Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

timschochet

We live in an anecdotal society

123 posts in this topic

This is something I've been thinking a lot about lately. When I was a toddler, my parents did not use a car seat for me. We did not have a house alarm. On weekends, once I was 8 or so, I would get on my bike and ride away from home without telling my mom where I was going. Sometimes I wouldn't come back until dusk.

None of these things are acceptable anymore, certainly not with MY kids. I have a home alarm, we used car seats when they were younger, and they don't go anywhere unless it's supervised. And yet, there's no statistical evidence that things are more dangerous now than they were 35 years ago when I was my daughter's age. In fact, I have seen some statistics which suggest the opposite, at least where I live in Orange County, Ca. But the difference is this: we are innudated with anecdotes- stories on the news about kids abducted, stories on the crime shows about the worst possible crimes, and it makes us nervous. We need more security than our parents did.

We all know, intellectually, that anectodotal evidence is worthless in terms of making correct assumptions about society: statistics are all that really matter. Yet we rely on anecdotes al the time to form our thinking, whether it's issues of security as I've already noted, or political issues. Much of the public's thinking about Islam or illegal immigration, to cite two instances, is heavily based on anecdotes.

I have no idea what to do about this, if anything. With regard to the security issue mentioned above, I wouldn't feel comfortable discarding any of them, despite the fact that I KNOW they don't statistically make me any safer. But they make me feel safer. Because what if....?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am pretty sure car seats make kids safer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1330014449' post='14127214']I am pretty sure car seats make kids safer

Yep.Without a doubt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am pretty sure car seats make kids safer

I have no doubt they do. That wasn't my point, really. The odds of my children being injured in an car accident in which car seats would make a decisive difference are pretty low. As a society, there's no doubt that car seats have saved lives. But statistically I was in no significant greater danger as kid without them than my children are with them now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably car seats were not such a good example. I certainly am not trying to argue against the use of car seats.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm pretty sure it is a good thing to know where your kids are going.

:goodposting: If for no other reason than to who they're hanging with, what they're doing, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've thought about this.

I live in a small town in rural Michigan. I work 3 blocks from my kids' school. My mornings would be a breeze if they would come to work with me, then walk to school.

But, for no apparent reason, I just cannot justify "the risk".

I think when we were kids you didn't see or hear so many of these stories. However, now you hear ALL of them. Fact or Fiction, you hear them all the time.

So being good parents, we try to eliminate any chance of bad things happening.

Because what if that one-in-a-million happens today? Not on my watch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably car seats were not such a good example. I certainly am not trying to argue against the use of car seats.

:lmao: SHUT IT DOWN

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1330014874' post='14127249']Probably car seats were not such a good example. I certainly am not trying to argue against the use of car seats.

Probably?Statistically, car seats save lives.Too bad it's not significant enough for you to be meaningful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am pretty sure car seats make kids safer

I have no doubt they do. That wasn't my point, really. The odds of my children being injured in an car accident in which car seats would make a decisive difference are pretty low. As a society, there's no doubt that car seats have saved lives. But statistically I was in no significant greater danger as kid without them than my children are with them now.
Do you have any evidence to support this claim, or is your evidence justanecdotal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm pretty sure it is a good thing to know where your kids are going.

Well you know I spent a lot of time unsupervised when I was a kid. "Where you going? Out to play. Be back for dinner. Ok." Was a normal after breakfast weekend conversation. I would range all over the local area, all day. Worked out OK. This whole supervision thing is often taken way too far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've thought about this.I live in a small town in rural Michigan. I work 3 blocks from my kids' school. My mornings would be a breeze if they would come to work with me, then walk to school.But, for no apparent reason, I just cannot justify "the risk".I think when we were kids you didn't see or hear so many of these stories. However, you hear ALL of them. Fact or Fiction, you hear them all the time.So being good parents, we try to eliminate any chance of bad things happening.Because what if that one-in-a-million happens today? Not on my watch.

:goodposting: THIS was my point. Not that car seats are bad, or that you shouldn't know where your kids are. I was only trying to point out that our parents didn't typically worry about 1 in a million odds, and we do. Why? Because of anecdotes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am pretty sure Tim's entire post is anecdotal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kathy Ireland of an embarrassing moment from her early career:

"At a photo shoot once, the fashionistas were talking about Yom Kippur, and you said, 'Who is Yom Kippur? Is that the name of the new Japanese designer?'"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1330014874' post='14127249']Probably car seats were not such a good example. I certainly am not trying to argue against the use of car seats.

Probably?Statistically, car seats save lives.Too bad it's not significant enough for you to be meaningful.
Of course they do. So does not having metal dashboards like cars in the 60's. The question is how many and at what cost. We could just eliminate cars completely. That would help with a whole host of problems - car accidents, Drunk Driving, kids dieing in cars, the environment, but at what cost to society? I think Tim is just pointing out the low ROI we get from all of these changes to the way we protect our children nowadays relative to a generation or two ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1330014874' post='14127249']Probably car seats were not such a good example. I certainly am not trying to argue against the use of car seats.

Probably?Statistically, car seats save lives.Too bad it's not significant enough for you to be meaningful.
Of course they do. So does not having metal dashboards like cars in the 60's. The question is how many and at what cost. We could just eliminate cars completely. That would help with a whole host of problems - car accidents, Drunk Driving, kids dieing in cars, the environment, but at what cost to society? I think Tim is just pointing out the low ROI we get from all of these changes to the way we protect our children nowadays relative to a generation or two ago.
there's not a lot of investment in a car seatand it can save a child from harm even when it does not save their lives

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm pretty sure it is a good thing to know where your kids are going.

Well you know I spent a lot of time unsupervised when I was a kid. "Where you going? Out to play. Be back for dinner. Ok." Was a normal after breakfast weekend conversation. I would range all over the local area, all day. Worked out OK. This whole supervision thing is often taken way too far.
You and I must have had horrible parents.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All these things prettymuch revolve around kids, too.

You parents are nuts. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Who is to say that crime statistics aren't worse precisely BECAUSE parents have taken so many precautions?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm pretty sure it is a good thing to know where your kids are going.

Well you know I spent a lot of time unsupervised when I was a kid. "Where you going? Out to play. Be back for dinner. Ok." Was a normal after breakfast weekend conversation. I would range all over the local area, all day. Worked out OK. This whole supervision thing is often taken way too far.
You and I must have had horrible parents.
Well add this to me being a latchkey kid since 3rd grade and they would probably be doing time these days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably car seats were not such a good example. I certainly am not trying to argue against the use of car seats.

Probably?Statistically, car seats save lives.Too bad it's not significant enough for you to be meaningful.
Of course they do. So does not having metal dashboards like cars in the 60's. The question is how many and at what cost. We could just eliminate cars completely. That would help with a whole host of problems - car accidents, Drunk Driving, kids dieing in cars, the environment, but at what cost to society? I think Tim is just pointing out the low ROI we get from all of these changes to the way we protect our children nowadays relative to a generation or two ago.
I'm not even suggesting we should concern ourselves with the low ROI- it's not as if car seats, or knowing where your children are, have any cost or detriment to society so far as I can see. I used these as examples not to argue against them, but only to question how exactly we got to where we are, and how much we are influenced by anecdotes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Who is to say that crime statistics aren't worse precisely BECAUSE parents have taken so many precautions?

Actually most of the rise in crimes directed at children can be traced to better reporting. And stranger kidnaps have remained relatively flat for several decades. If a kid goes missing it's because of the parents or a non custodial parent something like 80+% of the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Who is to say that crime statistics aren't worse precisely BECAUSE parents have taken so many precautions?

Why should they be worse?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's human nature and the affect of more news available with the bad stories people stop to read/watch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably car seats were not such a good example. I certainly am not trying to argue against the use of car seats.

Probably?Statistically, car seats save lives.Too bad it's not significant enough for you to be meaningful.
Of course they do. So does not having metal dashboards like cars in the 60's. The question is how many and at what cost. We could just eliminate cars completely. That would help with a whole host of problems - car accidents, Drunk Driving, kids dieing in cars, the environment, but at what cost to society? I think Tim is just pointing out the low ROI we get from all of these changes to the way we protect our children nowadays relative to a generation or two ago.
I'm not even suggesting we should concern ourselves with the low ROI- it's not as if car seats, or knowing where your children are, have any cost or detriment to society so far as I can see. I used these as examples not to argue against them, but only to question how exactly we got to where we are, and how much we are influenced by anecdotes.
would your dad have golfed in a lightning storm?even doing so your odds of getting hit are lowmaybe your parents just played loose with your lives not their own?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm pretty sure it is a good thing to know where your kids are going.

Well you know I spent a lot of time unsupervised when I was a kid. "Where you going? Out to play. Be back for dinner. Ok." Was a normal after breakfast weekend conversation. I would range all over the local area, all day. Worked out OK. This whole supervision thing is often taken way too far.
You and I must have had horrible parents.
Well add this to me being a latchkey kid since 3rd grade and they would probably be doing time these days.
We rural kids typically ranged far and wide sans supervision. And it seemed like a very natural thing to do. I wonder if even the kids in flyover country do this anymore?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm pretty sure it is a good thing to know where your kids are going.

Well you know I spent a lot of time unsupervised when I was a kid. "Where you going? Out to play. Be back for dinner. Ok." Was a normal after breakfast weekend conversation. I would range all over the local area, all day. Worked out OK. This whole supervision thing is often taken way too far.
Yep. I don't think it is about paying too much attention to anecdotes, it is more about a deficit of trust.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Who is to say that crime statistics aren't worse precisely BECAUSE parents have taken so many precautions?

Actually most of the rise in crimes directed at children can be traced to better reporting. And stranger kidnaps have remained relatively flat for several decades. If a kid goes missing it's because of the parents or a non custodial parent something like 80+% of the time.
if crime in general has risen as has the population but stranger kidnapping is flat then perhaps these measures are working

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm pretty sure it is a good thing to know where your kids are going.

Well you know I spent a lot of time unsupervised when I was a kid. "Where you going? Out to play. Be back for dinner. Ok." Was a normal after breakfast weekend conversation. I would range all over the local area, all day. Worked out OK. This whole supervision thing is often taken way too far.
I reject your anecdotal evidence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my first years in the markets it always amazed me that experienced, well educated portfolio managers would heavily weight personal observations and anecdotes and ignore statistically sound data. Energy stocks and commodities tend to perk up when the first hard cold front hits NY, for instance. RIMM went parabolic because everyone in the financial markets had one and loved it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On weekends, once I was 8 or so, I would get on my bike and ride away from home without telling my mom where I was going. Sometimes I wouldn't come back until dusk.

That's the thing I think has really changed. Many/most of us had similar experiences. On some summer days, I'd be gone for hours on end. So long as I made it home by dinner and wasn't entirely covered in mud, I'd be okay. Take my bike across the railroad bridge, over the highway. Take long adventures with my friends. I was 12 going on 13 the first time I saw a dead human being. It happened in the summer of 1959-a long time ago, but only if you measure in terms of years. I was living in a small town in Oregon called Castle Rock. There were only twelve hundred and eighty-one people. But to me, it was the whole world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is something that irks me a little. Unfortunately Tim started the thread so everyone is going to berate the idea behind it.

It's pretty simple. Non-stop news with no limitations means every bad thing that happens gets the spotlight for a day or two. Everyone lives in fear no matter how implausible any one source of that fear is. Is there a correlation between that and the overall overprotective nature of parents? Of course. Corporations take advantage, because just like fear sells news, the idea of "safety" sells products.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm pretty sure it is a good thing to know where your kids are going.

Well you know I spent a lot of time unsupervised when I was a kid. "Where you going? Out to play. Be back for dinner. Ok." Was a normal after breakfast weekend conversation. I would range all over the local area, all day. Worked out OK. This whole supervision thing is often taken way too far.
You and I must have had horrible parents.
Well add this to me being a latchkey kid since 3rd grade and they would probably be doing time these days.
We rural kids typically ranged far and wide sans supervision. And it seemed like a very natural thing to do. I wonder if even the kids in flyover country do this anymore?
I was navigating the urban Florida jungle except in the summer when I was let loose on rural Georgia. A typical home weekend day would start with dumpster diving for returnables. Once we had enough cash for lunch and some snacks then it was off to poke around and see what we could stir up. Good times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Who is to say that crime statistics aren't worse precisely BECAUSE parents have taken so many precautions?

Actually most of the rise in crimes directed at children can be traced to better reporting. And stranger kidnaps have remained relatively flat for several decades. If a kid goes missing it's because of the parents or a non custodial parent something like 80+% of the time.
if crime in general has risen as has the population but stranger kidnapping is flat then perhaps these measures are working
But crime hasn't risen overall. We are in the midst of a long term decline.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember when

aired live. Some good anecdotes there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Who is to say that crime statistics aren't worse precisely BECAUSE parents have taken so many precautions?

Actually most of the rise in crimes directed at children can be traced to better reporting. And stranger kidnaps have remained relatively flat for several decades. If a kid goes missing it's because of the parents or a non custodial parent something like 80+% of the time.
if crime in general has risen as has the population but stranger kidnapping is flat then perhaps these measures are working
But crime hasn't risen overall. We are in the midst of a long term decline.
probably because we are ever vilgilant in preventing it, by doing things like keeping an eye on our kids so they can become neither victims nor criminals

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was navigating the urban Florida jungle except in the summer when I was let loose on rural Georgia. A typical home weekend day would start with dumpster diving for returnables. Once we had enough cash for lunch and some snacks then it was off to poke around and see what we could stir up. Good times.

I did a LOT of that one summer. But we had no deposit. Once I realized the carfull of nasty beer bottles was worth $10.05, which I needed to split with two friends, I gave up on dumpster diving for bottles. But still got a lot of coverless comic books from the dumpster behind the 7-11. Every Tuesday evening, after the new books were put out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1330017331' post='14127465']

1330016826' post='14127420']

1330016208' post='14127365']

1330015865' post='14127337']

1330015712' post='14127325']Who is to say that crime statistics aren't worse precisely BECAUSE parents have taken so many precautions?

Actually most of the rise in crimes directed at children can be traced to better reporting. And stranger kidnaps have remained relatively flat for several decades. If a kid goes missing it's because of the parents or a non custodial parent something like 80+% of the time.
if crime in general has risen as has the population but stranger kidnapping is flat then perhaps these measures are working
But crime hasn't risen overall. We are in the midst of a long term decline.
probably because we are ever vilgilant in preventing it, by doing things like keeping an eye on our kids so they can become neither victims nor criminals
Very good posting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.