Web Reads….

Texas in Africa gives a clear cut example of how correlation is not causation but notes the difficulties involved in finding the distinction in real life contexts…

The distinction between causation and correlation – and the obsession with making sure the two are not confused – sets quality research apart from shoddy or sloppy research. It’s incredibly frustrating to me to read a hastily put-together advocacy report or journalist’s account that assumes correlation means causation, despite the lack of evidence for such a claim. I understand why it happens; advocates and journalists have to work quickly, and if they talk to people who don’t understand the difference, how would they know otherwise? But it’s incredibly frustrating to see these errors made, especially when they lead to bad policy decisions.

Balaji Ravichandran at The Guardian argues one part of the case for sparing the BBC World Service from proposed changes to make it funded from the License fee:

The World Service was, and remains, the voice of intellectual sincerity – the voice of Indian Maoists was heard just as easily, and just as readily, as those caught up in the Sudanese civil war, or the American-led campaign against Iraq and Afghanistan. In a land where sexuality was a taboo and homosexuality unmentionable, the BBC highlighted gay rights groups with which I, and hundreds of others in India, could get in touch. The World Service, for all its flaws, remains an unparalleled space for suppressed and unheard voices around the world. I can only imagine the difference the shortwave (and digital) services makes to those souls living under the opaque shadows of oppressive theocracies and murderous dictatorships.

Interestingly, this is something I can relate to. A gift of a transistor radio when I turned eleven opened the doors to the world to me and provided a different angle to the government spin we heard daily in the midst of the Abacha regime via the NTA. Sportsworld and the BBC proms ensured we could hold our own when involved in discussions with our more fortunate neighbours who had access to DSTV back in the day..

Over at Boundless, Matt Kaufman blames an entitlement culture for the French protests centred around the raising of the retirement age from 60 to 62 and argues that it is symptomatic of a wider problem:

This attitude isn’t just directed toward government. It’s one that pervades pretty much all of life for a great many people. They take an “I’m entitled” approach to their dealings with their families, their friends, their employers, their church workers. And even with God.

It should go without saying that this mindset is the opposite of the one we’re called to have. We’re supposed to be thankful people with servant hearts. But even when we know better, the culture has a way of seeping in, and finds a receptive place in our still-sinful nature.

Roy Hodgson continues to put his worst foot forward in response to questions posed by journalists. After the 2-0 loss to Everton at Goodison park; here’s what he had to say:

We didn’t score goals and Everton did but I refuse to accept that we were in any way outplayed or any way inferior. I watched the performance and the second half was as good as I saw a Liverpool team play under my management that is for sure

Apparently, he’s so good there’s a forum devoted entirely to the dross he spits out..