren't they. It comes from all the editing, correcting, catching typos a week after posting, getting gentle critiques from friends about my grammar etc. The blog layout is fabulous too. A lot of work. Others are better at it than I. You could be too.

  4. "As catastrophic as a feminist-inclined Gummunt Minister."

    Like it. The issue of DV is one which is endless twisted and misquoted, cutting out vital stats, inflating those favouring the left. Erin Pizzey had much to say on it.

    1. It is a madness that has infected the mind of the west.

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Our Bouncer is a gentleman of muscle and guile. His patience has limits. He will check you at the door.

The Tavern gets rowdy visitors from time to time. Some are brain dead and some soul dead. They attack customers and the bar staff and piss on the carpets. Those people will not be allowed in anymore. So... Be Nice..