[FoRK] The Lancet publishes Johns Hopkins' research on Iraq - 100,000 excess deaths, or more

Damien Morton dmorton at bitfurnace.com
Mon Nov 1 17:56:47 PST 2004


Ive heard of a similar technique before, from a freind who is a psych 
nurse. She was studying infidelity, and it surprised me that an accepted 
statistical technique in her medical/social circles was to canvas groups 
of friends and their friends. It struck me as a rather imprecise 
technique, but probably the most effective at getting data compared to 
the alternatives.

I would have liked to see the Lancet study extended to a larger number 
of households, and its not clear to me what stopped them from doing 
that. Even so, its really the only data we have, and whether the number 
is from 50K to 150K, or from 20K to 200K, its a big number.

The number of Iraqi deaths does count. It does matter. We should know 
the price in Iraqi deaths, because at some point, its too much, and we 
may well have reached that point already.

If the number is 100K, I wonder how many of those people have relatives 
or freinds who are now sworn enemies of the US, and how many of those 
are willing to be suicide bombers. I wonder if, or when, one of them 
will reach Manhattan, where I live, and what they might do.

War kills people and breaks things, as they say in the military. And in 
Iraq, it has done just that. The twin towers killed 3000 people. If the 
number of Iraqis killed so far is 100K, that means 30 twin tower 
equivalents have been visted upon these poor people, and theres more to 
come.

Even if the number isnt 100K, the question is: how many more months will 
it be before it is.

>On Mon, 01 Nov 2004 12:05:50 -0500, Damien Morton
><dmorton at bitfurnace.com> wrote:
>  
>
>>Actually, the estimate isnt that bad, considering that the estimates
>>based on journalistic sources alone are in the 10-50K range.
>>    
>>
>
>It's informative, interesting, and probably not innacurate. And as an
>interesting research /technique/, quite possibly it is even
>path-breaking.
>
>But to call the results 'research' is crap- if a quack with a cure for
>cancer came to the Lancet with 'research' of similar 'certainty', and
>it got published, people would be fired and careers would end. The
>Lancet should be embarassed to have passed it off as such.
>
>Luis
> 
>  
>
>>>I've got a better word for it:  propaganda.
>>>
>>>-Ian.
>>>
>>>
>>>On 1-Nov-04, at 6:09 AM, Luis Villa wrote:
>>>
>>>      
>>>
>>>>Given that confidence level, they should be embarassed as scientists
>>>>to be going around saying that 'conservative assumptions' place them
>>>>at 100K. And the Lancet should be embarassed to publish it.
>>>>
>>>>It looks like an interesting methodology, and some interesting (and
>>>>not terribly invalid) assumptions made. But if that's the best results
>>>>you can come up with... shameful.
>>>>        
>>>>
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>>>      
>>>
>>    
>>
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>
>  
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