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Offline Windigo

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Interesting Theories...
« on: February 10, 2014, 02:39:50 PM »
Mounting evidence links lead's toxic effects to criminal behavior
February 5th, 2014 in Other Sciences / Social Sciences


When crime rates drop, politicians like to give themselves pats on the back for being "tough on crime." But a new theory explaining why violence has declined across the country since the 1990s is gaining credence, and it has nothing to do with the criminal justice system. An article in Chemical & Engineering News details the mounting data that suggests taking lead out of gas and paint has played a critical role.

Lauren K. Wolf, associate editor at C&EN, explains that violent crimes had reached an all-time high in the U.S. in the early '90s. But by the end of the decade, the homicide rate had plummeted by more than 40 percent. Multiple theories were batted around to explain the drop, from the mundane to the controversial. Was it due to an increase in police presence? Did the legalization of abortion lead to fewer unwanted babies who would grow into crime-prone adults? Recently, a new argument implicating lead exposure has gained prominence.
 
The article points out that lead, the once-ubiquitous heavy metal, spewed from car exhaust and coated building walls until it was banned from gasoline and paint in the early 1970s. Babies born post-ban were exposed to far less lead. Twenty years on, those babies became young adults who committed fewer crimes than their predecessors. Like an intricate puzzle, pieces of evidence from across disciplines—epidemiology, neurology, sociology, medicine and environmental science—are now interlocking and creating a fascinating portrait of how lead affects the mind, including lowering IQ, and causing attention problems and antisocial tendencies.

 More information: "The Crimes of Lead" cen.acs.org/articles/92/i5/Crimes-Lead.html


Provided by American Chemical Society



"Mounting evidence links lead's toxic effects to criminal behavior." February 5th, 2014. http://phys.org/news/2014-02-mounting-evidence-links-toxic-effects.html
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Offline Gusington

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Re: Interesting Theories...
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2014, 06:53:37 PM »
I have always thought it has more to do with 'bread & games.' Tech has advanced enough so people can be entertained anywhere, anytime, and if they choose, never have to leave their rooms to be entertained. Less boredom = less crime.
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Offline eyebiter

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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2014, 07:16:16 PM »
.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2014, 04:13:09 AM by eyebiter »

Offline Mr. Bigglesworth

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Re: Interesting Theories...
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2014, 12:21:56 AM »
The lead vs 3 strikes theories should be easy to resolve. 3 strikes was in the US, lead removal was probably in all western countries. So was the same drop happening in other countries?
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Offline MikeGER

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Re: Interesting Theories...
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2014, 01:18:46 AM »
  its not the lead! :P

new theory:
Abstract:
Its the upcoming of interactive computer games  ;D (especially wargames ;)) which crossed in the 90ies the threshold to delivering a sufficient level of immersion, so aggressive stimuli coming up from "the It" (picking a Freudian approach) could be acted out in a virtual environment before 'the anger' summed up to get trigger by real life events and set free to result in spontaneous violent acts.

In addition the success and rewards gained in the virtual world and victories over real existing persons in multiplayer games helped individual, who had actually not much success in their real life to cope with that situation for a longer time, so that eventually a personal time of crisis may have gotten overcome without social abnormality, beside excessive gaming and escapism to be witnessed by the society   
And so their threshold of unhappiness and anger didn't reached the level where a crime to change the situation get considered as a spontaneous solution to change the ongoing unsatisfying life situation   

Now hand me over the PhD (honorary) of social sciences ;D   
« Last Edit: February 11, 2014, 01:22:25 AM by MikeGER »

Offline Barthheart

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Re: Interesting Theories...
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2014, 04:46:37 AM »
No, no, you all have it wrong.

The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime
Quote
We offer evidence that legalized abortion has contributed significantly to recent crime reductions. Crime began to fall roughly 18 years after abortion legalization. The 5 states that allowed abortion in 1970 experienced declines earlier than the rest of the nation, which legalized in 1973 with Roe v. Wade. States with high abortion rates in the 1970s and 1980s experienced greater crime reductions in the 1990s. In high abortion states, only arrests of those born after abortion legalization fall relative to low abortion states. Legalized abortion appears to account for as much as 50 percent of the recent drop in crime.

www.nber.org/papers/w8004

Offline Gusington

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Re: Interesting Theories...
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2014, 07:08:51 AM »
Harsh, but I like that last one.
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Offline Windigo

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Re: Interesting Theories...
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2014, 09:05:30 AM »
  its not the lead! :P

new theory:
Abstract:
Its the upcoming of interactive computer games  ;D (especially wargames ;)) which crossed in the 90ies the threshold to delivering a sufficient level of immersion, so aggressive stimuli coming up from "the It" (picking a Freudian approach) could be acted out in a virtual environment before 'the anger' summed up to get trigger by real life events and set free to result in spontaneous violent acts.

In addition the success and rewards gained in the virtual world and victories over real existing persons in multiplayer games helped individual, who had actually not much success in their real life to cope with that situation for a longer time, so that eventually a personal time of crisis may have gotten overcome without social abnormality, beside excessive gaming and escapism to be witnessed by the society   
And so their threshold of unhappiness and anger didn't reached the level where a crime to change the situation get considered as a spontaneous solution to change the ongoing unsatisfying life situation   

Now hand me over the PhD (honorary) of social sciences ;D

not bad Herr Doktor... but thats a Master's Thesis... your PhD is in Community Level Dipomacy
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Offline airboy

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Re: Interesting Theories...
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2014, 03:18:33 PM »
The problem is correlation is not causality.  Take any major change.  Then see what other changes occured at the same time.  Pick one that is interesting - and go to town.

For causation you must have:
1] Correlation
2] Correct time order of effect
3] Logical explantion
4] Ability to rule out other explanations.
4a] #4 means for all practical purposes that you need to have replication

In almost all social science - at best you get 1, 2, and 3.  Generally, only the physical sciences can give you 1-4.  Take two really easy situations:
- price goes up, and all other things being equal quantity demanded falls.
- continued cigarette consumption cuts your life expectancy

Both of these are true, and have been shown over and over again.  Yet both of these cannot be perfectly tested to rule out all other possible explanations.  Even when shown to be true, over long periods of time, and over 1000s of tests, you will still have people who deny the obvious because they can come up with reasons why the finding may not be true.

In contrast, mammels must breathe oxygen to survive.  Testible, can be replicated, can rule out all other factors.

I have an applied theory of science paper that is currently under review at a major journal in my field.  I recently reviewed first principles in the advancement of knowledge.  Determining causality with even a reasonable level of doubt (say cigarette consumption's impact on human lifespan) of human behavior is quite challenging.

Offline bayonetbrant

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Re: Interesting Theories...
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2014, 03:28:14 PM »
and don't forget the issue of only predicting a certain percentage of the variance in a particular factor, even with all other things being equal.  :)
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Offline GDS_Starfury

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Re: Interesting Theories...
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2014, 05:04:51 PM »
Boobies
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Offline Staggerwing

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Re: Interesting Theories...
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2014, 05:22:21 PM »
Quick, apply for a grant!
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Offline Jack Nastyface

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Re: Interesting Theories...
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2014, 09:02:51 AM »
Sorry, but I tend to agree with the arguement about lead and criminal behaviour.  I am pretty much the ONLY surviving member of the group of guys I played minis games with back in the eighties.  All the rest are dead -Most died violently in gunfights with police, though some were shanked for their irrational and dangerous behaviour by fellow prison inmates.  Looking back on it now, I should have seen the signs:  hours of painting lead miniatures soon lead to petty crime (stealing penthouse magazine from the local 7-11), which of course led to greater crimes: grand theft auto, B&E, smuggling illegal immigrants, etc.
To confirm the study...I just checked on facebook.  All the people I knew who ONLY played paper-and-pen D&D (no miniatures) are alive and well and living in Oakridge.

Science never lies.

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« Last Edit: February 13, 2014, 09:32:39 AM by Jack Nastyface »
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Offline Windigo

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Re: Interesting Theories...
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2014, 11:56:39 AM »
Science also allows for competing theories to coexist.. until one proves more correct
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Offline Windigo

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Re: Interesting Theories...
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2014, 12:17:11 PM »
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2200572

Abstract:       

Levelized costs of electricity (LCOE) are a common metric for comparing power generating technologies. However, there is qualified criticism particularly towards evaluating variable renewables like wind and solar power based on LCOE because it ignores integration costs that occur at the system level. In this paper we propose a new measure System LCOE as the sum of generation and integration costs per unit of VRE. For this purpose we develop a conclusive definition of integration costs. Furthermore we decompose integration costs into different cost components and draw conclusions for integration options like transmission grids and energy storage. System LCOE are quantified from a power system model and a literature review. We find that at moderate wind shares (~20%) integration costs can be in the same range as generation costs of wind power and conventional plants. Integration costs further increase with growing wind shares. We conclude that integration costs can become an economic barrier to deploying VRE at high shares. This implies that an economic evaluation of VRE must not neglect integration costs. A pure LCOE comparison would significantly underestimate the costs of VRE at high shares. System LCOE give a framework of how to consistently account for integration costs and thus guide policy makers and system planers in designing a cost-efficient power system.
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My wife insists that it says dyslexia but what does she know.