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Ballpark guesstimates give you the order of magnitude, and little more than that. This discrepancy (which, by the way, only exists when using one ballpark metric - you conveniently ignore that it goes away when DoDo and I used two other ballpark metrics) is barely more than half an order of magnitude. It says jack shit about the court being packed, unless you're in the hundred-to-one range or something of that order of magnitude.

Now, you may argue that this test is too crude (guilty as charged - it's a ballpark figure using a ballpark metric, nothing more). But then I invite you to construct a better metric - and argue that it is indeed better - and run the numbers on your own. Show your math, because when I do my math, it does not add up to your conclusion.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Mar 13th, 2009 at 05:01:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Err. No. Statistical significance is not as of 1:100. 1:4 is certainly statistically significant in this case. I'll do a t test as soon as I have some time and I'll post the results. Maybe that'll convince you.
by vladimir on Sat Mar 14th, 2009 at 03:20:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not talking about statistical significance. Statistical significance requires that your model at least attempts to correct for confounding factors. This one doesn't. It's a ballpark figure, and as such, it can tell you only whether you are at least roughly in the right ballpark. 1:4 is in the right ballpark. It is possible, of course, to be in the correct ballpark and still be offside, and a ballpark test won't allow you to decide that. To do that, you need something more precise. And if you want something more precise, you have to base your model on assumptions that aren't pulled out of my ass. But you're the one claiming offside. I'm not. So all I had to show was that the ball was not self-evidently offside. Which it isn't.

Besides, it's only 1:4 by one of the measures. The two other measures that have been put forward in this thread call it even. Furthermore, the measure that's 1:4 is the least appropriate one, because it assumes that all sides had an equal hand in all deaths that weren't from their own side, which is obviously nonsense.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Mar 14th, 2009 at 11:16:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
JakeS: ...you have to base your model on assumptions that aren't pulled out of my ass

Exactly which of my assumptions have come out of your ass?

by vladimir on Sat Mar 14th, 2009 at 03:30:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That all sides were equally responsible for all the deaths that were not their own nationals, that the number of actual war criminals is at least roughly proportional to the number of people killed, and that the number of war criminals for whom there is enough solid evidence to prosecute is at least roughly proportional to the number of war criminals.

None of these are trivial assumptions.

The first is pretty blatant nonsense. The second is something that I would be willing to bet money on. The third is not necessarily true: It might be the case that if there are more war criminals, they leave more evidence implicating each other, and picking up one end of the web and unravelling the whole thing might be easier. Or a larger number of war criminals might be indicative of a superior organisation, which might include better cutouts between individual members and better cover manoeuvres, which would make it harder.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Mar 14th, 2009 at 03:47:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are there figures for local prosecutions? serbs brosecuted by serbia? bosnians by bosnia? croats by croatia?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 14th, 2009 at 05:10:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, prosecutions within the ICCY framework.

So, actually, you can add an assumption to the list: That all countries have been equally unwilling and/or unable to prosecute their own war criminals - because ICCY only has jurisdiction when it is clear that the country of origin is not going to prosecute of its own volition.

But I think that's a pretty fair assumption, all things considered...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Mar 14th, 2009 at 05:33:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I knew that was the original state, but wondered wether there had been any shift since the process started.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 14th, 2009 at 05:56:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IANAL, but AFAIK that's still the case. It's a standard (and IMO very sensible) condition for international tribunals, so I very much doubt that it would be waived unless some of the countries in question tried to "acquit" "their" war criminals in outright kangaroo kourts.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Mar 14th, 2009 at 06:02:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, those are not my assumptions - they're yours. You were the one who proposed and calculated that metric in the first place. IMHO, the other two measures you provided seem less adequate than the first.

I'm working on a statistical analysis which I'll share with you - whatever the results.

by vladimir on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 02:29:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, they are my assumptions, because so far DoDo and I are the only ones who have actually done any data analysis in this thread.

But that does not matter. The figure you used to state your case was based on those assumptions, no matter who came up with them. Which means that its validity is limited to the validity of those assumptions. I explicitly stated at the time that this was a ballpark figure, not a precise measure. And I used it only as a ballpark figure, not as a precise measure. So when you use it as if it were a precise measure, you're violating the assumptions that went into it.

In plain English: That number does not say what you seem to think it says. I should know; I built it.

I'd also like to know why the other two measures seem less adequate to you? That the number of war criminals is anti-correlated to the number of civilian casualties on your own side does not strike me as an unreasonable assumption - or at least not any less reasonable than to say that all sides are equally responsible for all the civilian casualties that are not from their own side.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 05:53:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by vladimir on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:47:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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