Pumped full of lead

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Eric the .5b
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Re: Pumped full of lead

Post by Eric the .5b » 11 Nov 2016, 15:38

Jadagul wrote:That blog post is largely about how it doesn't look like noise mining. If you try enough different statistical approaches you can often get a conclusion out of noise. So Gelman reached out to the people doing the study and asked them to run a bunch of different simple statistical tests, and the effect showed up in all of them--which he hadn't really expected, because that's a bit unusual. So raises the credibility of the conclusion.
Ahh, OK. That seems like a very worthy thing to check. Thanks!

(I could have used my phone, I guess, but I am trying to get some work done. :D )
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Mo
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Re: Pumped full of lead

Post by Mo » 09 Dec 2016, 11:54

He'll probably be dead by then, but Kevin Drum has thrown down the gauntlet with a solid, measurable prediction on his leaded gas hypothesis.
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Re: Pumped full of lead

Post by Warren » 09 Dec 2016, 12:40

Mo wrote:He'll probably be dead by then, but Kevin Drum has thrown down the gauntlet with a solid, measurable prediction on his leaded gas hypothesis.
In any case, this leads to a concrete prediction: Between 2020 and 2040, the level of terrorism emanating from the Middle East will drop by at least half. Ditto for violence more generally, including civil wars. In a decade or so, we should begin to get hints of whether this prediction is correct.
I am skeptical on how measurable that prediction is.
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Mo
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Re: Pumped full of lead

Post by Mo » 09 Dec 2016, 12:56

Warren wrote:
Mo wrote:He'll probably be dead by then, but Kevin Drum has thrown down the gauntlet with a solid, measurable prediction on his leaded gas hypothesis.
In any case, this leads to a concrete prediction: Between 2020 and 2040, the level of terrorism emanating from the Middle East will drop by at least half. Ditto for violence more generally, including civil wars. In a decade or so, we should begin to get hints of whether this prediction is correct.
I am skeptical on how measurable that prediction is.
There are NGOs that measure this stuff. He also pointed out crime as well.
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Re: Pumped full of lead

Post by tr0g » 09 Dec 2016, 14:10

Mo wrote:
Warren wrote:
Mo wrote:He'll probably be dead by then, but Kevin Drum has thrown down the gauntlet with a solid, measurable prediction on his leaded gas hypothesis.
In any case, this leads to a concrete prediction: Between 2020 and 2040, the level of terrorism emanating from the Middle East will drop by at least half. Ditto for violence more generally, including civil wars. In a decade or so, we should begin to get hints of whether this prediction is correct.
I am skeptical on how measurable that prediction is.
There are NGOs that measure this stuff. He also pointed out crime as well.
If the Trumpinator goes for broke and nukes errybody in the Middle East, his prediction will come true but I wouldn't give him any points for it.
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Eric the .5b
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Re: Pumped full of lead

Post by Eric the .5b » 09 Dec 2016, 14:17

Mo wrote:He'll probably be dead by then, but Kevin Drum has thrown down the gauntlet with a solid, measurable prediction on his leaded gas hypothesis.
That's the dumbest thing I've heard this week. It's also a Hell of a lot broader and bolder a claim than he's made about the effects of lead to date.

Of course, I'm thinking of all those engineering students who've gotten into terrorism...
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Re: Pumped full of lead

Post by Jennifer » 09 Dec 2016, 14:32

Wow. Until reading that linked article just now, I had no idea various countries waited that long to phase out leaded gas.

Sudden thought, regarding Drum's suggestion: even though the correlation "less lead = less crime" likely does indicate causation as well, it's possible that it'll have no similar effect on terrorism, because terrorism is different from certain other types of crimes. Terrorism isn't an "impulse" crime -- a successful terrorist attack requires careful advance planning. The lead-blamed crimes are more of a "lack of self-control" matter -- like, everybody gets angry sometimes, but most of us have sufficient self-control to not give in to any punchy impulses ... though perhaps some of us would have, if the "self-control" parts of our brains were stunted by lead poisoning. Or, we all get pissed off at that dickhead driver who cut us off in traffic, but most of us do not give in to "road rage" -- though again, perhaps more of us would if we had lead-based brain damage.
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Re: Pumped full of lead

Post by thoreau » 09 Dec 2016, 14:33

Eric the .5b wrote:
Mo wrote:He'll probably be dead by then, but Kevin Drum has thrown down the gauntlet with a solid, measurable prediction on his leaded gas hypothesis.
That's the dumbest thing I've heard this week. It's also a Hell of a lot broader and bolder a claim than he's made about the effects of lead to date.

Of course, I'm thinking of all those engineering students who've gotten into terrorism...
Yeah, if lead reduces impulse control then fewer people will have the self-discipline to go into engineering, so they won't get trained to be terrorists! :)
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Re: Pumped full of lead

Post by Taktix® » 09 Dec 2016, 14:40

Jennifer wrote:Wow. Until reading that linked article just now, I had no idea various countries waited that long to phase out leaded gas.

Sudden thought, regarding Drum's suggestion: even though the correlation "less lead = less crime" likely does indicate causation as well, it's possible that it'll have no similar effect on terrorism, because terrorism is different from certain other types of crimes. Terrorism isn't an "impulse" crime -- a successful terrorist attack requires careful advance planning. The lead-blamed crimes are more of a "lack of self-control" matter -- like, everybody gets angry sometimes, but most of us have sufficient self-control to not give in to any punchy impulses ... though perhaps some of us would have, if the "self-control" parts of our brains were stunted by lead poisoning. Or, we all get pissed off at that dickhead driver who cut us off in traffic, but most of us do not give in to "road rage" -- though again, perhaps more of us would if we had lead-based brain damage.
Perhaps. OTOH, maybe less lead will mean people will be more inclined to turn a skeptical eye toward that imam with the weird, violent interpretation of a set of 1300-year-old marks on paper...
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Re: Pumped full of lead

Post by Mo » 09 Dec 2016, 14:54

Jennifer wrote:Wow. Until reading that linked article just now, I had no idea various countries waited that long to phase out leaded gas.

Sudden thought, regarding Drum's suggestion: even though the correlation "less lead = less crime" likely does indicate causation as well, it's possible that it'll have no similar effect on terrorism, because terrorism is different from certain other types of crimes. Terrorism isn't an "impulse" crime -- a successful terrorist attack requires careful advance planning. The lead-blamed crimes are more of a "lack of self-control" matter -- like, everybody gets angry sometimes, but most of us have sufficient self-control to not give in to any punchy impulses ... though perhaps some of us would have, if the "self-control" parts of our brains were stunted by lead poisoning. Or, we all get pissed off at that dickhead driver who cut us off in traffic, but most of us do not give in to "road rage" -- though again, perhaps more of us would if we had lead-based brain damage.
But the guys pulling it off aren't the ones who plan it. Especially when you're talking about the attacks in the countries highlighted rather than the ones exported. I don't necessarily buy the hypothesis fully, but there is some logic to it. Lots of us are mad at other countries, but we couldn't be goaded into blowing up a bus over it. My main beef is that, like crime, you'd need to see a rise in the activity that correlates to a lot more cars on the road.

ETA: What I like about the hypothesis is that he's throwing it out an offering a measurement by which to be measured as successful. Too few pundits do that.
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Re: Pumped full of lead

Post by Kolohe » 09 Dec 2016, 15:27

More effective than taking the lead out of the autos would be to put more lead into the autocrats.
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Eric the .5b
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Re: Pumped full of lead

Post by Eric the .5b » 09 Dec 2016, 18:27

Mo wrote:.ETA: What I like about the hypothesis is that he's throwing it out an offering a measurement by which to be measured as successful. Too few pundits do that.
So do fundies announcing the end of the world will fall on a given date.

Even if lead levels had a real and strong effect on terrorism, too much else does to make such a prediction non-laughable.
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Re: Pumped full of lead

Post by Aresen » 09 Dec 2016, 18:51

Team Jennifer.

There are too many confounding factors for any change in the level of terrorism to be ascribed to one cause. Even if the lead => nervous system damage => poor impulse control => greater violence chain is a contributing factor to someone becoming a terrorist (leaving out the fact that a terrorist attack is more a deliberate, planned act than an impulsive one), there are still factors like the support of governments, the activities of fundamentalist preachers, the lack of economic opportunity and an interlocking web of ethic hatreds which make it too difficult to tease out the effect of any one cause.

The one thing that I think would reduce the level of violence in the middle east* is the discovery of a cheap substitute for fossil fuels.

*But only after the bloody takedown of the petro-tyrants.
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Re: Pumped full of lead

Post by Aresen » 09 Dec 2016, 18:53

Kolohe wrote:More effective than taking the lead out of the autos would be to put more lead into the autocrats.
On average, taking out a Batista is more likely to get you a Castro than a Mandela.
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Re: Pumped full of lead

Post by lunchstealer » 09 Dec 2016, 19:27

Aresen wrote:
Kolohe wrote:More effective than taking the lead out of the autos would be to put more lead into the autocrats.
On average, taking out a Batista is more likely to get you a Castro than a Mandela.
And the latter is often followed by an Mbeki. Which, probably better than Trump, but still.
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Re: Pumped full of lead

Post by Aresen » 26 Dec 2016, 12:55

I think I will just throw this one in here:

Image
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Shem
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Re: Pumped full of lead

Post by Shem » 26 Dec 2016, 22:27

In any case, this leads to a concrete prediction: Between 2020 and 2040, the level of terrorism emanating from the Middle East will drop by at least half. Ditto for violence more generally, including civil wars. In a decade or so, we should begin to get hints of whether this prediction is correct.
Considering water is supposed to get increasingly scarce over that time period, I'm skeptical that we're going to see a reduction in violence and unrest. The "Arab Spring" uprisings were correlated with a spike in global food prices, and even now, the governments in the region use subsidies to ensure secure access to food. What do you think a dictator will choose when he can only afford to have the carrot or the stick? Can you see Sisi or Erdogan going with the former?

(Besides even if we do see a decrease, terrorism is a young man's game. The countries of the Middle East are extremely young right now, but time has a way of changing that. That alone will probably have a big moderating effect.)
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Eric the .5b
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Re: Pumped full of lead

Post by Eric the .5b » 27 Dec 2016, 10:04

In short: Drum is a goddamn hack with pretensions of being a visionary.
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Mo
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Re: Pumped full of lead

Post by Mo » 08 Jun 2019, 17:11

Much more solid support for the lead-crime hypothesis.

https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/app.20160056
his voice is so soothing, but why do conspiracy nuts always sound like Batman and Robin solving one of Riddler's puzzles out loud? - fod

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