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... how the same politicians who said that New Jersey should just man up and take care of themselves after Hurricane Sandy hit, are now calling for federal aid from FEMA for relief from Hurricane Harvey, and in a few days, probably Hurricane Irma.

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Last Post by diafol
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    ddanbe 2,654   1 Week Ago

    ...that with statistics you can prove almost everything. Read More

  • I read something recently about how eating vegetables raw rather than cooked could be slightly healthier. The author lamented that his findings would likely be reported on TV as ##The Way You Are Eating Vegetables May Lead To An Early Death Read More

  • 1
    ddanbe 2,654   1 Week Ago

    ...sitting in your garden, sipping at a cold drink and watching the grass grow? Read More

  • 1
    ddanbe 2,654   1 Week Ago

    ...that it seems that only politicians and journalists use twitter. Read More

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    ddanbe 2,654   1 Day Ago

    ...to be loved? Read More

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... how every six months "a new study" comes out that claims that the stuff that was killing you is now considered healthy.

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The latter one is actually mostly journalism's fault not the science. It's extremely annoying how journalists feel the need to turn every p < 0.05 association into "we're all going to die because of X" or "if we indulged in X we'd all live to 200 years old".

The contradictions are usually actually how science is supposed to work. Somebody looks at a pile of data and finds a few associations which look promising, others then go and do more rigourous tests of those hypotheses and find they were false positives. Repeat until the more rigourous tests confirm the hypothesis. Because every step in the scientific chain from stastistical association to medical treatment is slower, and more expensive but more precise than the one before. But 10-20 years of incremental research doesn't make an exciting news story...

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...that with statistics you can prove almost everything.

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27% of statistics are never shared.
73% of statistics are just made up on the spot.
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Read Ben Goldacre. Opens the lid on lazy journalism and fabricated shite supposedly based on scientific research.

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I went to his website. I'll definitely be doing some browsing there. Thanks. Another good read is An Apple a Day by Joe Schwarcz. Mostly good but I disagree with his position on GMOs, not necessarily because of the actual GMO product but the side effects like severe damage to neighbouring farms due to drifting of the extreme amount of pesticides used on the Roundup-Ready (and other-Ready) crops. I've exchanged a few emails with him. He is very open to (informed) discussion on the topics in the book.

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... that almost all public washroom doors open "in" so that even if you fastidiously wash your hands you still have to grasp the pull-bar to open the door to leave, effectively touching the hands of everyone who did not wash.

As a side note - you always do up your pants and belt before washing your hands but nobody ever washes their belt so exactly how filthy is that thing?

Edited by Reverend Jim

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severe damage to neighbouring farms due to drifting of the extreme amount of pesticides used on the Roundup-Ready (and other-Ready) crops.

Wasn't that already a problem? Roundup-resistence isn't a novel thing it was just moving the resistance from one crop to a bunch of other crops to my understanding. Or is it a numbers thing that before maybe one of your neighbours were growing Roundup-resistant crops and now all of your neighbours are growing Roundup-resistant crops.

PS have there been other-Ready crops yet? As far as I'm aware Roundup is the only pesticide for which "they" have GMed resistance, most of the other GMOs are designed for other purposes i.e. adding natural resistance to various pests, faster growth, or better shelf-life.

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...that with statistics you can prove almost everything.

Actually no, with statistics you can argue almost everything but only by misinterpretting/representing the statistics. It's easy to tell any story with statistics but critically examining them will almost always reveal the truth.

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but critically examining them will almost always reveal the truth

Very few people can do this for themselves. They depend on the media (shock horror!) to do it for them. The media (shock horror twice!) depends on scientists to articulate findings (or their "interpretation" thereof). Don't start me on where politicians get their "facts". The truth is a strange thing - even that means different things to different people. We tinker with a model and are happy to scrap it if it fails the test. People further removed are shocked and lost.

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Wasn't that already a problem? Roundup-resistence isn't a novel thing

It's not so much Roundup as Dicamba. And it's not a problem with resistance. The problem is when the pesticide is sprayed, then drifts onto crops in neighbouring fields that grow crops that are not GMed to be resistant. Monsanto modified cotton and soybeans to to be resistant to Dicamba (introduced in 1942) which is known to be particularly destructive in drifting. Twenty states have reported crop damage over more than three million acres. One peach farmer lost over 30,000 trees due to Dicamba drift.

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That's all true but it isn't the statistics that are at fault. Politics in particular misuse every form of argument to push one agenda or another - from logical fallacies, to cherry-picked annecdotes, to outright make-up rumours/conspiracies. Sadly, "the truth" isn't as exciting as people want it to be and often isn't what people expect/want it to be so many prefer to live on a Bullshit Mountain if I can appropriate a phrase. And that's before we get into how uncomfortable people are about not-knowing something.

BTW often it isn't the scientists fault their findings are incorrectly reported, journalists push/skew of their own accord. I personally know a nuclear-physicist who refuses to speak to journalists at all anymore because they always try to push him into saying something that suggests it is dangerous and will pick-out the most fear-mongering-ish thing he says in an hour long interview to stick in their article/show.

John Oliver actually did some really good reporting on it where he talked to some scientists who had their work completely butchered in the media to be something about cancer & farts (even though it wasn't actually about either of those things) through no fault of their own.

Edited by Agilemind

Votes + Comments
"It's not a tumor!"
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I read something recently about how eating vegetables raw rather than cooked could be slightly healthier. The author lamented that his findings would likely be reported on TV as

The Way You Are Eating Vegetables May Lead To An Early Death

Votes + Comments
I served up okra and worry my guests were plotting my demise.
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...sitting in your garden, sipping at a cold drink and watching the grass grow?

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In the United States, high taxes are enough to fully reimburse all damages from hurricanes from the federal budget.

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In the United States, high taxes are enough to fully reimburse all damages from hurricanes from the federal budget

I'm waiting to see who gets reimbursed and who doesn't. You might want to check out the documentary, The Big Uneasy, to see how it worked with Hurricane Katrina.

Edited by Reverend Jim

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