Friday, September 23, 2005

A Refresher Course

On what a Controlled Social Experiment is.

Though he is specifically talking about firearms and looting, this could never be looked at as a controlled experiment from any point of view at all. I am disgusted that "professor" Reynolds actually linked this guy.

For an experiment to be controlled both "treatments" in this case the hurricane have to be applied independently. That is there has to be no dependence between the two treatments. They have to be applied to randomly selected groups of people, which this isn't happening in. Also, which group is the control group in this case?

None of these things apply in this case. One hurricane take place less than a month before the other, leaving the memory of the aftermath fresh in our minds and the consequences of not planning ahead fresh in the minds of officials. Also a number of refugees from the first hurricane are now fleeing the second.

Why does this matter? Well though I like guns, I dislike it when people manipulate scientific terms to achieve their own ends. Any conclusions drawn from this Not an Experiment would probably benefit the pro-gun folks as there will certainly be less looting and violence in Houston after Rita. But because there are so many factors involved like, oh... That other hurricane..... What was it called? There is NO WAY you could pinpoint gun control in the different states as a possible explanation for this difference.

But no one will ever read this and they will go forward believing WRONG things about gun control and how it caused the difference between the aftermath of hurricanes. Stupid hurts.


Kav said...

hmmm, so important you felt it was worth posting twice? ;-)

email him and tell him, he might just listen to you. It is always worth it with someone like Reynolds sinc ehe is in fact massively influential - lots of people read him and his opinion apparently carries weight because he keeps getting on the radio and TV. that means that a certain amount of responsibility is in order.

Kav said...

In fact I have just emailed him on your behalf. ;-)

Shinobi said...

Damn I'm spamming myself.

Shinobi said...

Thanks Kav!!!