* Posts by random mathematician

4 posts • joined 3 Nov 2018

British cops told to scrap 'discriminatory' algorithms in policing

random mathematician

Bias is self-perpetuating in lazy statistics

Don't be fooled by "what if this group really is more criminal" - apart from the main factor that others have mentioned, which is that socioeconomic factors are more predictive than race, you can easily envision how bias can set up a feedback loop.

Start with two groups, A and B, which actually have identical proportions of members who carry knives (or any other crime detectable by a search). Due to cultural bias, more people from group A are searched than from group B. Also due to bias, when charged, a greater proportion of members of group A are convicted than those from group B. Now take a look at the headline statistic of people convicted of knife offences - wow, people from group A are massively over-represented! We'd better make sure we focus our policing on them! Now not only do you have the support of those with (conscious or otherwise) bias against group A, you also have people with neither bias or the ability to properly check the validity of statistics.

Doom at 25: The FPS that wowed players, gummed up servers, and enraged admins

random mathematician

I am reliably informed that (and for legal reasons will maintain that I in no way have ever actually done) playing Doom in god mode with clipping off, just using the chainsaw whilst off your tits on acid is a really interesting experience.

Which scientist should be on the new £50 note? El Reg weighs in – and you should vote, too

random mathematician

What about the £100 note?

Don't worry about nobody ever seeing a £50, there will be far more of them around after next March, and not long afterwards we'll be asked who to put on the £100 note.

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