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31 Charts May* Restore Your Faith In Humanity[Pic+

Hits: 5908 | Rating: (2.3) | Category: Science | Added by: SmagBoy1
Jump to: Bottom    Last Post
Angilion
Male, 40-49, Europe
 11501 Posts
Sunday, June 09, 2013 10:59:52 AM
[quote">Agreed, 5Cats. I'm often amazed by what the news headlines say (e.g. "Study shows cure for AIDS!"), when, in fact, the study shows an improved reduction of one of the indicators of the virus in a statistically significant portion of test subjects, but, not at all in even a majority.[/quote">

I try to avoid any mainstream media coverage of anything in any way connected with science. It's so bad that it's annoying. Maybe it's incomptence, maybe it's deliberate misinformation, but either way it's annoying.

The Daily Mail, which is arguably the worst "news"paper in existence, is particularly noted for its numerous stories about how everything either causes or cures cancer (and quite often both, depending on which story you read).

http://kill-or-cure.herokuapp.com/a-z/a

Angilion
Male, 40-49, Europe
 11501 Posts
Sunday, June 09, 2013 10:53:26 AM
And the original questions are fraught with peril as well!! Seeing the -question- is almost as important as seeing the results!


This, in spades. I'n no expert at at but I could easily phrase questions to rig a study to provide almost any results I wanted. People who are doing studies and who want actual information have to go to some lengths to avoid biasing the answers.

It can go beyond the question itself, too. It's possible to manipulate answers to a question using statements and/or questions before the question itself.

Context matters too. There's a good example in a scene in Yes, Prime Minister. The PM is asked if he would meet the French halfway regarding the signs in the channel tunnel. He says he would...but the French wanted all the signs in French and the UK wanted them to swap over in the middle, so meeting them halfway would actually be 1/4 of the way along the tunnel.

SmagBoy1
Male, 40-49, Southern US
 4243 Posts
Sunday, June 09, 2013 9:44:31 AM
Agreed, 5Cats. I'm often amazed by what the news headlines say (e.g. "Study shows cure for AIDS!"), when, in fact, the study shows an improved reduction of one of the indicators of the virus in a statistically significant portion of test subjects, but, not at all in even a majority. In other words, nothing about a cure, or even a finding worthy of reporting in that manner. Perhaps the reason for publication was another indicator entirely. It's amazing how easily things can be mutated from intent (or how easily things can be manipulated with intent!).

5Cats
Male, 50-59, Canada
 25691 Posts
Sunday, June 09, 2013 5:38:10 AM
@Angilion and @Smagboy1: True on both counts!

Understanding "the numbers" and "what they say" CAN BE two entirely different things...

Both can be used for deception. And the original questions are fraught with peril as well!! Seeing the -question- is almost as important as seeing the results!

SmagBoy1
Male, 40-49, Southern US
 4243 Posts
Sunday, June 09, 2013 2:28:53 AM
@Angilion: agreed on both counts. Statistics can do wonderful things, but they can also be biased and terribly misinforming.

Angilion
Male, 40-49, Europe
 11501 Posts
Saturday, June 08, 2013 6:38:45 PM
A couple of things stood out:

1) The usual misunderstanding of life expectancy figures. People didn't used to die at 47 (or the other similar figures for various times and places). People usually lived into their 60s and often into their 70s. Life expentancy figures are an average. The low figures are a result of pre-adult mortality rates, not normal lifespan. e.g. if two people die at 70 and one person dies at 1, the "life expectancy" figure for that group would be 47.

2) The usual sexism - if >50% of people with degrees are men it's a bad thing and if >50% of people with degrees are women it's a good thing.

5Cats
Male, 50-59, Canada
 25691 Posts
Saturday, June 08, 2013 5:15:42 PM
@SmagBoy1: Good stuff indeed! Some nice, price-adjusted comparisons of real, practical things.

Also the whole 'disease thing' is WAY better than 100 years ago...

SmagBoy1
Male, 40-49, Southern US
 4243 Posts
Saturday, June 08, 2013 1:37:29 PM
HA! I love the pic, ferdyfred!

ferdyfred
Male, 40-49, Europe
 11186 Posts
Saturday, June 08, 2013 1:27:51 PM
Well most of it anyway!!

ferdyfred
Male, 40-49, Europe
 11186 Posts
Saturday, June 08, 2013 1:26:49 PM

SmagBoy1
Male, 40-49, Southern US
 4243 Posts
Saturday, June 08, 2013 1:26:10 PM
These aren't all perfect--it's clear that some of them, due to the age of the data, will be affected by more recent events (like #17, the infectious disease one, what with the increase of anti-vax folks), but, for the most part, the charts seem to be sourced and valid and not over-claiming. What do you guys think? Some good stuff in there?

SmagBoy1
Male, 40-49, Southern US
 4243 Posts
Saturday, June 08, 2013 10:27:46 AM
Link: 31 Charts May* Restore Your Faith In Humanity[Pic+ [Rate Link] - Or maybe just give you fodder over which to have Internet arguments. One of the two.


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