Updates from January, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Hober Short 12:21 pm on 24 January 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    It’s a common justification to say that a particular policy is worth it if it saves even one life, no matter the cost. Of course, absolute statements like that might be easy to agree with in the abstract, but here’s where the rubber meets the road: (copying entire article at the time of this writing because I’m sure it’ll be updated)

    Wake Tech lockdown lifted after report of armed intruder

    RALEIGH, N.C. — Wake Technical Community College lifted its lockdown around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, about 90 minutes after someone reported an armed man on campus.

    Wake County sheriff’s officials said they got a call about a man with a gun on school property just before 9 a.m., but Sheriff Donnie Harrison said there was no gun on school property.

    Classes will resume at 1 p.m, according to Wake Tech spokeswoman Laurie Clowers. No other information was released.

    This. This right here is the cost of the policy of creating colleges as gun-free zones. Zero tolerance paranoia that involves a law enforcement scramble and a campus paralyzed with fear. I wonder what the cause will turn out to be. Prank call? Last time, it was a man with an umbrella mistaken for a gun.

    This reminds me of that joke about a concealed carry permit holder who gets stopped by a cop and tells him he’s got a gun on his hip, another in the console, a third in the glove box and a shotgun in the trunk. “Jesus, man, what are you afraid of?” the officer asks.

    “Not a damn thing, sir.”

     
    • Hober Short 2:39 pm on 25 January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      And again, this time at NC State.

      • Pat 2:38 pm on 1 February 2012 Permalink | Reply

        This sign sums it up pretty well for me.

  • Hober Short 2:42 pm on 6 January 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Clever Hans effect is a pernicious form of confirmation bias. The name comes from a horse, Clever Hans, who could be asked complex mental tasks and answer consistently and correctly by tapping his hoof. To spoil the ending, it was found that all he was doing was reading the questioner’s body language, which would change when he had given the right answer, and stop tapping his hoof.

    Haha, funny story. But it’s a good thing we don’t really rely on horses for math calculations, right? Well, it turns out the same thing can happen with drug-sniffing dogs.

     
  • Hober Short 1:39 am on 4 January 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The drug war is worse than I thought:

    The shortages [of Ritalin and Adderal in pharmacies] are a result of a troubled partnership between drug manufacturers and the Drug Enforcement Administration, with companies trying to maximize their profits and drug enforcement agents trying to minimize abuse by people, many of them college students, who use the medications to get high or to stay up all night.

    . . .

    While the Food and Drug Administration monitors the safety and supply of the drugs, which are sold both as generics and under brand names like Ritalin and Adderall, the Drug Enforcement Administration sets manufacturing quotas that are designed to control supplies and thwart abuse. Every year, the D.E.A. accepts applications from manufacturers to make the drugs, analyzes how much was sold the previous year and then allots portions of the expected demand to various companies.

    (Emphasis mine.)

    So if the use of no-knock raids (which criminals are starting to take advantage of) wasn’t enough, now we’ve gone to central planning to fight this drug war. Wow.

    Still chuckling at calling the arrangement a “partnership.”

     
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