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if you have 2 groups on trial, from the first one, there is one murderer who killed 50 persons and in the other there are 5 who killed 2-3 each, you compare number of casualties and people on trial, what does it tell you? That the court is biased? Statistics between victim number and trials does not have any sense
by SteelLady on Tue Mar 17th, 2009 at 06:22:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the metric is a debatable point. The fact that the T-test is inapplicable to the data in question is not a debatable point. So naturally the critics would choose to argue about the use and abuse of T-tests.

But you're certainly right that the entire exercise is kind of silly, because the metrics we are measuring against are highly dubious in the first place. So even if there had been a signal, it would not have proven the case, only given cause for further investigation.

OTOH, that turns out not to matter, because even in the most generous possible interpretation of the data - according to the metric Vladimir proposed - there is no signal. Full stop. No deconstruction of metrics necessary.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Mar 17th, 2009 at 06:30:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But war is - unfortunately - not murder.

That starting a war is the ultimate crime was a noble sentiment during the Nuremberg trials but it seems to have been lost since. Or have anyone been indicted for that? (Bush and Blair certainly should be, but that is another story.)

Both military and civilian losses are often disproportionally on the loosing side of a war, regardless of who started it. But to count as a war crime you have to target civilians, not merely kill them while bombing for soldiers amongst them (as the ban on "Launching of Projectiles and Explosives from Balloons" only lasted five years and to my knowledge was not renewed). Or perform any other of the acts described as war crimes in the Hague and Geneva conventions.

So no, it is not necessary to assume anything about who started a war to assume that number of dead civilians are in proportion to number of war criminals. There are of course other assumptions that are necessary.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 04:53:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is one of a big misinformations of this last war. Bombings were not done aiming soldiers among civilians. Soldiers were separated on the front lines of the borders and while they were fighting there, towns with no military were bombed around the clock. And were not only bombed from occupied territories. There were long range cannons reaching 52 kilometers from the border of Serbia on Danube into the territory. And bombings began even when still there was no Croatian army formed. The one of the very few planned and strategic bombing was the one of Zagreb aiming the house of parliament. The bombings aimed on civilians were revenge for actions of Croatian army. Even during the action of Oluja in another part of country, Slavonia was receiving heavy bombing as their revenge
by SteelLady on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 05:13:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I do not believe my comment carried any specific information about bombings in any war. I just tried to convey the point that killing a lot of people does not in itself (absurdly enough) mean that there is a war crime.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 05:37:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If in some war there are a lot of civil victims, it means that either the army was hiding among their own civilians (what is equal war crimes for me) or that the enemy army was particularly aiming civilians that is the war crime again.

Also, there can be situations when somebody is particularly aiming on civilians and it does not result in so many casualties. Some examples of that you can see in ex Yugoslavia which built numerous atomic shelters underground (I lived in a 'town' of 20k including all the surrounding which had 11 completely equipped atomic shelters). For decades during Yugoslavia, there was an exercise practiced in spring that was called 'Nothing can surprise us'. They would turn the sirens on and people would go to the nearest shelter. The idea was to teach people during the peace where those shelters are, how they function and to practice quick evacuation.

by SteelLady on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 11:13:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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