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What Medical Tests Should Teach Us About the NSA Surveillance Program

Davak Re:Flawed Analogy (107 comments)

When you screen huge masses of people needlessly, almost all to all of your hits are going to be incorrect. Additional testing of these false positives are harmful. Biopsies, radiation, no-fly lists -- harmful.

Nobody is saying that we should never wiretap if we have evidence. That's testing a small population. The problem here is that we are wiretapping everybody to attempt to find evidence.

about a year ago
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Disappointing Cancer Study Results Go Unreported

Davak Re:More complaining and second-guessing (77 comments)

As somebody who was previously in the academic medical field, this is not just a problem with cancer drugs. "Positive Outcome Bias" or "publish bias" is a huge problem.

http://www.ama-assn.org/public/peer/7_15_98/jpv71042.htm

A negative study should be just as important as a positive study. If done well... obviously.

Published negative studies dissuade doctors from using certain offlabel treatments. Published negative studies prevent other docs from wasting time and money to discover the same results.

More importantly, many clinical changes are based on meta-studies... which as basically studies which combine all the available data. If negative studies are not published, it throws off these metastudies... and thus bad care occurs.

more than 6 years ago

Submissions

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What Medical Tests Should Teach Us about the NSA Surveillance Program

Davak Davak writes  |  about a year ago

Davak (526912) writes "In many ways finding the small amount of terrorists within the United States is like screening a population of people for a rare disease. A physician explains why collecting excessive data is actually dangerous. Each time a test is run, the number of people incorrectly identified quickly dwarfs the correct matches. Just like in medicine, being incorrectly labelled has serious consequences."
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Davak Davak writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Davak writes "The old fogey slashdot has announced a new (dare I say, Web 2.0) youthful, digg-like voting system-Firehose. This new code is described as a "collaborative system designed to allow users to assist editors in the story selection process." This review of the Firehose describes the new features and implications of this new system. For example, much of Firehose's AJAX eye candy is built around yahoo's ajax toolkit."

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