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Making Us Safer?

CNN carries an Associated Press report Ammo, weapons, tunnel found in California home:

More than 1 million rounds of ammunition, a cache of weapons and a tunnel were found at a man’s home after an explosive fire that forced a neighborhood evacuation, authorities said Friday.

Dozens of metal and cardboard boxes filled with ammunition for shotguns, small handguns and assault rifles sat in a driveway. Two of the assault rifles were illegal, [Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Juan] Zamora said.

The man had no permit for 75 pounds of black gunpowder that was also recovered, Zamora said.

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March 3, 2007   2 Comments

The Short Bus

You constantly hear references to “the short bus” that are misinformed. The point is that the people on the “short bus” or in “special education” are not there as a result of personal choice, whereas the people usually referenced in these comments have made a choice.

I used the Association of Retarded Citizens [ARC] for years to provide services and can highly recommend them if your needs fit into their programs. The workers do what they do very conscientiously. You may be able to find someone who will be faster, but you won’t find anyone who is more thorough. The people in the program didn’t choose to have these limitations; the reductions in capability were imposed by nature or accidents.

As a case in point is Democratic Senator Carl Levin of the Senate Armed Services committee in this 02/27/07 exchange with the new director of National Intelligence:

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March 3, 2007   2 Comments

Innumeracy

As the marsupial master of minuscule and coiner of the word “blogtopia”, skippy the bush kangaroo, notes, the winger study of profanity is tragiclly flawed by that scourge of the pundit classes –Innumeracy:

The term innumeracy was coined by cognitive scientist Douglas Hofstadter and popularized by mathematician John Allen Paulos. Possible causes of innumeracy are poor teaching methods and standards, and lack of value placed on mathematical skills. Even prominent and successful people will attest, sometimes proudly, to low mathematical competence, in sharp contrast to the stigma associated with illiteracy.

Consequences of innumeracy:

* Inaccurate reporting of news stories and insufficient skepticism in assessing these stories
* Financial mismanagement and accumulation of consumer debt, specifically related to misunderstanding of compound interest
* Loss of money on gambling, in particular caused by belief in the gambler’s fallacy
* Belief in pseudoscience, particularly when people use pseudoscientific information (i.e. astrology, etc.) to plan one’s life.
* Poor assessment of risk, for example, refusing to fly by airplane (a relatively safe form of transport) while taking unnecessary risks in a car (where an accident is more likely)
* Limited job prospects

Pathological innumeracy, known as dyscalculia, is often associated with neurological lesions.

Of course, no one who pontificates ever expects to be subjected to the scientific method, where others repeat your experiment and compare results, as that is a cruel feature of reality.

Of course, this does nothing to assuage the disappointment of some on the Left who felt they deserved a much higher ranking in the original results. They might consider not wasting their profanity in other people’s comments, and save them for their own site, to improve their chances next time. I also think we should expand beyond the “unholy seven,” as they are certainly dated.

March 3, 2007   2 Comments