Posts by linger

  • Hard News: The fake news problem, in reply to Farmer Green,

    To some extent they are, but the mistake is to see either as a long-term transferrable trait.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1466 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The fake news problem, in reply to Farmer Green,

    Not sure how you get to that conclusion from anything said above.
    The propensity for humans to find overly simple solutions to complex problems is hard-wired (driven by economy of effort for likely benefit, which is a recognised environmental selective pressure). Superstition is one possible outcome. And instability and trauma will make people more likely to seek quick solutions, and to believe superstitions.
    The thing is, in many cases, the simple solution works in practice … until it meets a problem for which it is catastrophically wrong.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1466 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The fake news problem,

    Yep, “rationality” is definitely far less an inherited trait than culturally transmitted, and both at individual and societal level it’s subject to widespread and marked fluctuations in response to events, hence not genetically transmitted. On the contrary, there is some evidence that long-term traumatic stress, reducing rationality, can be [heritably] (epi)genetically as well as culturally transmitted. Individual and cultural “rationality” is thus in part a product of long-term stability; it can easily be disrupted by temporary instability, and hence cannot itself represent any inherently stable genetic state.
    It is, for example, difficult to imagine that the USA would have sunk to its present level of collective irrationality without the 9/11 attack or some event of similar identity-shattering magnitude.
    It is even harder to believe that rationality would be the most prevalent human trait in the face of planetary-scale turmoil.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1466 posts Report Reply

  • Access: Help needed! Deciphering the…, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    The [MoH] [...] ‘system’ [...] has little if any flexibility

    Which in practice makes it a schistem, i.e. brittle and flaky, and not too far removed from something full of sh**.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1466 posts Report Reply

  • Access: Help needed! Deciphering the…, in reply to Angela Hart,

    Re: core staff costs -- my best guess is that the intended calculation is, roughly, (number of assessed support hours) x (number of people required simultaneously), possibly also with some fudge factor for (specialised-skill-dependent payscale required). Which, at least dimensionally, makes some sort of sense.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1466 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The fake news problem, in reply to mark taslov,

    The bigger point here is that, if any "meritocratic" limits are to be set on who can qualify to vote in a democracy, then it is essential that those limits be designed so as not to unfairly disadvantage or exclude any group whose lives will be affected by the outcome. In a national election, that's essentially any full-time resident. Such an unbiassed set of limits is near-impossible to achieve, even if those designing and administering those limits have that as their primary goal. (Which was clearly not the case in the Louisiana example above!)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1466 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: No, there isn’t a popular…, in reply to Rich Lock,

    Dear Sir,
    I must protest in the strongest possible terms the fake statistics used in the above comment: the estimate of "one trillion" is demonstrably out by at least 3 orders of magnitude.

    (Tongue firmly buried in the next person's cheek, lest there be any confusion...)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1466 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The fake news problem, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    I’ve commented before on this, but in the late 1980s Allan Bell did a series of studies into accuracy of news reporting in New Zealand, looking at (i) international news stories and (ii) science reporting on topics such as ozone depletion and global warming. The results were not encouraging. Only about 1/3 of the science stories were rated, by the individuals cited as expert sources, as fully accurate. Meanwhile, stories from regions with which journalists were less familiar (South America or Africa in particular) had on average one serious factual error per story.

    And this was back when there was subediting.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1466 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: No, there isn’t a popular…, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    Nah, it's perfectly sensible on her part: too much risk that the headlines wouldn’t be the only thing grabbed.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1466 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: #eqnz: Okay?, in reply to krothville,

    Yep, that was exactly my point.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1466 posts Report Reply

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