Purposeful Summaries – GracchusBabeuf

How to Armor Planes

It may seem counterintuitive, but armoring planes where they get shot doesn’t actually protect them. Or, more specifically, armoring based on where the surviving planes were shot is ineffective.

This problem was identified, famously, by the Royal Air Force in the second world war. Planes which survived combat were examined to disover where and how much they had been shot. This data was then used to armor the planes going forward. However, its critical flaw was its unintentional survivor bias in the data sample.

Critically, planes which are fatally shot will not be included in the data set. After all, it’s nearly impossible to collect this kind of data from a burning pile of scrap. These planes were shot in the places which first appeared to be “safe”. After all, none of the returning planes seemed to be getting shot at the base of the wing. Therefore, this faulty methodology caused the most critical parts of the planes to remain unprotected.

Ultimately, this example proves the dangers of a poorly conceived methodology. One must be careful that what first appears to make sense isn’t, in actuality, misleading.

Are Multivitamins Dangerous?

It may seem counterintuitive that multivitamin supplements are actually unhealthy, but research suggests that significant exceeding recommend levels for certain vitamins can have negative health effects. The common Prescence of fortified food puts frequent multivitamin consumers at risk of unwittingly exceeding the recommended dosage of iron and other vitamins.

This information is largely suppressed by the incredibly lucrative vitamin supplements industry and its political allies. Thus far, intervention against these companies by the Food and Drug Administration has been prevented by industry allies like senator Orrin Hatch.

Multivitamins still seem to have a useful purpose. According to federal health officials, people who are at risk of malnutrition (such as picky children) should take multivitamins. Yet, it seems that the safe application of multivitamin supplements would have far less sales than at present. Once again, it appears that the profit motive is stubbornly endangering public health, if only a little.

Paper or Plastic?

It may seem counterintuitive, but the paper industry could actually be carbon-negative, even after production and distribution. Paper, a renewable resource, must be harvest from trees that are grown for the purpose. This process sequesters carbon into the trees, which are turned into wood a paper for use.

It appears that the paper can actually decompose fairly quickly into methane in dumps under the right conditions, which is more harmful than regular co2. However, other types of paper like newsprint hold up better for this purpose. Additionally, the wood produced from this tends to stay around for long periods of time, especially when it is used in building.

While a far cry from a perfect solution to climate change, the paper and wood industries at least seem worth pursuing. Notably, they seem to be far less destructive than advertised in the last twenty years or so. Many an electric hand dryer company pitched its loud and frequently ineffective product on its environmental superiority to paper. Perhaps this was never the case.

About gracchusbabeuf

French journalist for "Le tribun du peuple".
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4 Responses to Purposeful Summaries – GracchusBabeuf

  1. davidbdale says:

    Nearly perfect Purposeful Summaries, GB. A few spots where the claims could be slightly tweaked, a few convoluted phrasings that distract from intelligibility, and an insistence on incorrectly placing periods and commas outside the close quotation marks are the only quibbles I have.


    • gracchusbabeuf says:

      Thank you as always for the feedback. I will work on better adhering to American english punctuation rules! It seems I have been unable to drop the British conventions I picked up during my years abroad. I had it drilled into my brain earlier in my undergraduate not to place punctuation inside quotation marks (unless the quoted material itself included a period, or as they called it, a “full stop”).


      • davidbdale says:

        Understandable, but we fought a Revolution over these periods and commas, so. . . .


        • gracchusbabeuf says:

          I seem to recall it was Noah Webster, armed with his prototype of the blue-backed speller, who personally drove the entire English army into the sea. Famously, it was said that the battle started over an argument with an English soldier over the proper spelling of “defense”.

          Liked by 1 person

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