Monday, February 23, 2015

Wikipedia is always right (cause you can make it right)

Wikipedia might not be the most trusted source. Why? Because anyone can edit it. Therefore it can easily be wrong.

However, by the same token, it's more likely to be right. Why? Because anyone can edit it. If someone puts something wrong in, anyone can change it back to what is right.

I frequently tell people who try to argue that Wikipedia is wrong, that if that's the case, they should edit it, and if the edit stands (IE if nobody contests it, or, if they win such a contention) then I will back down and accept their position.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Blocked on twitter

Given the title, it's obvious this guy blocked me. Given the post just before this one, you can see he, in fact, blocked me because I've proven he can't math.

I am not posting this to say he should unblock me. I am posting this as an answer to everyone who blocks me for something petty and stupid:

Please never unblock me. Ever. You are the kind of person who is what is wrong with this world, who puts your fingers in your ears and goes LALALALA whenever someone says something you don't want to hear.

It's one thing to unfollow someone. To block them means you never, ever, want to hear from them again.

And if you never want to hear from me again, you are free to make that decision. However. Never is a long time, and I will hold you to that decision.

OMG MUSLIMS - the math

Take 100 people.

Put them on 2 buses.

Put 50 on one bus and 50 on another.

Now, presume each person is great at counting, and perfectly honest.

Ask them how many people were on their bus.

Average those numbers to find out the average on the buses.



Simple right?

Now put 70 on one bus and 30 on another.

Same request.



But wait, how? You have 70 answers with 70, and 30 with 30. 70*70=4900 and 30*30=900. 4900+900=5800.

When you concentrate people in an area and ask them how many people they are, you end up over the real number, even if the people are perfectly honest.

Toronto, for example, has 2.5 million people, and is 6% muslim, and also 15% south asian. These will skew any numbers you ask for immigrants, etc. Consider as well Toronto is 7.2% Black, and african-canadians are, in general, not as widespread.

Beyond that you have class differences.

I am working class. Polls say 1/3rd of Canadians are.

Working class people like me end up in working class jobs, and in working class areas, and take working class transportation, like the bus.

I can assure you, from personal experience, that far more than 6% of people I see in these places are muslim, though this likely is more due to my location than my class.

All these reasons explain why you'd end up with a higher than average number of muslims when you ask "How many muslims are there" polls. In addition, urban people, I find, are more likely to report what they see (I've spoken to many people about these polls) whereas rural people almost always say "well I know in the city..." and so they too over-estimate the numbers for the same reason.

Polls like this are nonsense for that reason. They heavily imply the only reason to over-estimate muslims is...
1 - Fear, racist fear
2 - Immigration, anti immigration
3 - Hate, muslim hate
4 - Stupidity, from not knowing what is going on

The reality is, in almost every country, you can account for half or more than half of the "over-estimation" with just the math alone, and when you add in class differences, and rural estimations of urban life, you get very close to reality.

Notice how the numbers in the Western countries are similar. France has a over-estimation of 4 times the real amount, the UK also near 4, Belgium 5, Germany 3, Sweden 3. Italy 5, Only in places like Spain (with much lower amounts of immigration compared) or Hungary and Poland (where racism is more common) have a larger over-estimation.

In addition to all of this, there are more issues

If these polls were done in urban areas that could explain everything with just one step.

If they ignored cell phone users they could have had an older base, and thus, skewed the results.

And lastly, in the poll I linked to above, you can see some of the answer itself in the list of 9 things people mis-estimate.

The Media.

This does not come from hate, or racist attitude. This comes from what the media reports on. Everything that respondents were wrong about, every last one, was something that has been the focus of  media stories.

With all that it's no wonder the numbers were not even higher.

Friday, February 6, 2015


I need more than 140 letters, or a single facebook box, to make this clear, so here goes:

Lets examine some alternate history scenarios to show you what I mean when I say Sudbury was Liberal, but Thibeault won.

Some terms to keep things short:

GT = Glenn Thibeault
Lib = Liberal Party
NDP = New Democratic Party
AO = Andrew Olivier, former Liberal candidate

Note as well that I am talking provincially unless I specifically say I mean Federally.

Lets go back in time. The NDP won the riding last election, but the sitting MPP quit.

So, lets presume that's all. Feds don't get involved. What happens?

Lib win.
Dont matter who runs for them. AO or someone else. Lib win. The Liberals had the advantage.

But what of GT?

Let say he quits as MP but nothing else changes.
Lib win.

Lets say he stays MP but becomes a Liberal.
Lib win.

Lets say he quits as MP and runs as a Liberal
Well, we just saw that, so it's not alternate history.

Lets now say he quits as an MP and runs for the NDP.
NDP win, why? GT win. That's why.

Quits and runs as an Independent?
IND win because GT win.

But what if GT quits, but loses the nom for the Libs to AO?
Lib win. AO win is not what happens, sure it's a side effect, but it's not an AO win, it's a Lib win.

AO runs for the NDP against a Lib GT
Lib win. GT is what won it.

AO does not run at all?
GT still wins, likely by similar margins. Lack of AO would have impacted turnout, not votes.

This riding was always the Liberals to lose, the only way they could have lost was GT running NDP.

In addition, this by-election was really unimportant. There are no big issues, there are no number changes that mean anything.

It is thus silly to expect the NDP would have won, silly to expect the NDP leader to resign over this, and silly to think bribery had anything to do with anything; it was about GT, the actions of Lib and AO don't mean a thing.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

I am right

And you are wrong.



Monday, February 2, 2015

Alternate History

Situation 2

Er, I should clarify.
Most Alt-Hist is about the NAZIs winning the war. The second most popular is the Confederacy winning the Civil War. Hence "Situation 2", as the latter is what this question is.

So, the South wins. They decide to "become" the USA.

At first they try to do the "all of the USA" thing, but they face near immediate rebels from the New England states. They allow these states to become their own country, with slavery abolished. 

Then stuff.

Then, they pass the following amendments to the constitution.


>>States can not abolish slavery, it is legal everywhere in the CSA.<<
13th Amendment, would later be seen like the "2nd Amendment", but this as the "Slave Amendment"

>>States can not prohibit slave owners, with slaves, to travel or visit.<<
14th Amendment. While states could not prohibit slavery, they could always simply not support it.
Judgements on the 13th and 14th amendments allowed taxes on slave holding, so long as not "undue"
This amendment is seen as a way to protect visitors from being taxed from passing though the state.
In addition, this amendment is used to reinforce the return to runaway slaves. 

>>Senators shall serve at the pleasure of each house of the state legislature.<<
15th Amendment. Later interpretations would have an unintended consequence
Court rulings would determine this meant EACH house.
Thus, one Senator would serve at the pleasure of the state Senate, and one at the state House.
This also meant that each state would be required to have two houses, not one or three.
Court rulings also clarified that 'at the pleasure' means they can be fired at any time.
This would include between the time they cast a ballot within the Senate, and those ballots were counted.
In effect, this makes Senators nothing more than literal mouthpieces of the state legislatures. 


>>Prohibits fed govt from levying income taxes<<
16th Amendment. Courts would later rule that the fed govt was also unable to levy property taxes.
However, courts would rule they were allowed to levy sales taxes.

>>Codifies the right of slave owners to free their own slaves; allows slaves of all races<<
17th Amendment. Created registry of freed slaves, and clarified that slavery was not "a negro thing"

>>Prohibited the manufacture or sale of alcohols within the CSA<<
18th Amendment. Also known as "Prohibition" 

>>Allowed free citizens of all genders and races to vote, if free for 25 years.<<
19th Amendment. Allowed all white women to vote, and all citizens, on a 25 year condition.
This would mean immigrants and freed slaves need to live as citizens for 25 years before voting.


>>Would allow fed regulation of child labour<<
Would allow for federal prohibition of child labour.


>>Changes date of elected officials taking office<<
20th Amendment. Specified that Fed house members, the Prez and VP take office on Jan 1st.
Also set election day as 1st Tuesday after 1st Monday in November.
Also adjusted mandatory meeting date for Congress to once a year, in March. 


>>Repeal 18th amendment<<
Would end prohibition.


>>Forbids and prohibition against the sale and use of Marijuana in the CSA<<
21st amendment. In response to failure to repeal 18th amendment. 

>>Term limits for federal officers<<
22nd amendment. Outlines term limits for 3 main elected federal officers.
President can only serve for 8 in any 16 years
Senators can only serve for 6 in any 12 years
Representatives can only serve for 4 in any 8 years

>>Grants statehood to DC<<
23rd amendment. Also re-attaches "Virginia Side" to DC.

>>Provides for minimum care requirements for slaves<<
24th amendment. Known as the "Civil Rights" amendment, longest amendment in history.
Outlined in detail various kinds of poor treatment of slaves that were now prohibited.
Forbade killing of slaves by owner; allowed them to turn slaves over to government.
Forbade torture or other undue punishments of slaves.
Forced owners to take lifetime care of any slave who has been their property for over 45 years.
Listed minimum room sizes and food allowances for slaves.
Prohibited rape of slaves.

>>Outlines disability of President procedure, and how to fill VP vacancies<<
25th amendment. Included long list of successors.

>>Allows 18 year olds to vote<<
26th amendment. Also adjusted the 25 year period from 19th amendment to 18 years.


>>Would abolish slavery<<
Initiated by constitutional convention.


>>Delays pay raises to federal officials until after next election<<
27th amendment. Forgotten remnant of olden days, finally passed.

So. That brings us to the present day, but...


NY, NJ, and PA also try to rebel, refusing to sign the reconstruction amendments. The USA/CSA sends in the army, there are some limited battles, but at the end of the day... _______

What is that blank.

Possibility 1 - They realize they can not turn these 3 states into compliant states within the union. They see how PA played a key role in abolition, and do not want this troublemaking state within the union. They thus allow these 3 states to leave the union and join with New England. 

Possibility 2 - They are able to subdue the rebels. They take the most troublesome troublemakers and exile them to New England, and establish these 3 states as solidly within the union.

Which is more likely?