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Lies, Damn lies, and everything looks like a nail
December 7, 2004 6:59 AM   Subscribe

We conclude that the study is entirely without merit and its “results” are meaningless. Remember Florida and those electronic voting machines? Remember those plucky Berkeley grad students who proved something was wrong with the evoting counties? It turns out they were completely wrong.
posted by allan (29 comments total)

 
My first FPP, and it is NewsFilter-y enough that I duplicate something 8 minutes too late.

The usual request for feedback stands, until some one deletes the duplicate post. Long time listener, first time caller, etc etc
posted by allan at 7:05 AM on December 7, 2004


looks like we posted almost simultaneously, though your post was more thoughtful and mine was more pithy and pissy ;-)
posted by dancingbaptist at 7:10 AM on December 7, 2004


Let me just commend your FPP for its neutral, non-troll-bait write-up. Because I don't think being interested in making sure that every vote counted puts me in the "tin foil hat" crowd. I don't think it even says much about whatever party I might belong to, either.
posted by availablelight at 7:10 AM on December 7, 2004


If it's any consolation, this is a *much* better FPP than the one just before it.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:10 AM on December 7, 2004


better to double post than to have never posted at all...


or maybe not.
posted by modernsquid at 7:10 AM on December 7, 2004


I'll say here what I said in dancingbaptist's post:

So some students didn't get their methodology right. That still doesn't explain why Ohio gave Bush extra votes or why Florida voting machines were counting backwards (Backwards!) or why there were so many problems across the country.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:13 AM on December 7, 2004


It's a much better constructed FPP than the one 8 minutes below it. I'd rather we keep this one, lose the one with the snarky editorialising.

Beyond that, my valuable contribution to this discussion is "can't say that I'm particularly shocked by this". Hey ho.
posted by flashboy at 7:13 AM on December 7, 2004


Yes, it is better constructed, but that doesn't override the fact that it's a double. Obviously you were working on it while dancingbaptist rushed to press. But this will happen, especially with newsfilter.

The remedy for this, and what I do in these cases, is to open MeFi in a separate window while you're doing your final preview of the FPP. Refresh that window to get the absolutely most current version of the front page and do one last check for a late-breaking dupe. Then post.
posted by soyjoy at 7:18 AM on December 7, 2004


In defense of the berkeley students: I'm taking an advanced quantitative methods course, where the main assignment is to do just this: find a paper, replicate the findings, and then try to improve on it by doing something better. It's taught me that doing good statistics about the real world (econometrics) is damn hard, and building the perfect model is impossible--there will always be a way to critique any finding.

Still, the original seems pretty shoddy now. As some one who believes that un-auditable voting is horrible, I am angry that we now have a black eye.

On preview: thanks availablelight, armitage, flashboy, soyjoy and a gracious dancingbaptist.
posted by allan at 7:22 AM on December 7, 2004


That'll teach you to spend time looking around for supporting links. Next time, just use a variation the title of the article, throw in some quick editorializing, and you can be first. Don't bother to spell-check, it'll only slow you down.
posted by ook at 7:25 AM on December 7, 2004


And that'll teach me to answer the phone between preview and post; I was the first one here, I swear
posted by ook at 7:25 AM on December 7, 2004


at least allan can spell "Berkeley"
posted by matteo at 7:29 AM on December 7, 2004


I apologize for being the first person in the history for editorializing a post (well, right leaning editorializing).
posted by dancingbaptist at 7:38 AM on December 7, 2004


cool, next time don't forget the "suck on this, assholes" part
posted by matteo at 7:42 AM on December 7, 2004


And here comes the pissy wingnut self-pity, right on schedule.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:43 AM on December 7, 2004


Ummm. Bruce McCullogh? No wonder this was all a big prank, a kid in the hall was behind it.
posted by loquax at 7:45 AM on December 7, 2004


Yes, it is better constructed, but that doesn't override the fact that it's a double. Obviously you were working on it while dancingbaptist rushed to press. But this will happen, especially with newsfilter.

Remember, folks... save time, let Drudge and Rush Limbaugh do the thinking FOR you!

I apologize for being the first person in the history for editorializing a post (well, right leaning editorializing).

No you don't. If you actually gave a shit about the actual post and not the fact that you had a chance to "make them liberals look bad," your post wouldn't have been a steaming turd.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:05 AM on December 7, 2004


So, we've got a Tin-Foil Hat Crowd? I mean, is that now a qualified subset of MetaFilter?
posted by Captaintripps at 8:10 AM on December 7, 2004



I swallowed my crayon.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:10 AM on December 7, 2004


I miss penis unicorns.
posted by bardic at 8:19 AM on December 7, 2004


Well, looks like both threads are fleenered.
posted by dhoyt at 8:22 AM on December 7, 2004


Stewart says that under other models it still shows that two counties show a potential for voting machine error in his opinion. The Wired headline is misleading. Still looking for answers. Maybe we probably should be looking at the absentee ballot effect. www.fugw.org.
posted by 0of1 at 8:22 AM on December 7, 2004


(Hey dhoyt--this is your special friend in Baltimore.)
posted by bardic at 8:37 AM on December 7, 2004


Stop me if you've heard this one...

John Kerry walks into a bar,
Bartender says "Why the long face?"

You can even recycle this for next year! s/John Kerry/Celine Dion , it still works

thank you goodnight
posted by cavalier at 10:20 AM on December 7, 2004


Help! Help! I've been repressed (or deleted as the case may be.)
posted by dancingbaptist at 10:34 AM on December 7, 2004


I was just thinking this morning that the wave of new signups had really improved the tone of metafilter and made it more interesting in general.

Then dancingbaptist reminded me that the law of averages is implacable.
posted by sic at 11:12 AM on December 7, 2004


Yes, it is better constructed, but that doesn't override the fact that it's a double. Obviously you were working on it while dancingbaptist rushed to press. But this will happen, especially with newsfilter.

So... what? Do we encourage the person who rushes to press? And discourage the one who takes time to make a better post? That would make no sense.
posted by scarabic at 12:27 PM on December 7, 2004


Um, no, apparently we don't, seeing as how this is still here, while that wasn't. But my sentence had nothing to do with what is encouraged, and everything to do with what "will happen," and how to avoid it.
posted by soyjoy at 2:07 PM on December 7, 2004


I don't think any of these critiques demonstrates that the original study was "wrong" - just that they didn't demonstrate that the anomalies couldn't be explained by variables other than "electronic voting machines". Lack of proof of fraud is not a proof of lack of fraud. As 0of1 points out, the Wired article ends with the question open as whether or not fraud occurred. Which is precisely the problem and why unauditable elections are insane - the only possible test of integrity is statistical analysis, which these competing studies show to be dependent on the way the models are designed. Anyone who thinks the issue is going to go away because of the pronouncements of "experts" is deluded.

It's not like there isn't plenty of other "smoke alarms" going off - all of which seem to favour the Republicans.
posted by dinsdale at 4:49 PM on December 7, 2004


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