Friday, October 22, 2004

 

A few links in the middle of the day

Okay, so a couple of things today. First of all, at least two posts that I remember being active have completely disappeared from my blog. No drafts saved or anything. Am I completely insane or has anyone else had this problem too?

In other news, Steven Landsburg is guest blogging over at MR so I would recommend that everyone check that out. I have mentioned Landsburg before and specifically his book Fair Play. Some of you might note that he is possibly the sole voice of reason to regularly contribute to Slate.

Speaking of MR, Alex points to a story about the first "publicly brokered" organ transplant to occur in the U.S. facilitated by Matchingdonors.com, a for-profit web site. As many of you might have expected I am all for legallizing the selling of organs, which is not what happened here. The person who got the organ did not pay money directly to the donor, though I think he should have been able to.

Also, I would like to thank Landsburg for stating something that used to drive me nuts in school Many of my fellow econ students liked to chant the statement that was drilled into us in the statistics portions of the classes we took "correlation doesn't prove causation." I have used this little slogan myself from time to time, but as I also liked to point out...correlation plus a logical explanation can go a long way toward proving causation. Landsburg in this post points out that before you start chanting that, you should probably do the math to see if your alternate explanation would require wildly unlikely numbers to explain the correlation.

One of the myriad of reasons that I like Reason is that they have passages like this that strike so close to home:

"Voting for president is a lot like sex—and not just because it takes place every four years in the solitude of a semi-private booth. Both are intensely personal activities that nonetheless can have profound public consequences. We might add that both often involve drug-and-alcohol-fueled delusions and morning-after feelings of guilt, shame, and recrimination. "

I'll post more shortly, but I have some errands to run so catch ya all later.

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