Category Archives: The James Commentary

Short thoughts on something that caught my attention or triggered a thought.

 Why Homeless Counts Misinform

The Longer – 2 of 2

Perhaps the phrase ‘homeless count’ causes people to assume that the purpose – and therefore design – of the homeless count is to count all the homeless and it is that erroneous assumption that leads to the utterance of utter nonsense such as:

“Earlier this year, a homeless count found a dramatic increase in homelessness across the region from three years ago, including a 79 per cent increase in Abbotsford.

Dilbert_Statistics

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Why Homeless Counts Misinform

 The Shorter – 1 of 2

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”                                                                                                                                   Mark Twain

Twain attributed the quote to British politician Disraeli but researchers have concluded that the phrase originally appeared in 1895 in an article by Leonard H. Courtney.  Ironically Mark Twain is credited with saying that “it isn’t what we don’t know that causes problems but what we know for sure – that ain’t so”.

The fault lies not with the science of statistics but with what we know about statistics that ain’t so. .

DifficultFractions

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Darryl Plecas’s Rose-coloured Mirror.

‘If I’m guilty of anything, it’s changing my mind,’

What a banal way to make an action that calls to mind words such as renege, weasel, forsake, apostatise – sound almost noble.

Before we rush to knight Speaker Plecas for gallantry let us consider a few facts.

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Media: Public Myth Versus Bottom Line Reality Part I

”Why is the hard-headed Clark suddenly morphing into a soft-hearted mushball?”

There is a widely held public belief that the media’s job is to provide the information that the public needs to be informed on issues

As is the case with the majority of widely held public beliefs, especially the beliefs/myths we base the governance of Canada on, the myth is untrue.

Myth_versus_Reality

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