Politics

Statistics don't always tell the whole picture

We all know that distracted driving is involved in a notable percentage of accidents:

At the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the federal agency that tracks road deaths, "we feel strongly there is robust evidence on the dangers of distracted driving," says Lynda Tran, NHTSA's director of communications.

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Headwear and driver's licenses

I'm a Pastafarian... and I like this guy's flair:

A self-described "pastafarian" in Austria has won the right to wear a pasta strainer on his head for his driver's license photo.
A self-confessed atheist, Niko Alm told the BBC he belongs to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a light-hearted, US-based faith whose members call themselves pastafarians.

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Ranting for really good security

Here's a good essay/opinion piece on putting personal security ahead of government eavesdropping:

... the U.S. government does not want us to have really secure networks. The government is more interested in snooping in on the rest of the world’s insecure networks. The U.S. consumer can take the occasional security hit, our spy chiefs rationalize, if it means our government can snoop global traffic.

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How accurate are genetic tests?

What does it mean if a genetic test reports 99% chance of a match? Not as much as the general public believes:

Genetic-testing experts say such additional evidence is key to ensuring a positive identification and they have no reason to doubt the conclusion in the bin Laden case. But they say probabilities such as 99% or 99.99%—frequently tossed around in other cases involving DNA testing—can be misstated or misleading.

 

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Why government's discussion about the debt ceiling is a waste of time

Congress is (again) discussing raising the debt ceiling. These seems, on the surface, to be a reasonable effort to solve our financial woes. But it's flawed for more than one reason.

First, as any money-management teacher or mentor will teach you, you never add to your debt in order to fix your financial problems. This has the unintended consequence of rewarding you for your errors rather than correcting your flawed behavior.

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