Author Topic: The numbers game again  (Read 261 times)

Michael Rolls

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The numbers game again
« on: Oct 10, 2020, 09:07:28 PM »
In the last 24 hours 1,009 (9-10-20) Scots have tested positive for the virus. This has resulted in 35 new hospital admissions and 4 more cases in ICU (not clear if those 4 are within or additional to, the 35). That 1,009 figure represents 14.1%of the total tested, so 7,156 tests must have been caried out. So, those 7,156 tests resulted in 39 admissions (worst case, I am adding the 4 ICU cases to the 35) or a little over one half of one percent of those tested (0.54% to two places), and 4 ICU cases or around one-twentieth of one percent (0.06 to two places). Six persons have died with covid-19 on the death certificate.
If one accepts Hancock’s figure of 0.8 of tests resulting in false positives, then of those 1,009 positive results, 57 are likely to be false positives. The figure of 14.1% testing positive is higher than in the past, so there is no call for complacency, although we have no indication as to how the 7,156 were selected. It would seem sensible for testing to be of people likely to be exposed to the virus, rather than testing a purely random selection, but as with so many of these bulletins, we just don’t know – we aren’t being giving the facts in enough detail to really understand what risks we are facing.
For comparison, in August – the latest date for which I can find a figure, there were 4,232 deaths in Scotland from all causes. That’s an average of 139 deaths a day. Yesterday covid-19 killed 6 Scots, so about one death in 23 – although it is probably a little lower because all deaths are likely to increase as autumn/winter approach. Look at it another way – 7,156 tests – 6 deaths.
Do these numbers really seem bad enough to induce the political panic that we are seeing?
Mike
The older I get, the better I was!

klondike

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Re: The numbers game again
« Reply #1 on: Oct 10, 2020, 10:01:58 PM »
The media just point to increasing positive tests, hospital admissions and deaths. It makes headlines that sell papers or produces clicks. This is the second occasion the numbers have been on the rise so its clearly the second wave that scary scientist bloke was talking about on the tele the other week.

Those incapable of standing back and looking at what the numbers actually represent think I might die or my nan might die and worry and panic. They see everybody wearing masks. This must be really bad they think.

The politicians see voters worrying. We must do something. Oh bugger nothing we have done is working they think. We'd better shut more down then they think or nobody whose nan has died will ever vote for me again. Some might think but this is destroying the economy. Better ramp up the panic then so we have an excuse they think.


Temperence

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Re: The numbers game again
« Reply #2 on: Oct 10, 2020, 10:13:06 PM »
As someone who taught social science a way back I can tell you that statistics can be made to show pretty much what you want them to show.
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

Michael Rolls

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Re: The numbers game again
« Reply #3 on: Oct 10, 2020, 10:18:57 PM »
And the governments are doing just that
Mike
The older I get, the better I was!

Michael Rolls

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Re: The numbers game again
« Reply #4 on: Oct 10, 2020, 10:21:22 PM »
Old tale
Boss - to subordinate. Jones I want the latest statistics
Jones - yes sir, what do you want them to prove?
Mike
The older I get, the better I was!

Temperence

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Re: The numbers game again
« Reply #5 on: Oct 10, 2020, 10:22:04 PM »
Quote
Do these numbers really seem bad enough to induce the political panic that we are seeing?

100% no!
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

Michael Rolls

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Re: The numbers game again
« Reply #6 on: Oct 10, 2020, 10:24:03 PM »
Agreed
Mike
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granny moss

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Re: The numbers game again
« Reply #7 on: Oct 11, 2020, 06:44:48 AM »
Miky and I were both accountants. He for a shipping company me for a large Insurance c.   Both in London.  Statistics are manipulated to adjust the book balance.......I used to do that. Easy. Statistics and statistics and dam lies......gmx

Michael Rolls

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Re: The numbers game again
« Reply #8 on: Oct 11, 2020, 06:56:13 AM »
I know the feeling- and we are being fed damn lies
Mike
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klondike

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Re: The numbers game again
« Reply #9 on: Oct 11, 2020, 09:34:56 AM »
Many years ago I was at the top of the payscale for the grade of my job and there was no prospect of any promotion (dead men's shoes). The company advertised all internal vacancies and I saw a job on the next grade but outside IT.


I went for interview and they described the job and it sounded reasonably interesting. They also mentioned it involved collating some statistics for management. They offered me the job and I accepted it. I started an introductory period and found that the interesting bit amounted to 5% of it and the statistics gathering was tedious in the extreme and amounted to 95% of it (pre the days of PCs and spreadsheets). Worse still if they didn't come out all sweetness and light you had to go back and fiddle bits and pieces in some manner I've forgotten now so a wonderful picture of performance could be presented to senior management. So sit and cobble together stats then corrupt them to show what the local manager wanted. I went back to personnel and told them I couldn't take the job. Within a few months they managed to find an extra grade for the job I was already doing. Then another a few years later.


Michael Rolls

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Re: The numbers game again
« Reply #10 on: Oct 11, 2020, 09:38:43 AM »
well done
The older I get, the better I was!

crabbyob

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Re: The numbers game again
« Reply #11 on: Oct 11, 2020, 11:48:59 AM »
why do we continue to ramble on about statistics when none of us believe any of them
and yet we continue to quote them then deny their honesty...just ignore them....please
every hill has a down side, even Benny Hill

Diasi

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Re: The numbers game again
« Reply #12 on: Oct 11, 2020, 12:23:12 PM »
As someone who taught social science a way back I can tell you that statistics can be made to show pretty much what you want them to show.

As can economics.
Make every day count, each day is precious.

There is nothing more frightful than the ignorant in action.

Apart from the gullible in action.

Michael Rolls

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Re: The numbers game again
« Reply #13 on: Oct 11, 2020, 12:32:39 PM »
why do we continue to ramble on about statistics when none of us believe any of them
and yet we continue to quote them then deny their honesty...just ignore them....please
Crabby
The reason I 'ramble on' about statistics is precisely because I don't believe what we are being fed and there enough reasonably verifiable numbers out there to demonstrate that we are being subjected to a gross over-reaction by our respective governments.
Are you happy with what your are being spoon-fed by politicians who are clearly running scared. scared to admit the mistakes they are making - some of them truly horrendous in their effect upon the economy and peoples' quality of life? Frankly, I am not.
Mike
The older I get, the better I was!

biglouis

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Re: The numbers game again
« Reply #14 on: Oct 11, 2020, 02:15:08 PM »
I consider most of what we are being fed about masks, social distancing, closing pubs etc is a load of tosh. Its an example of what social scientists call "moral panics"
Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the blind obedience of fools.