It is interesting that you are still so deeply convinced that all the bias exist with other people but you cannot see your own bias at all. The Vox piece shows many graphs, but you cherry pick a single graph to give the impression that the leftist argument is all about simply conflating homicides and suicides of gun violence.

But the whole article makes it clear what it is. They are not hiding that. They present several other pieces of statistics, which drives home the point such as this one:

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That is a pretty sensible comparison. Because you compare the US, a developed western country with a selection of other western countries. Countries usable to compare with. You don’t comare it to Haiti and Honduras. That would be madness.

And this graph isn’t meant to give a linear relationship. We know other factors matter. Vox is clear about this. The point of this graph is to show the US is an outlier.

The further make what I would say is a far more proper analysis, and what you tried to pull earlier. Not saying it is perfect. But this is a pretty good starting point. They show other types of crimes, than homicide. That show that they have a model in mind. What I have been harping on again and again with you. That you need to have a model in mind first. Their idea is the violence and crime in a society is a complex issue, but that general violence and homicide should most likely be related. That is a pretty sensible assumption. They also make a sensible pick of well developed industrialized countries. Otherwise poverty and inequality can skew results too much.

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And yea looking at these results, the US isn’t that much of an outlier. If the US was just an overall, really shitty place, then we should see all sorts of crime being really high. Actually the US is doing surprisingly well in the statistics IMHO.

When you match that up with the next graph. It should make the alarm bells ringing for any sensible individual:

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Why is the US, such an outlier on this graph, but not on the others? It makes sense to ask questions about what, is it about the US which is profoundly different from the other countries?

I could go on. But the point is that Vox has more graphs than these. And they add an analysis behind it. It is an analysis that makese sense. What strengthen their findings is how everything reinforce each other, such as the deeper analysis of London and New York, showing how robberies happened no less in London but they where simply more deadly in New York due to guns.

Zimring and Hawkins wrote. “A preference for crimes of personal force and the willingness and ability to use guns in robbery make similar levels of property crime 54 times as deadly in New York City as in London.”

Basically there is a deeper analysis than you are willing to make. You just attempt a simple linear regression between countries which aren’t even remotely related.

You’re not looking at the Vox graph and and saying, “hey, that graph conflates both homicides and suicides! And how can you compare Lithuania and Cyprus and the UK and the US in a single graph?”

So, no that is not what I did. You cherry picked that graph. I read the whole article. And I had read related articles like the New York one. I had looked at the whole picture, how the pieces fit together. You pick out one graph, and pretend that is their whole argument. Detach it from the full context.

So no, you are the one pulling the dishonest argument here. Not me.

All I really see here is motivated reasoning on your part. You’re a smart man, but you have preconceived notions of what the answers are. You’re just working hard to find evidence in support of those answers and dismissing evidence that doesn’t fit the pattern.

Everybody has some bias. But it is ironic that you describe yourself to the letter but cannot see it or cannot admit it.

I am basing my views on a richer analysis than you. That is why have have more faith in it. You base your analysis in a far too simple linear model. I assume complexity. You assume simplicity.

I have a model in mind. I know you will need to piece together a puzzle. You on the other hand just begin plotting without having any idea of how the data should be analyzed. You just dump in every country.

I know I have biased, but my claim will be that your biases is clearly far stronger than mine.

It’s the same issue with arguments about education spending. My analysis that education spending doesn’t influence test scores is quickly deemed irrelevant,

Your analysis is how to start an analysis. Not how you finish it. There is always a possibility that one factor has a profound impact. So you plot spending against results. If you find a correlation, then wow, that is interesting. It may be an indication that of all the parameters that affect outcomes, spending is really strong.

If you don’t find a correlation, then that means there are other powerful factors that play a part. But that doesn’t mean spending does matter. Then you go to the next step with a deeper analysis. You take into account more parameters. You build a model or a hypothesis of what you expect to see. You test for that. That is your problem. You do a shallow analysis. The first step analysis. Clap your hands and say “I am done, because I got the proof I wanted.”

I can’t respond to the first part… if you think that the world can’t be quantified or understood, then I can’t really debate with you.

I do think it can be. I just think it is much harder than you think. You cannot insist models of the world must be linear, because that is the only thing you are comfortable. Yes the world is fucking complicated. That is why we have real scientists to do the job, and not two armchair scientists like us playing with linear regressions!

So… I can put some time into determining how the 4 vary across states. But, importantly, the certain outcome is that you’ll dismiss my argument. Either, you’ll argue that the cost categories matter in a different way than I suggest.

That is just nuts! I gave an example of why it was complex by listing many complicated factors I could think of from the top of my head. My list does not serve as so fricken blue print for how to compare schools across states. I am not a scientists. This is not my profession.

If one was to do something like this, what I would insist on is a that you formulated a rough model of how you predict different factors will influence outcomes. Once you have that, you don’t need to collect tons of data from lots of states. You could instead formulate various predictions and test them, to see if they are true. If you keep getting lots of prediction right. It suggests your model of what affects school results is a good one.

You should be able to suggest such a model before you collect any data.

And, even if I can prove that some gaps are not the result of racism, you’ve decided I’m wrong for discussing them, because they’ll enable politicians to become literally Hitler, so I’m a nazi by proxy.

No, it is the incessant speculation on race, despite other factors clearly mattering more, which gets to me. I mean we have gone back and forth now for a while, and despite me pointing out lots of cultural factors you seem to not have considered. It still hasn’t affected your blind faith that race is one of the most crucial factors to study. I am just saying, I am seeing a clear bias.

So, I guess I should probably just go along with the left?

It is a not a package you pick up in the store. You can go your own way. I am a leftist, but I don’t really care about pissing off a lot of fellow leftists for not agreeing with their whole package. I’ve supported the state of Israel for years. Not very popular point of view on the left.

I also do think there are some differences between men and women, which we likely cannot erase with more feminist policies. Also not a very popular view among a lot of leftists. I told a feminist once that I believed in creating more gender equality by treating men and women different. A rather unpopular opinion.

I have stated repeatedly and written several articles and responses here on medium about how I think the whole concept of “white privilege” is counterproductive and stupid. That is sacrilege to say in many leftist circles.

And I have repeatedly argued against the woke white self-flagulating white American liberals. I cannot think of anything more stupid than basically hating yourself for having white skin.

So why make this list? To point out that you don’t have to belong to a left or right tribe. I am myself a little bit all over the place. But I regard myself as a leftist because my key analysis and thinking about society and humanity is leftist in nature. But when it comes down to many pragmatic policies and choices and pick whatever I think seems sensible.

If there is anything I find destructive in America today watching from afar, it is your tribalism. Both the left and the right are demanding ideological purity. But why play their game?

They’re currently trying to cancel standardized tests because the tests show racial gaps, and gaps are clear proof of systemic racism.

That is stupid. But stuff like that doesn’t cause me to say “oh, because they are stupid about this,” I have to abandon the whole left. Every political movement has idiotic beliefs of some form. But for pragmatic reasons it makes sense to have somebody you deem roughly allied with. It is about making priorities. I can live with unreasonable feminists, and annoying woke liberals. However I cannot live in a fascist dictatorship.

To me standardized tests are fine, but if I where to pick my battles I would still sacrifice those rather than say allow a pseduo-apartheid regime. I am not saying those are the only choices. I am just saying that I have made my choice about where I put my intellectual energies. I do spend some time arguing against the most crazy leftists.

But at the end of the day, they are more annoying than dangerous.

You know who else banned IQ tests? Hitler.

But don’t be yet one of those right-wingers who incessantly try to make the case that Nazis and the left are somehow the same. It is pretty ridiculous. People who are too PC for their own good are still very far away from a Fascist in mindset and method.

At the end of the day the key difference is that the left is harder on the powerful and privileged while the right is harder on those with the least privilege and resources. What is more dangerous? While it may not be all fair, the powerful will always have a bigger chance of fighting for themselves.

E.g. one of the groups the Nazis went after was the mentally ill. People the least capable of standing up for themselves. The far right hates weakness with a passion.

The left primarily direct their anger at those with power, privilege and wealth. Not quite as dangerous.

Geek dad, living in Oslo, Norway with passion for UX, Julia programming, science, teaching, reading and writing.

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