[Previous] Globalism | Home | [Next] The Greeks Knew We All Make Mistakes

Bad Scholarship on VDare

From VDare: 93% Of Democrats Think It's Important That Fewer Whites Be Elected.

The article leads with a chart, which says that 75.1% of Democrats believe that "Whites are favored". The chart repeats later in the article. Problems:

  1. The chart has no source.

  2. The author falsely claimed that he always gives sources. Actually he had to be asked the source on Twitter because he hadn't given it. The source is these CNN exit polls.

  3. To get the chart, the author did math on the CNN exit poll data. He did not show his work.

  4. I checked what math he did by asking him on Twitter, since he didn't document it. His math was wrong. Where he got 75.1%, the correct answer was 75%. He added an extra significant figure to exaggerate how good his data was. He admitted I was right, but thought the matter deserved the comment "lol" rather than saying e.g. "My mistake, I will fix it."


The chart was brought to my attention by khaaan on Twitter, who questioned its sourcing.


Elliot Temple on November 8, 2018

Comments (18)

anepigone.blogspot.com

1. and 2. Yes it does. It's provided in the body of the post. In the interest of my readers' time, I don't link to the same source multiple times in the course of a single post. I've been doing this for a long time and have a well-deserved reputation for being meticulous with my source data.

3. Almost nobody wants to see the figures presented worked out. It's a blog post, not a research paper (though most people who read research papers also skip over the parts where authors show their work.

4. No, you are incorrect. Obviously Edison/CNN asked questions, got absolute numbers in their responses, and then put rounded percentages next to them. The absolute numbers are not difficult to work out. Having obtained them, I then created a graph with those absolute numbers of responses and rounded to the nearest tenth of a percentage.

Literally every single complaint you made, publicly, to try and grab a little attention for yourself was invalid. You're not doing VDare or our movement any favors with ignorant concern trolling.

I'm a lot better at this than you are--that's fine, I've been doing it for a long time--so if you have concerns you should attempt to have them addressed privately via DM. There are organizations like the SPLC and the ADL who love having useful idiots like yourself blow smoke for them. They use it to create the vague perception that VDare cannot be trusted. It can be.


Audacious Epigone at 11:19 AM on November 10, 2018 | #11354 | reply | quote

If a book has a chart on page 54 with no source in that chapter, but on page 33 there is an unrelated comment with a source which happens to be the same source from the page 54 chart ... is that reasonable? Is the chart sourced? No. There is nothing saying what the source for the chart is.

Re 3, if people don't want to see something, that is what footnotes are for. ez.

Re 4, You simply can't work out the exact absolute numbers based on rounded percentages. There are a bunch of different absolute numbers of responses that would result in the same rounded percentage being published. This is obvious. You are being careless because you're rationalizing instead of thinking.

By being so sloppy and then refusing to correct your errors, you are helping SPLC and ADL. You are making the lefty "fact checkers" partially correct when they attack sites like VDare.


Dagny at 11:32 AM on November 10, 2018 | #11355 | reply | quote

AE, regarding point 3, you could use a footnote. Doesn't have to be in the body.

It's important to show your original work in order to get mistakes corrected, which is something your *best* readers might help with.

Regarding SPLC etc, it is helpful to them if their opposition offers low quality scholarship that is easily refutable. The way to avoid this is by using good methods like being rigorous, showing your work and properly documenting sources. You don't seem to be a big fan of this approach, and are thus yourself (unwittingly) the left's handmaiden.

Finally, having a strong spirit of frank public criticism is good. Why should we limit our criticisms of scholarship to DM like fragile snowflakes? Doesn't VDare like spirited exchanges of ideas like at the Mencken conference or whatever? The left is gonna be vicious regardless - whispering our disagreements won't appease them.

I'm not curi, and I like VDare in general, but can't say I'm impressed with your response here pal.


Anonymous at 11:35 AM on November 10, 2018 | #11356 | reply | quote

CNN: 18778 respondants, 41% say whites are favored, 87% of those are dems.

How many of those respondents are dems? We can't know exactly but we can calculate a range. The *minimum* is: ceil(ceil(18778 * 0.405) * 0.865). Why? The lowest they'd round up to 41% is 40.5%. And they'd round 86.5% or more up to 87%.

So here's the math with ruby:

>> ((18778 * 0.405).ceil * 0.865).ceil

=> 6580

Let's sanity check that. What does the naive method get?

>> 18778 * 0.41 * 0.87

=> 6698.1126

Similar. Sanity check passed.

That naive method was actually used by Audacious Epigone, see https://twitter.com/AudaciousEpigon/status/1060703381176627201

Ok and what about the top end of the range?

>> ((18778 * 0.415).floor * 0.875).floor

=> 6818

So there is a range of 239 different numbers of individual respondents that CNN would have reported as it did. Audacious Epigone is factually and mathematically wrong.

I leave it as an exercise for the reader to correctly calculate the possible total numbers of dems who responded to the poll and to then figure out maximum and minimum percentages of dems who think whites are favored, and then see if the answers are all in the range 75.05% to 75.15% that could be correctly represented as 75.1%, or not. (Based on estimating it, I will be happy to bet money on *not*).

PS I know this depends on rounding rules. I assumed the naive rule of rounding .5 or more up and .49999 down, except also I fudged it and let .5 round down when convenient (but .50001 would round up, so I doubt that mattered).


curi at 12:02 PM on November 10, 2018 | #11357 | reply | quote

Even if all 18778 were dems (they aren't), then 239 variation is over 1% variance. So Audacious Epigone is incorrect to give an answer to a tenth of a percent.


curi at 12:12 PM on November 10, 2018 | #11358 | reply | quote

Even giving the answer as 75% would be questionable. It's a reasonable estimate that comes from math which makes sense (unlike the 75.1% which is just an error), but I don't think it's exact.


curi at 12:19 PM on November 10, 2018 | #11359 | reply | quote

https://twitter.com/AudaciousEpigon

Then in comments, he claims:

> I'm a lot better at this than you are--that's fine, I've been doing it for a long time

It's easy to discover that I have a blog post from Jan 2003 on this site. And I started before I had a blog. So it seems I've been doing it longer. He should be more careful about making false factual assumptions (he appears to assume he's being doing this longer than I have).


curi at 12:26 PM on November 10, 2018 | #11360 | reply | quote

https://vdare.com/posts/from-80-to-60-percent-white-how-to-lose-a-congressional-district-no-matter-what-kind-of-republican-you-are

>In 2008, Virginia’s seventh congressional district was 79 percent white. Today, it is 65 percent white.

...

>What do all three have in common besides a shockingly similar demographic change in the last decade? All three had been considered solidly Republican for decades, and the last week, all three Republican incumbents lost to Democrats.

the Virginia district was REDRAWN in a way which hurt Republican Dave Brat

https://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/government-politics/judges-impose-new-va-congressional-map-redrawing-rd-th-districts/article_0ad5053b-6818-5d7e-b96e-c9ce02ad45cb.html

vdare guy is trying to make some point about immigration and demographic change leading to GOP losses, leaves this detail out...


Anonymous at 3:28 PM on November 11, 2018 | #11364 | reply | quote

Today, Ann Coulter RT'd the VDARE post, saying:

> But they're NATURAL REPUBLICANS! From 80 to 60 Percent White: How to Lose a Congressional District


Alisa at 11:50 AM on November 12, 2018 | #11365 | reply | quote

Another Vdare article by Audacious Epigone (emphasis mine):

> If the video gave you second thoughts about whether or not to stand behind the young Templars, you’re part of the problem, *fellow white person*! It betrays a willingness to accept nothing other than the unconditional surrender of whites in any confrontation with non-whites. Stop it. You’re digging *your posterity* an early grave.

What do people think about Vdare explicitly addressing whites like that?


Anonymous at 7:57 AM on January 23, 2019 | #11698 | reply | quote

The same article mentions "the shit-eating grins that drive POCs and blood libelers into genocidal furies". Blood libel is usually refers to a specific kind of anti-semitic slur (the entire first page of Google search results for the term bears this out), but here the author appears to be using the term in a more general sense that includes a kind of anti-white racism. What do people think about that?


Anonymous at 8:00 AM on January 23, 2019 | #11699 | reply | quote

More Vdare math

https://vdare.com/posts/reporting-on-maga-hat-fake-news-eleven-times-that-of-mass-murder-of-whites-by-illegal-alien :

> I tested it by searching for the name of one of the earliest victims, Connie Koontz, 56. A search for “Connie Koontz” in news comes up with 554 results.

>

> A search for "Wilbur Martinez- Guzman", the illegal alien suspect in custody comes up with 661 results.

>

> And a search for Nathan Phillips MAGA hat comes up with 6,770 results. That's ELEVEN times the coverage.

How are they arriving t a factor of 11x there? 6770/661 is about 10.25. 6770/554 is 12.22.


Anonymous at 8:08 AM on January 23, 2019 | #11700 | reply | quote

11 is the average of 10.25 and 12.22


Anonymous at 9:03 AM on January 23, 2019 | #11701 | reply | quote

It's sad if they are that stupid.


Anonymous at 9:21 AM on January 23, 2019 | #11702 | reply | quote

#11702 You're pretty hostile and flamey for someone who failed to figure out that basic math themselves, and who did not accompany his flamey conclusion with an explanation/reasoning.


Anonymous at 9:25 AM on January 23, 2019 | #11703 | reply | quote

I noticed the average thing before posting. I didn't think it was worth mentioning because it doesn't make sense.

The vdare article is trying to compare the news coverage of two topics: a crime by an illegal alien and the #covingtoncatholic incident. They do this by counting the number of stories on each topic. 554 and 661 are the number of results for two different queries for stories on the first topic. 6770 is the number of results for a query for stories on the second topic. I'll assume that the queries are fairly accurate for counting the number of stories on each topic (otherwise, what's the point?).

If topic 1 gets X times the coverage of topic 2, it should be the case that (number of stories on topic 1)/(number of stories on topic 2) = X. In order for a factor of 11 to make sense, there would have to be 615 stories on the first topic, because 6770/11 = about 615. But that doesn't work, because the smallest possible number of stories on the first topic is 661, yielding a factor of about 10.25. That would happen if all 554 stories were included in the 661. If any of the 554 stories were *not* included in the 661, then the number of stories on the first topic would be even larger, yielding a factor even smaller than 10x.


Anonymous at 9:59 AM on January 23, 2019 | #11704 | reply | quote

If half the ppl do one search, and half do the other, than the avg amount of results seen (amount of coverage in front of a news seeker) is in the middle.

The reach of material depends on a weighted average of searches done and its prominence on each of those searches.

Total article counts from google are not reliable. I'm seeing 3080 for Connie Koontz. And they aren't a very good proxy for amount or reach of coverage. And most people who do google searches don't go to the second page of results. And the long tail of results is often full of irrelevant crap. Given the imprecision, maybe he should have said 10x instead of 11. But none of these are the complaints the anon in #11704 made.


Anonymous at 10:10 AM on January 23, 2019 | #11705 | reply | quote

> If half the ppl do one search, and half do the other, than the avg amount of results seen (amount of coverage in front of a news seeker) is in the middle. The reach of material depends on a weighted average of searches done and its prominence on each of those searches.

Exactly. They don't cover that at all. Also, there are any number of queries people could run for stories on either topic. For example, one could search for "Sophia Renken" (another of the victim's name from the first topic).

> Total article counts from google are not reliable. I'm seeing 3080 for Connie Koontz. And they aren't a very good proxy for amount or reach of coverage.

Agreed.

> And most people who do google searches don't go to the second page of results.

True. And given that there are at least a page of results for each of the queries, we could use the metric introduced above ("avg amount of results seen (amount of coverage in front of a news seeker)"), to claim that the amount of coverage is *equal* for both topics.

> And the long tail of results is often full of irrelevant crap. Given the imprecision, maybe he should have said 10x instead of 11. But none of these are the complaints the anon in #11704 made.

Yes. Those are additional issues. This is another illustration that Vdare's fact-checking is inadequate.


Anonymous at 10:40 AM on January 23, 2019 | #11706 | reply | quote

What do you think?

(This is a free speech zone!)