1019 stories
·
35 followers

Photo

1 Comment and 2 Shares


Read the whole story
wmorrell
1 day ago
reply
Yes.
Share this story
Delete

Study finds that hurricanes with female names kill more because they aren't taken seriously

1 Comment

The Washington Post's Jason Samenow reports that "people don’t take hurricanes as seriously if they have a feminine name and the consequences are deadly."

The conclusion is that of a wide-ranging study, Female hurricanes are deadlier than male hurricanes, which found that the death toll nearly triples when a severe hurricane is given a feminine name.

Abstract

Do people judge hurricane risks in the context of gender-based expectations? We use more than six decades of death rates from US hurricanes to show that feminine-named hurricanes cause significantly more deaths than do masculine-named hurricanes. Laboratory experiments indicate that this is because hurricane names lead to gender-based expectations about severity and this, in turn, guides respondents’ preparedness to take protective action. This finding indicates an unfortunate and unintended consequence of the gendered naming of hurricanes, with important implications for policymakers, media practitioners, and the general public concerning hurricane communication and preparedness.

The study was formulated to track individual willingness to seek shelter. In other words, sexism is what's killing them, not the storm. The death toll since 1950: 50 deaths from female storms compared to 23 from male storms.

Meteorologists seem unimpressed: "I am not ready to change the naming system based on one study," the WaPo quotes ones.

Read the whole story
wmorrell
13 days ago
reply
Patriarchy kills.
duerig
13 days ago
I read about this study a while back. But I also read that the methodology was seriously flawed.
HarlandCorbin
13 days ago
wasn't it recently that hurricanes started getting both male and female names? There are many years of female-only named storms, and those years are ones where our media saturation was much lower, so less coverage of impending doom, as well as weaker predictive ability. I want to see how things play out in the next few years and see if there is an actual trend.
wmorrell
13 days ago
Looks like naming started in 1954, female names used from 1954-1978; 1979-present uses the alternating male-female naming.
duerig
13 days ago
FYI, here is a link to the paper I saw questioning the methodology. Since I'm not a meteorologist, I can't say for sure which of the two papers is right. But a quick read-through did seem to cast a lot of doubt: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212094715300517
Share this story
Delete

Medicaid Isn’t Worth Its Cost

1 Comment and 2 Shares

Medicaid isn’t worth its cost–that’s not my evaluation that’s what people who use the program think, at least as far as we can tell from their actions. Joshua D. Gottlieb and Mark Shepard review the evidence at Econofact, which aims to be a dispassionate and non-partisan review of the evidence on a variety of issues. We have also covered these issues before but seeing it all together is valuable.

The cost is large:

The Medicaid program cost about $532 billion in 2015 to cover 74 million people, or almost one in four Americans. The average full-benefit enrollee cost about $6,400 per year to cover in 2014.

People with access to the program use a lot more healthcare than other similar people

The Oregon Experiment found that gaining Medicaid uniformly increased health care use: including hospitalizations (by 30 percent), emergency room use (by 40 percent), physician office visits (by 50 percent), and prescription drugs (by 15 percent). This evidence stands in contrast to the conventional wisdom that providing health insurance could reduce costs by eliminating ER visits. Of course, understanding whether this additional care is worth it requires a comparison of these real costs to the benefits provided.

The health benefits appear to be real but modest:

The evidence is mixed on whether having Medicaid improves beneficiaries’ health. The Oregon Experiment did not find statistically significant evidence of improvements in physical health measures, such as blood pressure and blood sugar after two years of coverage. But it did find large improvements in mental health and self-reported health. Other studies examining the introduction of Medicaid or its expansion over time have found that Medicaid reduces mortality (of infants during the expansion of Medicaid eligibility for low-income children between 1984-1992; of adults during the expansion of Medicaid coverage for childless adults in Arizona, Maine and New York between 2000-2005; of teenagers who benefited from expansions of Medicaid to children during the early 1980s; and of infants and children in the 1960s and 1970s following the introduction of Medicaid) and improves health later in life (for instance among teenagers who benefited from the expansion of coverage as children). But these studies lack the gold-standard randomized design of the Oregon Experiment so should be interpreted with greater caution.

Health benefits may not be the most important benefits:

One important role for Medicaid is to provide risk protection, shielding enrollees from the financial impact of particularly adverse health events, which is the most fundamental role of an insurance product. Researchers seem to agree that access to Medicaid does improve financial security.

So how does one evaluate the tradeoffs? One way is to look at how users value the program.

Recent evidence indicates that beneficiaries value Medicaid at less than its full cost. One source of evidence comes from Massachusetts’ low-income health insurance exchange, where researchers could observe how much charging higher premiums for Medicaid-like coverage led enrollees to drop out: at least 70 percent of enrollees valued insurance at less than their own cost of coverage. A second source of evidence used economic models to quantify how much beneficiaries valued the benefits of Medicaid in the Oregon Experiment. In this case, the researchers found that beneficiaries valued Medicaid at about one-fifth of its cost.

Benefits are valued at only one-fifth the cost!  Why so low?

The literature suggests two explanations. First, Medicaid provides less complete choice of doctors and hospitals than other insurance, partly because of its low reimbursement rates (see this article for instance). Second, many of the benefits of Medicaid go to medical providers who would otherwise provide uncompensated or unpaid care to the same people.

The authors don’t mention this but if users don’t value the program highly because they would have gotten similar care for free in some other way, then the cost of Medicaid isn’t as high as it appears, because much of it is a transfer from taxpayers to medical providers or others who might otherwise foot the bill. Nevertheless we would probably design Medicaid very differently if we thought about it as (another) subsidy to medical providers rather than as a subsidy to the poor and sick.

It doesn’t follow from anything that has been said that Medicaid should be eliminated or even cut back (let alone that current efforts are the best way to do this). Nevertheless, if I told you that Program X costs $5 for every $1 in value transferred to recipients you would probably agree that Program X was in need of reform.

Addendum: Aaron Carroll and Austin Frakt offer a more optimistic review of the health evidence.

The post Medicaid Isn’t Worth Its Cost appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

Read the whole story
wmorrell
13 days ago
reply
Poor people do not choose to spend a large fraction of their income on insurance. In other news, poor people choose not to spend a large fraction of their income on remodeling bathrooms, choosing instead to pay for frivolous items like rent, food, and transportation to a workplace. Poor people must prefer dilapidated bathrooms.

Also, who says Medicaid recipients are the sole beneficiaries of the spent money? Even if the $1 per $5 is accurate, there are benefits to the medical providers who no longer provide "free" service, the other patients who are no longer charged more to recoup costs for "free" services, society as a whole as sick people get treatment instead of spreading infections, etc etc. far beyond the initial $5 cost.

In conclusion, Tabarrok can eat a bag of dicks.
duerig
13 days ago
I'm pretty sure that any similar analysis of any benefit people receive will yield a similar result. If employees have to pay the full cost of their insurance premiums (rather than being paid mostly by their employer), they would be much more likely to drop out. And then there is the fact that we require institutions to treat people whether they can afford treatment or not. If we remove the ability for a large chunk of the population to pay for treatment, then the rest of society will be paying for it another way. Taxes that apply to everyone and go to Medicaid spread that burden around instead of concentrating it on the sickest (who the hospital bills). Which is exactly what you were saying.
Share this story
Delete

Jon Bois: ‘What Football Will Look Like in the Future’

6 Comments and 7 Shares

I implore you to drop everything and read this now, regardless if you care about or even understand the rules of the game.

Trust me.

Read the whole story
wmorrell
14 days ago
reply
WTF 45* stays president until 2025 then Tom Cotton becomes 46? And another fucking George Bush in 2045?
peelman
13 days ago
I about lost it when it was Bernie Sanders in 2057 or whatever it was.
Share this story
Delete
5 public comments
gazuga
1 day ago
reply
It took multiple other sites linking this for me to cave in and click through. So glad I caved.
Edmonton
quandary
11 days ago
reply
Awesome
Pgh, PA, USA
joelowrance
13 days ago
reply
So. F'ing. Good.
MotherHydra
13 days ago
reply
I had no idea what I was in for, this is what the internet is for.
Space City, USA
glenn
13 days ago
reply
Ok this is seriously definitely worth "reading"
Waterloo, Canada

CNN, Doxing, And A Few Ways In Which We Are Full of Shit As A Political Culture

2 Comments and 4 Shares

Americans — not uniquely, but powerfully — wallow in political hypocrisy about online rhetoric.

We're not consistent in our arguments about when vivid political speech speech inspires, encourages, or promotes violence. We're quicker to accept that it does when used against our team and quicker to deny it when used on the other team.

We're not consistent in our moral judgments of ugly speech either. We tend to treat it as harmless venting or trolling or truth-telling if it's on our team and as a reflection of moral evil if it's on the other team.

We're not consistent in our arguments about whether online abuse and threats directed at people in the news are to be taken seriously or not. We tend to downplay them when employed against the other team and treat them as true threats when used against our team.

We're not consistent in our arguments about whether calling some individual out by name exposes them to danger. We tend to claim it does when the person supports our team and sneer at the issue when the person supports the other team.

We're not consistent in our treatment of the significance of behavior by obscure individuals. When some obscure person's online speech gets thrust into the limelight, we tend to treat it as fairly representative if they're on the other team and an obvious non-representative outlier if they are on our team.

We're hopelessly bad at applying consistent legal principles to evaluate whether speech is legally actionable depending on which team it comes from.

We're pretty inconsistent in our assessment of what social consequences should flow from ugly speech, with our views of proportionality, decency, and charity diverging widely depending on whether the person at issue is on our team or not.

So it can't be a shock that the reaction to CNN's story about a Redditor is a total shitstorm.

I think it's a legitimate story that the White House plumbs the depths of Reddit for content to post on Twitter. I think it's a legitimate story that the sort of people who post Trump-fluffing memes also post bigoted garbage — that this is the community that the White House looks to for inspiration. I think the existence and nature of sad people like this Redditor — someone who, at the most charitable interpretation, derives pleasure and meaning from pretending to be bigoted — is a legitimate and important story, especially in light of the White House's fondness for them. I think that it's a legitimate and sick-fascinating story to know what sort of person derives pleasure from posting a chart showing the pictures of CNN employees with stars next to the Jews. Does he have a job? A family? How does this hobby impact his life?

I also think that CNN has an absolutely protected First Amendment right to seek his name and publish it if they wish. The First Amendment should place strict limits on CNN's ability to use the power of the state (like discovery in a lawsuit) to unmask an anonymous person, and does. But CNN, and any private individual, has a right to figure it out on their own and talk about it, just like this creepy damaged human has a right to post the Jews-at-CNN chart in the first place.

But there's a difference between legal and moral approval. I defend the Redditor's right to post bigoted garbage but deplore him for doing so. And, under these circumstances, I personally think that it would not be proportional for CNN to use its power to name the person. A number of factors might change my view — it the guy was directing bigoted invective or threats at anyone instead of just posting it in a forum made up of similar losers, if the guy had a position of trust that required treating people equally (like, say, a public official or police officer or teacher), or if the dude was doing something like posting child porn or the sort of creepshots that took down Reddit super-troll Violentacrez.

CNN didn't publish his name. But CNN published this:

CNN is not publishing "HanA**holeSolo's" name because he is a private citizen who has issued an extensive statement of apology, showed his remorse by saying he has taken down all his offending posts, and because he said he is not going to repeat this ugly behavior on social media again. In addition, he said his statement could serve as an example to others not to do the same.
CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.

I found this alarming and ugly. CNN should publish the name or not publish the name. For CNN to tell him what he should or shouldn't say in the future, and threaten him that they will reveal his name in the future if they don't like his speech, does not make them sound like journalists. It makes them sound like avenging advocates, and lends substantial credibility to the argument that they pursued him because he posted a GIF about them. I don't know what they actually intended — they've denied intent to threaten and claim this was only to clarify that there was no agreement. If so, that could have been conveyed much less like a threat. However they meant it, this is reasonably interpreted as a warning that the Redditor must speak only as approved by CNN or suffer for it. That's grotesque. Legal, but grotesque.

The internet is, in human terms, very new. We still don't have coherent shared values about how we use it. Our views on ugly internet speech and the proper response to it are particularly confused. As I've argued for a while, the argument "you have to shut up so I can feel safe to speak" is not coherent. "There's absolutely nothing wrong with my speech but there's something wrong with you identifying me as the speaker" is not particularly coherent. "You are silencing free speech by criticizing it" is not coherent. "This speech is insignificant but it's wrong for you to highlight it" is not coherent. "People should be able to post graphics identifying all the Jews at CNN without anyone figuring out who they are and criticizing them by name" is not coherent. Troll visions of free speech — in which society works together harmoniously to ensure that they can post bigotry without any social consequence — is incoherent. (I also think trolls would hate that world if they got it, since their pleasure depends upon people being upset.)

As I said when I wrote semi-anonymously, I think people should be prepared to accept the social consequences of what they've written if someone is able to figure out who they are. But I also think we should consider whether to inflict social consequences when appropriate on people who breach the anonymity of others. Sometimes social consequences — even severe ones — may be appropriate. If some anon is sending death threats, I honestly have no problem with their name being published, whether or not their friends cry "it's just trolling." I'm also not terribly sympathetic to the proposition that I should be able to send abuse to people anonymously — you by the ticket, you take the ride. If someone officially charged with treating people equally posts things suggesting they do not, that seems like a correct time for naming them. Otherwise, though, I think we should talk about whether naming people who act like assholes is proportional or decent. And certainly we should talk about whether it's decent for a major network to threaten to name someone unless they speak acceptably.

None of this means I have to take seriously the hollow fury of everyone who rails at CNN, though.

Copyright 2017 by the named Popehat author.
Read the whole story
wmorrell
15 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete
2 public comments
skorgu
14 days ago
reply
Remember it's in CNN's best interest for everything to be dramatic. What's good for CNN is bad for humanity; they are a festering pustule on the anus of the body politic.

Don't reward their trolling with attention.
duerig
14 days ago
reply
It is appalling that comrade Trump posted the video. And it is also appalling that CNN posted this veiled threat at the author of the video. For the exact same reasons. Trump is a loser who always feels like he has to attack those beneath him even as president. CNN should be pushing back against the powerful bully, not emulating him.

Quantifying the additional killings commited by cops when they get military weapons

1 Share

The US Department of Defense's 1033 program sends "surplus" military equipment to US police forces ("surplus" in quotes because military contractors lobby for the US military to buy more weapons than they need in order to feed materiel to the program), which has created a situation in which cops show up in their communities literally clad in the armor of an occupying army. (more…)

Read the whole story
wmorrell
19 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete
Next Page of Stories