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The Gap Between What The Public Thinks And What Scientists Know

Straif Re:Oh yeah, throw caution to the wind (485 comments)

A prime example of scientific knowledge vs the public's at large.

DDTs was/is one of the safest and most effective pesticides to date. While almost no real research into DDT has found any real adverse affects we do know that the ban of DDT, especially in African countries, has greatly affected infection/death rates.

Take Sri Lanka malaria rates:
pre-ban : 2.8 million+ / year
with DDT : 17 /year
post ban : 2.5million + /year

In DDTs case, environmentalist pushed hard to demonize a chemical that almost all research pointed to as safe and even studies that found it to be possibly harmful in certain conditions to be the least harmful of all the alternatives.

yesterday
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Valve's Economist Yanis Varoufakis Appointed Greece's Finance Minister

Straif Re:This doesn't sound... sound (327 comments)

Would advocating for the housing bubble raise to the level of an error to you?

Of course he denies, post bust, that he even actually advocated for the Fed to aid in creating the bubble in the first place but his long list of statements to the contrary don't help his cause.

3 days ago
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Valve's Economist Yanis Varoufakis Appointed Greece's Finance Minister

Straif Re:This doesn't sound... sound (327 comments)

Krugman is probably the perfect example of how most economists are actually just ideologues pretending to be scientists. His pieces for the NYT often read like the rants on DailyKos.

His predictions as to the success or failure of a plan are almost entirely based on who is currently in power (and he has a terrible track record on real world predictions of global financial events from the housing bubble to the state of the EU) and his post analysis almost always centers around the same points (increased government spending being one of this favorite gotos) as to why something either worked or wasn't as bad as it could have been with no real data to back up his suppositions.

4 days ago
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Senator Who Calls STEM Shortage a Hoax Appointed To Head Immigration

Straif Re: You see that too? (512 comments)

Historically the education vs part affiliation in the US breaks down as:

No HS diploma = Strong Democrat advantage (this is also the smallest voting group)
HS diploma = Statistical tie
Some college = Republican advantage
College degree = Republican advantage
Post Doctorate = Democrat advantage

That's been the case for at least the last 14 years according to most exit polls (cnn has some good exit pool data) with the McCain/Obama election being a slight outlier. A similar pattern tends to appear in income distributions with low and exceptionally high earners favoring Dems and middle earners favoring Repubs.

about a week ago
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Blogger Who Revealed GOP Leader's KKK Ties Had Home Internet Lines Cut

Straif Re:Steve Scalise did NOT speak to KKK group (420 comments)

It happened 2 1/5 hours before the EURO conference and while Knight is a white supremacist he was also the head of the Jefferson Heights Civic Association and set up the earlier meeting as part of that while he had access to a free room.

He rented the room for EURO but had access to it all day and decided to use it in the morning for local issues.

about two weeks ago
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Blogger Who Revealed GOP Leader's KKK Ties Had Home Internet Lines Cut

Straif Re:Steve Scalise did NOT speak to KKK group (420 comments)

There were also representative of the Red Cross and local Sherriffs dept. speaking at the earlier meeting which Scalise attended. This was not at all unusual since Knight was the head of the Jefferson Heights Civic Association which was what the meeting was set up for. It was essentially a town hall type meeting.

about two weeks ago
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Blogger Who Revealed GOP Leader's KKK Ties Had Home Internet Lines Cut

Straif Re:His ties to the KKK? (420 comments)

He talked at a entirely different meeting booked by the same person in the same room earlier in the day.

The organizer was the head of the Jefferson Heights Civic Association and booked a morning session to discuss Jefferson county local issues. It had an entirely unrelated list of attendees and the only people related to the white supremacist in attendance just happened to show up early for their afternoon meeting and came into the room to find a seat.

about two weeks ago
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Blogger Who Revealed GOP Leader's KKK Ties Had Home Internet Lines Cut

Straif Re:His ties to the KKK? (420 comments)

The morning meeting was essentially a neighborhood information session which included the Red cross and local sheriffs dept. While it's true the same person organized both, the morning session had no relation to the national white supremacist group. He simply had the room booked for the entire day and decided to use it for a local event in the morning instead of wasting the room. The only cross over attendees were people who arrived early for the afternoon event and happened to come in for a seat.

about two weeks ago
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US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

Straif Re:More proof (666 comments)

Imagine, filling in natural flood plains and swamp lands to build luxury ocean front condos leads to flooding in those and surrounding areas during the king tides (highest tides of the year).

Flooding in Florida has a lot less to do with the minimal, and often unmeasurable, sea level rise than it does with greedy construction practices. The entire state is one big sink hole waiting to happen and while a lot of it's problem are man made, most aren't really related to AGW.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Reveals Windows 10 Will Be a Free Upgrade

Straif Re:April 1 (570 comments)

There is no plans on introducing a subscription based system. The Mashable writer just has poor comprehension skills.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Reveals Windows 10 Will Be a Free Upgrade

Straif Re:Free upgrade for one year (570 comments)

The Mashable writer seems to be the ONLY original source writer who interpreted "Free for 1 year" as subscription based. Every other reputable site, including Microsoft's own blog of the event, defines free for 1 year just the same way the gp does, if you upgrade in the first year it's free, after that you have to pay an upgrade price.

about two weeks ago
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Ted Cruz To Oversee NASA and US Science Programs

Straif Re:Inhofe in charge of the EPA is scarier (496 comments)

The NAACP 'bombing' was a small explosion (with the power of a medium firecracker) at the side of a barbershop that shared a wall with the local NAACP office. It left a small black mark on the wall but caused no damage. While it might have been a failed attempt at an actual bombing of the NAACP it could have also been someone ticked off at his hairdresser or just someone drunk and stupid on a Friday night.

The only reason it became a story was that MSNBC, through their layers of fact checking, accidentally put up pictures of a building destroyed in France in connection with the NAACP story. Most stories are using the picture from the front because the picture of the police tape is much more impressive than the actual crime scene photo.

about three weeks ago
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Ted Cruz To Oversee NASA and US Science Programs

Straif Re:Inhofe in charge of the EPA is scarier (496 comments)

That's because he prefers to issue "presidential memorandum", which while just another form of executive order, is not counted toward the total most reporters use when comparing to other Presidents so they can continue to print the falsehood that Obama isn't issuing executive actions more than other presidents.

At present, he's issued more presidential memorandum than any other president in history (33% more than Bush and 45% more than Clinton) and is on track to beat out Harry Truman for overall executive actions.

There is also a question about the power of those actions; Obama has used executive actions (orders and memorandum) to make major changes to existing legislation as well as create legislation out of thin air.

about three weeks ago
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Obama Offers Funding For 50,000 Police Body Cameras

Straif Re:White House funding? (262 comments)

I don't know the specific in this case because of course I didn't RTFA, but while Congress must pass legislation to allow for new spending (which is how the Republicans are proposing to stop the immigration EO) there is usually a wide degree of latitude given to the Administration on how to spend existing department budgets. A proposal like this might just come out of 'petty cash' of the DOJ or some other Federal agency which, if the case, is a sad comment as to how bloated some of these agencies are.

about 2 months ago
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Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

Straif Re:I just don't understand (1128 comments)

I think you're the one with a TV problem. The purpose of a trial is to attempt to convict someone of a criminal act where there is a strong enough case that the prosecutor believes there is a reasonable chance of conviction; it is not a fishing expedition. The facts and evidence are supposed to be examined prior to the trial (except those not previously available) and used to determine the likelihood that a crime was even committed and that a conviction can be attained.

Grand juries are special pre-trials in which only the prosecutor present the evidence and their views on how it relates to the case. This is the most favorable circumstance possible for the prosecution, and if they can't convince a majority of the jury that a crime has taken place and the defendant is possibly guilty of it then there is almost no chance at a real trial where the judge will often disallow a significant portion of the evidence.

Filing unfounded charges and bringing someone to trial just to fulfill your voyeuristic needs is not a proper use of the legal system.

about 2 months ago
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Customers Creating Fake Amazon Pages To Get Cheap Electronics At Walmart

Straif Re:wont last (287 comments)

I can't say I've ever seen someone complain about price matching before. What exactly prevents a store from competing on price, even with Walmart's price matching policy in place?

There is no law stating you have to shop at Walmart and if a store routinely has lower prices than them most people will go there rather dealing with the hassle of having to have every item price matched? For Walmart, if they are seeing a competing store routinely undercutting their prices they will adjust to compete. That's a rare occurrence, since Walmart has the purchasing muscle to throw around, but it can happen.

Price matching is generally only used on sale items or one or two regular purchases and generally as a convenience so that you don't have to go to another store to continue your shopping. Of course Walmart and other price matching stores hope you don't find the lower price somewhere else but how exactly does the fact that if you do they will match it impact pricing as a whole?

about 2 months ago
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Customers Creating Fake Amazon Pages To Get Cheap Electronics At Walmart

Straif Re:wont last (287 comments)

There are so many problems with your idea that I have to assume you've never actually shopped anywhere, ever.

Who determines the "minimum profit" in your proposal? I'm assuming the Government has to set all industry profit rates to prevent price variances.
In your world are all suppliers prices fixed? Can they never drop prices to clear inventory? Can they never reduce production costs to be able to lower wholesale pricing?
Are loss-leaders outlawed?
The questions and problems with your simplistic view, are endless.

There are literally hundreds of ways one store can acquire inventory cheaper than another. Sometimes it's a pure numbers game (Walmart's specialty), other times it just a timing issue (end of life cycle dumping by supplier) and sometimes you may just be able to get in on a one time sale (another store/supplier closing and selling off stock).

about 2 months ago
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As Amazon Grows In Seattle, Pay Equity For Women Declines

Straif Re:The workplace is changing. (496 comments)

While the 4-5 number may be a bit of a reach the GPs points are still correct.

There are several factors which contribute to female vets being paid less than their male counterparts. According to a 2013 AVMA Report female vets:
1) do in fact work fewer hours than male vets (about 2-5 hours/week on average)
2) spend more time/case which results in fewer cases worked (and billed)/day
3) have significantly less focus on owning their own practice
4) place less importance on monetary rewards
5) take more time off for family related issues

I couldn't find any good rates for cases/hour, but if you take reduced hours worked and fewer cases/hour factors together, it wouldn't be outside of the realm of possibility that it may require 2-3 female vets to do the same work as one male vet (even if the female vets aren't being fully utilized).
Say for example a male vet spends 20mins/case while a female vet spends 30. The man works 45 hours while the woman works 42. The man can process 135 cases/week while the woman only 84. If your practice handles 120 cases/week on average you can hire either 1 male vet or 2 female vets. Knowing this to be the case you'd be willing to offer the 1 male vet more money than the individual female vets because overall you'd still be saving money.

Simply put, more female vets become vets for non-monetary reasons than do males and the salaries they make reflect that.

about 2 months ago
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Statisticians Study Who Was Helped Most By Obamacare

Straif Re:You shouldn't need insurance for most things (739 comments)

The New England Journal of Medicine did a study of 599 articles and 1500 ratios between 2000 and 2005 and there conclusion was "Although some preventive measures do save money, the vast majority reviewed in the health economics literature do not.". There have also been more recent studies that comes to similar conclusions.

As for your doctors advice, of course on a personal level it's generally cheaper to catch things early but that assumes you are actually going to develop something. For those that never do, or for those cases where advanced warning is of little benefit, cost-wise, those thousands of dollars of tests are effectively wasted money. The math is simple, [(cost of testing) x number in target population] - [(cost of treatment) x number of affected]

For prostate cancer, for example, it's been estimated only 1 in 1000 affected men will be saved by preventative screening. For the other 999, as well as those who never get prostate cancer, the early screening was essentially needless costs. Because of it's rate of growth, in most cases knowing early before symptoms arise, won't affect outcomes or treatments. Of course for that one man the preventative screening is a lifesaver, but on purely economic front, it's not cost-effective.

about 3 months ago
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Statisticians Study Who Was Helped Most By Obamacare

Straif Re:You shouldn't need insurance for most things (739 comments)

There are several studies that show preventative healthcare does NOT in fact save money. It can be either cost neutral or in many cases cost more. Where savings are show it's usually a fraction of a percent.

The simple reason is that in order to discover 1 positive case of a serious illness you tend to have to test thousands of false cases. The cost of testing then far outweighs the savings in treatment. For that one positive, early detection can make the difference between life and death, but using a pure cost/benefit analysis the overall drain on the system (both financially and in person-hours) is not worth it.

Some preventative measures such as immunizations however, have almost no negative economic effects. Due to the large scales of production and distributions, as well as next to no need for a doctors involvement, these programs are very cost effective.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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69% of US weather stations highly suspect

Straif Straif writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Straif (172656) writes "Sufacestations.org has has been conducting a country wide survey of USHCN network weather stations and with 70% of the stations reviewed has found that 69% are within 10 meters of external heating sources (exhaust vents, asphalt, etc.) leading to questions about the accuracy of the US weather monitoring systems. For a field of study where billions have already been spent and trillions more being proposed shouldn't the government spend a few dollars to ensure that one of their prime sources of data is not impacted by Ted in accounting wanting to have his office a few degrees cooler."

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