MarginOfError

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MarginOfError last won the day on December 6 2020

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About MarginOfError

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    So Mormon...You Don't Even Know.

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  1. MarginOfError

    The Holy War

    I do believe that was what you meant to say.
  2. MarginOfError

    The Deaf culture phenomenon - insights?

    We had a Deaf member in our ward for a time. I enjoyed a number of conversations with him on this topic while reading his dissertation (about improving education of Deaf individuals) and helping him prepare statistical methods and analyses. It was very much an empathy developing experience for me. Some of the things I learned from him Deaf culture is very much a thing. This is because language and culture are intertwined. Their culture affects their language and their language affects their culture. For many living in Deaf culture, receiving cochlear implants is akin to rejecting a part of the culture (I'm not interested in debating if this is rational or fair, especially among adults. I insist, however, in recognizing that it is how many in the Deaf community feel). Receiving cochlear implants would be somewhat similar to a person in a very strict and orthodox Mennonite community opting to join a less restrictive community that permits the use of light bulbs. It may seem to us outsiders that not much has changed, and that life should now be easier with light bulbs instead of candles--but the original community feels a sense of rejection and loss. In addition to that cultural aspect, Deaf culture is also on very high alert. For most of human history, deafness has been considered a burden and limitation. We've typically spent more time trying to correct and/or ignore the problem than we have addressing it. In the not-so-distant past, we sent deaf kids to "special schools." These weren't really schools, though. They were often more like asylums, hiding an inconvenient problem. In many, sign language was banned, and lip reading was required. Abuse was rampant, frequently unchecked. And because Deaf people were easily dismissed as damaged and unintelligent, their complaints often went unaddressed. Deaf culture views attempts to "normalize" them into the hearing world as a step back toward those more abusive days. Another really important aspect of their hesitancy is developmental. Humans develop a sense of language between 18 and 36 months of age. When I say this, I mean that language is more than just words and grammar. It's the entire sense of building meaning through the use of sounds, gestures, and shared representations. For deaf children, pushing for cochlear implants, or lip reading, or other things that make it easier for non-deaf people to communicate with the child stunts their development of language. If my friends research taught me anything, it was that deaf kids who learn ASL first do better in almost all aspects of life, but especially in language and communication. And it is because, in those developmental months, they are able to develop language, instead of just words. Lastly, and I think this is probably the hardest one for the hearing to understand, is that being able to hear offers very little in the way of improving their quality of life. For a deaf individual, being able to hear doesn't make it easier to communicate; it actually makes it somewhat harder. Remember, ASL is not English. So as soon as you put that implant in, they are bombarded in a foreign language and culture. All of a sudden, subtleties in pronunciation and tone convey a very complex array of meanings that we have spent a lifetime developing and interpreting. On to of that, the feedback loop isn't very good, because implants might make hearing possible, but it doesn't make it perfect. My friend said that, on a good day, he could make sense of about half of what anyone was saying to him. He had to rely on context and visual communication to fill in the rest. In short, the implant didn't make it easier for him to communicate to the hearing, it only made it easier for the hearing to communicate with him. I should probably stop here, but some other minor points might be of interest. Given the inefficiency of implants in adults, it is tempting to think that the earlier you can place an implant, the better. But remember, children need to develop a sense of language before they can learn to communicate concepts effectively. And communicating concepts about how well you can hear and distinguish sounds is a pretty abstract concept. How does one with no hearing background perceive the difference between the 'sh' in should and the 'zh' sound in azure? The more time we make a child focus on what they hear, the less time and energy they will spend on language. And very importantly, written communication is a poor substitute for the deaf. English is not their primary language. When they try to write and/or read English, they are communicating in their second language. Asking a deaf person to communicate via writing is like providing a Portuguese interpreter to a Spanish speaker. They will get the gist, but they may miss some of the details. As an exercise, try imagining a language without articles (the, a, an). How do you communicate the difference between "the cat" and "a cat?" Now, there are lots of spoken languages in the world that do this (many Slavic languages lack articles) and native speakers are quite adept at picking up the difference from context. ASL works the same way. So anyway, there are a number of cultural influences in the Deaf community that make many of them hesitant toward implants. Some may be more valid than others, but I think it is a big mistake to dismiss those influences simply because we don't understand them. And that may be the biggest contributor to their hesitancy: often, it feels like the hearing don't want to understand the Deaf--they just want the Deaf to be more like the hearing
  3. MarginOfError

    Ward building spring cleaning - help!

    https://vanguardscouting.org/religious-awards/
  4. MarginOfError

    Ward building spring cleaning - help!

    yes. Most of the religious emblems for adults are worn around the neck. The On my Honor adult award was around the neck, and the new award for LDS scouts is also a pin for youth and a medallion around the neck for adults.
  5. MarginOfError

    Ward building spring cleaning - help!

    I'll buy the Faith in God and On my Honor medals from you. My younger daughter finished the Faith in God award just before they discontinued its use in Scouts. Even so, at the time there was no award for it other than the certificate in the back of the book (pretty lame, if you ask me). It'd be nice to give her _something_ to acknowledge the award. The On My Honor award (top middle) is one that I earned as a youth. I still wear it on formal occasions, because I was never eligible to earn it as an adult. It'd be nice to have a spare in case mine wears out. Send me a message if you still have them.
  6. MarginOfError

    Banned Members

    I've always fancied myself more of a purple-commie
  7. MarginOfError

    BYU Hawaii - vaccine required

    I've not bothered to read most of the thread, but happened to see this in my notifications. You're right that putting it in terms of life expectancy is kind of silly. It is a little alarming, but only in the sense that if only old people are dying, life expectancy shouldn't drop that much. To get a big drop in life expectancy, you'd need a significant number of young people to die. But life expectancy doesn't mean much compared between two adjacent years. It's a metric that has more meaning as a long term trend. A more meaningful way to look at it is-- and I'll do so without looking up the reference-- but the CDC's preliminary report on 2020 mortality estimated a 15% increase in total mortality in 2020 compared to 2019. That's a pretty big jump. Especially considering that most causes of death saw lower numbers. For instance, automobile deaths were something like half of what they usually are (at least through July; I stopped paying attention after that). For a different way to look at it, the current estimate for COVID deaths is 618,000. Certainly there's some wiggle in that number depending on differences of "died of" vs "died with", but let's go ahead and assume that, generally speaking, most of those deaths are related to complications from COVID and round it down to 600,000. The estimated US population is about 331.5 million. numerator, meet denominator and you get 0.18% of the population has died of complications from COVID. In other words, a little bit shy of 2 out of every 1,000 people. Okay, I looked this one up, because I was curious. Leading causes of death in the U.S. (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm) COVID would take 3rd place on that list in 2020. It was pretty bad.
  8. MarginOfError

    Banned Members

    Speaking of Banned Members...I'm back! Probably only briefly though. I'm mostly only here because I'm in desperate need of escapism at the moment. I could probably say more on this than anyone cares to, but I'll go brief. I'll also be lazy and not bother putting together sources or references. (See previous comment about escapism) Simply put, under my advisement--after having read a news article and spoken to all our nursing mothers-- I convinced my previous bishop to establish a practice of the young women passing the sacrament in our ward. It was limited in scope to exactly one of them sitting in the foyer, taking the tray from whoever came out, and then walking it into the mother's lounge (we had 7 children born in the span of about four months, the mother's lounge was constantly occupied). The only complaint I ever encountered was that "women can't administer the sacrament." So I pulled out D&C 20: something and showed them where it said that neither Deacons nor Teachers were authorized to administer the sacrament. Therefore, preparing and passing the sacrament must not be "administering the sacrament." The section of the handbook which Colirio cites mentions priesthood holders passing, but that isn't a doctrinal limitation and could be changed relatively easily. That was really the only obstacle, which we dismissed with the fact that the women being served had a clear preference for a young women coming into the room over a young man. As described by someone else, the issue with the missionaries holding Sacrament on a Wednesday really isn't that the sisters helped to pass, it's that the missionaries authorized themselves to do it. They just don't have the authority to do that.
  9. MarginOfError

    Liberal Ideas Creeping In

    Some of these are fair criticisms. Adjusting the federal numbers up to 3700 per month and reducing the taxes to 5% (about 11% to federal and 4% to state/local) changes the monthly unused income to $489 per month. That $30,000 downpayment becomes accessible in just over five years. But with the caveat that transportation still isn't included in that value. And the caveat that the home price is still the typical value in the area I live in, which a fairly low cost of living area. The urban area 30 minutes north of me shows 2BR/1Bath houses starting around the $125k point. By comparison, this (admittedly cherry picked) 2BR 1.5 Bath in the Salt Lake area going into foreclosure and marked as for sale is listed at $280k. Sidenote, regarding some other criticisms of using a 3BR house in my targets, I figured a young couple starting out and planning for their future might be interested in a 3BR house if they wanted to have four kids, which doesn't seem unreasonable for a mormon family. I apologize that this assumption wasn't expressly stated in my work. As another form of comparison, this Census report shows the 1970 median household income was $8,730 per year. This inflation calculator places that value at 59,506.2 in today's dollars. I'm struggling to find an individual income median for a direct comparison, but if we operate on the belief that single income families were more common in the upper income levels then than they are now, my gut check guess is that a single income family probably has the equivalent of $600 less monthly income now than it did in 1970. Which all goes back to the original point, that regardless of which numbers you use, a single income has less purchasing power today than it did 50 years ago. By extension, making ends meet and accomplishing financial goals is harder on a single income today than it was 50 years ago. It seems reasonable to think that families might be making different decisions with regard to who works and who doesn't that reflect some of that lost purchasing power. Things not relevant to the main point: - A 20% down payment may not be normal, but I'd argue that is another symptom of the problem. Best practice by financial experts, as far as I understand, still encourage the 20% down payment because it saves money due to PMI. More importantly, it demonstrates the ability to save money for the unexpected expenses that comes with the maintenance on a house. Statistically speaking, the lower percentage the downpayment, the higher the risk of failing to keep up with payments. (another really complicated discussion, I know) - Not saving for retirement while saving to purchase a house is, in my estimation, a catastrophic strategic error. If your employer offers a match, you should contribute at least enough to max out that benefit. Early savings are king in retirement, and starting five to six years earlier makes an enormous difference after 30 years of saving. So whether or not it is common, it's the practice that should be encouraged.
  10. MarginOfError

    Liberal Ideas Creeping In

    There's some hyperbole going on here, but I'll focus on your core point. The first thing I'll say is that I was actually a bit shocked in the 2017 Face-to-Face event with Elders Oaks and Ballard when Elder Oaks answered a question about a woman's priority for education vs. marriage. He spoke of his own mother, and how she needed to provide for her family after his father died. He made the point that she was blessed to be able to do so comfortably because she had completed her education. He then went on to state that while he did not support putting off getting married to complete an education, he did think there was a certain wisdom to waiting until her degree was completed before having children. Is it at all possible that the statements leaders make on this subject are colored by their own experiences? And might that be why so many of the statement stressing the importance of having mom in the home are so blasted old? Regardless, in more cases than you might think, the choice of whether a woman works or not is practical. Let's look at the state of affairs at present: Let's look at what it takes to buy a three bedroom home. In my area, which is fairly low cost of living, the BR houses are running at about $150,000. Let's make the goal to save enough for a 20% down payment. The following numbers breakdown what the financial situation is for a single income family with three mouths to feed. At the median income, it would take 15 years to build up that down payment. And that doesn't include costs of gasoline, car payments, or even fast offering. The hard reality is that, given current wages and market forces, if a couple wants to build financial stability and self reliance, there aren't a lot of options. And they really boil down to 1. Get a job that pays well above the median (not always within your control) 2. Move to a lower cost of living area (where gainful employment is often harder to come by--I live in such an area and unemployment here is high) 3. A combination of 2 and 3 4. Become a two income family (provided the second income can offset the cost of child care) Keep in mind that these values represent the median. By definition, half of wage earners are unable to meet even these metrics. So it would seem to me that unless we are going to increase single earner wages dramatically, the ideal of women not pursuing careers seems to be a ship that has sailed, crashed into an iceberg, and sunk. Perhaps we should give these families a break. Are there people out there that are putting off family for the sake of building wealth? Absolutely. I'm not going to deny that one bit. But that is often a completely separate issue from whether the woman is working or not. [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_income_in_the_United_States#:~:text=The Bureau of Labor Statistics,sex%2C ethnicity and educational characteristics [2] https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/KY/INC110218 [3] https://worldpopulationreview.com/state-rankings/average-rent-by-state [4] https://www.valuepenguin.com/average-household-budget [5] Estimated on the same proportion as monthly income between U.S. and my state. [6] https://www.nationwide.com/lc/resources/personal-finance/articles/average-cost-of-utilities [7] https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/09/07/wscs-10-least-expensive-states/15075077/#:~:text=Kentucky&text=Numbeo estimates the average cost,restaurant at only around %248. [8] http://www.oecd.org/tax/tax-policy/taxing-wages-united-states.pdf [9] Assuming 6% as it would be the minimum to max out most common employer matches [10] Assuming a home of $150,000, which is common for a 3BR home in my low cost of living area.
  11. MarginOfError

    Liberal Ideas Creeping In

    You're more or less demonstrating my point. It's pretty hard to make an argument against the interpretation of equal partners not being the same as equal responsibilities. It's also hard to make an argument against equal partners and equal responsibilities. It really depends on how you feel about the transitive property, on which the Family Proclamation is pretty silent. And I find your comment about "problem causer vs problem solver" to be rather amusing. I mean, the entirety of our standard works create more problems then they answer. It's one of the strongest similarities the Family Proclamation has to scripture. And just as there are people that will fixate one one phrase to justify a woman working out of the home, there are others that will hyper focus on the mother's primary responsibility to the detriment of their family. I am personally familiar with a family where the husband, unable to hold a job and at times physically unable to work refused to let his wife get a job because "if we follow the counsel of the prophets, we will be blessed." Without going into the details, you'll just have to take my word for it that it was tantamount to spiritual abuse. The abuses of these things go in all sorts of directions.
  12. MarginOfError

    The election

    Meh, it happens. In fairness, there are some in the conservative circles that are claiming it isn't _really_ done, because the House _could_ choose not to certify that electoral college. The House won't vote on that until 6 Jan, I believe. Rejecting the electoral vote, if I understand correctly, would require a sponsor in the House and in the Senate, as well as majority votes in both chambers. So doesn't seem likely, but the most DedicatedToTheCause (TM) are saying that's the only vote that matters. Of course, most of them were saying the Electoral College vote was the only one that mattered when they thought they would see swing states with Republican legislatures send their own electors. Seems like the "what really matters" goal posts keep moving....
  13. MarginOfError

    Liberal Ideas Creeping In

    Like or hate it, the above ^^^ statement still exists. Like it or hate it, the statement "In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners." still exists. Like it or hate it, the Family Proclamation is quite ambiguous and doesn't answer nearly as many questions as it creates, and is open to a wide array of interpretations. I tend to agree with @JaneDoe, and let families and individuals strive to make decisions that best suit their own and their families' needs.
  14. MarginOfError

    The election

    Point of order, the Electoral College cast their votes yesterday. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/mcconnell-senate-republicans-biden-president-elect-electoral-college Doesn't seem inappropriate to acknowledge Mr. Biden as the President-elect. Even Senator McConnell has done so at this point.
  15. MarginOfError

    I think I just lost my kid in the Church

    You'd agree with me more often if you wanted to be right about things. This happens to be an area in which I have a lot of experience, being over 15 years into my own faith crisis.