CULTURE, BASIC STATISTICS MISTAKE, was Re: some U.S. observations and notes

From: Michael M. Butler (
Date: Tue Jan 01 2002 - 21:46:27 MST

Kai Becker wrote:
> Ah, I see. This would mean, that US americans are about four times more
> violent and potential criminals than citizens of other western countries.

If you mean that "every US american individual is 4x as likely
to commit a crime as any [european] individual",
no, that is not what it means.

That is an assumption of uniformity in the population you make, a common
thinking error when dealing quickly with per capita numbers.

It could just as easily mean that US americans include a population of career
criminals who commit 400 times the number of crimes as the euro per capita number,
but constitute only 1 percent of the population. Or any other similar such calculation.

 MMB<==butler a t comp - lib . o r g   Wm. Burroughs said it best: "After a shooting 
    spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it."
  I am not here to have an argument.  I am here as part of a civilization... And you?

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