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Canadian Government Muzzling Scientists

lansirill Re:Imagine (264 comments)

I'm not familiar with the design of the replacement for the Canadian long-form Census so I'm not going to address that in particular. I do want to address your assertion that a voluntary survey is the same as a self selected survey. In a self-selected survey any member of your universe may choose to become a respondent and you typically will not have any non-response followup (the people that come and bug you if you don't answer the survey.) Now a voluntary survey simply means that you are not required, by law, to answer. So you can have self selected voluntary surveys, non-self selected voluntary surveys, and non-self selected involuntary surveys. I don't believe that the concept of a self-selected involuntary survey really makes any sense, so a it's probably safe to say that a self selected survey must be voluntary but the converse does not hold.

In both voluntary and involuntary surveys you will experience non-response. This is a problem since you now have a portion of your universe which you are unable to measure. There are various ways to adjust estimates to try and reduce the non-response bias, but the best is to go back out and try to convince people to respond. I don't know about Canada, but the only difference the legal requirement has in this process in the US is that if response is required by law, we add a line along the lines of 'Your response is mandated by law.' There are fines and jail time that go along with them, but to the best of my knowledge they're never used. In fact, at least for business surveys, the fine never even is mentioned since many businesses would rather simply pay the fine than spend the time to respond. Really, the only way you'll have an additional problem with a voluntary survey is if the people who only respond because we say they must are different from the people that will not respond regardless.

I'm a little surprised that they made it voluntary, but that alone isn't sufficient to destroy the quality of the survey. If nothing else, I'm curious to find out what exactly they did. Fortunately I've got this wonderful Internet thing to help.

more than 3 years ago

Android Modder Tries To Outmaneuver Google

lansirill Re:Interesting (152 comments)

I've given serious thought giving the mod martyrs exactly what they ask for. I haven't decided to make the plunge just yet, usually aside from asking to be modded flamebait the post doesn't deserve it at all, but it's very tempting to smack people for the behavior.

more than 5 years ago

Astrophysicists Find "Impossible" Planet

lansirill Re:Maybe the measurements are wrong or incomplete (436 comments)

Have you ever used binoculars? Why do you trust what you see, if you haven't been there to see it yourself?

I have to be content to just trusting what I see through binoculars. The last time I tried to go there in person, I got slapped and handed a restraining order.

more than 5 years ago

IBM's But-I-Only-Got-The-Soup Patent

lansirill Re:Actually that's not a bad idea (267 comments)

PS: There is also a lot of really bad software out there that can't do such things.

So, what you're saying is that there are a lot of POS POS systems out there?

more than 6 years ago


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