These are chat archives for FreeCodeCamp/DataScience
discussion on how we can use statistical methods to measure and improve the efficacy of http://freeCodeCamp.com
just in case you are interested, I am reviewing again previous theory:
mesmoiron sends brownie points to @evaristoc :sparkles: :thumbsup: :sparkles:
@mesmoiron : Much of the root cause is not only due to a real lack of opportunities for people struggling in poverty but also the lack of any real safety net for the jobless poor here in the US courtesy of Welfare Reform.
Even with new jobs being created, many Americans in deep poverty because of joblessness remain 100% shut out of the economy - especially the long-term unemployed over age 40.
And age discrimination impacts women and minorities much harder because of the sex and/or race discrimination that also impacted us resulting in opportunities denied (which translates to real deprivation of income and access to medical and dental care) throughout our lives before many of us got to be "too old" for anyone to deem us a "good fit" for being hired - regardless of how hard we worked at building skills or what we tried.
The life expectancy rate for America's poor (across all racial lines) has dropped to just age 60 since Welfare Reform. The life expectancy rate for the middle class and the affluent is age 80.
Pulitzer prize winning journalist Christopher Hedges recently debated former US Labor Secretary Robert Reich on Democracy Now! and he talked extensively about the appalling conditions of poverty (not just for people of color but also whites, too - the majority of the people who are among the ranks of the jobless poor and/or homeless in the US are white).
And if anyone were interested in a data-gathering project, try counting the number of people in tent cities who are over age 40 that ended up losing everything and becoming homeless because of not getting hired/re-hired (and often also getting hit with the double whammy of a major health crisis while unemployed, too) despite having "re-tooled" and learning new skills. Age discrimination (as well as sex and race discrimination and deeply entrenched classism) is a huge problem and the burden is unfairly placed 100% on the victims instead of on those who are the gatekeepers who are doing the discriminating in hiring. (And the "winners" who are able to leverage their privileges (white, male young, and middle class/rich) to get all the good jobs and other economic opportunities certainly aren't sharing their paychecks with those who lost out to them who are being shut out and sent away poor and empty-handed with no job opportunities. Society's "winners" have no sense of noblesse oblige here in the US.)
Being sent away poor and empty-handed with no job due to age or any other kind of discrimination -> no way to provide for your basic living needs.
Before Welfare Reform, we had a way of counting the number of people in poverty that were shut out of opportunity. But now we only have morgue and prison stats. To the best of my knowledge, no one is attempting to count the number of destitute people struggling for their lives in "tent cities" - they would rather the poor and homeless just not be seen or heard.
I am personally against the idea of maintaining a status quo of no real safety net for the jobless poor and having only a patch-work of NGOs/charities as the only safety net and as the only poverty alleviation solution. The charity/NGO model is not working for helping the poor up onto their feet and lifting them out of poverty because the problem (and its symptoms) is systemic and structural.
Most desperately poor people in dire need are turned away and NOT helped with what they need: incomes and medical care - hence a burgeoning homelessness and poverty problem that is not getting better for those who've been economically pushed out and who remain shut out of the job market due to age discrimination. (But charity execs and paid staff sure always seem to get paid and have health benefits.)
I think it goes back to what the author of weapons of math destruction said about models b "Models are opinions embedded in mathematics."
I agree 100% @Lightwaves.
mesmoiron sends brownie points to @jacqueline-homan :sparkles: :thumbsup: :sparkles:
My curiosity started when I noticed that people homeless etc often lack good reasoning skills and they are more and more depending on people having the skills to advocate there cause...
We also need to ask another question: How much of this poor decision-making ability is due to the horrific toll that abject poverty takes on people psychologically as well as physically. Poverty destroys your health. Suffering is not ennobling. It destroys.
@mesmoiron : A bit of self-disclosure here. I have a Bachelors degree in pure math w/ a minor in physics. I am also a self-taught programmer and my strongest tech skillset is F#.
I am also someone who has first-hand experience w/ suffering many years of abject poverty and no access to medical and dental care as a result of a lifetime of marginalization due to classism on top of sexism. Not to thread-jack, but you can read more about my background here written by my mentor if you're interested: https://hackernoon.com/this-is-what-marginalized-looks-like-3115fb4edf13#.gkj7tbgho
Statistics are only as good as the accuracy in the raw data being collected, which of course begins with knowing how to ask the right questions (a very simple concept that so many people overlook). If you want, hit me up about learning F# and harnessing the power of type-driven development for building data-rich programs. :smile: