Wrapped in gaffa

Programming, Art, Music, Philosophy, Politics

Archive for November 2007

Statistics for what they are

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Statistics is a mathematical tool for measuring probability in clean room experiments. We see a lot of statistic surveys in the news all the time, which most often influences the politics of our country. That is fine if they were taken for what they are. These statistical surveys are rarely done in clean room environments, but are being treated as if they were. Take for example something which is very controversial to opponent against – statistics of smoke induced diseases.

Monitoring smokers and determining the probability of that group getting cancer is not done in a clean room environment. If it was to be done in a clean room environment we would need 200 human clones, eating the exact same, breathing the exact same air and so on where 100 of those would be smokers and 100 of them non-smokers. We need the only difference to be the subject we are doing statistics on. If not then I could claim that smokers tend to live their lives less healthy than non-smokers and blame the general lifestyle of smokers or that smokers had an actual gene that would make them both smoke, and die younger. I would not be able to blame the chemical substances of tobacco. What the survey would tell you is that if you are the group of people who smoke you will have a higher probability of getting cancer, but it would not be able to say if tobacco was to blame.

Don’t believe statistics. Understand them.

I’m a smoker and I’m not blind to the risks of an unhealthy lifestyle. I accept them as a side effect of enjoying my life.


Written by gaffa

2007-11-24 at 14:35

Posted in Politics

Tagged with , , , ,

Holiday of the rich

with 3 comments

No doubt that all children loves Christmas presents. Christmas has become the day where we spend billions and billions on buying presents for other rich people.

Buy stuff that matters for people to whom it matters the most and spend the day with your family and friends.

Buy a Unicef survival kit for undernutritioned kids, and give a card for Christmas.

This look is worth much more than money.


Written by gaffa

2007-11-22 at 17:05

Virtually not a crime

with one comment

A Dutch teenager was arrested for stealing virtual furniture in the game Habbo Hotel and a Chinese man killed (in real life) a man who had sold a virtual sword he had borrowed from his murderer in the game Legends of Mir 3.

What a pathetic world. I blame the implicit greed of capitalism.

If you spend your money buying virtual (non existing) items instead of feeding starving children you deserve to be robbed.

Unicef Logo

Donate Now!

Written by gaffa

2007-11-21 at 19:14

Show me good use of ECMAScript on the Web

with 2 comments

Microsoft want their Silver-something to replace ECMAScript and Flash and Mozilla wants to develop ECMAScript in the direction of Silver-something.

What do I need it for? Nothing.

You can view this blog perfectly fine with a pure HTML and CSS renderer.

Interactivity? What kind of interactivity? Like submitting a comment to this post? It seems to work fine with just HTML/HTTP.

I only know a few great ways of applying ECMAScript and that is in presenting sites like I want to view them, using the Greasemonkey extension for Firefox.

What is the real reason to make my browser execute code from the internet? The answer is advertising. The funny thing is as soon as you disable ECMAScript the content you miss out on is advertising. It is simple to show ads without using ECMAScript, but most ad providers use it to collect information about us. Users don’t need ECMAScript.

I’m sitting here trying to come up with a good use for ECMAScript, Flash and Java, but I just can’t. I need your help, please post a comment.

I can only come up with playing music in your browser and watching video, but really the ideal thing would be a video player plugin and a music player plugin for your browser. You don’t need a completely different audio/video engine as a browser plugin. All you need is a plugin that uses your favourite mediaplayer. The rest is just bloat.

Please post a comment if you disagree (It would help if you explained why you think users need ECMAScript, Flash and Java).

Written by gaffa

2007-11-03 at 15:10