2016-02-29 Mon

Clear Thinking

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Mercator has a lot to answer for.

Here is a Canadian newspaper publishing a map which fools the eye into thinking that Canada dominates the globe in terms of whatever-it-is-we-are-discussing.

I have taken figures for area from my 1995 edition of Reader’s Digest “Guide to places of the World”. I believe that areas have not changed greatly over the past 21 years.

Region

Area(Km2)

Proportion

Europe

10,498,000

34%

Canada

9,970,610

32%

USA

9,372,614

31%

Sweden-Denmark

493,054

2%

Japan

372,313

1%

In this table the regions have been arranged in descending order of size. Note that Europe is greater (in area) than Canada; then go back and look at the map.

Christopher Greaves Map_20160223.png

Here is a simple pie chart. In effect we see that Europe, Canada and the USA are roughly equal in land area.

Yet the map gives overwhelming domination to North America in apparent area of land and, by suggestion, to the importance of (in this case) negative interest rates.

Better would be a pie chart showing, directly, the economic impact – however it is measured.

To my mind the Globe and Mail is guilty of the cheapest snake-oil skullduggery in this swindle.

Clear Thinking

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Be careful of figures.

This article says that black males represent 2% of males aged 15 to 34 years old.

This article says that black males represent 15% of males aged 15 to 34 years old involved in police-related deaths.

The suggestion is that young black males are being shot at roughly seven times the rate of young white males.

It may well be true that young black males are being shot at roughly seven times the rate of young white males.

And it may well be true that the police are shooting them.

It may also be true that young black males are seven times as likely to be engaged in crimes which, to police eyes, justify a shooting.

If this is so (and it is possible) than the ratio of young males being shot by the police is spot-on.

Then our real concern ought to be why young black males are seven times as likely to be involved in shootable crimes. Could be poverty, discrimination, ghettos, or any number of reasons.

Those are the things we should look at.

For the record, I am of the opinion that North American police are trigger-happy. Toronto Police deal with the mentally ill by shooting them when there is absolutely no apparent deadly danger to the officers involved,

FWIW three or four separate police forces combined to lock passengers in a GO Transit bus with a known killer a week or so ago.

So much for “Serve and protect”!