Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sunday Reading Assignment

Photo: Tom Strattman for the NY Times

How the Fight for Vast New Spying Powers Was Won (Washington Post) - political shenanigans and the eyes on you

In the Current Foreclosure Crisis, Echoes of the Past
(NY Times) - the road to real estate perdition

The Myth, the Math, the Sex (NY Times) - it's not logically possible that men on average have more sex partners than women

How a 'good war' in Afghanistan went bad (International Herald Tribune) - the tragic diversion of funds from Afghanistan to Iraq

On Petraeus and Westhusing (No Quarter) - a colonel's suicide in Iraq, contractor "corruption," and a self-serving general

Chile’s Aggressive Military Arm Purchases Are Ruffling the Region, Alarming in Particular Bolivia, Peru and Argentina (Council on Hemispheric Affairs) - unusually large arms purchases in Chile, most of the weapons coming from the US (who expresses concern about Venezuelan arms purchases), and what this means for the Bachelet government

Iraq Contractors Accused in Shootings (The Guardian) - the privatization of the Iraq War and its crimes

World's birds on death row: Race against time to save 189 species from extinction (The Independent)

Audio Architecture (BLDGBLOG)


barba de chiva said...

Also: China Enacting a High-Tech Plan to Track People

The piece on Afghanistan is excellent, too.

Anonymous said...

That article on the constantly confounding numbers for alleged sex for men and women gets its first example right, but then isn't very careful about the math for the rest of it, preferring the speculations about why the numbers are inconsistent.

And, as I write this, I see that if the numbers of men and women polled are equal, then that first lemma, or whatever they called it, is irrelevant and the uncareful math doesn't matter.

Whatever. Maybe you can use this post for next Friday's conversation stopper.


helmut said...

Thanks, Barba. China and the US sitting in a tree....

You're right, Cheryl. Something looked suspicious about the math and/or the logic. I'm not sure what, though, and was too lazy to find out. Could be a job for the paradox people in philosophy. But... I was hoping someone would challenge it.

Anonymous said...

I'm too lazy to work it out in detail, too.

I think what you have to do is multiply average reported encounters times those reporting. That product for men should be equal to that for women.

But if equal numbers of men and women were polled (and that should be the case in a society where there are roughly equal numbers of both), then the average of seven for men and four for women is indeed not possible, except for the exceptions listed in the article, which they find unconvincing.

It's long been known that people lie about sex to pollsters and lots of others. I don't know why they keep beating this one to death.


helmut said...

Maybe they're just trying to convince their wives that they're faithful.