Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Stupidity Meets Bias

Reuters has had an especially difficult time with logical complements. A headline from today's (Mon Feb 4, 2008) paper shouts that:
U.S. says no one too young for Guantanamo court
The US courts argued the question: "Are all Juveniles exempt from detention in Guantanomo?." The actual verdict: No. Not all Juveniles are exempt. So why the headline? Apparently Reuters (its reporters and editors) have logically equated "Not ALL" with "Every". Indeed, "Every" may be the antonym for "All" but it is not its logical complement. So what does this have to do with statistics? A common technique for solving problems in probability is to consider an event's complement rather than the event itself. Students readily think that "Not all" is equivalent to "Every" when it fact it is "At least one". Reuters, in its haste to make the US look evil has confused this simple point, succeeding only in making themselves look stupid.


At 11:44 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regardless, the point remains that the policy is downright absurd and inhumane.


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