Re: Shamos Rebuttal, Draft 3

From: Ron Crane <voting_at_lastland_dot_net>
Date: Sun May 08 2005 - 20:44:54 CDT

>>> I am deleting the last item in 5. It's a minor point, and I
>>> refuse to cite any improperly-conducted poll (such as the
>>> ACM's poll on paper trails) in any formal paper.
>>
>> You refuse to *mention* it with appropriate qualifications? I
>> wrote, "Although no strong statistical inference of confidence
>> within a few percent can be drawn from such data, it certainly
>> has the appearance of contradicting Shamos's assertion that most
>> of this population are undecided." What's wrong with that?
>
> It leaves us vulnerable to reassertion of Shamos's original point
> about "9,999 of 10,000" computer scientists "remaining open-minded on
> the subject" (or whatever he said). But, worse, "within a few percent"
> is just incorrect. Responders to the ACM's poll were entirely
> self-selected, leaving us unable to draw any useful statistical
> conclusions from it, let alone "within a few percent". The only
> appropriate qualification for that poll is not to use it. And, since
> the entire point is really a tempest in a teacup, and it lengthens the
> paper, it's not worth keeping.

Darn! I misread your comment about "within a few percent"; my
apologies. But the poll still provides no useful statistical
information, and therefore should not be used.

-R

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Received on Tue May 31 23:17:25 2005

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