Friday, January 13, 2012

International Comparisons

Sebastian TBFKASIH takes an Anti to task for cherry picking data.

Back when I first started DOOT, one of the first posts I made was an email I received from the Swiss Federal Statistics Office over a discrepancy in the UN homicide report. The UN had combined completed and 'attempted' homicides into one number, doubling the Swiss rate.
Dear Mr Thirdpower,

Thank you for your mail
Unfortunately, data from the UN reports are not correct. The figure of 213 refers to 'completed' and 'attempted' homicides and the figure of 127 to the attempted ones.

We apologize for the error and thank you very much for having brought it to our notice.

And another email from INTERPOL:
In response to your enquiry, INTERPOL's International Crime Statistics are no longer being made available to the public.

The decision to remove the statistics was taken as some users and some members of the media were making comparisons between countries based on these statistics, when different collection methods make such comparisons problematic.
So it's comparing apples and oranges depending on who is doing the reporting and what they're adding/withholding from it. But don't let facts get in the way of a good anti-rant.

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