Stats show a peaceful world
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22-10-2011, 12:04 PM (This post was last modified: 22-10-2011 05:25 PM by defacto7.)
Stats show a peaceful world
Anyone want to take a crack at this... We have been discussing some rather heavy issues with a lot of angst toward the status quo. Is there are fly in the ointment here? Is it a better world than some of us profess? Is this information or disinformation? Something to think about.

Quote from AP....

Bombings, beheadings? Stats show a peaceful world
WASHINGTON (AP) -- It seems as if violence is everywhere, but it's really on the run.

Yes, thousands of people have died in bloody unrest from Africa to Pakistan, while terrorists plot bombings and kidnappings. Wars drag on in Iraq and Afghanistan. In peaceful Norway, a man massacred 69 youths in July. In Mexico, headless bodies turn up, victims of drug cartels. This month eight people died in a shooting in a California hair salon.

Yet, historically, we've never had it this peaceful.

Link below....

ap.org

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22-10-2011, 06:05 PM
RE: Stats show a peaceful world
[Image: O-RLY-YA-RLY.jpg]

For no matter how much I use these symbols, to describe symptoms of my existence.
You are your own emphasis.
So I say nothing.

-Bemore.
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22-10-2011, 06:21 PM
 
RE: Stats show a peaceful world
(22-10-2011 12:04 PM)defacto7 Wrote:  Yet, historically, we've never had it this peaceful.

defacto, my mother used to have a saying: "Every donkey feels its own burden".

As I grow old, I appreciate it more and more.

Sad
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22-10-2011, 07:13 PM
RE: Stats show a peaceful world
(22-10-2011 06:21 PM)Zatamon Wrote:  
(22-10-2011 12:04 PM)defacto7 Wrote:  Yet, historically, we've never had it this peaceful.

defacto, my mother used to have a saying: "Every donkey feels its own burden".

As I grow old, I appreciate it more and more.

Sad

Zate, That saying is profound on multiple levels... She was a philosopher. It's so true.

My father used to say, "If one person calls you an ass, forget about it. If everyone calls you an ass , you had better put a bridal on!"
...I'm not quite sure what this has to do with anything, but it feels right anyway.
Shy


bemore....

Now, which of those 2 owls should I be listening to???

Hummm, now let.. me.. think..?

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24-10-2011, 12:54 PM
RE: Stats show a peaceful world
It seems to be a very human habit to idealize the good old times and put down the current times. See all the variations of the Garden of Eden. The difference is that now we have objective means to compare different times. But I suspect this human tendency is too strong and rooted for silly things like facts and statistics to make any difference.

English is not my first language. If you think I am being mean, ask me. It could be just a wording problem.
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24-10-2011, 03:25 PM
RE: Stats show a peaceful world
Thanks for the input sy2502!

All the personal anecdotes aside, What we really need to decide here is what the statistics actually are weighing. What is the definition of the data and how does it really affect us.

Scene 1: One man with an ax 1500 years ago - versus 1 man with an AK-47 transported back in time? I think the guy with the gun will be able to kill the guy with the ax.

Scene 2: 1 man with an AK-47 - versus 10000 men with an ax? The axes win.

Scene 3: 1 billion pacified humans who believe statistics are god but have no idea how they apply to the present - versus 10 guys with access to nukes? Who wins?

Question: How do we know how to apply statistics so they are relevant to the present situation of humanity?

Answer: History and experience aka "good old times"

Quote:It seems to be a very human habit to idealize the good old times and put down the current times.

Maybe. But It's much more common to expect idealization of the current times if that's the only place you've been, which more than not means excluding people who have seen a couple of rounds of history including those parts of it based on angst.

Quote:The difference is that now we have objective means to compare different times.

You actually think we have recently acquired those means? There is nothing new except the toys. Objectivity has been around a long time. The points in this article are not new, it's the article that is new. There very well may be interesting points to revisit, but unless they have a context that converts to usefulness in the current times, they are very ambiguous. I think that is my basic point for asking input on this article. Some of the others are so use to these arguments that is it easy to make a little fun of it. On the other hand I don't think anyone does not take them seriously.

Quote:But I suspect this human tendency is too strong and rooted for silly things like facts and statistics to make any difference.

HA... now you are making fun... and actually I agree with you. Human tendencies are to strong and rooted. That's also the point. It's human to rely on raw points of view that can manipulate. It's human to be manipulated. It's human to overlook the past. It's human to be sure of oneself before all the data is in. It's human to be sure of oneself before enough experience has made the data more than 2 dimensional. As far as silly facts and statistics... They are never silly; they can be quite dangerous. Statistics that are undefined or ill-defined can distort fact. Facts that are ill-defined and misdirected can possibly destroy us.

No one is dissing the stats. The point of the writer just doesn't seem to match the realities of the present or past. I'd be glad to hear good support for the writer's presented point of view. I don't think you addressed that.

cheers....

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24-10-2011, 05:04 PM
RE: Stats show a peaceful world
(24-10-2011 03:25 PM)defacto7 Wrote:  Question: How do we know how to apply statistics so they are relevant to the present situation of humanity?

Answer: History and experience aka "good old times"
I'd say the first thing to do is to define what constitutes "better". Is it longer life expectancy and lower child mortality rates? Is it rate of literacy and poverty? Is it access to clean water and food? Is it number of generations living under the same roof, or number of children? Is it equality and rights under the law? Is it perceived happiness?
Of course the thread talks about "peace", not "happiness". And the data is there to show that the world today is, in fact, more peaceful, both in terms of wars and crime, than it was.

Quote:Maybe. But It's much more common to expect idealization of the current times if that's the only place you've been, which more than not means excluding people who have seen a couple of rounds of history including those parts of it based on angst.
I think the article is talking about general conditions. Sure there still is suffering. Who'd ever deny that? But the fact there still are some people who can't read and write does not contradict the factual statement that illiteracy is in fact much lower now than it was.

Quote:You actually think we have recently acquired those means? There is nothing new except the toys. Objectivity has been around a long time.
What I mean is that things like crime rates didn't use to be collected and analyzed. Did they collect crime statistics under the Roman Empire, or during the Dark Ages?

Quote:The points in this article are not new, it's the article that is new. There very well may be interesting points to revisit, but unless they have a context that converts to usefulness in the current times, they are very ambiguous.
Yes, context is in fact the key to reading the article. And many don't put current events (like the violence in Pakistan and Mexico) in the proper context. What's the proper context? That of history of course. Instead of comparing it to the utopia of "no violence at all" (which never occurred in human history), let's put it into the context of, I don't know, the rivers of blood that used to run through the streets of Rome every time they changed Emperors, or the Crusades.
The problem when people say "how can you say the world is more peaceful when.... (insert violent news of the week)" it's like the Global Warming debate: saying "oh but it's snowing in Minnesota" isn't a good argument against the fact that, globally, the temperatures are in fact rising. Similarly there can be isolated incidence of violence and still the world as a whole can in fact be getting overall more peaceful.

Quote:No one is dissing the stats. The point of the writer just doesn't seem to match the realities of the present or past. I'd be glad to hear good support for the writer's presented point of view. I don't think you addressed that.

cheers....
Could I ask you what passage are you referring exactly so that I make sure to address it?

English is not my first language. If you think I am being mean, ask me. It could be just a wording problem.
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25-10-2011, 02:43 PM
RE: Stats show a peaceful world
(24-10-2011 12:54 PM)sy2502 Wrote:  It seems to be a very human habit to idealize the good old times

Thanks for the second post. My comments were based on your first post and I didn't see any connection to the original question or article. I understand your view now.

You make some good points and have interesting opinions. You addressed the article well. I agree with most of what you say in your second post concerning the article but it would be hard for you to comment on my reply since we were on 2 completely different paths... maybe different planets!

Sorry for the misunderstanding...

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25-10-2011, 02:54 PM
RE: Stats show a peaceful world
(25-10-2011 02:43 PM)defacto7 Wrote:  
(24-10-2011 12:54 PM)sy2502 Wrote:  It seems to be a very human habit to idealize the good old times

Thanks for the second post. My comments were based on your first post and I didn't see any connection to the original question or article. I understand your view now.

You make some good points and have interesting opinions. You addressed the article well. I agree with most of what you say in your second post concerning the article but it would be hard for you to comment on my reply since we were on 2 completely different paths... maybe different planets!

Sorry for the misunderstanding...

I am sorry, did I misrepresent, misread or misinterpret any of your posts? If so, I apologize, English is not my first language. Please let me know what I got wrong.

English is not my first language. If you think I am being mean, ask me. It could be just a wording problem.
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25-10-2011, 03:48 PM
RE: Stats show a peaceful world
(25-10-2011 02:54 PM)sy2502 Wrote:  I am sorry, did I misrepresent, misread or misinterpret any of your posts? If so, I apologize, English is not my first language. Please let me know what I got wrong.

Hi sy,

You're doing fine. There are some strange cultural habits in English that are hard to follow. Even people whose first language is English have trouble following these cues. It's a combination of humor and serious. The conversation between bemore, Zatamon and I was an example of this mix. We were very serious with the subject but were using a mixture of humor with it to soften it and maybe even make it broader if you understand the cultural meaning.

I didn't know until your second post that English was not your first language. The post to me sounded like a jab at us for being old and frivolous. That is how I took it and tried to respond with that in mind. Once I removed that idea, realizing you didn't understand our way of talking, it was more understandable why you would speak that way.

Like I said, even first language English speakers misunderstand each other all the time over this. You have to get to know someone before you can speak this way or you could be misunderstood.

Language is one thing, culture of language is a whole different study and sometimes confusing. If you are in doubt about how people are speaking to each other or if they are joking, just stick to the main discussion and forget what people are saying. Start your own position on the subject. Everybody will get your point that way.

Keep it up....

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