Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2005:June:20 Monday <Sunday, Tuesday>
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2005/6/20 [Computer/SW/SpamAssassin] UID:38201 Activity:nil
6/19    Hey does anybody know if hotmail silently discards mails with
        >-quoted text? I have sent somebody a fairly important mail
        and then a followup ping a week later and have not heard back.
        This is a communication of mutual importance and have successfully
        traded 3 or so email cycles, so a blowoff is unlikely as is some
        complete failure like a blacklist [dont have phone#]. It is possible
        there was an emergency and the other party is off-the-grid but am
        trying  to get a sense of the false positive rate for spam control
        on a normal text message for these large email sites.
        \_ Suggestion: create a hotmail account and send test messages to it.
           How important could your email friend be if email is the only way
           you have to communicate with them?  If you have a name and city
           you can get their phone number.
        \_ Hotmail sucks and you're stupid to use it for important stuff. I've
           seen their junk filter silently filter stuff (throwaway forum
           registrations that I use it for), without putting it in a junk
           folder. Turning their spam control off completely might help.
2005/6/20 [Politics/Domestic/911, Politics/Domestic/Crime] UID:38202 Activity:moderate
6/19    Defend this:
        http://csua.org/u/cfg
        \_ Why DO you hate America?
        \_ Why do you hate America?
        \_ Why would anyone defend this? -conservative
           \_ You'd be surprised.  Or maybe not.
        \_ You're sounding like a terrorist.
2005/6/20 [Politics/Foreign/MiddleEast/Iraq] UID:38203 Activity:very high
6/19    Before Oct 2004, had you heard of "The Lancet"?
        Yes: ....
        \_ yup. There's JAMA, NEJM and the Lancet. I'm not anything like a
           doctor and I've heard of them just like I've heard of Cell, Science
           and Nature. Well-respected journals occasionally publish work they
           shouldn't have but this ad hominem (or I guess ad magazineum) attack
           because you didn't like the one article isn't working. I suggest
           an ad hominem on the authors. That might work better. -- ulysses
           \_ What ad hominem attack on the journal?
              \_ Don't be tiresome. That's what this is, isn't it?
                 \_ No it isn't.  The poll is whether people have heard of it,
                    not what they think of its quality. -emarkp
        No: .
        What is "The Lancet?": ...
        I don't give a shit about politics, let's talk about Linux: .
        \- If you had not heard of The Lancet, that says more about you
           than "The Lancet" ... that is "their" NEJM or JAMA.
           \_ Oh wise and noble partha, please enlighten us unwashed
              masses on why we ought to be spending time reading some
              medical journal in the uk?
              \- i am not saying you need to read The Lancet or the
                 economist ... just that if you havent, that doesnt
                 suggest they are obscure publications. the fact that
                                   \_ Who is claiming they're obscure?
                 say sephen hawking has not won the nobel prize doesnt
                 reflect badly on his importance as a physicist. and were
                 he to win one day, his reputation will not change one
                 bit. maybe you didn not know Yale has one of the best
                 law schools in the country, but this probably would not
                 surprise you. it may surprise you to learn rutgers has
                 one of the best philosophy depts around ... however that
                 doesnt meant rutgers/phil isnt a strong dept. "the lancet"
                 along with nature, science, cell, NEJM, JAMA is one of the
                 "standards".
                 \_ Actually, ed is the standard, but Partha's 100% correct.
                    This is just the sort of thing you should know as part of
                    a 100% complete breakfast, sorry.  -John
                    \_ Well, you're wrong.  I'd heard of NEJM, but I couldn't
                       point to any other medical journal that I'd heard of.
                       Just today I read an AP article about Alzheimer's which
                       referred to "researchers"--I have no idea where those
                       researchers are or if they've published anything in a
                       journal. -emarkp
                       \_ "Well you're wrong"--great retort there.  The Lancet
                          is at least as prestigious as NEJM.  I don't see why
                          this is so difficult--I wasn't referring to any
                          content, research, or names that would only be
                          apparent to someone with background in a given
                          field, only to op's apparent lack of awareness of
                          the existence of something that a lot of people,
                          myself included, find to be a fact that a well-
                          educated person should know of.  -John
                          \_ Your assertion that this is something you should
                             "just know" has as much of a truth value as my
                             "you're wrong". -emarkp
                             \_ If you're going to pontificate on the validity
                                of their work, you should at least find out
                                who they are.
                                \_ I evaluated one study.  Who gives a crap who
                                   they are if they can't do their statistics?
                                   -emarkp
                                   \_ Well, 3 possibilities...
                                      1. The stat work in the article isn't
                                      shoddy,
                                      2. The stat work in Lancet articles
                                      is usually shoddy, or
                                      are usually shoddy, or
                                      3. The stat work in this particular
                                      Lancet article is unusually shoddy.
                                      I haven't seen anyone defend 1 yet, 2
                                      seems unlikely, and 3 brings to mind
                                      interesting conspiracy theories.
                                      \_ And all I was claiming is 1.  I have
                                         no opinion one way or another on 2 or
                                         3. -emarkp
                    \_ You are so right. After I google'ed "The Lancet"
                       I instantly felt enlightened and educated. With
                       years of therapy perhaps I will overcome the sense
                       of shame I now feel for being alive for 20+ years
                       w/o having heard about "The Lancet."
                       \_ I love how some folks, when told they don't know
                          something they should, immediately become
                          aggressively proud of their ignorance.  Just google
                          it, accept that you're an ignorant hayseed, and get
                          on with it.
                          \_ Your assertion "something they should" is simply
                             wrong. -emarkp
                             \_ Case in point.
                          \_ I'm not really involved in this discussion,
                             but it seems to me that you've defined,
                             "Things a well educated person should know"
                             as "things I know."
                             \_ Another case in point.
                                \_ Whatever, I'd heard of the Lancet, it
                                   just doesn't seem like that big a deal.
2005/6/20-22 [Industry/Jobs] UID:38204 Activity:low
6/20    While I was talking to my manager about promotion, he told me about
        "technical track" and "management track".  Basically what he says is
        that if I don't (can't?) become a manager, I can still be promoted
        along the technical track, where positions at different levels are
        equivalent to those at respective levels on the management track.  The
        only difference is that I don't manage people.  Is my manager BS'ing
        me?  Is this "technical track" thing common in other companies?  Are
        engineers on the technical track really as highly regarded as managers
        at the same levels on the management track?  Thanks.
        \_ http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000038.html
           Side note:
           Unfortunately, many level 14 or 15 people are there because they
           founded the company, not because they are super-studs.  A company
           can survive just by having really good level 11-13 people who can
           ensure there are good level 8-10 people coming in, direct them
           efficiently, and retain them.
           founded the company, not because they are super-studs (not that
           there's anything wrong with that).
           A company can survive just by having really good level 11-13 people
           who can ensure there are good level 8-10 people coming in, direct
           them efficiently, and retain them; or just on the backs of the level
           11-13 people themselves.
           \_ It's common for companies to claim they have a separate mgmt and
              technical track.  It's also common for the technical track to
              be not well defined.  Large companies tend to be better at
              actually having a well defined technical track.  -oj
              \_ That, and I've seen the rewards (bonuses, salary) start
                 diverging pretty wildly between the two once the "technical
                 track" people start becoming more experienced.  This may be
                 because I've dealt mainly with bank types with a very short-
                 term outlook who think they can get more value for the money
                 by hiring 2 monkeys each paid $x instead of 1 guru paid $3x,
                 has anyone else seen this?  -John
           \_ Sounds like
        \_ Veritas has senior engineering positions like Distinguised Engineer.
           charmer is a DE at Veritas and has a Director's office. I hear
           that Sun has a similar program.
        \_ This is true at JPL, and probably other places with lots of
           PhDs. It's a way to reward good science and engineering w/o
           making people managers who don't want to be and/or who are not
           good at it. Positions like "Chief Technologist" and "Research
           Fellow" are very prestigious technical positions that also pay
           similar to their management equivalents. However, the reality
           is that technical track positions are far, far more competitive
           to obtain and managers who are semi-dufuses can make the same as
           some really good technical people. If you love your job, are
           good at it, and hating managing people, go for technical track.
           Otherwise, go for the management track. In the end, I think
           management is more versatile as a career and is involved more in
           decision-making. Technical people can become 'gurus' but still
           ultimately answer to someone in management.
2005/6/20-21 [Politics/Foreign/MiddleEast/Iraq] UID:38205 Activity:high
6/20    Curiosity got the best of me, and I read the Lancet study, too.  It's
        quite thorough, undeceptive, and straightforward.  Responding to
        emarkp's post (http://csua.com/?entry=38170
        RE: Confidence Intervals. (1)Assuming a normal(it's not, it's
        skewed), there's a 90% certainty there were over 40k dead, 85%
        certainty over 51k dead, 75% certainty over 68k dead. (2) this CI
        DOES NOT INCLUDE Falluja.  The author's purposely excluded a huge
        outlier, and the most violent region in all of Iraq in order to form
        a conservative estimate.  (3) the author's are plainly honest about
        the difficulties inherent in this kind of war-time study. (4)
        Furthermore, this study estimated the number dead at the time of the
        study.  Extrapolating to today yields: 90%: 65, 85%: 82k, 75% 108k.
        Think about that: lowest quadrile = 108k dead. Not including Falluja.
        RE: death certificates: Out of 142 deaths, 78 certificates were
        asked for, and 63 provided(81%). Additionally, "When households
        could not produce the death certificate, interviewers felt in all
        cases that the explanation offered was reasonable"
        RE: non-war violent crime.  That's part of the point of the study.
        war-related conditions cause an increase in overall violent crime,
        including murder, faction in-fighting, etc.
        RE: the cluster analysis: "Because  the probability that clusters
        would be assigned to any given Governorate was proportional to the
        population size in both phases of the assignment, the sample remained
        a random national sample. This clumping of clusters was likely  to
        increase  the  sum  of  the  variance  between mortality  estimates
        of  clusters  and  thus  reduce  the precision of the national
        mortality estimate."  So yes, confidence intervals get bigger.  That
        was a call they had to make, to reduce researcher risk.  But it's
        still a random sample.   -nivra
        \_ Thsi is ordinarily true, but I would be curious to see some
        \_ This is ordinarily true, but I would be curious to see some
           pre-Saddam data.  Naturally, I doubt we could find something like
           that.  -- ilyas
           \_ The study actually recorded pre-Saddam data.  Pre-Saddam death
              rates were 5.0(3.7,6.3)/1000/yr, Post-Saddam data were
              12.3(1.4-23.2)/1000/yr. -nivra
              \_ You are telling me that during Saddam's tenure Iraq had a lower
                 death rate than the United States? -- ilyas
                 \_ So is the CIA:
                    http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/iz.html
                    \_ I don't think it's true, myself. -- ilyas
                       \_ Why not?  Look at the population age breakdowns.
                          \_ Why not?  Because it simply doesn't make sense.
                             Almost every cause of death is more sereve the
                             less developed you are.  I also think certain
                             types of deaths are simply not reported.  I would
                             also like to note that your typical 'hellhole
                             middle eastern arab states' all have extremely
                             low death rates for some reason.  It's very
                             suspicious. -- ilyas
                             \_ It's even better than that.  Post-invasion,
                                excluding Falluja, the Iraqi mortality rate is
                                7.9 per 1000 people.  According to the CIA
                                World Factbook, the estimated 2005 mortality
                                rate in the US is 8.25 per 1000.
                             \_ The slate article cites UN data as saying:
                                "Iraq's mortality rate from 1980-85 was 8.1 per
                                1,000. From 1985-90, the years leading up to
                                the 1991 Gulf War, the rate declined to 6.8 per
                                1,000. After '91, the numbers are murkier, but
                                clearly they went up. Whatever they were in
                                2002, they were almost certainly higher than 5
                                per 1,000. In other words, the wartime
                                mortality rate--if it is 7.9 per
                                1,000--probably does not exceed the peacetime
                                rate by as much as the Johns Hopkins team
                                assumes." -emarkp
                                \_ I think it's incredibly shocking if true.
                                   Saudi Arabia death rates are apparently
                                   2.62/1k.  Anybody want to comment on why
                                   this might be?  Has anybody plotted if
                                   the population growth matches birth/death
                                   figures in the Middle East? -- ilyas
                                   \_ Better diet and more exercise?
                                   \_ I have no idea but I have come to view
                                      the US as a weird place... in many areas
                                      we're not much better off than the 3rd
                                      world places. Iraq was nowhere near as
                                      fucked up as some 3rd world places...
                                      people are relatively educated and so
                                      forth, they have infrastructure. What is
                                      the US death rate among young men in
                                      ghettos? I'm playing GTA: San Andreas
                                      right now and based on this research,
                                      large crowds of people regularly get
                                      shot or run over in downtown areas.
                                      \_ It's not just the US, the Middle East
                                         rates are much lower than those of the
                                         entire industrialized West.  I think
                                         it smells of your good ol'fashioned
                                         Soviet-era underreporting. -- ilyas
                                         \_ Look at the age structure of the
                                            populations.  I'm pretty sure
                                            80-90 year old Americans are going
                                            to have a higher death rate than
                                            young people in third world
                                            countries.  Middle eastern
                                            countries mostly have very young
                                            populations.
                                \_ I love how this quote exposes Kaplan's
                                   hackery.  Well, gee pre-Invasion is
                                   "certainly higher" than what the methods
                                   in the study indicate.  The _logical_
                                   conclusion is that the study's methodology
                                   is conservative and under-estimates actual
                                   death rate.  Of course, Kaplan doesn't
                                   understand the definition of "unclear,"
                                   so I'm just expecting too much of him, I
                                   guess. -nivra
                                   \_ His assertion that the numbers "clearly
                                      went up" is weak, yes.  But weren't we
                                      getting complaints from the world about
                                      how the sanctions were killing Iraqis?
                                      Isn't it reasonable to guess that the
                                      pre-2001 mortality rate was at least 6.8?
                                      \_ sure. -nivra
              \_ That data is pre-invasion, not pre-Saddam, and it is from the
                 same study (they asked people about deaths in the period
                 before and after invasion). -emarkp
                 \_ Yes.  I had assumed ilyas meant "When Saddam Was Ousted,"
                    by "Saddam".
                    \_ Yeah, that's what I meant. -- ilyas
=======
>>>>>>> Your Changes Above
        RE: the cluster analysis: "Because  the probability that clusters
        would be assigned to any given Governorate was proportional to the
        population size in both phases of the assignment, the sample remained
        a random national sample."  -nivra
        \_ Could you post a link to the actual study, please?  Thanks.
           \_ It's changed since the slate article.  Here's the URL
              (registration required, but bugmenot has a login):
 http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140673604174412/fulltext
        \_ /csua/tmp/~nivra/lancet.pdf
        \- does your asessment of iraq wildly change whether the casualty count
           is 50k or 100k? i mean it is ok to invade a country on false
           premises, if it only leads to "1 vietnam" [usa deaths = 50k]
           worth of deaths ... but at 2V, they really ought to have done
           better?
           \_ my assessment? No. Iraq is massively fucked up, regardless. -nivra
           \_ my assessment? No. Iraq's massively fucked up, regardless. -nivra
              \- i meant to sort of just throw it out there. i think the
                 these kinds of reactions shore up the claim if there were
                 no pix out of abu graib, it would have been a total non-
                 story. instead of a lot of people being outraged, probably
                 at least half the country would have had the "you have to
                 break some eggs to make an omlette" type attitude. what was
                 amazing and depressing is the rush limbaugh types not taking
                 a hard line about what goes on in war but these flip comments
                 about frat hazing and such. anyway, now i am getting
                 depressed again.
                 \_ I brought this up before,
                 \_ I brought this up before, what went on in AG is the same
                    kind of shit that goes on in American prisons.  Why is
                    so much attention paid to this one incident?  Don't
                    American citizens incarcerated in our prisons deserve
                    more humane treatment? -- ilyas
                    \- that is not what i am saying. i am more contrasting
                       the comments about gitmo [no pix, only stories and
                       the "what do you epxect, it is a club med?] type
                       reaction. and certainly there is evidence of beatings
                       and such in american prisons, but i dont think guards
                       wipe their asses with the mexican flag, or tell
                       or dress up black inmates in hooded klan outfits.
                       \_ So you think psych torture is uniquely worse than
                          physical torture?  Btw, it's not just 'beatings'
                          that go on in US prisons. -- ilyas
                          \- are you deliberately being difficult or
                             is this your natural mode of thought? this
                             subthread is no longer worth my time.
                             \_ Note that this subthread is about as long as my
                                initial post which was deleted because it was
                                too long. -emarkp
                                \_ Look dumbass, a *single* post is easily
                                   moved to another location. There is not
                                   a simple way to move an enitre thread
                                   composed of short responses. In the
                                   Iliad thrad, nobody cut and pasted
                                   the wikipedia article on "aspect".
                                   If they had, that would have been deleted
                                   with a request to leave a pointer.
                                   A pointer to a sloda file or a URL are
                                   functionally the same. Do you have some
                                   persecution complex or is it a full on
                                   messiah complex?
        \_ "So I'm glad we could agree that the Lancet study was a pile of
           crap." -emarkp
           Why the big disparity in perceptions?
           \_ The Lancet study is a pile of crap the same way I feel the Bible
              is a pile of crap. Did you even fucking graduate from Berkeley?
              \_ "It's quite thorough, undeceptive, and straightforward."
                 -nivra
                 \_ But wrong.  Their methodology punches a lot of holes in a
                    random sampling, and the results aren't valid. -emarkp
                    \_ So I guess there is a genuine disparity in perceptions
                       then (as opposed to a political/fake disparity).
                    \_ What part of "... the sample remained a random
                       national sample" do you not understand?  You read the
                       study... tell me what these "holes in random sampling"
                       are.  Don't regurgitate Kaplan, b/c he's full of shit.
                        The authors are clear on both the methodology and the
                       impacts of the methodology: "This clumping of clusters
                       was likely  to  increase  the  sum  of  the  variance
                       between mortality  estimates  of  clusters  and  thus
                       reduce  the precision of the national mortality
                       estimate. We deemed this acceptable since it reduced
                       travel by a third."  Certainly, it affected the
                       precision of the estimate, but not the accuracy.
                       That's one of the main reasons for the large CI. -nivra
                       \_ They reassigned random locations to other
                          governorates that were chosen non-randomly.  That
                          means they are no longer random.  Yes, they tried to
                          "match" governorates but you /can't do that/ or you
                          bias the data--not just the variance. -emarkp
                          \_ Did you understand the methodology?  The
                             reassignment _did_ occur randomly.  Yes, it
                             decreases statistical power, but No, it did not
                             compromise randomness.  cf. wolfram link below.
                             \_ No, they did /not/ reassign them randomly.  The
                                chose a paired governorate and randomly chose
                                between the two.  The choice of pairs was /not/
                                random. -emarkp
                                \_ Neither are the initial governates. Duh.
                                   It wouldn't make a difference if they
                                   paired all the fucking country up.  Again,
                                   look into the wolfram link if you don't
                                   understand.  The pairing screws with
                                   precision, not accuracy. -nivra
                                   \_ ??? The paper says: "We obtained January,
                                      2003, population estimates for each of
                                      Iraq.s 18 Governorates from the Ministry
                                      of Health. No attempt was made to adjust
                                      these numbers for recent displacement or
                                      immigration.  We assigned 33 clusters to
                                      Governorates via systematic equal-step
                                      sampling from a randomly selected start."
                                      How is that not random for the initial
                                      selection? -emarkp
                                      \_ The clusters are random, the
                                         governates are not. 18 governates
                                         already assigned by M. of Health.
                                         The authors simply collapsed 18 into
                                         12, then proceeded randomly. -nivra
                                         \_ Sure, but the clusters were
                                            assigned to the governorates at
                                            random.  I don't see a problem with
                                            that.  It's the non-random
                                            substitution of governorates that
                                            is a problem. -emarkp
                You're ok with:            _/
                   P1 = P(cluster_init|population_governates)
                They did:
                   P2 = P(cluster_sampled|population_governates,P1)
                Why are you ok with P1 and not ok with P2? (reformatted) -nivra
                \_ Ah.  I'll have to think about that more carefully.  That
                   does suggest a problem in my reasoning. -emarkp
                                   precision, not accuracy.
you're ok with: P1 = P(cluster_init|population_governates) _/
They did: P2 = P(cluster_sampled|population_governates,P1)
Why are you ok with P1 and not ok with P2?
                   \_ It's widely known that conditioning on an extra thing can
                      reverse any inequality among probabilities.  This
                      phenomenon even has a name in statistics.  This may be
                      what is giving you pause. -- ilyas
           \_ It's not surprising that people who agree with the motivations of
              the war doubt the study while people who disagree trust it.  I'm
              distrustful of statistical correlative studies in general because
              they're so hard to get right and so easy to make bad assumptions.
              The Lancet study was a bit cavalier with adjustments to the
              sampling.  To the authors' credit, they did make effort to
              decrease possible effects of adjusting the sampling, but I don't
              think it was sufficient. -emarkp
              \_ Shrug.  Random individuals on the net don't make a big diff to
                 me.  nivra and emarkp saying two opposite things means
                 something.
        \_ Why were death certificates not asked for in 64 out of 142 deaths?
           Instead of 63 death certificates out of 78 requested, shouldn't it
           be 63 certificates out of 142 deaths (44%)?
           \_ no. They only asked for death certificates 78 times. emarkp's op
              has the relevant quote. It was a methodolical decision, but still
              connsistent with random sampling. -nivra
        \_ RE: the clustering.  Asserting that changing the sampling doesn't
           lose randomness doesn't make it so.  They can't use the clustering
           as a representative sample just as if the pairs of governorates are
           exactly equal.
           \_ they don't just assert.  They show how they changed the sampling,
              and if you understood basic probability, you would understand
              that it doesn't change the randomness of the sample. Here, a
              stats refresher:  http://csua.org/u/cfp (mathworld) -nivra
              stats refresher:  http://csua.org/u/cfp (mathworld)
              \_ No, they did /not/ reassign them randomly.  The chose a paired
                 governorate and randomly chose between the two.  The choice of
                 pairs was /not/ random. -emarkp
                 \_ see above. precision not accuracy. -nivra
                 \_ see above. precision not accuracy.
           RE: non-war violent crime.  Why is that part of the study?  Did they
           check what crime was like here in the US before and after the
           invasion?  Was there any correlation?
           \_ this has to do with what?  The estimate of the number dead
              is an estimate of total dead, regardless of prior death-rate.
              Furthermore, you don't think the stoppage of electricity, water,
              food, etc. could have affected non-violent death rates?
              food, etc. could have affected non-violent death rates? -nivra
           RE: Confidence Intervals.  Without seeing their inputs, I don't
           trust the results.  Especially when they're just dumping the data
           into software developed by "Save the Children". -emarkp
           \_ Firstly, they used two different data packages, and results
              concurred.  Secondly, this is exactly what it comes down to:
              you don't "trust" the results.  You have no background in
              epidemiological studies and are not familiar with software or
              terminology, yet you don't trust the results from methodologies
              that are clearly described, checked by two presumably standard
              statistical packages published in The Lancet.  That shows the
              underlying reason for the "disparity in opinion".
              underlying reason for the "disparity in opinion". -nivra
              \_ Yes, the study claims that they compared the "Save the
                 Children" results with EpiInfo.  They don't provide their
                 source data however so it's pretty much impossible to check
                 their results.  -emarkp
                 \_ Firstly, the software was not called "Save the Children."
                    The software was designed to measure death-rates on what
                    I presume was a project paid for by "Save the Children."
                    Secondly, they do show source data.  They provided all
                    raw numbers.  If you distrust the results, go find other
                    epidemiological software and run it yourself.  I happen
                    to trust editorial boards of major scientific journals
                    to trust epidemiological results that the authors ran
                    on two different statistical packages.-nivra
                    on two different statistical packages.
                    \_ I used to trust them more.  I was convinced by the
                       "hockey stick" that global warming was correlated with
                       human industrial activity.  Then someone put random
                       data into the same analysis engine and the hockeystick
                       appeared with that data as well.  So much for that
                       trust. -emarkp
                       \_ Fine. That means the heart of your opinion resides
                          blatant mistrust of the editorial board of first-
                          rate medical journal.  Finally, something we agree
                          on. -nivra
                          \_ No, the reason to investigate is my distrust of
                             what appeared to be a politically motivated study
                             and a distrust of /all/ statistical correlation
                             studies.  The heart of my opinion is based on what
                             I read in the study itself. -emarkp
                             \_ mistrust of "correlation equals causation" is
                                reasonable.  The authors make no such claim.
                                In fact, the 98k has nothing to do with either
                                correlation or causation. It's a simple
                                extrapolation of the death count based on a
                                statistical sample -nivra
                                \_ Neither did the hockey-stick claim it.  It
                                   was an extrapolation of global temperatures
                                   based on a sample.  And it has been entirely
                                   busted. -emarkp
                                   \_ So your argument is: Hockey stick
                                      extrapolation incorrect.  Therefore,
                                      Iraq casualty extrapolation incorrect.
                                      Sounds reasonable to me. -nivra
        \_ Take emarkp's post: Of the 6 points he made, 3 were blatantly
           invalid: (3) undermines his point, (4) is a non-point, (5)
           reflects a failure to understand the study, 2 were directly
           addressed in the study: (2) & (6) as quoted above. That leaves
           the CI criticism (1), which is a valid criticism of the
           "repeated talking point," and not of the "study," since both
           times the study used the 98k number, it was immediately followed
           by the 95% CI.  Furthermore, the CI still reflects a 75%
           certainty that there were over 68k dead in Iraq at the time of
           the study. -nivra
           \_ The very wide CI indicates a severe weakness of the study.  Your
              assertion that my points are invalid doesn't make it so. -emarkp
              \_ At least Kaplan wasn't dense enough to make this argument.
                 The CI shows the inherent difficulties in war-related
                 epidemiological studies.  It's not a "weakness of the study."
                 He, at least, understand the difference between the study
                 and the security situation in Iraq.  The CI, if anything,
                 shows the integrity of the study - it accurately reflects
                 the difficulty of obtaining a precise estimate. -nivra
                 \_ Amend my comment to "weakness of selecting any one value"
                    as the mortality. -emarkp
                    \_ The study quotes "98k" twice; both times immediately
                       followed by the CI.  Well, gee, what value do
                       researchers normally choose?  How about a mean? -nivra
                 the difficulty of obtaining a precise estimate.
2005/6/20-22 [Computer/Companies/Apple, Computer/HW/CPU] UID:38206 Activity:kinda low
6/20    I was waiting for a powerbook G5 and then come this announcement
        about a switch to intel.  Now I'll just sit tight and see what
        comes out.  Anybody else doing the same?   I'm wondering if I'll
        be able to run windows on a intel-based powerbook (so that I don't
        have to run virtualPC).  Thanks.
        \_ You will not be able to run Windows on Apple-branded hardware;
           so says Apple.  (And VirtualPC >> dual-booting anyway).  -tom
           \_ http://news.com.com/2100-7341_3-5733756.html
              "That doesn't preclude someone from running it on a Mac. They
              probably will," [Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller] said.
              "We won't do anything to preclude that."
           \_ There is nothing that prevents Microsoft from making Windows
              compatible with Apple's Intel boxes if they really wanted to.
              Of course, to run it legally, you'll have to pay the full
              price for Windows since it probably won't come with the machine.
           \_ Where did you read this?  The last thing I read said that they
              wouldn't stop anyone from running Windows on an intel mac.
           \_ How well does direct3d peform on VirtualPC?
              \_ badly.  Probably still badly when Apple switches to Intel
                 chips.  If you want to run Windows direct3d applications, get
                 a Windows box.  -tom
                 \_ So "VirtualPC >> dual-booting" means?
                    \_ Dual-booting is a major pain in the ass, no matter
                       what the two OSes are, but especially if one of them
                       is Windows.  -tom
                       \_ Intel's new line of chips is supposed to support
                          VT technology so you can run two oses and switch
                          between then without a reboot.  Should be nice
                          if it works.
        \_ I wouldn't wait if I didn't have a laptop and if I needed one NOW.
           But if you can wait and then buy one as soon as Apple comes up
           with one, the only problem that I can think of is that probably not
           all of third party commercial Mac software will be ported to Intel
           by then.
           \_ Some insider dirt: I heard that the Unreal Tournament guys got
              a working universal binary port together in about two hours.
              I'm thinking this transition will be a lot easier than 68k/PPC.
              \_ Gee, UT was an engine that was orginally ported over from
                 x86 to PPC.  Don't you think that's going to make porting
                 it back to x86 just a wee bit trivial?
        \_ You still haven't told us if/how you fixed your PC networking
           problem. You wanna share your experience?
        \_ If you want to wait for an x86 PB/iBook plan on waiting more than
           1 yr unless you are willing to deal w/ the curse of the rev 1 pb.
           Personally I'm waiting for Apple to release an iBook w/ a Quartz
           Extreme 2D compatible video card and I'm going to get that and
           hold onto it until the kinks are worked out of the x86 line. The
           reason I'm going w/ the iBook is that it is almost as light as
           the pb and is significantly cheaper.
           \_ thanks for the tip.  The reason why I've been holding out for
              a G5 PB is because I've heard that virtualPC runs very slow
              on a G4.  VirtualPC on an Intel is probably going to be a lot
              faster.  I don't play games so graphics performance is not an
              issue for me.  -op
              \_ Go away pervert. Go hug a snuggy.
2005/6/20-23 [Recreation/Dating] UID:38207 Activity:nil
6/20    Does anyone know of any open source odds/spreads software? Too many
        times at work engineers are trying to place bets on how many days
        the project will slip, which features will get cut, whether or not
        someone is going to get laid, or dump someone, etc. Stupid things that
        may be "proprietary" so a third party gambling site won't do...
2005/6/20-21 [Politics/Foreign/MiddleEast/Iraq] UID:38208 Activity:low
6/20  Subthread about mortality rates yanked from above Lancet post
        \_ This is ordinarily true, but I would be curious to see some
           pre-Saddam data.  Naturally, I doubt we could find something like
           that.  -- ilyas
           \_ The study actually recorded pre-Saddam data.  Pre-Saddam death
              rates were 5.0(3.7,6.3)/1000/yr, Post-Saddam data were
              12.3(1.4-23.2)/1000/yr. -nivra
              \_ You are telling me that during Saddam's tenure Iraq had a lower
                 death rate than the United States? -- ilyas
                 \_ So is the CIA:
                    http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/iz.html
                 \_ I don't think it's true, myself. -- ilyas
                       \_ Why not?  Look at the population age breakdowns.
                          \_ Why not?  Because it simply doesn't make sense.
                             Almost every cause of death is more sereve the
                             less developed you are.  I also think certain
                             types of deaths are simply not reported.  I would
                             also like to note that your typical 'hellhole
                             middle eastern arab states' all have extremely
                             low death rates for some reason.  It's very
                             suspicious. -- ilyas
                             \_ It's even better than that.  Post-invasion,
                                excluding Falluja, the Iraqi mortality rate is
                                7.9 per 1000 people.  According to the CIA
                                World Factbook, the estimated 2005 mortality
                                rate in the US is 8.25 per 1000.
                             \_ The slate article cites UN data as saying:
                                "Iraq's mortality rate from 1980-85 was 8.1 per
                                1,000. From 1985-90, the years leading up to
                                the 1991 Gulf War, the rate declined to 6.8 per
                                1,000. After '91, the numbers are murkier, but
                                clearly they went up. Whatever they were in
                                2002, they were almost certainly higher than 5
                                per 1,000. In other words, the wartime
                                mortality rate--if it is 7.9 per
                                1,000--probably does not exceed the peacetime
                                rate by as much as the Johns Hopkins team
                                assumes." -emarkp
                                \_ I think it's incredibly shocking if true.
                                   Saudi Arabia death rates are apparently
                                   2.62/1k.  Anybody want to comment on why
                                   this might be?  Has anybody plotted if
                                   the population growth matches birth/death
                                   figures in the Middle East? -- ilyas
                                   \_ Better diet and more exercise?
                                   \_ I have no idea but I have come to view
                                      the US as a weird place... in many areas
                                      we're not much better off than the 3rd
                                      world places. Iraq was nowhere near as
                                      fucked up as some 3rd world places...
                                      people are relatively educated and so
                                      forth, they have infrastructure. What is
                                      the US death rate among young men in
                                      ghettos? I'm playing GTA: San Andreas
                                      right now and based on this research,
                                      large crowds of people regularly get
                                      shot or run over in downtown areas.
                                      \_ It's not just the US, the Middle East
                                         rates are much lower than those of the
                                         entire industrialized West.  I think
                                         it smells of your good ol'fashioned
                                         Soviet-era underreporting. -- ilyas
                                         \_ Look at the age structure of the
                                            populations.  I'm pretty sure
                                            80-90 year old Americans are going
                                            to have a higher death rate than
                                            young people in third world
                                            countries.  Middle eastern
                                            countries mostly have very young
                                            populations.
                                            \_ Uh, this makes no sense.  Middle
                                               Eastern countries mostly have
                                               very young populations because
                                               their life expectancy is low.
                                               How can life expectancy be low,
                                               and deaths per thousand be low,
                                                 -- ilyas
                                               \_ Take a look through the
                                                  factbook entries.  Your
                                                  assumptions are... creative.
                                                  You're also looking at a
                                                  snapshot.  Historical data
                                                  for the countries involved
                                                  would be more useful
                                                  \_ Well, Iraq's reported
                                                     life expectancy isn't
                                                     'low' but it's a good
                                                     deal lower than the US.
                                                     How can this be coupled
                                                     with a lower death rate
                                                     in Iraq?  Same with any
                                                     other Middle Eastern vs
                                                     Western nation. -- ilyas
                                                     \_ As three posts have
                                                        said: demographics.
                                                        Historical data would
                                                        probably make it much
                                                        clearer, but I would
                                                        assume these values
                                                        are quite cyclical.
                                \_ I love how this quote exposes Kaplan's
                                   hackery.  Well, gee pre-Invasion is
                                   "certainly higher" than what the methods
                                   in the study indicate.  The _logical_
                                   conclusion is that the study's methodology
                                   is conservative and under-estimates actual
                                   death rate.  Of course, Kaplan doesn't
                                   understand the definition of "unclear,"
                                   so I'm just expecting too much of him, I
                                   guess. -nivra
                                   \_ His assertion that the numbers "clearly
                                      went up" is weak, yes.  But weren't we
                                      getting complaints from the world about
                                      how the sanctions were killing Iraqis?
                                      Isn't it reasonable to guess that the
                                      pre-2001 mortality rate was at least 6.8?
                                      \_ sure. -nivra
              \_ That data is pre-invasion, not pre-Saddam, and it is from the
                 same study (they asked people about deaths in the period
                 before and after invasion). -emarkp
                 \_ Yes.  I had assumed ilyas meant "When Saddam Was Ousted,"
                    by "Saddam".
                    \_ Yeah, that's what I meant. -- ilyas
2005/6/20 [Science/GlobalWarming] UID:38209 Activity:nil
6/20    Arvin, you have to realize that the entire world is engaged in a
        conspiracy to confuse and befuddle emarkp.  They're all just out
        to make his ideas look crazy, and his arguments insane.
        \_ emarkp, jblack, williamc, and GWB have something in common.
           They never re-examine their positions. They never reflect.
           They never admit mistakes.
        \_ Facts, figures, statistics... none of them matter to GWB and
           his supporters. As long as they have faith or ideologies they
           strongly believe in, nothing in the world matters to them.
2005/6/20 [Politics/Foreign/MiddleEast/Iraq, Computer/Theory] UID:38210 Activity:nil
6/20    In the encyclopedia under "cognitive dissonance" it says "see emarkp
        and the below Lancet threads."
        \_ d00d, cognitive dissonance is "no doubt" there were WMDs to:  uh,
           why can't we find any?  oh yeah, because they're in syria or buried
           in the desert.
2005/6/20-22 [Recreation/Computer/Games] UID:38211 Activity:kinda low
6/20    If there are any X-COM: UFO defense fans in the audience, check out
        laser squad: nemesis.  Very fun squad-level turn-based strategy game,
        in the spirit of X-COM, Combat Mission, Jagged Alliance, etc. -- ilyas
        \_ I would love a game where you can lead a platoon and order them to
           do things (split, outflank, regroup) AND participate in the war
           in 3D. For example, in Battlefield 2 you're a soldier and you have
           no way of ordering men, and in Rise of Nations you're the commander
           and have no way of participating it in the first person. They should
           have something that combines both.
           \_ Savage does exactly this. One person plays commander and gets
              an RTS view, everyone else plays it like an FPS. Tribes also
              did this.
              \_ Half-Life Natural Selection also does it.  No vehicles
                 though.
           \_ Brother in Arms?
           \_ Have you played Homeworld?  It's not person-based, and you
              can't really take a 1st-person view, but I think being able
              to order squadrons around in formations is really neat.  -John
              \_ Mothership.
        \_ I looked at it a few years ago and it was much more frustrating
           than any of the games you mentioned.  It wasn't nearly as clean,
           mostly because everything happened at the same time and being able
           to tell how long it would take to do an action was really hard.
           \_ It uses combat mission's 'VCR tape' metaphor for combat,
              which I personally like, but I can see why people would hate it.
              It IS harder to get good results in this metaphor, but it's more
              realistic than units taking turns, imo.  -- ilyas
              \_ I don't care about realism.  I care about fun.  But I could
                 live with it if it gave you a way to actually tell what the
                 fuck you expect to happen during a turn.  As it is I don't
                 know how many pixels I expect someone to run, or how long
                 a gun takes to shoot so I can wait until after I think
                 a few shots have gone off to have someone dash for the door.
                 \_ Gamespy just gave Battlefield 2 five out of five stars!
                    Yes I know it's multiplayer FPS and not turn-based stgy.
                        \_ You better have a kick-ass machine, the minimum
                           system requirements are ridiculous, my machine
                           cannot play it!
                 \_ There is this old jungle saying about how 'no plan
                    survives contact with the enemy.'  Having to plant for
                    survives contact with the enemy.'  Having to plan for
                    possible contingencies based on limited information about
                    enemy position, movement, and intent, and having to deal
                    with the fact that you soldiers are perfect drones obeying
                    your every order exactly is something I find kind of neat.
                    YMMV, as I said.  -- ilyas
                    with the fact that your soldiers are not perfect drones
                    obeying your every order exactly is something I find kind
                    of neat.  YMMV, as I said.  -- ilyas
                    \_ It's not the planning I mind it's the fact that "I want
                       this person to start running this way as soon as X is
                       dead" is not possible.  So instead I have to guess and
                       hope I'm right.  Especially considering I have to guess
                       even how long it will take to shoot n times which I
                       think should be enough time to kill X.  There needs to
                       be a better way to give the dudes orders because as it
                       is right now it is just frustrating.  And I'm fine with
                       them not obeying orders all the time, morale issues are
                       kind of fun in a game, but dealing with poor ui is not
                       morale, it's fighting with the game engine to get it to
                       do what you want.
                       \_ Yeah, that's true.  Having a 'programming language',
                          or, more accurately, a contingency planning language
                          (a big AI area) would be nice.  A nice bonus here is
                          that it would be possible to write good AI for these
                          games then, or at the very least bring modern
                          techniques to bear. -- ilyas
        \_ I've heard nice things about Full Spectrum Warrior.  I've
           wanted to try it.  Any motd opinions?
2005/6/20-22 [Reference/BayArea, Transportation/Car] UID:38212 Activity:low
6/20    My friend's having a wedding in Seattle. Hotels there are about
        $30-40 more than other places like Renton, which is 12 miles
        aways. Since I'm renting a car, I don't think 12 miles will
        really matter. However, is there anything I'm really missing
        by not living closer to Seattle, Kirkland, Lynwood, and Shoreline?
        \_ Bellevue's usually fairly reasonably priced.  Try the Days Inn.
        \_ Are you a student or unemployed? Think staying in Berkeley instead
           of SF, or Oakland instead of Berkeley. You can definitely do it,
           but there's something to be said of being "in the city", whether
           the city in question is SF, Berkeley, or Seattle.
           \_ I'm both, the most pathetic kind :( -op
              \- I think with weddings there is often milage to be had
                 by staying where other people are staying. If there is
                 no central location or you are going to be haning out
                 with other people, i suppose that may be another matter.
        \_ http://www.biddingfortravel.com
           \_ or http://www.betterbidding.com  This one contains possible
              pricing for http://hotwire.com (in case you don't want to do the
              usual priceline bidding).
2005/6/20-21 [Recreation/Pets] UID:38213 Activity:high
6/20    Boredcast Message from 'eric': Mon Jun 20 17:06:08 2005
          So, psb, Mr. philosopher:
          If a woman gets fucked by a male dog, is it rape? I'll bet
          that happens a lot more than the other way around.
        I don't read wall that much, but this caught my eye, because I am told
        in Roman coliseums, specially bred and trained dogs raping slave women
        was one of the attractions.
        \_ ? why are you trying to reply to a wall on the motd?
             \- anonymity? re the above [reformatted] comments:
                1. i dont think this was relevant to the legal principle
                   of the composition of tort damage or magnitude of criminal
                   sanction i was interested in.
                2. this not an area of roman history i am especially
                   knowledgeable about.
                   \_ Why does psb hate raper dogs?
        \_ Let me rephrase the wall: "If a women has sex with a male dog, did
        *SHE* rape the dog?" -- Dogs do not go around raping women, unless I've
        missed some major news item recently -eric
        \_ Well, I dunno about dogs that rape, but this dog raper guy really
           is an argument for 110th trimester abortion:
           http://www.fox21.com/Global/story.asp?S=3456745
           \_ Gah.  Don't forget he also molested two little girls.
2005/6/20-22 [Politics/Domestic/President/Clinton] UID:38214 Activity:kinda low
6/20    Adelphia Founder gets 15 years in jail. His son gets 20.
        Hooray for justice, and DOWN WITH RAMPANT CORPORATE FRAUD!!!
        http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,160147,00.html
        \_ Hey man, he didn't mean to do any harm, he was just trying to
           improve conditions when he stole that $100 million.
           \_ Hahaha that's his claim and the judge didn't buy it
        \_ What I don't understand is, if you catch 20 years in the clink, and
           the judge orders you to show up in 3 months, wouldn't you just try
           as hard as you could to salvage some cash and then get the hell
           out of dodge?  -John
           \_ This is why they often confiscate your passport. Not that
              anyone checks these things at the TJ crossing.
              \- 1. because they will probably end up at a not super awful
                    prison. if they were facing the likelyhood of being
                    sodomized they probably would have taken off
                 2. let's see how long they actually serve ... when do they
                    actually get incarcerated?
                 3. they may not want to live anywhere that we dont have
                    extradition treaties ... once you flee, you are sort
                    of burning your bridges (*) so they may be betting on
                    of burning your bridges (*) so they may be counting on
                    being able to reddeem themselves like say michael milken.
                    * = of course as we learn from the Clinton-Marc Rich
                        episode, you can buy your way out of that too.
                        clinton lovers really should not try and defend that
                        one.
                        episode.
2005/6/20-23 [Computer/HW/Memory, Computer/Networking, Computer/HW/Drives] UID:38215 Activity:nil
6/20    I'm having problems transfering pics between my hard drive
        and the memory card.  Soemtimes it works, sometimes it gives
        I/O error or other error messages.  Is the problem likely due to a
        corrupt memory card, the cable I'm using, or something inside my
        computer?
        \_ Though the motd may often seem prescient, you might have better
           luck debugging this yourself by testing the components separately,
           and seeing if any one component causes the errors to recur. -dans
2017/09/22 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
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Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2005:June:20 Monday <Sunday, Tuesday>