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Base rate fallacy dooms TSA’s risk-based screening

Originally published at craschworks. You can comment here or there.

Base rate fallacy dooms TSA’s risk-based screening

Risk-based screening, if it describes any partitioning of airline passengers at checkpoints, is a fraud. It doesn’t matter what the criteria are for putting passengers into low-risk and high-risk categories, because the concept is mathematically unsound.

The base rate fallacy is the failure to account for underlying incidence of the condition being tested for. Imagine this hypothetical (and completely fantastical) scenario: that the TSA employs a near-perfect test for risk-based screening, a test that always flags terrorists if they are present and only flags innocent people 1 time out of 10,000. (The TSA’s actual success rate at flagging known terrorists is zero.)

Under these conditions, only one out of every five million people flagged would be a terrorist. This is the base rate fallacy in operation. In other words, for all intents and purposes, every flagged person is a false positive.”

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Ron Paul supporters taking over the GOP

Originally published at craschworks. You can comment here or there.

Ron Paul  supporters are quietly taking over the GOP.  Although Ron Paul has not won the popular vote of a single primary or caucus, he has won the majority of the delegates from Iowa, Minnesota, Colorado, Massachusettes, Louisiana, and Washington. He’s also on track to win many more–it’s likely that there will eventually be hundreds of Ron Paul delegates at the GOP convention.

While Romney still probably has enough to win, Paul supporters could make things very uncomfortable for him. And Ron Paul supporters have also won positions in key slots of the Republican Party apparatus. For example, a Ron Paul supporter, A.J. Spiker, was elected to be chairman of the Iowa GOP. Even if Paul doesn’t win this year, he’s building a formidable machine that will help pro-liberty candidates (such as his son Rand) win election in the future.

Check out the havoc Ron Paul supporters are wreaking with the Old Guard Republicans.

Delicious.

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Fox news medical commentator advocates use of psychedelics in terminally ill patients

Originally published at craschworks. You can comment here or there.

Slowly, public opinion is changing. I think there will be a tipping point in the next 5-10 years, and most drug laws will be relaxed.

“Recent studies at Harvard, U.C.L.A. and my alma mater John Hopkins have now made it plain that doctors should—as soon as proper safeguards can be put in place—be free to offer illicit drugs to patients who are terminally ill, in order to ease their emotional suffering and potentially offer them new perspectives—fueled by drug-induced insights—into issues like their own mortality.

At Harvard, Dr. John Halpern (as reported in the New York Times) tested MDMA (the street drug Ecstasy) to determine if it would ease the anxieties in two patients with terminal cancer. At U.C.L.A. and Hopkins, Drs. Charles Grob and Roland Griffiths used psilocybin (the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms) to help cancer patients past their paralyzing, debilitating fears.

The results are reportedly consistently good. In many cases, patients are able to cope with their physical pain and psychological turmoil better than before. Some, no doubt, feel the drugs opened doors of perception previously closed to them, allowing them to make peace with their lives and the impending end of their lives.
The truth is that the likelihood of creating an MDMA or psilocybin addict out of a terminal cancer patient is exactly zero. And, while we all know the obvious risks during early and mid-life of using drugs to excess (including driving under the influence), those risks aren’t really present in substantial measure in the population of folks ending their days on this earth. And, I would argue, they are at the time when experimenting with what they can “see” and feel when freed from their anxieties and preconceptions and routine by hallucinogens or mood-altering substances like Ecstasy makes sense.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/04/24/doctors-consider-using-street-drugs-to-ease-suffering-dying-patients/#ixzz1t49Qnsx8