Saturday, June 25, 2022 |
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On sample sizes
Janice Kerr, in a letter published in the Jan. 11 issue of West Hawaii Today, takes issue with the sample size of the “Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau” survey stating it was “infinitesimally small.” Choosing statistically valid sample sizes is well-known to statisticians like those employed by Omnitrak and there are very concrete formulas for choosing a sample size with a specified confidence level and margin of error.
For example, if you want a confidence level of 95% with a margin of error of plus or minus 3% and you have a population of 201,500, statistical science says you should have a random sample of 1,062 from that population, a number reasonably close to the 1,011 she takes issue with.
Doing surveys correctly is very complicated, e.g., coming up with nonbiased questions, ensuring the sample is reflective of the population, etc., however it doesn’t appear Omnitrak, the firm that performed the survey, made a beginner’s mistake in choosing the sample size.
You can’t put it back in
Possession is nine points of the law. The sewer fees that the county collected from the Alii Drive property are like the toothpaste that came out of the tube — you can’t put it back in. Is this an Environmental Management Commissioner’s duty? The property owners can try another tactic. They can pay only what they think they owe. The balance will be carried forward until the county takes them to court. Then the judges will decide.
Lies can lead to violence. Then, more lies are needed to justify or cover up the violence. And then, more violence is justified by those lies. It is an inward spiral that leads downward to chaos.
Further, lies can create a kind of alternate reality — a dream world in which the true believer wills to live in spite of all evidence to the contrary, certain that eventually his beliefs will be proved correct. Until then, the believer battens down the hatches and defends his beliefs from the assailing storms.
Who can come to his rescue and prove his dream world is the real one? Only a great man or woman, a hero who shares the believer’s vision and can make the world bend to the shape of the dream. “Only I can fix it!”
Hence, the Big Lie.
President Trump is a winner. He always wins. He couldn’t have lost a free and fair election. Therefore, the election must have been riddled with fraud by the opposition. No other possibility exists.
President Trump can’t be a loser. We must do whatever is necessary to show he is a winner. He is the victim of a nefarious plot that will eventually be revealed, but we already know it is true. It has to be true because, if it isn’t, we will have been wrong all along and that is unthinkable. Impossible.
It is really amazing how arrogant, insistent, and blind to reality the other side is. They are almost pitiful, if they weren’t so dangerous. But everything must be done to preserve the dream.
When Trump is finally installed as president again, he will make the dream true. Such is the conviction of the true believers. It was this that drove them to the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
And it still drives them today. The relentless quest, a true crusade to validate the dream.
Whose reality is correct? Is it ultimately a matter of time or of truth?
Letters to the editor should be 300 words or less and will be edited for style and grammar. Longer viewpoint guest columns may not exceed 800 words. Submit online at /?p=118321, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or address them to:
Editor | West Hawaii Today
PO Box 789
Kailua-Kona, HI 96745