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Author Topic: Québec’s Bill 62: the “religious neutrality” face-covering ban  (Read 1753 times)

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Offline DominantPoet

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Re: Québec’s Bill 62: the “religious neutrality” face-covering ban
« Reply #25 on: October 29, 2017, 02:13:50 AM »
Never mind the three centuries that statistics has been used for scientific advancement.

I did only say general population :D Random sampling works fine when there aren't thousands upon thousands of variables. Works well for science and food production testing and stuff like that. Statistical expansion and application upon the general human population of an entire city/province/state/country and so on, not so much. Just my opinion, of course!

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Québec’s Bill 62: the “religious neutrality” face-covering ban
« Reply #26 on: October 29, 2017, 09:41:52 AM »
I did only say general population :D Random sampling works fine when there aren't thousands upon thousands of variables. Works well for science and food production testing and stuff like that. Statistical expansion and application upon the general human population of an entire city/province/state/country and so on, not so much. Just my opinion, of course!

Opinions are fine, but that sort of thing is taken into account. If you have a more diverse population, with more contributing factors, then you increase the sample size to compensate, or else reduce your confidence. But this sort of thing has explicitly been used for general populations for hundreds of years successfully, and part of probability math inherently smooths over issues at very large population sizes.

This site, where I found the app, explains better than I can paraphrase it.

https://www.surveysystem.com/sscalc.htm

Offline Trevino

Re: Québec’s Bill 62: the “religious neutrality” face-covering ban
« Reply #27 on: October 29, 2017, 01:34:56 PM »
I did only say general population :D Random sampling works fine when there aren't thousands upon thousands of variables. Works well for science and food production testing and stuff like that. Statistical expansion and application upon the general human population of an entire city/province/state/country and so on, not so much. Just my opinion, of course!

See, the thing about mathematics is that you can actually prove statements to be true (unlike in science where you can only disprove things). Opinion has nothing to do with it.

It may be harsh to say this, but quite a sizable fraction of the population are in fact bigots...

Online Oniya

Re: Québec’s Bill 62: the “religious neutrality” face-covering ban
« Reply #28 on: October 29, 2017, 01:50:02 PM »
Well, statistics is all about probability, but when you're doing random sampling, Khintchine's Law states that as your sample size increases, the distribution in the sample more closely matches the distribution of the total.  This is why they don't have to remove all your blood to do a CBC (Complete Blood Count) - they can take a representative sample (a vial or two) and get the proportions - the proportions in your total blood supply are going to be pretty close to the proportions in the sample.

Provided that your method of selecting your sample is valid (i.e., any member of the population has an equal chance of being picked, and the sample is not 'self-selected' - this latter point is why Internet polls are generally shoddy statistics), then it doesn't matter if you're discussing the proportion of green marbles in a bathtub or bigots in a given city.

Offline SariaTopic starter

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Re: Québec’s Bill 62: the “religious neutrality” face-covering ban
« Reply #29 on: October 29, 2017, 03:42:31 PM »
Even if you insist on dismissing a survey run by the largest and one of the most respected polling firms in Canada, there is plenty of other evidence. To use Quebec as a relevant example: at just about the same time they passed Bill 62, they started the long-overdue public consultations on systemic racism. And, true to form, even before the consultations started, people were trying to deny that racism exists.

Offline DominantPoet

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Re: Québec’s Bill 62: the “religious neutrality” face-covering ban
« Reply #30 on: October 30, 2017, 01:45:09 AM »
See, the thing about mathematics is that you can actually prove statements to be true (unlike in science where you can only disprove things). Opinion has nothing to do with it.

It may be harsh to say this, but quite a sizable fraction of the population are in fact bigots...

https://learnandteachstatistics.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/myth-of-random-sampling/

There are a number of problems with random sampling when it comes to expanding statistics across such a vast population. The main one being that there are, as I mentioned before, thousands upon thousands of different variables that can influence the results. Just because something has been the norm for so many years, doesn't necessarily make it the right/best way to do something. It can (and in this case and in my opinion, does) mean that there simply hasn't been a better way found/universally accepted as of yet.

I would also like to remind everyone that you're taking what's happening in one province, and seemingly applying it as fact to the rest of a country, despite the fact said province (as I have vocalized prior in this thread) is generally adamant on and has vocalized numerous times to not be a part of Canada in general. Quebec, as a rule, is typically not a good indicator of how the rest of Canada is.

Oniya - green marbles in a bathtub and even CBC have limited factors and variables. Not exactly comparable to the human population. As I said - random sampling can, and does, work for various things. Statistical application of surveys or other data to the human population is not one of them.

Anyways, this is pretty much derailing the main point of this thread, is it not? Whether or not I feel random sampling should be applicable to the potential number of bigots/racists in a single province hardly seems like something to focus on so strongly here. If anyone wishes to believe that bigotry and racism are rampant in Canada as a whole because of a survey of just over 2000 people, by all means. I will not agree with you on that point, however. And to be clear, that is not me trying to imply or state it doesn't exist - it does. Racists and bigots are certainly a part of Canada, I've said as much already before in this thread as well.

Offline Fury Aphrodisia

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Re: Québec’s Bill 62: the “religious neutrality” face-covering ban
« Reply #31 on: October 30, 2017, 02:41:34 AM »
So what is it you ARE saying, then? Because it sounds like you're implying it's not a big deal and shouldn't be a cause for concern over this new bill?

Offline Fury Aphrodisia

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Re: Québec’s Bill 62: the “religious neutrality” face-covering ban
« Reply #32 on: October 30, 2017, 04:12:28 PM »
Sorry for the double post, but it won't let me modify my messages for whatever reason.

In any case, I think your stubborn rejection of statistics is ... presumptuous. I've always found the people who reject the principles of mathematics and science because they don't like them to be ludicrous and incapable of reasoned discussion, due to the fact that science and mathematics don't care how you feel about them, a fact that usually simply incenses those to whom this is told.

Whether it is or is not the "right" way to do it (implying not accuracy but morality, which isn't really applicable to the case at hand), it is, as close as we can figure, the best way we have to determine without census, which doesn't deal in opinions as much as strictly in demographics. That said, there's a lot of issues with your last post. Primarily to mind is the fact that you seem to be applying what they did in terms of two thousand-odd polled as intended to represent all of Canada. I was under the impression it was only meant to indicate Quebec, making your exclusionary statement about Quebec not representing the rest of Canada utterly pointless. No one is really questioning the rest of Canada in racism, except when YOU said something to the effect of racism not being an issue in Canada like it is in other places. So, they would not be comparing that statistic to all of Canada, but rather to the eight million people in Quebec proper.

However, Quebec has always been more xenophobic than other places in Canada. They're even objecting to the rest of Canada. This has never changed since the moment someone saw the St. Lawrence and decided that'd make a half-decent driveway.

In the end, though, if you're going to reject the findings to carefully-crafted polls and other various evidence, please do us the courtesy of providing what information you have that would support another point of view, so that we can all weigh and measure what gives you your perspective aside from "I would hope people in my country..." Which is all well and good, but has no basis in anything remotely factual, instead simply a statement of emotional appeal.

Online Oniya

Re: Québec’s Bill 62: the “religious neutrality” face-covering ban
« Reply #33 on: October 30, 2017, 09:14:28 PM »
Primarily to mind is the fact that you seem to be applying what they did in terms of two thousand-odd polled as intended to represent all of Canada. I was under the impression it was only meant to indicate Quebec, making your exclusionary statement about Quebec not representing the rest of Canada utterly pointless.

In fact, if the sample of 2000-some Quebec citizens was intended to represent all of Canada, it would fall afoul of the 'everyone has an equal probability of being surveyed' criteria, by the simple fact that no one outside Quebec would have been able to be included in the sample.

Offline Fury Aphrodisia

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Re: Québec’s Bill 62: the “religious neutrality” face-covering ban
« Reply #34 on: October 30, 2017, 09:35:48 PM »
Mhm. Which means that statistics isn't in the wrong there, it would be the fault of the humans doing the polling in the first place. Which nullifies what I understand to be Dom's argument to begin with.

Offline DominantPoet

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Re: Québec’s Bill 62: the “religious neutrality” face-covering ban
« Reply #35 on: November 02, 2017, 03:46:04 AM »
So what is it you ARE saying, then? Because it sounds like you're implying it's not a big deal and shouldn't be a cause for concern over this new bill?

As things currently are, no, it shouldn't. My points are pretty clearly made in my posts thus far.

I'd suggest, perhaps, reading what has been said -.-

My initial wording that the poll was posted as a seeming rebuttal to was this - "Let us also not forget, this is Canada - while we have racists, and bigots, and the like, they are an infinitely smaller minority than in other countries of the world, thankfully."

Please note where I said CANADA, as in the whole country. Saria then posted said poll along with a question of "Am I sure?" as if implying said poll somehow implicates the entirety of the country, let alone the entirety of Quebec.

There are a great deal many things mathematics is great for - as I have stated at length by this point, and I cannot for the life of me fathom why we're STILL on this...statistics application of something asked to only a few thousand across a population of literally millions is, frankly, illogical and absurd. And I will point out that my rejection of ONE use of mathematics does not equate to my rejecting the principles of mathematics, nor science, thank you very much.

The survey may well be an indicator that much of Quebec is, at some level, racist. Honestly, and AS I HAVE SAID, this wouldn't surprise me one bit, given their other general actions towards the country they are a part of. This doesn't negate the fact that I, personally, do not believe in the credibility of random sample polls being applied to large populations in general. Pardon my language, but it doesn't matter what the hell it's for, ANY instance of random sample polls being applied to large populations, I don't agree with. Doesn't freaking matter what the poll results are about.

LITERALLY, all I was doing was explaining to Glyph that I do not believe polls like that are any kind of indicator as to ANYTHING, really. All right? Seriously. Enough.


Offline Fury Aphrodisia

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Re: Québec’s Bill 62: the “religious neutrality” face-covering ban
« Reply #36 on: November 02, 2017, 06:59:08 AM »
Okay, well, first of all, you don't get to decide when other people are done talking about something, so since this is a cornerstone issue to get to the heart of your objection, I think it's juvenile for you to expect us to leave it alone when you have stated no particular decent reason for it.

As for the mathematics, you can decide it's not a decent application if you like. It generally effects literally nothing whether you believe in it or not. That you state it's absurd doesn't make it so. Instead, I feel like your grasp of the concept is perhaps not as strong as it might be. There's absolutely no way whatsoever that a properly-done poll won't give you the basic idea of the general populace in a given space. I have never seen a single intelligent, rational argument against the validity of such study, myself.

As for coming out swinging with the concept of asking me to read over what has been said, you were the one who said "And to be clear, that is not me trying to imply or state it doesn't exist - it does. Racists and bigots are certainly a part of Canada, I've said as much already before in this thread as well." So, attempting to ask politely for clarification is not outside the realm of reasonable, making your hostility childish and unnecessary.

You have still not come up with sufficient sources to back up your claims, which makes it difficult to have any sort of even-keeled discussion with you, particularly if this is how you're going to act when your views are challenged. What we are discussing here in regards to polls is precisely relevant to the conversation as a whole, a conversational piece that you brought up. Simply because your views are being challenged (or is it because they're faltering?) is no reason for you to decide to attack, to decide to ban the rest of us from discussing something with you, or to believe you have any authority to determine what I am and am not allowed to speak about overall. That's merely nonsense masquerading as indignation.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Québec’s Bill 62: the “religious neutrality” face-covering ban
« Reply #37 on: November 02, 2017, 09:38:03 AM »
You're free to disbelieve that polling is an accurate way to represent a population. But as far as mathematics goes, it's logically equivalent to believing that the earth is flat would be for geography, or believing that Lamarckian genetic theory is accurate for biology - objectively and unquestionably proven to be wrong by time and experts.

Online Regina Minx

Re: Québec’s Bill 62: the “religious neutrality” face-covering ban
« Reply #38 on: November 02, 2017, 10:24:31 AM »
Random-sampling is a poor way to apply statistics to a general population.

That is literally the opposite of the truth.

Offline SariaTopic starter

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Re: Québec’s Bill 62: the “religious neutrality” face-covering ban
« Reply #39 on: November 02, 2017, 06:03:06 PM »
Please note where I said CANADA, as in the whole country. Saria then posted said poll along with a question of "Am I sure?" as if implying said poll somehow implicates the entirety of the country, let alone the entirety of Quebec.

That would be because the link I posted described the results of three surveys - two in Quebec, one Canada-wide. The headline result was that 59% of Quebecois consider themselves racist, backed up by additional data about their opinions on Jewish people, black people, Muslims, etc.. Meanwhile, "only" 47% of Canadians consider themselves racist. 47% may be less than half, but it is not a very good result.

There are mountains of other evidence too, if you insist on handwaving away a single survey or three. Here's another one, from just a few months ago; this one's interesting because it focuses on BC - arguably the most progressive province in Canada - and it highlights the gulf between perception of racism, and occurrence of racism. And if you don't want to scurry around the net collecting the data from random news sites, the Canadian government collects it for its own use. Unfortunately, it's spread all over the place and they keep changing their websites. But here is one example; that's actually a review of an anti-racism program, and the first part of the review is about whether there's any need for it... there's easily a dozen studies and surveys mentioned there.

Like I said, mountains of data, all leading to a conclusion that isn't the least bit controversial among people who actually follow this stuff: While it's true that Canada is significantly less racist than most other places, it's still very, very racist. We've made all the right moves over the years, mostly - like keeping immigration relatively open and welcoming, and adopting multiculturalism as official policy and even enshrining it in the Charter - but there's still a lot of work to do... and there are some particular trouble spots (such as Muslims in general and particularly Quebec - which Bill 62 only provides further evidence of - and indigenous people basically everywhere).

Offline SariaTopic starter

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Re: Québec’s Bill 62: the “religious neutrality” face-covering ban
« Reply #40 on: November 02, 2017, 10:13:25 PM »
To expand on my post above, and correct a couple of misconceptions I've seen in this thread....

I linked to a news article talking about three surveys. Several people have been confused, and talked about them as if they were a single survey. But they were three independent surveys. Two were Quebec-only, one was all of Canada. I used that particular link because it was so handy; it not only gave Canada-wide data, it also zoomed in on Quebec.

The number 2000 has been thrown around a couple times as if that's the number of people in a single Canada-wide survey. No, that number is the sum of the two Quebec surveys... each of which had ~1000 people.

That shouldn't be shocking, because general polls are almost always done on ~1000 people, because ~1000 people is what you need for a ±3% error at a 95% confidence interval ("19 times out of 20") at the worst case 50/50 split... which is pretty industry standard for opinion polls. (And no, it doesn't matter how large the population you're sampling from is (once it's larger than a few thousand). It can be 8 thousand, 8 million, or 8 billion (or 8 trillion, and so on). You always just need ~1000 data points for a ±3% error at a 95% confidence interval. That's just math.)

And, as the CBC article confirms, the two Quebec polls were ±3.1% 19 times out of 20.

The Canada-wide survey had over 3000 people. That was probably because they wanted decent confidence for sub-samples (like results by province), but the result is a lower error rate for overall, Canada-wide results. That survey was ±1.8% 19 times out of 20.

However, the article says 47% of Canadians outside of Quebec are racist. Of course they don't link to the original survey, because news websites don't know how the Internet works. So I can't check to see if the 3000 people surveyed were all outside of Quebec, or if the 3000 people included Quebecois and the rest of Canada and the 47% is only counting the subset of those who aren't in Quebec. So I'm going to assume the worst-case scenario, and figure the 3000 includes Quebec, and about 1⁄3 of the 3000 is Quebec. That would mean the 47% is based on ~2000 people. That means a ±2.1% to ±2.2% error at a 95% confidence interval.

So in summary, the results I was pointing to were:

  • 59% in Quebec say they're racist, in a survey of ~1000 people; ±3.1% 19 times out of 20.
  • 47% in Canada outside of Quebec say they're racist, in a survey of ~2000 people; ±2.2% 19 times out of 20.

In both cases, the survey was done by the oldest, and one of the most respected polling firms in Canada.

So unless you can point to conflicting evidence (and no, hunches are not evidence, and the plural of anecdote is not data), or show methodological flaws in the surveys (and no, "I don't understand how statistics work, so I don't trust it" is not a methodological flaw), the only reasonable conclusion is that at least 45% of Canada thinks they're at least a little racist.

And since racists are not exactly known for being particularly introspective, and it's very common for very racist people to think they're not racist, we can quite safely assume that is an underestimate.

Another survey (actually two surveys, but I'm focusing on the one with 1971 people; ±2.2% 19 times out of 20) - done only a week or two ago - shows that 70% in Quebec, and 40% in Canada outside of Quebec support banning niqabs. So the numbers above sure seem to fit a pattern.

Offline DominantPoet

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Re: Québec’s Bill 62: the “religious neutrality” face-covering ban
« Reply #41 on: November 03, 2017, 05:12:01 AM »
I'm going to say this, and then I'm done, as this is getting rather ridiculous -

The article in question first states 59% of Quebecers are racist. Then it elaborates that they're racist "to some degree". Then further, it states the majority believe themselves to be only mildly racist. 43%, in fact.

So you've gone from flat-out racist, to a subcategory of racist (some degree) to an even further subcategory (mildly).

Then it states that the questionnaire that people were given, three out of the four options would implicate that they are racist. 75% of the possible answers, say they're racist.

So you've got multiple levels of racism, and then you're skewing the results before the answers are even given by having a stronger leaning towards the results being racist anyways.

Then you have the fact this article is TEN FREAKING YEARS OLD.

Then you have the fact this article doesn't link to the actual survey results, wherever they may be. All we know is they were done over two months, and over the internet, apparently. So that raises a number of other problems - were there people who answered more than once? How were these people chosen? Was it invite only, was it free reign, could anyone at all answer, etc etc? Did anyone actually validate the IP addresses once the number they wanted was reached? So on, and so on, and so on. But hey, what does that matter, I guess, mathematics is apparently infallible even if you don't bother to try and decrease the variables...you know, like they do in situations I have FULLY ADMITTED IT WORKS JUST FINE IN.

So to recap -

Survey skewed to begin with towards the results showing people are racist, different levels of racism for which we have no basis for and are HIGHLY subjective (what do YOU consider mildly racist to be? Very racist? Moderately racist? Anyone?), absolutely NO idea how anyone who took this was chosen, what the criteria was for being chosen if in fact they were, data that's TEN years old...

But no, everyone keep focusing on the fact that I don't really believe that surveys like this are indicative of a general population because there are, as I've said, thousands upon thousands of variables that can influence and affect the outcome most of the time -.- Like, hey - I could go to an anime convention, ask a thousand people at random if they A) love anime B) like anime C) watch anime or D) hate anime. No problem with that at all because math. Certainly wouldn't skewer any results towards a generally positive outlook on anime, and certainly wouldn't be insanely foolish to then turn around and claim most of a singular province, or all of Canada for that matter, enjoys anime.

Or how about this simple fact - people. lie. That, above ANYTHING else and the other thousands of variables that also play into this, are PRECISELY why I, personally, do not believe surveys of a small number of people, can be stretched across to an entire population as any kind of actual indicator as to what everyone else thinks or feels. Because you CANNOT, ever, guarantee that people are answering these questions truthfully. Be it that they simply don't care, they have any number of other things on their mind, they purposefully choose specific answers just to mess with the results, they are otherwise distracted, on and on and on.

I guess that just makes me some crazy person who must believe the Earth is flat or some other nonsense like that, right?  >:(


Offline Fury Aphrodisia

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Re: Québec’s Bill 62: the “religious neutrality” face-covering ban
« Reply #42 on: November 03, 2017, 07:05:23 AM »
While you have some good reasons not to trust this particular survey, specifically, that's not what you had said. Using that mistrust to extrapolate that all surveys are inherently flawed is in itself bad science. And that's what you said. You said that surveys of a small number of people could not accurately project the feelings of an entire populace for a variety of reasons. I firmly believe that you believe you've covered adequately why you believe this, but it's hard to tell the "this survey" complaints from the "all surveys" complaints, invalidating your claim based on the faulty premise that creates.

Further, I'm not sure why you keep mentioning that the data is ten years old/article is ten years old to be some significant factor. Most of the time, by the time the general public gets their hands on the conclusions of a study, the data being a decade old is fairly tame as far as standard goes. That, in and of itself, does not invalidate the results. Further, I'm not certain that driving deeper into subcategories invalidates anything, either. It seems to me that is simply separating different strands of a rope. Why is that somehow skewing results?

That the options presented weren't necessarily balanced (an even number of answers to prove the result true as to falsify it)and the article doesn't list a list of data (which I find is often the case when presenting to the general public because people as a whole don't often have need or use of or the ability to accurately assess the information given) seem to be good solid reasons for not trusting THIS survey.

However, to use that to then say that all surveys are inherently flawed is nonsense. It's precisely the sort of bad procedure that you were railing against in the article itself, why should we take you seriously if you won't meet your own criteria in that regard?

P.S. And if your strongest argument is the House M.D. argument, then there's really not much of anything you'll ever be certain of in your life. Yes, people lie. Which I believe was outlined by someone else, as well. Which is why they largely say that these people believe themselves to be racist and the results are likely an understatement. However, "People lie" is not a reason to universally reject information. in that case, you have to assume that literally every consensus ever reached by any governing body of knowledge is an untrustworthy source because the people presenting the information at the very least have had opportunity to skew the results, and must therefore have done so. I can't wait for the day when we can be sure a peer may have... I don't know, reviewed the results and potentially corroborated the results. Until that day comes, I suppose we'll never know!

Online Regina Minx

Re: Québec’s Bill 62: the “religious neutrality” face-covering ban
« Reply #43 on: November 03, 2017, 08:04:59 AM »
DominantPoet,

This is what frustrates me about your post. You were doing fine: you bring up valid methodological concerns about the initial survey. Although I think you missed the most significant flaw in the study (online only; which biases your sample away from older members of a population as well as poorer and members of the population for whom there is a linguistic barrier), it is perfectly valid to discuss flaws in any given study or sample as reasons for skepticism and caution.

But then you go and make statements like this:

Quote
But no, everyone keep focusing on the fact that I don't really believe that surveys like this are indicative of a general population because there are, as I've said, thousands upon thousands of variables that can influence and affect the outcome most of the time

You are talking to someone who took her degree in statistics, and I can assure you that the factors that can influence your results are known to us in the field. And I'm sorry but there's no non-technical way to actually answer you. It's not my intent to bully you with numbers or to pitch my discussion above a level that I think you can handle (I don't know your background, but I'm going to make the assumption that you're not a mathematics major.

The way we make inferences about the random sample of a population is to make use of convergence. Essentially, when you have many independent variables (or random variables with specific types of dependence) they will tend to be distributed according to a mathematically modeled scheme of distribution. When there is a finite variance between these variables (and in the survey under discussion, we have a simple four-point distribution range, so by definition the variance is going to be finite) will conform to the normal distribution.

This is essentially what the central limit theorem states. This is a tool that statisticians have been working with for almost a hundred years now, and it is proven. Mathematically proven. It states that when we have a large number of random variables with the same distribution, we can make extrapolations from our sample to the population as a whole with precise values for our margin of error and our confidence level.

Now there are two caveats; your data input has to be finitely variant and an independent and identically distributed variable. The finite variance is accounted for in your survey design; you ask people to rank themselves on a 4 point scale (or a hundred point scale or a thousand point scale) and you will have finitely variant data. And if the second point is granted, then the central limit theorem applies. And since the central limit theorem is proven mathematically, it conforms to the demands of structural logic; that is, you cannot reasonably reject the conclusions drawn from that line of argumentation because if an argument is both valid and sound the conclusion cannot be logically rejected.

Quote
Or how about this simple fact - people. lie.

Again, do you suppose that statisticians are unaware that survey respondents lie? When it comes to a single, self-reported number, however, there are only two possibilities for lying. a) You can lie to report yourself as less racist than you actually are, and b) You can lie to report yourself as more racist than you actually are. And when you have multiple respondents, there are only three possible trends (proper trichotemy). i) More people can falsely report that they are less racist than they actually are, ii) More people can falsely report that they are more racist than they actually are, or iii) The number of people who report themselves as being more racist is equal to the number of people that report themselves as being less racist.

In situation iii) it actually doesn't matter one bit for our conclusions about the interpretation of the survey results. Since we have an accurate reflection of the actual degree of racism in the sample, it's valid to extrapolate to the population, regardless of whether or not every single person in the survey lied, as long as they lied in the precise parameters outlined by iii).

When it comes to deciding between i) and ii), again I can't go into this without being overly technical, but I feel like Fury Aphrodisia has made an adequate response. If there is some kind of social desirability bias skewing our results, is it more likely to be skewing them to under-report or over-report racism? For all of the reasons that Fury Aphrodisia outlined, I think it's safe to conclude that if there is systematic deception in the poll responses, it's going to be weighted in the balance of people under-reporting their actual degree of racism.

Which means that, to whatever extent racism means anything in this poll, it's a quality that at least 59% of Quibecois would report that they have. And that is still a valuable piece of understanding. It establishes a lower boundary on our conclusions. In other words, our conclusion can be "59% of Quibecois (possibly more, even a great deal more, but almost certainly not less) consider themselves at least a little racist." This can also save us a great deal of labor or help us identify where more labor would be worthwhile. The vast effort involved in trying to collect and analyze all the data necessary to get increasingly accurate estimates of probability is unnecessary if we don't need increasingly accurate estimates. If we can fully justify an our probability on a sound representative sample of the data such that we can demonstrate that any continued labor will only push the result even further in favor of our conclusion, and yet our conclusion is already more than adequate to warrant confident belief, then we don't need to continue the inquiry further (unless we want to).

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Re: Québec’s Bill 62: the “religious neutrality” face-covering ban
« Reply #44 on: November 03, 2017, 07:45:25 PM »
The article in question first states 59% of Quebecers are racist. Then it elaborates that they're racist "to some degree". Then further, it states the majority believe themselves to be only mildly racist. 43%, in fact.

So you've gone from flat-out racist, to a subcategory of racist (some degree) to an even further subcategory (mildly).

I'm not sure who you think "went" from one of those things to the next, because that doesn't accurately match what the article says. The article first says: "Fifty-nine per cent of Quebecers admit to being racist to some degree...", and then in the very next sentence says, "In comparison, only 47 per cent of those outside Quebec say they are racist to some degree." That's pretty clear on its own.

And then the article explains exactly what "to some degree" means, with respect to the survey results.

So I'm not sure how you can get to an inference chain like the one you describe, unless you read the article thinking that each sentence is completely self-contained and has no connection whatsoever to the rest of the article.

Then it states that the questionnaire that people were given, three out of the four options would implicate that they are racist. 75% of the possible answers, say they're racist.

So what? If people didn't actually think they were racist, why would they choose any of the three options? I read that criticism in the article, but it's pretty silly - unless you think respondents were randomly selecting an answer, the number of options on one side shouldn't really matter... especially if the weight is on "racist", which is something people normally vehemently deny.

Then you have the fact this article is TEN FREAKING YEARS OLD.

I was the one who pointed that out, but I don't see why that's a problem. Ten years ago is not that long ago, especially for something like racism. What do you think happened in the last ten years to eliminate racism in Canada so much that we went from roughly half of Canadians thinking they're a little racist, to an "infinitely small" racist population?

Exactly what do you think the shelf life of this kind of result should be?

As an aside, I remind that I also linked to corroborating evidence from last month.

Then you have the fact this article doesn't link to the actual survey results, wherever they may be. All we know is they were done over two months, and over the internet, apparently. So that raises a number of other problems - were there people who answered more than once? How were these people chosen? Was it invite only, was it free reign, could anyone at all answer, etc etc? Did anyone actually validate the IP addresses once the number they wanted was reached? So on, and so on, and so on.

Again, I was the one who pointed that out, and I can answer most of your questions without seeing the original survey. All you had to do was ask.

No, there were no people who answered more than once. Or at least, if there were, the numbers would be negligible. You saw the word "Internet" and assumed this was just an online poll, vulnerable to bots and the usual tricks. No, what companies like Léger do is far more sophisticated.

Participants were chosen from a panel of hundreds of thousands of people who signed up to Léger to do surveys for cash or prizes. This is how most surveys are done nowadays - it's quite rare to do phone surveys now. When you sign up to Léger, you give them some biographical information, then when Léger wants to do a survey, they select a representative sample (using a technique called "stratified sampling"), and send emails asking them to do the survey. Rinse and repeat until they get the number of results they need.

See for yourself. You can even join if you want to, and see first hand how it works. (I am not a member, so I can't confirm whether they actually pay out.)

So to recap -

Survey skewed to begin with towards the results showing people are racist, different levels of racism for which we have no basis for and are HIGHLY subjective (what do YOU consider mildly racist to be? Very racist? Moderately racist? Anyone?), absolutely NO idea how anyone who took this was chosen, what the criteria was for being chosen if in fact they were, data that's TEN years old...

My recap is quite different.
  • It is not true that the survey was "skewed" toward showing more people as racist. All that is true is that there were more "racist" options than non-racist. But that does not imply skewing of the results, especially considering that people are vastly less likely to describe themselves as racist even if they are.
  • I don't know what you mean by "levels of racism". The only result that matters is that more than half of Quebecois and almost half of Canadians don't believe they're not racist. Which, again, considering that even racists think they're not racist, that's pretty telling. You seem to think the "mildly" and other qualifiers matter. They don't. They are just standard survey tricks used to get people to admit things they would normally not want to admit.
  • We know exactly how the people who did the survey were chosen.
  • Ten years old is not that long ago for data like this.

Like, hey - I could go to an anime convention, ask a thousand people at random if they A) love anime B) like anime C) watch anime or D) hate anime. No problem with that at all because math. Certainly wouldn't skewer any results towards a generally positive outlook on anime, and certainly wouldn't be insanely foolish to then turn around and claim most of a singular province, or all of Canada for that matter, enjoys anime.

You certainly could do that... but do you seriously believe the oldest, largest, and one of the most respected polling firms in all of Canada is that incompetent?

And if you're going to make such ridiculously unwarranted assumptions about the competence of professional pollsters, why wouldn't you do the same for scientists, for example? Maybe everyone at the LHC are a bunch of stooges who have been collecting data from a broken microwave the past few years, not realizing that that's not the collider? It just seems a little specific to be singling out pollsters as particularly incompetent at the same time data comes along that proves something you thought wrong.

Or how about this simple fact - people. lie.

I pointed that out, too, but I pointed it out by noting that if people are going to lie about being racist, they are going to say they're not racist. No one who isn't a racist is going to say they are.

That, above ANYTHING else and the other thousands of variables that also play into this, are PRECISELY why I, personally, do not believe surveys of a small number of people, can be stretched across to an entire population as any kind of actual indicator as to what everyone else thinks or feels.

Except here is the problem that really puts your position in a bad light:

You absolutely REFUSE to accept that surveys are legitimate indicators of a population's beliefs and opinions. Never mind all the math and technology supporting it, and never mind the decades - if not centuries - of experience showing that these kinds of surveys are right way more often than they're wrong, and they're usually very right.

Okay, sure, fine, you're entitled to that opinion.

But then... this all started by you asserting as fact that we don't have many racists in Canada. I linked to the survey to begin with to point out that reality did not agree with what you were asserting. If I can't use a survey to do that, then you tell me how I could do it. I hope you don't mean to suggest that there's no evidence whatsoever that could be used to disprove something you claim - that we should all just accept that whatever you say cannot be challenged.

But there's an even bigger problem. Here is what you said: "Let us also not forget, this is Canada - while we have racists, and bigots, and the like, they are an infinitely smaller minority than in other countries of the world, thankfully."

If you don't believe in surveys as a means to gather information about a society... how in the hell did you arrive at that conclusion?

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Re: Québec’s Bill 62: the “religious neutrality” face-covering ban
« Reply #46 on: March 31, 2018, 06:18:34 AM »
Hello everyone.

I apologize for raising a dead thread.

As a citizen of Canada and someone born, raised and still living in Québec, I would like to add in my loose change's worth of thought.

Law 62 was created with one sole purpose: to divide the french-speaking vote to give the Québec liberal party its best chances of winning the next election.

Liberals in Québec traditionnally have the anglophone and allophone votes, as well as those of the elderly. The bulk of Québec voters (people from 18 to 60-ish) usually do not vote liberal.

So having laws like thesr creates friction. Remember: we french-speaking Québecois folk have been a minority in a supposed bilingual country since this whole Canads thing started. For centuries we were Low Canada. English-speaking people in Québec, in the city of Montréal (the most cosmopolitain city in the province) would tell my father in his youth to "speak white". French speaking Canadians were considered second-class citzens and were called white n-word.

These are some of the reasons why things like the Loi 101 were voted. This is why back in 1981 and 1995 the Parti Québecois came so very very close to winning those referendums to declare Québec an independant country.

Issues of race, language and color are EXTEMELY sensitive topics here and you are guaranteed to get some explosive reactions.

This truly has nothing to do with the hijab or thr niqab or the veil or anything else. This was just to stir the pot anf get people worked up and upset.

This was just politics. Small, petty, self-serving, short-sighted, narrow-minded politics.

And I hate politics.

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Re: Québec’s Bill 62: the “religious neutrality” face-covering ban
« Reply #47 on: April 03, 2018, 08:31:03 PM »
I totally agree that Bill 62 was all about politics, and I spent a long time scratching my head over why the Québec Liberals would do it.

The answer I came up with was that the Coalition Avenir Québec and the Parti Québécois had all the xenophobic bigot voters on their side, and they were hounding the Québec Liberals to do something about "the Muslim problem". The Liberals thought that if they did nothing, that would strengthen the xenophobes' support of the CAQ and PQ. But if they did something - even just something symbolic and totally ineffective - they could steal some of the xenophobic voters away from the CAQ and PQ.

So they came up with Bill 62... the absolutely least they could possibly do, and still claim to be doing something.

But of course, it backfired horribly. All the Liberals' original supporters were pissed that they listened to the bigots (after they specifically voted for the Liberals because they opposed the bigotry in the last election). And the bigots were pissed because the Liberals hadn't gone far enough. The rest of Canada was pissed because Québec was being so blatantly racist. Everybody was pissed.

I think the political lesson here is: Never pander to bigots. You'll never satisfy them, and you'll only piss off your non-bigot supporters.