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More Sex is Safer sex. . .

Excellent Article on the economics of sex. . .




( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 9th, 2007 08:39 pm (UTC)
Can he be serious? So people who err on the side of caution should throw caution to the wind and willy-nilly choose to put themselves at greater risk so a slut or two doesn't get infected today but tomorrow instead?

That's what I'm reading. And it doesn't make sense. Run a red light so you die instead of me. I'll choose to stop when it says stop....but you better f-ing keep going so I don't have to choose to die today.

Doesn't compute. But then I prefer to be safe...learned quickly the dangers of easing up on those safe and conservative reins. Yup. I don't wanna die. I guess......any volunteers? Ya wanna give up your safe lifestyle so you die instead of someone else?
Jul. 9th, 2007 08:42 pm (UTC)
I'm sensing a knee jerk reaction and a skimming of the article rather than an exercise in reading comprehension. . .

Jul. 9th, 2007 08:44 pm (UTC)
No I read it. But his writing is completely un-scientific and full of speculation, which does usually produce in me the knee-jerk reaction of 'wtf?' or hearty guffaws.
Jul. 9th, 2007 08:56 pm (UTC)
of course it's un-scientific and speculation. It's a economic theory paper written by Steven Landsburg, Professor of Economics at univeristy of rochester. And addresses nothing but the economics of sexual transaction. Looking at overall numbers, the effects of abstaining from sexual activity on the overall population, tying in the potential risks and rewards for participating in sex, the benefits of enjoying sex and having more sex as a society, as well as the lack of payoff or reward for using condoms and potential ways to make the use of condoms rewarding.

Jul. 9th, 2007 09:05 pm (UTC)
I can't take it at all seriously when I repeatedly read things like that conservatives jumping into the permissive stream will make it purer. No, not anymore. They've become permissive. The quality is gone. Their risk increases and, subsequently, the risk of anyone else they encounter.

Or "If multiple partnerships save lives, then monogamy can be deadly." That's a HUGE statement to make when it's based on an imaginative world that has very little basis in fact except in undereducated, third-world populations. It's basically insanity to purport that.

Too much crazy speculation. His arguments are poorly thought-out and easily ripped to shreds. That's all. I thought it was a joke.
Jul. 9th, 2007 09:19 pm (UTC)
If you honestly think you are capable of ripping his arguement to shreds I'd suggest contacting him and doing so, he welcomes the opportunity, until then you fall into the category of readers

"Other readers seemed bound and determined to miss the point by miles."
Jul. 9th, 2007 10:06 pm (UTC)
No I'm just bound and determined not to be convinced by lack or logic or clear thinking or statistics.

I think Planned Parenthood and free contraception and condoms should be subsidised. I'm less conservative than you may think. But I'm also realistic and practical, which this article is not.

My contentions are much less emotional and more sensible than those of most of the people he quoted. So no, I don't fall into that category you and he want to put me in. I tried to see the point and any point in a theory that cannot be substantiated is pretty much open to immediate dismissal...imagination until proven theory. I mean, maybe theory papers in economics are handled differently than theories presented in other areas? But I don't think so. He's using diversion to cover the fact this paper is opinion and incredibly far from theory.

A commonly-accepted definition of a theory is, "a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena; theories can incorporate facts and laws and tested hypotheses."

He did none of these things: substantiate (well or otherwise), use an organized system of knowledge (accepted or otherwise)... or incorporate facts or laws or tested hypotheses. There are two ways to tell whether a theory or study is scientific and therefore whether it should be discarded or paid any heed. The first is whether it quotes substantive, verifiable studies done in a controlled environment, which he didn't do in any way. The second is whether it uses any statements of opinion, imagination, supposition or parable, which he does through the entire article.

No, I don't fall into that category of readers. I think, rather, that I'm too informed for him to pull the wool of his imagination over my eyes. If he presented fact, I'd be more likely to believe. Until then, it's entirely unbelievable. And the burden of proof belongs to the party making an assertion, kind of like in the justice system.

You invited discussion; I'm discussing rationally. Just because I disagree with him, you shut me off and say I'm bound and determined to miss the point by miles? That seems pretty closed-minded. I see his point; unfortunately, there's nothing to prove it.
Jul. 9th, 2007 10:35 pm (UTC)
From the Wikipedia Entry on Economics. . .
Is economics a science?
One of the marks of a science is the use of a scientific method and the ability to establish hypotheses and make predictions which can then be tested with data and where the results are repeatable and demonstrable to others when the same conditions are present. In a number of applied fields in economics experimentation has been conducted: this includes the sub-fields of experimental economics and consumer behavior, focused on experimentation using human subjects; and the sub-field of econometrics, focused on testing hypotheses when data are not generated via controlled experimentation. However, in a way similar to what happens in other social sciences, it may be difficult for economists to conduct certain formal experiments due to moral and practical issues involved with human subjects.

The status of social sciences as an empirical science has been a matter of debate in the 20th century, see Positivism dispute.[21] Some philosophers and scientists, most notably Karl Popper, have asserted that no empirical hypothesis, proposition, or theory can be considered scientific if no observation could be made which might contradict it, insisting on strict falsifiability. Critics allege that economics cannot always achieve Popperian falsifiability, but economists point to many examples of controlled experiments that do exactly this. [22][23][24]

While economics has produced theories that correlate with observations of behavior in society, economics yields no natural laws or universal constants due to its reliance on non-physical arguments. This has led some critics, like Dick Richardson, Ph.D., Professor of Integrative Biology at the University of Texas at Austin, to argue economics is not a science.[25] In general, economists reply that while this aspect may present serious difficulties, they do in fact test their hypotheses using statistical methods such as econometrics and data generated in the real world.[26] The field of experimental economics has seen efforts to test at least some predictions of economic theories in a simulated laboratory setting – an endeavor which earned Vernon Smith the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel in 2002.

Although the conventional way of connecting an economic model with the world is through econometric analysis, economist and professor Deirdre McCloskey, through what is known as the McCloskey critique, cites many examples in which professors of econometrics were able to use the same data to both prove and disprove the applicability of a model's conclusions. She argues the vast efforts expended by economists on analytical equations is essentially wasted effort. Econometricians have replied that this would be an objection to any science, and not only to economics. Critics of McCloskey's critique reply by saying, among other things, that she ignores examples where economic analysis is conclusive and that her claims are ilogical. [27]

You're appearing to be trying to frame his article based on a rigid definition of scientific fact, proofs and testing of and disproving a hypothesis. This only marginally works, from my admittedly fairly limited understanding of economic theory.

To me it appears, what he is writing, has less to do with cold hard fact and more to do with Game Theory, than the hard science definition of theory you are espousing.

[continued to do 4300 character posting limit]
Jul. 9th, 2007 10:35 pm (UTC)
You misunderstand, I’m not trying to shut you off, I do feel you are ignoring his (valid?) point, regarding the contribution of the publicly monogamous, privately plural lifestyle lived by so many people on the planet which has directly contributed to the spread of many sexually transmitted diseases. Yes In a perfect world (for some) everyone would be monogamous, have one sexual partner their entire life and there would be no disease everyone would have a fulfilling sex life and this wouldn’t be an issue at all.

As I haven’t read the full book, and am not fully able to answer your counterpoints, which is why I recommended contacting the man. I can understand that what he is saying is true according to my understanding of what he is saying, and I can understand, that real life seldom matches up to projections or what-if’s.
Jul. 10th, 2007 12:29 am (UTC)
ah yeah I'd definitely have to agree with your point about publicly monogamous, privately plural. In fact, the lies of such have had a direct impact on my life and many I know. People should be more honest with themselves and others but that's like saying global warming shouldn't be happening and is another topic altogether.
Jul. 9th, 2007 09:42 pm (UTC)
oh and...
"There is nothing---not one word---in the chapter you've just read or in the original Slate article that could provoke any reader to increased sexual-risk-taking behavior."

Hmmm...not on the immediate surface. But quickly evident is the danger presented by the failure rate of condoms, which he does not once address. And the level of risk goes up exponentially when that failure rate is considered, let alone when human error is. Condoms are no guarantee of immunity. So unless he's supporting the use of a magically 100% effective 100% of the time condom, there IS provocation to "increased sexual risk-taking behavior."

Because condoms are not a guarantee, particularly not against the AIDS virus, which is so very much smaller than sperm. Condoms, when used properly, sometimes fail at preventing pregancy (the liberal public school system is teaching this), even though sperm are larger (and therefore more trap-able) than the AIDS virus and even though the window of susceptibility to impregnation is only during ovulation. Whereas, the window of susceptibility to virus contraction is any time the virus is present.

So yes, diving into a polluted sexual pool, condom used or not, does increase sexual risk.
Jul. 9th, 2007 10:32 pm (UTC)
Never ask an epidemiologist to do your fiscal policy.

Never ask an economist to stop a cure AIDS.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )