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A decent diary, vlad. I don't know enough about statistics other than to say that weighting is practiced surveys aimed at predicting outcomes. I have no idea whether it applies to analysis of this kind. The statistical universe you present is small enough that were it a survey attempting to predict, weighting would definitely be called for.

That being said, your overarching point is well taken by me, that there may indeed be (and I am not as certain of it as you are evidently - these are after all, UN proceedings) a political bias involved. Right now, I'm halfway through a book about humanitarian intervention in international law. The author's main point is that historically, there has been virtually no intervention without political motives being involved, be they unspoken publically.

So far it looks impossible to divorce geopolitical competition from humanitarian interventions or human rights prosecutions (I think a reasonable extrapolation here). Press coverage is a highly determining factor here, and Russia will never catch up with the West in cases like this because few believe the Russian press. How can we tell when RIA Novosti, Moscow Times, Russia Today, Voice of Russia, Interfax, etc when there's little evidence of journalistic independence? (Yes, I read all those -  just not lately.)

The bias you propose probably exists to some extent, but is it a result of conspiracy or what I'll call the "quality of information" that good people called upon to make judgements possess? This is a problem that has been raised in the humanitarian intervention debate - the uneveness of enforcement, mostly due to uneven attention given in the press. I wouldn't be surprised if the same dynamic wasn't working here as well. These are highly, highly charged issues.

And with that, I'm off to bed. I must be mad. The alarm clock goes off in 3 1/2 hours.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 01:38:26 AM EST

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