ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » USA Politics
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Closed Thread
Old 9th November 2020, 05:06 PM   #241
johnny karate
... and your little dog too.
 
johnny karate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 13,835
Originally Posted by shuttlt View Post
I know we quibble here about voter fraud and election fraud here. There is also the question of what you mean by "mass". In any case, I don't know. Result impacting voter/election fraud/"human error" involving 10s of thousands of votes has certainly occurred in the past. I see no reason in principle why it shouldn't have occurred now.
The skeptical position is to not assume that something did occur just because it might occur, in principle or otherwise.

As someone who claims to value skepticism, what specific reason have you seen that indicates mass voter fraud did occur in the 2020 presidential election?
johnny karate is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 05:08 PM   #242
shuttlt
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 7,314
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Prove it.
:-) That is the kind of thing snopes would "fact check". The claim that this board is no longer skeptical is a statement of opinion. Obviously you are going to disagree with it. Almost by definition, the majority opinion of the forum is going to disagree with me. Well they would, wouldn’t they?

Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Buying into CTs is not skepticism. Every single claim about problems with the election have been dismantled.
Only because your criteria for "debunking" a claim is "can anybody find somebody with a Phd or some other mark of authority who has said it's bunk". Again, chiropractors can find studies and phds to support them. Back in the day we would get into the weeds, actually read the studies and see if there were studies going the other way.

Last edited by shuttlt; 9th November 2020 at 05:23 PM.
shuttlt is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 05:08 PM   #243
johnny karate
... and your little dog too.
 
johnny karate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 13,835
Originally Posted by Skeptic Tank View Post
Can you point to anyone else in this thread who flipped from Al Franken loving Obama voter to what I am now? Looks like I have possibly the best record for being convinced out of stuff of anyone in here.

As for QAnon? Those people are a joke and Iíve never paid the slightest molecule of attention to their stupidity.
Iím sure they appreciate you peddling their talking points for them.
johnny karate is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 05:08 PM   #244
wareyin
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Georgia, USA
Posts: 8,081
Originally Posted by shuttlt View Post
Skepticism means you don't call them debunked on the basis of one study that agrees with you.
Multiple studies have been presented which show Benfords Law doesn't apply. On the other hand, we have you and several other posters who don't understand it but just really really want it to apply anyway.

Skepticism says that the people who continually need the basics explained to them aren't likely to be the ones who are correct while experts in the field are wrong.
wareyin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 05:11 PM   #245
No Other
Muse
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 556
Originally Posted by shuttlt View Post
The section everybody is quoting was added only on the 9th. Below is the version before people started to edit the article to win the argument post election:
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php...ford's_law

I'll try and go back and find what it said before all this fun began.
The Benford's Law that some of the "debunkers" cite is "Benford's Law on 2nd digit"(sic)... not Benford's Law.
No Other is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 05:19 PM   #246
shuttlt
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 7,314
Originally Posted by johnny karate View Post
The skeptical position is to not assume that something did occur just because it might occur, in principle or otherwise.
There is a difference between not assuming that something occurred, I'm certainly not doing that, and denying something occurred and claiming that the thing has been debunked based on flimsy evidence. You would then be making the truth claim and would need to defend it.

Originally Posted by johnny karate View Post
As someone who claims to value skepticism, what specific reason have you seen that indicates mass voter fraud did occur in the 2020 presidential election?
Well, I would say on the one hand that there is the kind of visceral hatred for trump out there that makes it plausible to me that people would feel motivated to do this. Then you have the history of voter/election fraud, it clearly happens and sometimes to significant levels and with considerable organization. In the case of this election, the claims of election watchers being told "no more counting tonight you can go home" and then counting going on. Obviously those and similar stories need to be checked out. You have the 6000 vote data error. If there was enough suspicion to justify looking into things and recounting in 2016, there seems to be more than enough now. The signs of voter/election fraud here seem to be of a similar level to 1960 if my understanding of that election is accurate.
shuttlt is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 05:20 PM   #247
shuttlt
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 7,314
Originally Posted by No Other View Post
The Benford's Law that some of the "debunkers" cite is "Benford's Law on 2nd digit"(sic)... not Benford's Law.
Thank you. I hadn't cottoned on to that subtlety in the case.
shuttlt is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 05:26 PM   #248
Skeptic Tank
Trigger Warning
 
Skeptic Tank's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 2,971
Originally Posted by johnny karate View Post
Iím sure they appreciate you peddling their talking points for them.
I heard someone reference them yesterday and that person was saying that "Q" himself had urged them to accept Biden's victory.
Skeptic Tank is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 05:26 PM   #249
Meadmaker
Penultimate Amazing
 
Meadmaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 23,823
I remember driving to work one morning and listening to Jeff Greenfield being interviewed. I don't remember the year, but it was the first year that Apollo Ono was winning gold medals in the Olympics. The day before there was some controversy when Ono won a gold medal after a Korean skater was disqualified in a controversial call about some rule. I don't remember the number, but we'll say it was rule 10.3.

The conversation turned, for some reason, to sports, and Greenfield was laughing about it. He was saying, "You've got guys all over the country now sitting in bars saying, 'Hey....it's real clear....rule 10.3 says.......' "

This reminds me of that. People who have no clue what Benford's Law is or where it came from will be extremely confident that it proves Joe Biden is a fraud.


But it's a great illustration of how pseudoscience spreads. People who don't know anything about something will say that it's proven because they heard an expert say so on the radio. And, how do they know he's an expert? Well, he's talking math and using a lot of incomprehensible words. That guy understands this really hard math called Benford's Law. He must be smart.


No, no. He isn't. He doesn't understand Benford's Law. If he did, he wouldn't be looking for it in precinct data.
__________________
Yes, yes. I know you're right, but would it hurt you to actually provide some information?

Last edited by Meadmaker; 9th November 2020 at 05:34 PM.
Meadmaker is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 05:30 PM   #250
johnny karate
... and your little dog too.
 
johnny karate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 13,835
Originally Posted by shuttlt View Post
Well, I would say on the one hand that there is the kind of visceral hatred for trump out there that makes it plausible to me that people would feel motivated to do this. Then you have the history of voter/election fraud, it clearly happens and sometimes to significant levels and with considerable organization. In the case of this election, the claims of election watchers being told "no more counting tonight you can go home" and then counting going on. Obviously those and similar stories need to be checked out. You have the 6000 vote data error. If there was enough suspicion to justify looking into things and recounting in 2016, there seems to be more than enough now. The signs of voter/election fraud here seem to be of a similar level to 1960 if my understanding of that election is accurate.
Okay, those are some reasons you have to believe that mass voter fraud occurred. We’re making progress.

Unfortunately, reasons alone aren’t enough. You need evidence.

Please provide evidence that establishes mass voter fraud occurred in the 2020 presidential election.

Last edited by johnny karate; 9th November 2020 at 05:34 PM.
johnny karate is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 05:33 PM   #251
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 27,101
Originally Posted by shuttlt View Post
:-) That is the kind of thing snopes would "fact check". The claim that this board is no longer skeptical is a statement of opinion. Obviously you are going to disagree with it. Almost by definition, the majority opinion of the forum is going to disagree with me. Well they would, wouldnít they?
Not if you present credible evidence and a cogent argument.

Originally Posted by shuttlt View Post
Only because your criteria for "debunking" a claim is "can anybody find somebody with a Phd or some other mark of authority who has said it's bunk". Again, chiropractors can find studies and phds to support them. Back in the day we would get into the weeds, actually read the studies and see if there were studies going the other way.
Nonsense, on the other hand, if you only appeal to Joe the plumber or some other uneducated schmuck on say Macroeconomics, I'm going to roll my eyes.
__________________
Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get to me.
.
acbytesla is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 05:33 PM   #252
johnny karate
... and your little dog too.
 
johnny karate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 13,835
Originally Posted by Skeptic Tank View Post
I heard someone reference them yesterday and that person was saying that "Q" himself had urged them to accept Biden's victory.
It seems that youíve paid a few molecules of attention to them after all.
johnny karate is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 05:41 PM   #253
dirtywick
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,476
Iíll be honest Iíve never heard of Benfords law. But if Benfords law indicates a fraudulent election, but you are unable to identify any fraud of any sort and the only indication that it was fraudulent was that Benfords law said so, maybe Benfords law isnít very good at identifying election fraud.
dirtywick is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 05:42 PM   #254
ServiceSoon
Graduate Poster
 
ServiceSoon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,618
Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
That's hilarious.

(Not you. The fact that a Wikipedia article about an obscure mathematical property is being edited a few days after an election.)
And the definition of a word by one of the many official trustworthy institutions has been altered the day after a Supreme Court candidate used said word during an interview. The phrase which best describes this phenomena is ‘information war.’
ServiceSoon is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 05:43 PM   #255
shuttlt
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 7,314
Originally Posted by johnny karate View Post
Okay, those are some reasons you have to believe that mass voter fraud occurred. Weíre making progress.

Unfortunately, reasons alone arenít enough. You need evidence.

Please provide evidence that establishes mass voter fraud occurred in the 2020 presidential election.
Why would I need evidence that voter/election fraud occurred? It seems like the kind of thing that one would have to conduct some kind of investigation to confirm/refute in so far as that is possible. One would have to be some kind of ideologically possessed partisan hack to claim it definitely did or didn't at this stage.
shuttlt is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 05:47 PM   #256
dirtywick
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,476
I suppose it’s as ideologically obsessed as relying on mathematical calculations nobody has ever heard of because someone on the internet is referencing them to tell you what you want to hear.
dirtywick is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 05:47 PM   #257
johnny karate
... and your little dog too.
 
johnny karate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 13,835
Originally Posted by shuttlt View Post
Why would I need evidence that voter/election fraud occurred? It seems like the kind of thing that one would have to conduct some kind of investigation to confirm/refute in so far as that is possible. One would have to be some kind of ideologically possessed partisan hack to claim it definitely did or didn't at this stage.
If thereís been no evidence that itís occurred, why would it be wrong to therefore believe that it did not occur?
johnny karate is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 05:49 PM   #258
shuttlt
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 7,314
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Not if you present credible evidence and a cogent argument.
Unpack the logic here. If I am wrong and the forum is truly skeptical, then of course my evidence will fall short. If I am right, and the forum is becoming more and more of an ideologically possessed echo chamber, then my argument wouldn't be successful either. It would be a derail, and a logically pointless derail at that.

Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Nonsense, on the other hand, if you only appeal to Joe the plumber or some other uneducated schmuck on say Macroeconomics, I'm going to roll my eyes.
I haven't been linking to Joe the Plumber. back in the days when this was a skeptic forum there was a saying that went something like "there is no theory so bizarre that you can't find somebody with a PhD to support it". Scouring the Google for a study or two whose abstract seems to agree with you is not a good way to find out the truth.
shuttlt is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 05:51 PM   #259
shuttlt
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 7,314
Originally Posted by johnny karate View Post
If thereís been no evidence that itís occurred, why would it be wrong to therefore believe that it did not occur?
There is a difference between saying "I don't think it occurred" and saying "it didn't occur", or "it's been debunked". Also, it isn't true that there is "no evidence". The evidence just isn't conclusive.
shuttlt is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 05:54 PM   #260
shuttlt
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 7,314
Originally Posted by dirtywick View Post
I suppose itís as ideologically obsessed as relying on mathematical calculations nobody has ever heard of because someone on the internet is referencing them to tell you what you want to hear.
Indeed. I've been aware of Benford's law for several years, I can't speak for the rest of you. It's one of those interesting and surprising bits of maths like the Monty Hall Problem that one remembers because of how unexpected it is.
shuttlt is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 05:55 PM   #261
shuttlt
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 7,314
Originally Posted by ServiceSoon View Post
And the definition of a word by one of the many official trustworthy institutions has been altered the day after a Supreme Court candidate used said word during an interview. The phrase which best describes this phenomena is Ďinformation war.í
What annoys me is that my first instinct is still to trust these sources, then something causes me to catch myself and I check and they've tricked me again.
shuttlt is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 05:59 PM   #262
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 27,101
Originally Posted by shuttlt View Post
Unpack the logic here. If I am wrong and the forum is truly skeptical, then of course my evidence will fall short. If I am right, and the forum is becoming more and more of an ideologically possessed echo chamber, then my argument wouldn't be successful either. It would be a derail, and a logically pointless derail at that.
True. And you can always cling to that because people aren't buying your arguments. Sounds like an excuse to me.

Originally Posted by shuttlt View Post
I haven't been linking to Joe the Plumber. back in the days when this was a skeptic forum there was a saying that went something like "there is no theory so bizarre that you can't find somebody with a PhD to support it". Scouring the Google for a study or two whose abstract seems to agree with you is not a good way to find out the truth.
Maybe you can. But that doesn't mean the arguments are cogent. You can always find sellouts to deny global warming or to make a nonsense economics argument. I agree. But rarely do you get very many individuals to sacrifice their credibility so they are rarely more than a small minority.
__________________
Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get to me.
.
acbytesla is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 06:00 PM   #263
shuttlt
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 7,314
Originally Posted by dirtywick View Post
Iíll be honest Iíve never heard of Benfords law. But if Benfords law indicates a fraudulent election, but you are unable to identify any fraud of any sort and the only indication that it was fraudulent was that Benfords law said so, maybe Benfords law isnít very good at identifying election fraud.
Typically you would have to do some kind of investigation to identify the specific nature of the fraud/error/whatever. It is quite hard based on pure election numbers to identify such specifics. That's why you do manual recounts, and check what ever documentation and witnesses exist, as was done to varying degrees by Clinton, Gore and Nixon just off the top of my head.
shuttlt is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 06:02 PM   #264
dirtywick
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,476
Originally Posted by shuttlt View Post
Typically you would have to do some kind of investigation to identify the specific nature of the fraud/error/whatever. It is quite hard based on pure election numbers to identify such specifics. That's why you do manual recounts, and check what ever documentation and witnesses exist, as was done to varying degrees by Clinton, Gore and Nixon just off the top of my head.
Did Benfords law indicate fraud in any of those cases? Has it ever been used to predict fraud successfully?
dirtywick is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 06:05 PM   #265
shuttlt
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 7,314
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Maybe you can. But that doesn't mean the arguments are cogent. You can always find sellouts to deny global warming or to make a nonsense economics argument. I agree. But rarely do you get very many individuals to sacrifice their credibility so they are rarely more than a small minority.
Sure, which is why relying on one or two studies that happen to appear to agree with you out of a great number in a field that, I presume, you aren't familiar with is foolish. It's not as if arguing against some aspect of or use of Benford's law has the same political baggage as arguing against Global Warming regardless of the merits, so I don't think your analogy holds.
shuttlt is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 06:08 PM   #266
shuttlt
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 7,314
Originally Posted by dirtywick View Post
Did Benfords law indicate fraud in any of those cases? Has it ever been used to predict fraud successfully?
I don't think my argument relies on that being the case. Circumstantial indications of fraud would typically mean you would have to investigate to find out what if any fraud actually occurred. I believe that broadly similar arguments were made in the Nixon case as we are getting now and that some pretty huge irregularities were found when the ballots were recounted.

Last edited by shuttlt; 9th November 2020 at 06:09 PM.
shuttlt is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 06:09 PM   #267
BobTheCoward
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 19,969
Originally Posted by shuttlt View Post
Indeed. I've been aware of Benford's law for several years.
I've been aware only since rockin the suburbs.
BobTheCoward is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 06:12 PM   #268
TahiniBinShawarma
Muse
 
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 753
AG Barr Memo Voter Fraud Allegations

https://www.scribd.com/document/483624424/FILE-8000
TahiniBinShawarma is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 06:19 PM   #269
Segnosaur
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 16,340
Originally Posted by TahiniBinShawarma View Post
AG Barr Memo Voter Fraud Allegations

https://www.scribd.com/document/483624424/FILE-8000
Where exactly is Barr's actual allegations of Fraud?

Memo doesn't say that their was anything specific they were going to investigate. Just a catch-all "If we get evidence we will investigate".

For a lying sack of crud like Barr, that's pretty non-committal.
__________________
Trust me, I know what I'm doing. - Sledgehammer

I'm Mary Poppin's Y'all! - Yondu

We are Groot - Groot
Segnosaur is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 06:20 PM   #270
johnny karate
... and your little dog too.
 
johnny karate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 13,835
Originally Posted by shuttlt View Post
There is a difference between saying "I don't think it occurred" and saying "it didn't occur", or "it's been debunked". Also, it isn't true that there is "no evidence". The evidence just isn't conclusive.
Is it your position that there exists evidence of mass voter fraud?
johnny karate is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 06:24 PM   #271
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 27,101
Originally Posted by shuttlt View Post
Sure, which is why relying on one or two studies that happen to appear to agree with you out of a great number in a field that, I presume, you aren't familiar with is foolish. It's not as if arguing against some aspect of or use of Benford's law has the same political baggage as arguing against Global Warming regardless of the merits, so I don't think your analogy holds.
Frankly, I don't understand Benford's law.

Still, I remain highly skeptical of any mathematical model offered as evidence of fraud. At best you can say is that the results don't appear to follow a mathematical model and nothing else. I also know that people lie using numbers all the time.

In computer programming, we use the term GIGO.
__________________
Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get to me.
.
acbytesla is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 06:31 PM   #272
TahiniBinShawarma
Muse
 
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 753
Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Where exactly is Barr's actual allegations of Fraud?

Memo doesn't say that their was anything specific they were going to investigate. Just a catch-all "If we get evidence we will investigate".

For a lying sack of crud like Barr, that's pretty non-committal.
Haaaa. I copied and pasted the title of it, shouldn't have done that.
TahiniBinShawarma is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 06:32 PM   #273
Meadmaker
Penultimate Amazing
 
Meadmaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 23,823
I must admit the one thing I didn't think I would be doing when starting this thread is discussing mathematics of this sort.

I read a couple of things that confused me. shutit has been talking about the last digit of a set of numbers, and whether or not the distribution of it follows Benford's Law. I hadn't addressed it, but it struck me as very odd. Why would the last digit follow Benford's Law? I know why the first follows Benford's Law. I was puzzled thinking about the second digit, but I eventually figured out why it, too, would follow Benford's Law.

But why would the last digit follow Benford's Law? That makes no sense.....but I didn't want to say anything because I wasn't sure. Well, now I'm sure. The last digit of anything won't follow Benford's Law.


Benford's law "happens", because uniformly spaced digits are used to measure phenomenon with exponential characteristics. The "last digit" isn't exponential.

And, as it turns out, neither is the first digit of precinct data. If the probability that Joe Biden would score between 1 and 10 votes was equal to the probability that he would score between 10 and 100 votes, and that probability was equal to the probability he would score between 100 and 1000 votes, then the exact number of votes would follow Benford's Law. It isn't and it doesn't.
__________________
Yes, yes. I know you're right, but would it hurt you to actually provide some information?
Meadmaker is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 06:32 PM   #274
dirtywick
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,476
Originally Posted by shuttlt View Post
I don't think my argument relies on that being the case. Circumstantial indications of fraud would typically mean you would have to investigate to find out what if any fraud actually occurred. I believe that broadly similar arguments were made in the Nixon case as we are getting now and that some pretty huge irregularities were found when the ballots were recounted.
Long way of saying no
dirtywick is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 06:33 PM   #275
shuttlt
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 7,314
Originally Posted by johnny karate View Post
Is it your position that there exists evidence of mass voter fraud?
Defends what you mean my "mass" and "voter fraud". There is at least as much evidence that something isn't right as there was before the recount in 1960 discovered mass "human frailty". Naturally prior to an investigation, it's circumstantial.
shuttlt is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 06:37 PM   #276
wareyin
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Georgia, USA
Posts: 8,081
Originally Posted by shuttlt View Post
Sure, which is why relying on one or two studies that happen to appear to agree with you out of a great number in a field that, I presume, you aren't familiar with is foolish. It's not as if arguing against some aspect of or use of Benford's law has the same political baggage as arguing against Global Warming regardless of the merits, so I don't think your analogy holds.
You keep claiming that the multiple studies presented which show Benfords Law does not apply to elections are somehow not representative of the consensus. Yet you've failed to bring one drop of evidence that vote counts do obey Benfords Law. Why not show us these many more studies that do agree with your take and show how wrong the, according to you, lone crank PhDs who wrote these papers are?
wareyin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 06:38 PM   #277
shuttlt
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 7,314
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Frankly, I don't understand Benford's law.

Still, I remain highly skeptical of any mathematical model offered as evidence of fraud. At best you can say is that the results don't appear to follow a mathematical model and nothing else. I also know that people lie using numbers all the time.

In computer programming, we use the term GIGO.
I'm aware of that. It seems to me that one reason to have some confidence here is that this technique has clearly seen quite a bit of use over a long period of time in other elections, hence it isn't something that has been plucked from nowhere just to defend trump. It doesn't really matter though, since I very much doubt that these mathematical arguments, regardless of how off the data is, will in and of themselves be accepted as proof of anything. At most they help open the door for an investigation.
shuttlt is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 06:39 PM   #278
Meadmaker
Penultimate Amazing
 
Meadmaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 23,823
Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Where exactly is Barr's actual allegations of Fraud?

Memo doesn't say that their was anything specific they were going to investigate. Just a catch-all "If we get evidence we will investigate".

For a lying sack of crud like Barr, that's pretty non-committal.
It seems like a fine memo to me. It authorizes field agents to investigate credible allegations of voter fraud. Well, that's good. However, it also notes that there will be specious allegations, and those should not be investigated.

In other words, if something looks suspicious, look into it. If it's just cranks complaining, ignore them.

No harm done, really.
__________________
Yes, yes. I know you're right, but would it hurt you to actually provide some information?
Meadmaker is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 06:39 PM   #279
No Other
Muse
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 556
Originally Posted by dirtywick View Post
Iíll be honest Iíve never heard of Benfords law. But if Benfords law indicates a fraudulent election, but you are unable to identify any fraud of any sort and the only indication that it was fraudulent was that Benfords law said so, maybe Benfords law isnít very good at identifying election fraud.
Benford's Law does not indicate a fraudulent election any more than an x-ray indicates a fracture. Both processes provide you with information in order to go to the next level of evaluation. Predetermined criteria will be applied to the added knowledge for scrutiny.
No Other is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 9th November 2020, 06:43 PM   #280
slyjoe
Master Poster
 
slyjoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Near Harmonica Virgins, AZ
Posts: 2,363
Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
It seems like a fine memo to me. It authorizes field agents to investigate credible allegations of voter fraud. Well, that's good. However, it also notes that there will be specious allegations, and those should not be investigated.

In other words, if something looks suspicious, look into it. If it's just cranks complaining, ignore them.

No harm done, really.
BS.

The DoJ has a long standing policy of not getting involved in elections, similar to their policy of not indicting sitting presidents.

So what happens today? Esper, who doesn't like the military involvement with protesters and called Trump out on it, is fired. He is replaced by a Trump yes-man, who has no problem with the Insurrection Act.

Then Barr has this memo allowing the federal DoJ to be involved in the election.
__________________
"You have done nothing to demonstrate an understanding of scientific methodology or modern skepticism, both of which are, by necessity, driven by the facts and evidence, not by preconceptions, and both of which are strengthened by, and rely upon, change." - Arkan Wolfshade
slyjoe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Closed Thread

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » USA Politics

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:55 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.