American guns on dark web.

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby xouper » Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:21 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:
bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:"Largest Gun Study Ever: More Guns, More Murder"

It makes sense. Mathematically, if you apply the other extreme, there can't be any gun murders if there are no guns. Therefore it is easy to start constructing the left hand side of a utility curve. :D


Very funny, Matthew. :D

Did you miss where bobbo and I addressed that very point earlier in this thread?

viewtopic.php?p=596259#p596259

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby xouper » Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:24 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:I let this be my guiding light: "Truth has a liberal bias."

Applied: this means half the data provided by gun nuts is outright lies. The other half is dimwitted incompetency. Its unusual to see someone with xoupers abilities so deep into such misinformation and word play. he "should" stick to his strong suit: The Supremes support his abysmally self centered and childish position.

Pegged.


:roll: :roll:

Sometimes you say intelligent things, bobbo.

But this is not one of them.

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby xouper » Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:35 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
xouper wrote: From that correlation it is not possible to infer that is the cause. You need other information to make that determination.

Back to muddying up the discussion huh?


Not muddying, clarifying. Like a good little skeptic.


bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:The correlation draws EXACTLY the correct inference of causation.


That is factually incorrect.

A correlation all by itself is not evidence of what the cause is, or even if there IS a cause there. That is what the scientific community says. Go take it up with them if you disagree. Beating me up about it won't help you since I am not in a position to change what the scientific community says on the matter.


bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote: As has been said repeatedly: inference... not proof. There is no amount of information that can "prove" anything causes anything.


And as has been said repeatedly, I have never asked for "proof". Do you and Lance own stock in a company that makes or sells straw that you use for all those straw men you keep making?

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:55 am

Except, Xouper, that the scientific community continually makes use of correlations to find causes. As I pointed out, the whole smoking and lung cancer thing began with a correlation. Sure, they did experiments to confirm smoking as a cause for lung cancer. But the first hint that smoking causes lung cancer came from a correlation.

I have no problem with a demand for confirmation. But your insistence that correlation never has anything to do with causation is just stoopid.

Hawaii makes an excellent confirmation on the business of gun availability increasing murder rate. It is the only state that actually CAN reduce gun numbers, simply because it is not easy to smuggle guns in against state rules. Most people coming to Hawaii fly in and getting guns on a plane is not usually possible. Some will always be smuggled in by sea, of course, and that prevents gun ownership being zero. But it keeps it lower than elsewhere. That experiment has already been run and the results are low gun ownership and low murder rate.

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby xouper » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:23 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:Except, Xouper, that the scientific community continually makes use of correlations to find causes.


Yes. I already agreed that correlations are sometimes helpful in deciding where to look for evidence of causation. But even then you'd be wise not to go looking for a cause every time you find a strong correlation.


Lance Kennedy wrote:But the first hint that smoking causes lung cancer came from a correlation.


Yes, that's an acceptable way to phrase it.


Lance Kennedy wrote:I have no problem with a demand for confirmation. But your insistence that correlation never has anything to do with causation is just stoopid.


Now hold on there, I never said that, nor did I ever intend to imply it.

As you say, that would be stoopid.

I have always been very careful not to invoke that reverse fallacy.

With some correlations there is indeed also a causal relation. That goes without saying, no? But to make that determination requires more than just the correlation coefficient.


Lance Kennedy wrote:Hawaii makes an excellent confirmation on the business of gun availability increasing murder rate. It is the only state that actually CAN reduce gun numbers, simply because it is not easy to smuggle guns in against state rules. Most people coming to Hawaii fly in and getting guns on a plane is not usually possible. Some will always be smuggled in by sea, of course, and that prevents gun ownership being zero. But it keeps it lower than elsewhere. That experiment has already been run and the results are low gun ownership and low murder rate.


How did you manage to rule out all the possible confounding factors in order to arrive at that conclusion?

You seemed willing to mention a possible confounding factor in Mexico when it seemed Mexico would ruin your narrative because it has a murder rate higher than the US and yet far fewer guns per capita than the US.

But I don't recall you ever mentioning any possible confounding factors for Hawaii that might be an alternate explanation of the cause.

Also what evidence did you gather to reject the null hypothesis?

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby Matthew Ellard » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:30 am

Matthew Ellard wrote: It makes sense. Mathematically, if you apply the other extreme, there can't be any gun murders if there are no guns. Therefore it is easy to start constructing the left hand side of a utility curve. :D


xouper wrote:Did you miss where bobbo and I addressed that very point earlier in this thread?
You said this logic was correct. It still is. Australia is starting a new gun buy back program for that reason. We simply don't need civilian owned guns here.

Homicides with guns started declining in 1969.

http://www.aic.gov.au/statistics/homicide.html

For 2013 there were only 43 gun homicides nationally and we can get that down even further in the future. Isn't that good news.

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:59 am

Xouper

What you call confounding factors are always an issue. That is the reason why correlations are used. If there were no such factors, then a simple maths relation would hold. E.g.. If you were looking at the strength of radiation from the sun versus distance, it would be just the inverse square law. No correlation needed.

Hawaii could, indeed, have confounding factors. The obvious one is culture. If the Hawaiians have a pacifist culture, then murders of all kinds would not be an issue. But Hawaii is populated mostly by immigrants from mainland USA, making such a confounding factor unlikely. Those immigrants will bring any cultural nastiness with them.

Another confounding factor, for mainland USA, is latitude. For some reason (culture) murder rates are higher in states that are further south, with the obvious exception of Hawaii. That is why Vermont and New Hampshire have low murder rates.

But correlations can handle several confounding factors and still leave a positive correlation that shows a likelihood of causation. Of course, more confounding factors tend to cause the correlation to be weaker, and that is also valuable information.

Sometimes a confounding factor dominates so utterly that it obscures an underlying factor totally. The Mexico example is one such. When that happens, all you can do is discard the outrider.

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby xouper » Wed Aug 09, 2017 5:42 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:Xouper

What you call confounding factors are always an issue. That is the reason why correlations are used.


Except the relative strengths of the confounding factors cannot be determined from the correlation coefficient. So in what way do you mean correlations are "used"?


Lance Kennedy wrote:If there were no such factors, then a simple maths relation would hold. E.g.. If you were looking at the strength of radiation from the sun versus distance, it would be just the inverse square law. No correlation needed.

Hawaii could, indeed, have confounding factors. The obvious one is culture. If the Hawaiians have a pacifist culture, then murders of all kinds would not be an issue. But Hawaii is populated mostly by immigrants from mainland USA, making such a confounding factor unlikely. Those immigrants will bring any cultural nastiness with them.


So, are you saying you don't know if the cause of the low murder rate is from some confounding factor (or factors)?


Lance Kennedy wrote:Another confounding factor, for mainland USA, is latitude. For some reason (culture) murder rates are higher in states that are further south, with the obvious exception of Hawaii. That is why Vermont and New Hampshire have low murder rates.


What is your evidence that is the reason Vermont and New Hampshire have low murder rates?


Lance Kennedy wrote:But correlations can handle several confounding factors and still leave a positive correlation that shows a likelihood of causation.


That is factually incorrect.

It is not possible to determine the "likelihood" of causation from the correlation coefficient. That has been my primary objection all along.

It is not me saying that. It is the scientific community saying that. So if you disagree, you will have to take it up with them, not me.


Lance Kennedy wrote: Of course, more confounding factors tend to cause the correlation to be weaker, and that is also valuable information.

Sometimes a confounding factor dominates so utterly that it obscures an underlying factor totally. The Mexico example is one such. When that happens, all you can do is discard the outrider.


The primary question that remains to be answered about all of the above is how did you determine the relative strengths of any of the possible confounding factors?

For example, what evidence do you have that the proposed confounding factor in Mexico is as strong as you claim and justifies excluding Mexico from the dataset?

Furthermore, what evidence do you have that the proposed confounding factor in Mexico is indeed part of the cause of the murder rate? Just because it sounds plausible does not mean it is the correct answer.

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby xouper » Wed Aug 09, 2017 5:53 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Matthew Ellard wrote:. . . Mathematically, if you apply the other extreme, there can't be any gun murders if there are no guns.

xouper wrote:Did you miss where bobbo and I addressed that very point earlier in this thread?

You said this logic was correct. It still is.


Then by that logic, you should also be interested in reducing deaths from drunk drivers by reducing the number of cars. And reducing knife violence by reducing the number of knives. Etc etc.

Why do you apply that logic only to guns, and not also to knives and cars?

If no one there needs guns as you say, then why does anyone have a gun in the first place?

Have all the gun owners in Australia said, "Hey, you're right, we don't need these guns. I don't know why I even bought mine in the first place. What a waste of money."

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:05 am

Xouper first says: "And as has been said repeatedly, I have never asked for "proof". Do you and Lance own stock in a company that makes or sells straw that you use for all those straw men you keep making?"

and in his immediate next post shows that he does: "With some correlations there is indeed also a causal relation. That goes without saying, no? But to make that determination requires more than just the correlation coefficient."

xxxxxxxxxx

Words and ideas put thru the crushing self centeredism of a Gun Nut. Its like this: "Sometimes you say intelligent things, bobbo.....But this is not one of them." Everyone here is consistently dumb or smart as they are. What you are doing is throwing off ideas you don't like. What you should do is carefully consider every dumb idea you think you are reading from an otherwise intelligent person. Ha, ha.......especially..... when you hold the minority view on issues such as guns. The majority opinion more often correlates to the truth than does the minority. Know what I mean?

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby Matthew Ellard » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:17 am

Australia's population is 24,000,000 and had 43 homicides in 2013 by firearms.
USA population is 323,000,000 and had 22,000 homicides by firearms in 2013

43 Deaths x 13.4 (Population ratio between USA and Aust ) = predicted 578 homicides my firearms. It was 22,000.

Obviously Australia is doing something right.
:D

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby ElectricMonk » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:28 am

xouper,

let's ignore the law of the land for a moment:
what do you think is better for both the individual and society?
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby xouper » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:47 am

ElectricMonk wrote:xouper,

let's ignore the law of the land for a moment:
what do you think is better for both the individual and society?


I'll answer that on one condition.

That the conversation remain civil at all times.

No name calling, no harassing, no bullying, etc.

Reasonable people should be able to disagree in a civil manner, yes?

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby xouper » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:59 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:Australia's population is 24,000,000 and had 43 homicides in 2013 by firearms.
USA population is 323,000,000 and had 22,000 homicides by firearms in 2013

43 Deaths x 13.4 (Population ratio between USA and Aust ) = predicted 578 homicides my firearms. It was 22,000.

Obviously Australia is doing something right.
:D


Whether something is "right" is a subjective call. It also depends on what the objective is.

Minor quibble: According to the FBI, the number of firearm homicides in 2013 in the US was 8,454.

Source:
https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/expanded-homicide/expanded_homicide_data_table_8_murder_victims_by_weapon_2009-2013.xls

But that doesn't really change the essence of your point, that the US has a significantly higher rate of firearm homicides than Australia.

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby ElectricMonk » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:03 am

Staying civil is ok with me.
But I will point out if opinions are based on unfounded assumptions.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby xouper » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:09 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:Xouper first says: "And as has been said repeatedly, I have never asked for "proof". Do you and Lance own stock in a company that makes or sells straw that you use for all those straw men you keep making?"

and in his immediate next post shows that he does: "With some correlations there is indeed also a causal relation. That goes without saying, no? But to make that determination requires more than just the correlation coefficient."


Sorry, but the comment in yellow does not say I am asking for "proof".

No way, no how.

And since I am the final arbiter of what I intended to say, this clarification that I did not (and do not) ask for "proof" should be taken at face value.

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby xouper » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:25 am

ElectricMonk wrote:Staying civil is ok with me.
But I will point out if opinions are based on unfounded assumptions.


Sure, that's reasonable.

I would like to point out however — and I assume y'all already know all this — that everyone's opinion can be traced back to some fundamental starting assumption that has no foundation, that is to say, such a starting assumption is considered to be "self-evident" (even if sometimes it isn't self-evident). That's just how it is and we seem to get by despite that.


ElectricMonk wrote:xouper,

let's ignore the law of the land for a moment:
what do you think is better for both the individual and society?


Considering all the pros and cons (and I think we can agree there are some of each), I would say the right to own and carry firearms by law-abiding citizens is good for both the individual and for society.

Is that what you are asking? Or did I misunderstand your question?

I will be happy to explain in more detail if I knew what needs additional clarification.

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby Matthew Ellard » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:10 am

xouper wrote: Minor quibble: According to the FBI, the number of firearm homicides in 2013 in the US was 8,454.
You are right. I looked at the wrong line and saw the second line for gun related suicides. The bottom line is for homicide. It is 33,000 firearm deaths and suicides in total
http://gun-control.procon.org/view.reso ... eID=006094

click on it to make it bigger.
all-firearms-deaths-suicides-homicides-total-1999-2015a.jpg


Australia had 165 firearm suicides in 2013. The USA had 22,000, which is still almost unbelievable.
http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf ... cide~10011
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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby ElectricMonk » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:13 am

Clarification would be appreciated.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby ElectricMonk » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:26 am

For me, the desire for giving power to the individual is based on a trick played on the people by the state:

States and Religions have always depended on alienating the individual from his/her more obvious allegiance to family, clan, friends and local community. And there are two ways to do this:
The traditional one is to replace the ideal of Clan/Family with that of the State/Religion, making people behave as if Country is the True family.

But the more insidious one is through atomizing society into individuals without significant allegiances at all. This works miracles because the individual, regardless of money, power and weapons, will always be powerless in comparison to organized groups such as a government.
Allowing individuals to carry weapons strongly increases this alienation of people towards each other, both because they make it harder to trust others and because it makes people feel more self-sufficient - but that of course is an illusion.

Letting anyone who wants to have guns is the sleight-of-hand of taking power away from people and replacing it with a fake sense of power.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby xouper » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:13 am

ElectricMonk wrote:Clarification would be appreciated.


Clarification of what, specifically?



ElectricMonk wrote:For me, the desire for giving power to the individual is based on a trick played on the people by the state:

States and Religions have always depended on alienating the individual from his/her more obvious allegiance to family, clan, friends and local community. And there are two ways to do this:
The traditional one is to replace the ideal of Clan/Family with that of the State/Religion, making people behave as if Country is the True family.

But the more insidious one is through atomizing society into individuals without significant allegiances at all. This works miracles because the individual, regardless of money, power and weapons, will always be powerless in comparison to organized groups such as a government.
Allowing individuals to carry weapons strongly increases this alienation of people towards each other, both because they make it harder to trust others and because it makes people feel more self-sufficient - but that of course is an illusion.

Letting anyone who wants to have guns is the sleight-of-hand of taking power away from people and replacing it with a fake sense of power.


Those are interesting opinions. I can't say I agree with all of them. But thanks for explaining your thinking on the matter.

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby ElectricMonk » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:39 am

xouper wrote:
ElectricMonk wrote:Clarification would be appreciated.


Clarification of what, specifically?


the foundation of your belief that easy access to guns is good for the individual and society.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:58 am

The crux of my disagreement with Xouper is that I appreciate that correlations are a guide to likely causation relationships. Xouper totally refuses to accept that a correlation has any link to causation at all. To justify his belief he repeatedly quotes a slogan that is also a cliche.

I wonder if our problem is semantics ? Xouper just does not like the way I word it ??

The thing is that scientists use correlations all the time as a guide to likely causation. No one, and certainly not me, is suggesting that correlation proves causation. But it is certainly a guide to a likely causation which needs investigation.

Here is an example.
A couple years back, the New Scientist magazine had an article on arsenic poisoning in Bangla Desh.
The researchers looked at arsenic in water as a likely cause. They tested villagers for arsenic levels in the blood. They also tested arsenic levels in local well water. They found a strong correlation between arsenic in well water and arsenic in human blood, over a number of villages. This gave them the data needed to suggest that high levels of arsenic in well water caused arsenic poisoning in the people drinking that water. They confirmed this by providing water filters to some villages that removed the arsenic. Sure enough, the level of arsenic poisoning in those villages dropped dramatically.

So a correlation provided the first clue to a causation.
This applies also to guns. A correlation between gun availability and murder rate provides the clue as to causation. Confirmation could be gained by reducing gun availability and seeing what effect that had on murder rate.

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby ElectricMonk » Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:31 pm

Of course correlation implies causation within a reasonably closed system.
The only question is how direct and in which direction.

When it comes to societies, as always, we are faced with 2nd order dynamic systems, which means that actors will work against identified trends for personal gain. This often makes it impossible to find a clear causation or even leads to perverse inverse correlations that should actually be direct (stock market are an obvious example).
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:29 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote: I wonder if our problem is semantics ? Xouper just does not like the way I word it ??

GD it. Xouper is playing you for the obtuse fool that you are. HE DOESN'T CARE ABOUT FACTS.

HE WANTS HIS GUNS.

He understands semantics and correlations as well as any of us. YOU cannot understand that xouper is a gun nut. aka: a single issue zealot for emotional reasons that doesn't care about the negative consequences of his personal desires.

The REAL rub here is: the Supremes sing the same song.

Silly hoomans.
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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby JO 753 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:42 pm

Or he'z just a very dedicated player uv The Devil'z Advocate. He haz stated that he iz Canadian and duznt own any firearmz.
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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:53 pm

JO 753 wrote:Or he'z just a very dedicated player uv The Devil'z Advocate. He haz stated that he iz Canadian and duznt own any firearmz.

I was going to give you a thumb.............but: "he duznt own any firearms" has me dead in my tracks. I don't see playing the Devils Advocate as stodgingly as he does without some further motive.

Gee........hoomans are a contentious lot.
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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby xouper » Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:20 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
JO 753 wrote:Or he'z just a very dedicated player uv The Devil'z Advocate. He haz stated that he iz Canadian and duznt own any firearmz.

I was going to give you a thumb.............but: "he duznt own any firearms" has me dead in my tracks. I don't see playing the Devils Advocate as stodgingly as he does without some further motive.

Gee........hoomans are a contentious lot.


For the record, I am both a Canadian citizen and a US citizen, by birth (jus sanguinis and jus soli respectively). My father is Canadian and I was born in the US.

The advantage of dual citizenship is that I get to pay customs duties going both ways across the border. :P

Also, although I do not currently own any firearms, some of my family and friends do. I am not just speaking in defense of my own rights, but also in defense of theirs.

Also, I want to protect my option to own firearms in the future should I decide to do so, which is a very real possibility.

I am not playing devil's advocate here, these are indeed my actual beliefs and opinions.

I mention all this only to set the record straight and because there seemed to be some questions about it.

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby xouper » Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:30 am

ElectricMonk wrote:
xouper wrote:
ElectricMonk wrote:Clarification would be appreciated.


Clarification of what, specifically?


the foundation of your belief that easy access to guns is good for the individual and society.


To clarify, there are some people I do not believe should have any access to guns. For example, those who have been convicted of criminal use of firearms have forfeited their right to own them, in my opinion.

I am saying law abiding people have the right to own and carry personal firearms.

The basis for that belief is the right of self sovereignty, the right to self defense, and the general right to own property and things.

All those rights benefit both the individual and society. I would not want to live in a society that did not honor those rights.

Any specific restriction on any of those rights must have a compelling reason, and I put a very high bar on what counts as "compelling".

Does that help?

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby ElectricMonk » Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:41 am

xouper wrote:I am saying law abiding people have the right to own and carry personal firearms.

The basis for that belief is the right of self sovereignty, the right to self defense, and the general right to own property and things.


law-abiding isn't the same thing as not convicted...


But more importantly:
do these rights extend to owning bombs, missiles, mines, tanks, anthrax and flamethrowers?
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:43 am

Xouper

Everyone is law abiding until they break the law. There is no way you can judge who can be trusted with firearms and who cannot. Murders are committed frequently by people who have never before broken the law.

The idea that you have a " right " to own a firearm is simply the propaganda generated by the gun makers and their lackey, the NRA, over many years. That so called 'right ' is found only in the American second amendment, and as I pointed out, and as it is worded, the purpose was not some kind of freedom, but simply to ensure that the government of the time had a militia it could call on. Nor does an arbitrary decision by a probably corrupt and well bribed supreme court change that.

This fraudulent ' right ' to carry the means to commit murder, if that is your tendency, is found nowhere else. It is conspicuous by its absence from the United Nations Charter of Human Rights, which is the only international charter of rights.

Governments restrict our freedom in many ways, when those restrictions are to the benefit of the majority. The greater good for the greater number. Every western government EXCEPT the corrupt and well bribed American government restricts access to firearms because that is the greater good.

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:46 am

To Electric Monk

Restricting access to hand grenades, bombs etc is not the point. We already know from the hard data just what needs to be restricted. It is hand guns. All other weapons kill relatively few people, but hand guns account for half of all murders in the USA, to a total of 8,000 per year.

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby xouper » Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:30 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:The crux of my disagreement with Xouper is that I appreciate that correlations are a guide to likely causation relationships.


Yes, that is also my understanding of our disagreement.


Lance Kennedy wrote: Xouper totally refuses to accept that a correlation has any link to causation at all.


That is factually incorrect.

I have never said that, nor have I intended to imply it.

I have repeatedly acknowledged that a correlation can be helpful in deciding where to look for a cause. As you correctly observe, that's what scientists use correlations for.


Lance Kennedy wrote: To justify his belief he repeatedly quotes a slogan that is also a cliche.


It is not me saying that, it is what the scientific community says, as I have told you repeatedly and yet you continue to ignore that fact. You are disagreeing with the scientific community, not just me.

What the scientific community says is that correlations are not evidence of causation, for the simple reason that there are correlations that do not point to any causation whatsoever.


Lance Kennedy wrote:I wonder if our problem is semantics ? Xouper just does not like the way I word it ??


That is a possibility. How would you propose we resolve that?


Lance Kennedy wrote:The thing is that scientists use correlations all the time as a guide to likely causation. No one, and certainly not me, is suggesting that correlation proves causation. But it is certainly a guide to a likely causation which needs investigation.


Again, no is asking for "proof", as I have repeatedly stated and yet you persist in ignoring that fact.

I have repeatedly acknowledged that a correlation can be helpful in deciding where to look for a cause. As you correctly observe, that's what scientists use correlations for.

However, many correlations will also point to a pair of factors that have no causal relation whatsoever. You might call those kinds of correlations to be "false positives". And it is the existence of false positives that precludes correlations from being evidence of causation.

Sometimes there is a causal relation and sometimes there is not. (And sometimes there is every possibility in between, since a correlation coefficient represents a continuum, not a binary choice.)

Merely knowing the correlation coefficient cannot tell you which group that particular correlation is in.

You seem to disagree.

You seem to be saying that merely knowing the correlation coefficient can tell you which group that particular correlation is in.

That seems to be the core of our disagreement. Is that a semantic disagreement? Doesn't seem that way to me, but I will allow the possibility anyway.


Lance Kennedy wrote: [example snipped] . . . So a correlation provided the first clue to a causation.


If you change that to "a correlation is potentially a clue to causation", then I have already agreed with that.

I can show you many examples where having a correlation is not a clue to a causation.

One of them is the example I gave previously with X and Y and a correlation coefficient of 0.95. At first you agreed that was not enough information to determine if a cause exists. And that is correct.

Later you seemed to have changed your answer and declared that my example correlation is indeed evidence of a cause.

Except in that example, you are mistaken, which becomes immediately obvious once you know what X and Y are.


Lance Kennedy wrote:This applies also to guns.


Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't.

The problem is there exist both positive and negative correlations, so that certainly muddies the issue.

In this case, however, there is other information that indicates it might not be a waste of time to go look to see if there is a cause there.

My personal conjecture is that other factors dominate and that per capita gun ownership is not the primary factor. But I have no evidence for that conjecture. All I have are conflicting correlations and a set of potentially confounding factors.

It seems you have already argued in favor of that conjecture with respect to Mexico and certain other countries, so how do you know that is not also the case elsewhere?

Look, I allow that I could be wrong, and maybe it turns out that more guns means more gun murders.

What we need to establish cause is actual evidence of cause, not just a correlation. And that's because there are correlations that have no cause, and that's why the coefficient does not tell whether a cause exists or not.


Lance Kennedy wrote: A correlation between gun availability and murder rate provides the clue as to causation.


If you change to that to "potentially provides a clue", then I agree.

Maybe it provides a clue, maybe it doesn't. It is not possible to tell from the coefficient whether it's a clue or not.


Lance Kennedy wrote:Confirmation could be gained by reducing gun availability and seeing what effect that had on murder rate.


Yes, that's one possible test.

In the US, the trend in some states has been to increase gun availability (by reducing restrictions), and gun murders have not gone up as a result.

That is what scientists call "disconfirming evidence" of your hypothesis that more guns means more gun murders.

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby ElectricMonk » Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:59 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:To Electric Monk

Restricting access to hand grenades, bombs etc is not the point. We already know from the hard data just what needs to be restricted. It is hand guns. All other weapons kill relatively few people, but hand guns account for half of all murders in the USA, to a total of 8,000 per year.


not my line of argument: there will always be one kind of weapon that does most harm, regardless of how much we are banning.
I am truly less concerned with total number of deaths and more with the culture of extreme individualism that a twisted sense of gun rights promotes.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby xouper » Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:59 am

ElectricMonk wrote:
xouper wrote:I am saying law abiding people have the right to own and carry personal firearms.

The basis for that belief is the right of self sovereignty, the right to self defense, and the general right to own property and things.


law-abiding isn't the same thing as not convicted...


I agree. What terminology would you prefer I use?

Under the US Constitution, one's rights cannot be taken away without due process. And that means until someone is convicted, they still have their rights, even if they are not law abiding.

Apparently Lance does not agree with that legal philosophy, but fortunately he is not registered to vote in the US (or so I assume).


ElectricMonk wrote:But more importantly:
do these rights extend to owning bombs, missiles, mines, tanks, anthrax and flamethrowers?


Here's my personal opinion.

Flamethrowers and tanks, yes. In fact, there are private citizens who own those legally, although I don't think they can be used legally for self defense. When used lawfully, I don't see a problem with private ownership of those.

See for example:
http://www.online-paralegal-programs.com/what-states-are-flamethrowers-legal-in/
https://www.dailydot.com/unclick/operational-tank-for-sale-armslist/

Bombs, missiles, mines, anthrax? No. Those are not personal firearms and also cannot be justified for use in self defense (assuming I correctly understand it). I agree there are compelling reasons to restrict private ownership of those things.

Does that answer your question?

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby xouper » Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:02 am

ElectricMonk wrote:I am truly less concerned with total number of deaths and more with the culture of extreme individualism that a twisted sense of gun rights promotes.


Are you accusing me of having a twisted sense of gun rights?

I hope not, because that would violate your agreement to keep the conversation civil.

I understand if you do not agree with my position, but insulting my position by calling it "twisted" is not being civil.

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby ElectricMonk » Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:25 am

The 2nd Amendment says nothing about self-defence.

And mines are definitely weapons of self defence, btw.

So you can see that you are drawing the line very arbitrarily, right?
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby xouper » Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:32 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:Xouper

Everyone is law abiding until they break the law.


That's true.

In the US, the Constitution says you cannot strip someone of their rights without due process. And that means until a person is convicted, they are entitled to keep their rights. And that is as it should be.


Lance Kennedy wrote: There is no way you can judge who can be trusted with firearms and who cannot. Murders are committed frequently by people who have never before broken the law.


True.

But not relevant under the US Constitution. A free society is premised on the benefit of the doubt that a person should have their freedoms until due process says otherwise.


Lance Kennedy wrote:The idea that you have a " right " to own a firearm is simply the propaganda generated by the gun makers and their lackey, the NRA, over many years.


Baloney.


Lance Kennedy wrote: That so called 'right ' is found only in the American second amendment,


That is factually incorrect.

I have pointed that out repeatedly, and yet you continue to spew that falsehood.

It is also found in most state constitutions, as well as three other countries.

Historically, it is also found in the UK Bill of Rights of 1689, as well as other many other written legal documents for other countries.

So your claim that this right is somehow an American invention is simply false, easily contradicted by the evidence.


Lance Kennedy wrote: and as I pointed out, and as it is worded, the purpose was not some kind of freedom, but simply to ensure that the government of the time had a militia it could call on. Nor does an arbitrary decision by a probably corrupt and well bribed supreme court change that.


You are entitled to your opinion, no matter how ignorant it is.

You have offered no evidence to support your accusations. You have offered only conjecture and insinuation.


Lance Kennedy wrote: This fraudulent ' right ' to carry


It is not fraudulent. Good luck proving that ridiculous claim.


Lance Kennedy wrote: It is conspicuous by its absence from the United Nations Charter of Human Rights, which is the only international charter of rights.


I have addressed that faulty argument numerous times in previous threads. Repeating your same flawed argument again does not make it any more valid than the last time I discredited it. Not even New Zealand abides by all the right in that UN document. You might want to consider not throwing stones when you live in a glass house.


Lance Kennedy wrote: Governments restrict our freedom in many ways, when those restrictions are to the benefit of the majority. The greater good for the greater number. Every western government EXCEPT the corrupt and well bribed American government restricts access to firearms because that is the greater good.


So what. What are you going to do about it? Whine about it on the internet like a petulant child? Let me know how that works out.


Edited because I got distracted and accidentally hit the submit button too soon.
Last edited by xouper on Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby xouper » Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:40 am

ElectricMonk wrote:The 2nd Amendment says nothing about self-defence.


Not explicitly, no.

However, supporting historical documents show that self defense was one of the intentions of the Second Amendment.

The US Supreme Court has cited some of those historical documents in ruling that self defense is one of the valid reasons for owning a gun.

So if I may ask, what are you trying to say here?


ElectricMonk wrote:And mines are definitely weapons of self defence, btw.


Not under the laws of self defense in the US.

Mines are, as you say, "defensive" weapons, but that does not mean they are legal for use in personal self defense in the US.


ElectricMonk wrote:So you can see that you are drawing the line very arbitrarily, right?


No, I don't see that. Please explain in more detail.

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Re: American guns on dark web.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:46 am

Correlation and causation. I want to make sure, Xouper, that you understand what I mean by causation.

Using your terms, Xouper, of X and Y factors.

If X and Y are correlated, there are six possible kinds of causation relationship that might explain that correlation. Three are the positive correlations and three are negative, because negative correlations are also often a form of causation. For example, physical fitness is negatively correlated to heart disease. That is a causation relationship.

The three positive causation relationships between X and Y are.
1. An increase in X causes an increase in Y.
2. An increase in Y causes an increase in X.
3. A third factor, Z, when it increases causes both X and Y to increase.

The three negative causation relationships between X and Y are.
1. An increase in X causes a decrease in Y.
2. An increase in Y causes a decrease in X.
3. The third factor, Z, when it increases causes a decrease in X and Y.

Now, it is true you can get a correlation where there is no causation. It can be due to the statistical work being incompetent or incomplete, or else it can be due to simple random chance. But if a correlation does exist, positive or negative, then the probability that a causation relationship exists between the two factors is increased.

One kind of causation relationship which is often misdiagnosed as non causation is when the third factor, Z, is time. For example, rates of violence and ice cream sales may be correlated. This kind of relationship is normally described, wrongly, as non causation. But the cause is the third factor, time, due to the fact that both violence and ice cream sales increase when hot summer weather arrives.

Once you realise the range of causation relationships, you should appreciate that most strong correlations are causation of one kind or another, assuming of course, that the research work that led to the strong correlation was competent.

On the second amendment.
I stated it was to enable a militia. That is described explicitly in the wording of the second amendment. The other evidence for this fact is historical. At the time the second amendment was written, the USA had the perception, rightly or wrongly, that Britain was likely to invade to get back the colonies. In addition, there was no significant standing army. The new republic had to rely on militias. So my statement had solid historical foundation .


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