Author Topic: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."  (Read 1430 times)

Offline mikem

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Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #25 on: May 08, 2020, 11:23:39 pm »
It could be that the cigarettes are toxic, or your lungs might just be used to coping with poor performance.

Offline pwhole

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Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #26 on: May 08, 2020, 11:40:13 pm »
Possibly. I got to the choke in Stoke Sough with no issues and that was 10.6% oxygen just there, though clearly that wasn't fully replaced by CO2. Dunno really - it's not a boast, just an observation.

Nicotine has traditionally been used as an insecticide, so it clearly has some beneficial properties - though admittedly the properties are still poisonous ones.

Online Speleotron

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Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #27 on: May 09, 2020, 06:58:58 am »
Nicotine has traditionally been used as an insecticide, so it clearly has some beneficial properties -

Just because it kills insects doesn't mean it will do anything against viruses! That's like saying that I'm good at playing Bridge so I'll probably make a good astronaught.
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Offline mikem

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Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #28 on: May 09, 2020, 07:09:24 am »
Naut a good analogy  ;)

Online Speleotron

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Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #29 on: May 09, 2020, 07:14:30 am »
Haha. I hose the analogy because killing insects is easy but 'killing' viruses is really really hard. And there's pretty much nothing in common between them.

PS I meant 'killing' viruses is really hard once they're in the body. Easy to 'kill' them if they're on a doorknob.
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Offline kay

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Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #30 on: May 09, 2020, 08:36:06 am »
Fewer people die at new year...?

And at late May and August Bank Holidays. I remember attending a statistics lecture at which they guy demonstrated a reduction of deaths at major religious festivals (he was woking with Jewish data, as a population more uniformly likley to celebrate religious festivals) - a general "holding on" to the until the event.

Offline Chocolate fireguard

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Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #31 on: May 09, 2020, 09:03:02 am »

And at late May and August Bank Holidays. I remember attending a statistics lecture at which they guy demonstrated a reduction of deaths at major religious festivals (he was woking with Jewish data, as a population more uniformly likley to celebrate religious festivals) - a general "holding on" to the until the event.
I assume that what the guy was trying to get across was that interpreting numbers without some understanding of the process that generates them can lead to wrong (even daft) conclusions?

Offline kay

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Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #32 on: May 09, 2020, 09:08:45 am »

Maybe nearly %80 of people have had Covid-19 without knowing.

That's rather a big assumption!

Quote
Now if you were doing a risk assessment for a reasonably fit caver under age 45 I wonder what the result would be. Maybe a one in a million plus chances of dying from Covid-19.

Beware of confusing "reasonably fit" with "no underlying health conditions". You can have underlying  health conditions which are controlled , with a future life expectancy of decades, and by physically fit. Yet still be at greater risk to Covid.

Quote
Have we been led by the nose into a disastrous economical and social situation for relatively nothing ?

There would have been a disastrous economic and social situation regardless. I belong to an organisation which puts on participatory instrumental workshops,. The couple of weeks before the lockdown were a fever of activity as we worked out what H&S measure to take, whether to give refunds to the increasing number of people cancelling, whether to cancel workshops and whether to pay the workshop leaders for cancelled workshops. The country was beginning to take matters into its own hands. It's not a simple choice between "lockdown/economic disater" and "no lockdown/no damage to economy". Nor, as I've seen on other forums, could you simply lockdown the "vulnerable" - the vulnerable are embedded in society - they include key workers in food and NHS, volunteers keeping important services goin, grandparents providing child care so other people can go to work.

Offline kay

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Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #33 on: May 09, 2020, 09:11:39 am »

And at late May and August Bank Holidays. I remember attending a statistics lecture at which they guy demonstrated a reduction of deaths at major religious festivals (he was woking with Jewish data, as a population more uniformly likely to celebrate religious festivals) - a general "holding on" to the until the event.
I assume that what the guy was trying to get across was that interpreting numbers without some understanding of the process that generates them can lead to wrong (even daft) conclusions?

No, that wasn't my memory (it was 40+ years ago). As this was at an academic conference of statisticians the conclusions would have been quite robustly challenged

Offline Chocolate fireguard

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Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #34 on: May 09, 2020, 09:45:48 am »

And at late May and August Bank Holidays. I remember attending a statistics lecture at which they guy demonstrated a reduction of deaths at major religious festivals (he was woking with Jewish data, as a population more uniformly likely to celebrate religious festivals) - a general "holding on" to the until the event.
I assume that what the guy was trying to get across was that interpreting numbers without some understanding of the process that generates them can lead to wrong (even daft) conclusions?

No, that wasn't my memory (it was 40+ years ago). As this was at an academic conference of statisticians the conclusions would have been quite robustly challenged

The main feature of that diagram is what would be expected: higher death rate in the colder months.
The smooth nature between end August & mid December where there are no public holidays, together with the spikiness in the spring where there are some which move about a bit plus one that doesn't, suggests that the figures are influenced by holidays.
The very large drop at Christmas and the higher than expected rate afterwards suggests that this one has more influence than the others.
No argument about any of that.

But I can't believe that every year between a third and a half of the people who would be expected to die in that week decide to hang on for a bit longer. Sorry.


Online Speleotron

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Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #35 on: May 09, 2020, 09:51:17 am »
Could it be that there are few doctors, coroners and statisticians working over christmas and new year so there is a drop in recorded deaths?
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Offline Roger W

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Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #36 on: May 09, 2020, 09:57:23 am »
If I have a heart attack on Christmas Day and expire over my festive dinner, and my family (who aren't medically qualified to say whether I'm dead or not) leave me sitting there in front of my Christmas Pud until Jan 2nd when my local medic can come and investigate - when will my death be registered as occurring?
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Offline kay

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Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #37 on: May 09, 2020, 10:10:21 am »

But I can't believe that every year between a third and a half of the people who would be expected to die in that week decide to hang on for a bit longer. Sorry.

No, you're absolutely right there. The paper I was talking about was looking at deaths in the Jewish population so festivals didn't correlate so well with public holidays. probably shouldn't have mentioned it as it's so long ago I can't remember the details. The audience of statisticians far more experienced than I was convinced that what was demonstrated was an effect that having an event to look forward to in the relatively near future had a  positive effect in those nearing death. So on that basis it wouldn't be surprising if some of the "bank holiday" effect was "real" rather than a recording effect.

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #38 on: May 09, 2020, 10:18:29 am »
I have not read it yet but an account in today's Daily Mail rebuffing much of what we have been told.

Offline kay

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Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #39 on: May 09, 2020, 10:24:23 am »
I have not read it yet but an account in today's Daily Mail rebuffing much of what we have been told.

"rebuffing"? Putting a new gloss on, or rebutting?

Online PeteHall

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Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #40 on: May 09, 2020, 10:36:00 am »

Could it be that there are few doctors, coroners and statisticians working over christmas and new year so there is a drop in recorded deaths?

This is what I took from Graigwen's post yesterday (my emphasis added):

Fewer people die at new year...?

Certainly makes more sense to me than people deciding not to die until after the festive season...

Fewer people are recorded as dying.  Then after the holiday period things catch up.

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Offline Speleofish

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Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #41 on: May 09, 2020, 11:08:03 am »
Two points. First, in reply to Mikem's comment about people dying of bacterial infections rather than
 the virus itself, there's some truth that in 'normal' flu years, the initial flu is often followed by a bacterial pneumonia. In the generally elderly, frail population who are most prone to die of flu, this can be lethal. It was less true of swine flu - most of our sickest patients had a viral lung infection, often leading to multi-organ failure (though very few died on ICU).

Most of the patients dying of Covid on our intensive care unit do so because of the virus itself - either the lung inflammation or failure of other organs (especially heart failure and blood clots, predominantly affecting the lung or brain though they can occur anywhere). The survivors are left extremely weak with significant lung damage and are prone to further infections.To date, most of these seem to be surviving.

These figures are distorted because those most vulnerable to lethal infections or complications are the very frail who tend to do so badly if they're put on ventilators that we tend not to offer the treatment.

The second point relates to testing. There are two tests, the antigen test looking for the presence of the virus and the antibody test, looking for evidence that one has encountered the virus in the past. Neither is sufficiently accurate to apply reliably to individuals. At the time the lockdown was being considered, the antigen test was showing false negative results in up to 30% of subjects. Data for the various antibody tests aren't yet available. Some are extremely accurate, others little better than spinning a coin.

The government is coming under sustained criticism for not doing enough antigen tests. I understand the value of testing aggressively when there are very few cases in the country and it is possible to contact trace but it needs to be used in conjunction with some sort of targeted lockdown. Testing and contact tracing alone without a lockdown using an inaccurate test, can't be effective when you're missing 1/3 of positive cases (especially when the R number is above 3, which it was initially). Similarly, once the infection has become widespread there is little point in contact tracing because the problem is too big and too complex. There is some value in testing hospitalised patients and symptomatic health care staff but a large number of infected people will be missed so all one can say is the risk the person presents to the surrounding community is reduced, not absent.

I don't think antigen testing will become valuable for the general population until we've reduced the number of infected people to manageable, traceable numbers, ideally combined with a sophisticated app-based contact tracing device. This will become essential during the relaxation of lockdown.

Antibody tests may become sufficiently accurate and convenient to get an idea of the number of patients who've encountered the infection. This will give some indication of the degree of herd immunity we have developed. IF infection leads to long-lasting immunity, it may allow people to feel reassured (or otherwise, if they test negative!). It's also essential during the initial vaccine trials if we are to separate immunity due to vaccination from immunity due to previous exposure to the virus.

Offline alastairgott

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Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #42 on: May 09, 2020, 11:13:55 am »
But mostly just this:
from here:
https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/covid-19-florence-nightingales-daigrams-for-deaths/

The graph spirals around clockwise, giving the number of total deaths in England and Wales each week. See anything significant happen in the last 4/5 years?
population (2019)=66million (give a few thousand)

Deaths per 1000 people per annum stand at around 9.
source: https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/GBR/united-kingdom/death-rate

therefore deaths 2019 should be approx. =(66mill/1000)*9=594,000

death rate per week from 594k is approx. =11,500

I'd conclude that the underlying data for the diagram which Andrew posted probably gives a pretty accurate representation. :)

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #43 on: May 09, 2020, 11:24:16 am »
Yes of course Rebutting. Its too early for me to get my wording quite right. Well, I have read it. Its called " The Grand Delusion " written by  an eminent pathologist. Of course, the Daily Mail does not come tops as a source of reference but again in the account we have some interesting statistics.

After this, a  lot of you reading this will not have a job to return to. We lost 80,000 people in the UK to HK Flu in 1968 with little disruption to the economy. In 2015 more than 28,000 died in the UK from seasonal Flu. Today the under 50's, ie the main workforce in this country, are largely unaffected. Having oxygen forced into your lungs by a ventilator is damaging. The scientist largely responsible for today's modeling has an appalling track record of predictions. My wife is still waiting for the result of an important MRI scan done in Dec. My brother in laws follow up investigation for colon cancer cancelled. The mortality rate for Covid-19 could be as low as %0.1. By actually confining the virus we might be making it more effective by slowing down its mutation rate and stopping immunity. We wait for the " magic bullet " in terms of a vaccine but that might never arrive or be less effective as time moves on.

Back in Feb this year I had a really odd illness. All of the symptoms of Covid-19. I coughed for four days. My brother had the same. I had to lie on the couch for a long while I felt so ill as did my brother. Covid-19 ? Who knows without testing ?

The government knows that their control is slipping away. I am visiting relatives and so is everyone else I know. The Churchillian stance will not last much longer last. Already the mantras are wearing thin " Save The NHS ". That was saved weeks ago if ever it really needed " saving ". As the account says we have become anaesthetised from reality. The patient is in a coma. Our lives will never be the same again. Maybe the cost will be seen as far too high. Its a young person's future. We oldies can just sit back and watch you struggling to repay the massive debts that occurred by all of this. No I am not enticing rebellion. I am just asking people to question everything that they hear. As was once said " The first casualty of war is Truth." We are being fed propaganda and emotional blackmail. We must sift though what statistics and evidence we see and hear and form our own opinions rather than like I said being led by the nose.

Online Stuart Anderson

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Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #44 on: May 09, 2020, 11:32:22 am »

Already the mantras are wearing thin " Save The NHS ". That was saved weeks ago if ever it really needed " saving ".


My wife's colleague (NHS consultant) was buried three weeks ago. His family not in attendance at the funeral. Our very good A&E doctor friend is just coming through it, with much misery and anguish for his wife and two young children who thought he was done for.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/16/doctors-nurses-porters-volunteers-the-uk-health-workers-who-have-died-from-covid-19

Kindly fuck off with your "did it ever really need saving".
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Online Speleotron

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Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #45 on: May 09, 2020, 11:49:42 am »
Y. We lost 80,000 people in the UK to HK Flu in 1968 with little disruption to the economy.

You can't compare death numbers of Covid-19 to the HK flu. We didn't lock down to HK flu. We did for Covid. We 30 - 40 k dead from Covid in 7 weeks of lockdown. That is serious. Imagine the deaths if we didn't lockdown.

You really can't compare this to past epidemics which we didn't lock down for. The death numbers for past epidemics are also the final figures. This pandemic has only just begun!

Comparisons to flu are also missleading because flu is generally in a steady-state whereas Covid has the potential to grow exponentially through a non-immune population. And again, we don't lock down for flu so comparing the number of dead is meaningless. How many would die of flu if we locked down for it? A few hundred?

The economy would also crash if we didn't lock down. How strong do you think consumer confidence would be if this was happening in the UK? https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-burial-pits-iran-grown-so-fast-see-from-space-2020-3?r=US&IR=T

P.S. Sorry for the rant!
« Last Edit: May 09, 2020, 12:07:20 pm by Speleotron »
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Offline aardgoose

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Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #46 on: May 09, 2020, 11:55:11 am »
what on earth is "By actually confining the virus we might be making it more effective by slowing down its mutation rate and stopping immunity." meant to mean.  It's nonsensical.  Rapid mutation is what defeats immunity.


As to the Daily Mail as a source of information on anything (or the Mail on Sunday), it is better regarded as an indication of what is not true. And appeal  to authority doesn't wash, see also Linus Pauling.

Online Speleotron

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Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #47 on: May 09, 2020, 11:57:22 am »
A lot of the press are desperate for this lockdown to end. Presumably the owners want their portfolios to be protected by their workers going in and risking their lives while they remain isolated at home. We have 30 - 40 k dead in 7 weeks of lockdown, they don't seem to get the magnitude of this.

We hear rubbish like 'we didn't lock down for the blitz', well the blitz killed as many in a year as this and has done in 7 weeks, and bombs don't spread from person to person. Comparisons to flu are also rubbish as I've explained a couple of posts above.
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Online JoshW

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Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #48 on: May 09, 2020, 12:01:24 pm »
Yes of course Rebutting. Its too early for me to get my wording quite right. Well, I have read it. Its called " The Grand Delusion " written by  an eminent pathologist. Of course, the Daily Mail does not come tops as a source of reference but again in the account we have some interesting statistics.

After this, a  lot of you reading this will not have a job to return to. We lost 80,000 people in the UK to HK Flu in 1968 with little disruption to the economy. In 2015 more than 28,000 died in the UK from seasonal Flu. Today the under 50's, ie the main workforce in this country, are largely unaffected. Having oxygen forced into your lungs by a ventilator is damaging. The scientist largely responsible for today's modeling has an appalling track record of predictions. My wife is still waiting for the result of an important MRI scan done in Dec. My brother in laws follow up investigation for colon cancer cancelled. The mortality rate for Covid-19 could be as low as %0.1. By actually confining the virus we might be making it more effective by slowing down its mutation rate and stopping immunity. We wait for the " magic bullet " in terms of a vaccine but that might never arrive or be less effective as time moves on.

Back in Feb this year I had a really odd illness. All of the symptoms of Covid-19. I coughed for four days. My brother had the same. I had to lie on the couch for a long while I felt so ill as did my brother. Covid-19 ? Who knows without testing ?

The government knows that their control is slipping away. I am visiting relatives and so is everyone else I know. The Churchillian stance will not last much longer last. Already the mantras are wearing thin " Save The NHS ". That was saved weeks ago if ever it really needed " saving ". As the account says we have become anaesthetised from reality. The patient is in a coma. Our lives will never be the same again. Maybe the cost will be seen as far too high. Its a young person's future. We oldies can just sit back and watch you struggling to repay the massive debts that occurred by all of this. No I am not enticing rebellion. I am just asking people to question everything that they hear. As was once said " The first casualty of war is Truth." We are being fed propaganda and emotional blackmail. We must sift though what statistics and evidence we see and hear and form our own opinions rather than like I said being led by the nose.

Definitely fallen down the daily mail hole there TOR..

The doctor who wrote the article seems to be playing down Coronavirus saying that the economy should take precedence, that is people should be put putting theirs and their families lives on the line so that millionaires can get closer to being billionnaires

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #49 on: May 09, 2020, 12:11:20 pm »
I am sorry to upset anyone including Stuart above. Every death for any reason is a tragedy. Those views are the view of a correspondent in a national newspaper. My comment about the NHS was put forward as such by the correspondant suggesting that initial statistics made by a person with a flawed record might have been an exaggeration leading to a political panic regarding the ability of the NHS to cope with figures of maybe 500,000. Perhaps the NHS was in a better place to cope being the best-organised healthcare system in the world. By all means, refute any of that in the newspaper but don't  blame me for it. My view is pretty much on the fence but as yet I don't know which side.

 

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