## April 20, 2013

### Thinking statistically about the Bomb Brothers

From EconLog:
A simple application of Bayes' Theorem will dissolve lots and lots and lots of things you fear, but irrationally. The fear du jour in light of the Boston Marathon bombing: Muslim Rage.
Undoubtedly, you probably once asked a math teacher "when am I ever gonna use this?" In light of recent developments in the investigation of Monday's bombing at the Boston Marathon, I have an answer: you'll use this when you're surrounded by demagogues calling for the waste of additional resources screening members of a minority group (if not members' outright persecution) based on the despicable actions of a small handful of people.
Here's a great post from two years or so ago in which William Easterly lampoons the statistical illiteracy of people who want to persecute or "profile" Muslims based on Muslims' role in 9/11 and other attacks and that is relevant again in light of their alleged role in the Boston bombing. The upshot: even if the probability that someone is a Muslim given that he is a terrorist is 100%--meaning that all terrorists are Muslims, which they aren't--the probability that a Muslim is a terrorist is not. In fact, the probability of a Muslim being a terrorist is, according to Easterly's calculations, 0.007% or 0.0007% (depending on which one features a typo--but even with an order-of-magnitude typo in the downward direction the probability is basically low enough to ignore).
I think a lot of people scared of Muslim Rage understand this more intuitively when we're dealing with crimes committed by white people, crimes committed with guns, and crimes committed by white people with guns. Consider school shootings. A quick Google search turned up this piece about Katherine Newman's book Rampage: The Social Roots of School Shootings. Apparently, all of the school shooters Newman studied have been white males (this article offers counterexamples, but let's just go with "all school shooters are white males" for sake of the example).

Of course, this is the kind of sophistry that gets churned out in the wake of having our stereotypes confirmed so spectacularly. Think about it: there are practically zero Chechens in the United States, but it still turns out that the most spectacular terrorist rampage in the last few years was committed by two of the 200 immigrants from a small, remote ethnic group that has still managed to develop a reputation as the World's Scariest Guys. That's stereotype rebunking at its finest.

And of course, the issue isn't just terrorism. If two regular guy Chechen brothers pulled off this, that suggests that the bell curve for the whole group is shifted in the direction of courage, violence, hostility, and a general lack of appreciation for the Golden Rule -- which we already knew about the Chechens from all the other brave/psycho things they've done over the centuries. That manifests itself in a whole lot of ways -- for example, see my post below on how Chechens in Chechnya drive.

We see something similar in England. The Muslims commit the spectacular suicide bombing attacks, but that's just the far right edge of a Muslim probability distribution that is shifted overall in the direction of hostility toward the host populations, which manifests itself in rape, riot, immigration fraud, cousin marriage, welfare cheating, and petty acts of bloodymindedness.

thomas O. Meehan said...

Chechins driving? As in backing up over ones own brother? Like that?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post. I have often had similar thoughts but never expressed them in this way--the curve is shifted for these people. So true.

Chechens. said...

While I am intensely skeptical of "terrorist" acts, considering most to be false flag operations, I'll give this one the benefit of a doubt for now. For now. But I'll wait and see if the U.S. military decides to go into Chechnya vicinity looking for weapons of mass destruction. I can't believe we ever fell for that .... but I digress.

I am still traumatized by the blurry video of Chechen gangsters slowly decapitating a young woman, who was suspected of some sort of betrayal I guess. I've seen gorier stuff, but the cold blooded, sneering questioning, and then the preparations--wrapping her in what looked to be a celaphane straight jacket--was so nighmarishly surreal I could hardly believe it--I was watchng a snuff film, starring Chechens. The girl some thought was Russian, since she looked lighter. But no, she was Chechen. In fact, the gangsters didn't look all that dark either.
Oh--and by the way, her boyfriend was made to watch and you saw his face with round, blue glassy eyes, wet and starting. Didn't look too good for him either.

So that's Chechen gangsters for you. I'll take Sicilians any day. At least their food is good.

Anonymous said...

While I am intensely skeptical of "terrorist" acts, considering most to be false flag operations, I'll give this one the benefit of a doubt for now. For now. But I'll wait and see if the U.S. military decides to go into Chechnya vicinity looking for weapons of mass destruction. I can't believe we ever fell for that .... but I digress.

You know that false flags are not always designed to advance someone's desire to invade a foreign country.

They could be to allow new laws to be passed here that most people would disagree with.

Jacob A. Geller said...

Steve,

You write that 2 out of 200 Chechens in the United states constitutes a "rebunking" of the stereotype that Chechens are terrorists.

Austria has 30,000 Chechens. How many terrorist attacks has Austria suffered at the hands of Chechens?

Best,
Jacob

Anonymous said...

Shit, bigger bombers than the Klitschkos.

Anonymous said...

"Austria has 30,000 Chechens. How many terrorist attacks has Austria suffered at the hands of Chechens?"

Steve, it is obvious that these two Chechens were just your usual fungible examples of homo economicus, nothing to see here, move along. As long as people don't plant bombs and get involved in shootouts with the police, that is A-ok. We need more people like their shoplifting mother, for example.

And Mr Geller has no doubt seized the marvellous economic opportunity to buy a mansion in Detroit and live among the other wondrous examples of homo economicus there.

Anonymous said...

"Austria has 30,000 Chechens. How many terrorist attacks has Austria suffered at the hands of Chechens?"

Austria is completely insignificant geopolitically... one country that is also completely insignificant geopolitically aligned with the US closely during the WoT and and was bombed... that country was Spain.

Leon Kautsky said...

Nice try Jacob.
Violence here, violence there, violence violence everywhere:

Anonymous said...

@Jacob A. Geller:

Festering Chechen militancy not just Russia's problem
Emigre Chechens have been arrested as recently as a month ago in France and others have been prosecuted in Spain and Austria for alleged involvement in bomb plots against foreign targets.

Austria is important base for chechen terrorism (german)

Chechen Terror-chief arrested in Russia, 11 fighters killed, all of them had official refugee status in Austria (german)

There was a high profile assassination in Austria a couple of years ago. But as far as political violence and terrorism goes, the Chechen refugees are busy killing each other, or Russians back home.

Anonymous said...

If two regular guy Chechen brothers pulled off this, that suggests that the bell curve for the whole group is shifted in the direction of courage, violence, hostility, and a general lack of appreciation for the Golden Rule.

How exactly do the bombings evince a lack of respect on behalf of Chechens for the Golden Rule? If the Golden Rule is fundamentally about reciprocity, are they not responding reciprocally to the United States's and its accomplice Isreal's bombing and killing of Muslims all over the world?

Anonymous said...

Austria has 30,000 Chechens. How many terrorist attacks has Austria suffered at the hands of Chechens?

How active a participant is Austria in Israel's slaughter of Muslims and its "draining" the land of the Eastern Mediterranean of Palestinian Gentiles?

Cail Corishev said...

This is like when people say the death penalty doesn't deter criminals, and the obvious retort is, "It sure deters the guy you execute."

Sure, it's possible that the other 198 Chechens in the USA are peaceful, neighborly, hard-working entrepreneurs (although like someone else said, it'd be interesting to find out how many are on welfare, living in public housing, and so on. With only 200 of them, it wouldn't be hard to run the numbers if the data is available). But if the USA had had a "no Chechens wanted" policy, there's no denying that these two guys would not have been here and these killings would not have happened.

Since this guy wants to talk math (to intimidate his readers into giving up and accepting his argument), let's talk math: a "no Chechens" policy would have forced 200 people to live in some other country. Perhaps their home country, or perhaps some other Muslim country (Derb likes to point out there are 50+ of them) or some other country that would have them (all other countries are enlightened about the benefits of immigration, right?). It sounds like wherever these people came from wasn't too terrible, since the parents went back. We're not talking East Germany here.

In exchange for 200 people having to live somewhere besides the USA, three lives would have been saved. Were those three lives less valuable than the desire of 200 people to live in a particular country other than their own? How many people's convenience equals one human life, Mr. Statistics?

bjdubbs said...

Econlog is a stupidity pill. A very boring, self-satisfied stupidity pill. Plus the troll, Caplan.

Saint Louis said...

From Season 2, Episode 4, of 30 Rock:

Liz : What neighborhood is this?

Rosemary : Oh, they call it Little Chechnya. So gritty and real. More murders per capita than Detroit. Try not to write when you're living here.

Liz : Is that guy carrying a gun?

Rosemary : Yeah, but don't worry. He's not a cop.

Anonymous said...

Denver PD now looking for some involved in the pothead festival gunplay--a "light complexioned black male" in a hoodie and another in a "black and white checkered shirt." There's still more than week left in April in case anyone wants to hold a mass gay wedding in Central Park or hijack an oil tanker on Earth Day

Anonymous said...

Maybe somebody ought to introduce this guy to the conceot of odds-ratios.

Diversity Week said...

The correct usage there would be "light-complected" (or maybe the AP could just call him a white black man) but orthography is so 1960s anyway.

mukatsuku said...

Jacob A. Geller you seem rather like an open-minded progressive. Highly recommend that you read Moldbug's Open Letter to Open-Minded Progressives

David said...

Chechens are quite undesirable, but it will be interesting to see if the US eventually brings the Worldwide War for Democracy to Chechnya.

"Chechnya [is] a major hub in the oil infrastructure of the [Russian] Federation."

Conversely, Russia could be trying to stir Chechens worldwide, to keep Western powers from supporting Chechen interests against Russian interests. (Although Russia seems to have the situation there well in hand these days.)

I hope our spy service is competent and is providing a sophisticated analysis of these areas. But if it is on the mental level of the typical American - whose sole concern is: WHO'S A RACIST?/WHO'S A LIBRUL? - then we be might be sunk.

Anonymous said...

"Austria has 30,000 Chechens. How many terrorist attacks has Austria suffered at the hands of Chechens?"

But what about crime, gangsterism, and etc?

Whiskey said...

Anon please. Syria's Assad and his regime and the various Gulf backed militias have slaughtered more Muslims than died in ALL of Israel's wars. Same for say, internal Pakistani feuds, or Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood vs. Secularists vs. Salafists.

If anything, the US is intent on withdrawing as much as possible from the world. Obama is leaving Afghanistan and has left Iraq (turning it over to Iran). Why attack a nation leaving, and hurrying for the exits?

Answer: because a nation leaving is weak and got followed home. I predicted this. And we'll see more of it. A Boston every month. Instead of a hard to pull of 9/11, this stuff is easy. Had the perps been smarter they could have made it out of the country easy.

jody said...

yeah but what's the point. that's the question. WHAT IS THE POINT OF TAKING IN CHECHEN IMMIGRANTS. what vital contribution do they make TO ANYTHING? heck, what NOMINAL contribution do they make to anything.

nothing, that's what. they DON'T need to be here. or anywhere. if humans are sheer raw economic units, and that's ALL most year 2013 economists see them as, then chechens are EASILY replaced by say, filipino peasants or something.

maybe if econlog actually tried to do, you know, economics, and calculated even basic stuff like the GDP contribution a chechen makes to your national economy, or what kind of tax base can you expect to extract from them, THAT WOULD BE SOMETHING.

but they WON'T EVEN DO BASIC ECONOMICS LIKE THAT. they're making a post strictly to tell any "confused" white americans (more like dumb, ignorant white americans in their obvious opinion) to not believe their lying eyes. "only" 0.007% of muslims are terrorists. (which means, LOL, that in fact 7 in 100,000 of them might be terrorists, which is higher than the murder rate in some US cities)

these econlog guys are the kinds of idiots who would not even do the math to realize that making puerto rico into a nation, would mean that the US treasury would be SENDING billions of dollars to puerto ricans on april 15, not the other way around. if you transformed most puerto ricans into US citizens, they don't make enough money to move into the "owes the IRS some money" tax bracket. but they would qualify for the earned income tax credit.

i'd bet my federal income tax obligation for the next 10 years, that chechens are net economic drains on average. and i don't even have to make a bet to know that chechens contribute nothing important to any field of human endeavor.

Anonymous said...

"Austria has 30,000 Chechens. How many terrorist attacks has Austria suffered at the hands of Chechens?"

"How active a participant is Austria in Israel's slaughter of Muslims and its "draining" the land of the Eastern Mediterranean of Palestinian Gentiles?"

Maybe a kind of Yeaglism is at work here. David Yeagley, as you know, is a funny kind of Indian who sides with the white man. He knows about the tragic history of white man's conquest of Indians, but he admires and respects the Great White Warrior as a tough brave who soar like the eagle and charge like the buffalo. So, he feels a sense of honor in that his people were defeated by a great people. He feels honor in that his people put up a noble fight and lost honorably like tough gopher that stood its ground against big moose.

So, the fall of the white man is distressing to Yeagley. Paradoxically, Yeagley wants the very people who beat his people to remain strong as a reminder that his people lost only to the very best.

You'd think Yeagley would sympathize with Palestinians, but he admires Zionists cuz they are ruthless warriors. Yeagley despises most Arabs as cowards. Arabs got so many people and so much land, but they got whupped by Jews over and over. They are rabbits than wolves.

'Sympathy' doesn't exist in the Yeaglean dictionary. It's all about respect/admiration for the Great Warrior.

Maybe there is a similar feeling among Chechens. On the one hand, they hate Russians. But in some way, they respect the utter ruthless of the Russian military. They wanna murder Russians, but they gotta admit Russians, when roused up, is pretty crazy and murderous too--not to mess with.

So, this is what Chechens understand. Ruthless power. There is no pity in this world. Pity is for suckers. Those with power devour the less powerful. It's warrior vs warrior, gangster vs gangster, chieftain vs chieftain.

This is where America, especially white America, may seem very strange to Chechens. On the one hand, US is the most powerful nation on earth. It has a whole bunch of aircraft carriers and jets and bombs and missiles and etc. So, US is a badass nation. But when Chechen boys were living in America, they must have noticed that most whites are a bunch of castrated pansyass shmorks who get pushed around by lesbian feminists, gays, Jews, and even illegal aliens. They see big tall white military men cowering and taking orders from some mulatto and serving as running dogs to globalist NWO.

So, it must have been surreal to the Chechen kids. From the outside, US is a mighty power that is not to mess with. But inside America, the brothers prolly saw a bunch of pansyass SWPL white idiots who are pissing their country away and cowering before ugly feminists, nerdy Jews, hustling blacks, and whoopsie-do gays.

I sort of feel the same when I see the likes of Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich standing tall and talking big... only to basically say, "I'm a total shameless whore of Zionist billionaires." It is a sorryass sight.

So, maybe the brothers felt both awe and contempt for America, and this emotional contradiction drove them nuts. A nation so powerful yet so wussy. What to make sense of it?

I think many blacks and now browns feel the same way. On the one hand, they know white people are rich and powerful. But they also know white people are the biggest cowering cowards. Black gangs attack whites, but whites do nothing.. but vote for Obama. Blacks respect power, and so, they don't respect whites... but it frustrates them because whites are still much richer and more powerful than blacks.
White wimps are richer and more powerful than masterful Negroes who be rapping and flexing their muscles. It just doesn't seem right.

rob said...

Not only are 1% of Chechens here terrorists so far, they haven't been here long. They don't really know that Americans are much nicer than Russians. The Marathon bombers [were they motivated by a fondness for short, intense workouts over long cardio? We don't know yet.]
The terrorists parents' left the country before. Possibly the convex-nosed one's wife left too. They think we'll do collective justice. Possibly the Russians would have punished the extended family: why the one uncle was so angry for the cameras.

What chunk of Chechens here would qualify as schizophrenic by US standards? Thinking Armenians brainwash them, the FBI controlled them...Except Ruslan (his name?) every Chechen we've heard from is obviously batshit by our standards; Ruslan, who knows. The not-dreamy terrorist even said that he was too alien to make friends with Americans. We're just incomprehensible to him.

Jacob, do really think the dead and maimed are acceptable losses? Just broken eggs on the way to a fantastic omelette? What benefits do we get? Do you think that the Chechen-American community has been a plus for Boston?

Anononymous said...

40,000 = 2.8
100,000 = 7
271,429 = 19
million = 70

Anonymous said...

"waste of additional resources screening members of a minority group" - Which resource is not letting them come here in the first place?

Mr. Anon said...

"Jacob A. Geller said...

Austria has 30,000 Chechens. How many terrorist attacks has Austria suffered at the hands of Chechens?"

And how much public assistance to they use? How many murders, rapes, and robberies have they committed? What of any value have they done for Austria?

Mr. Anon said...

"Chechens. said...

While I am intensely skeptical of "terrorist" acts, considering most to be false flag operations,.."

Don't you ever stop to think how ridiculous it is to maintain, as Infowars does, that all terrorist attacks are "false flag" attacks. That nothing - nothing at all! - is as it seems. Every single damned thing in the world is a mystery, hidden in a riddle, wrapped in an enigma, and covered with tiny chocolate sprinkles!

That is the world-view I would expect of a teen-ager who thinks that "The Matrix" was a deep and significant work of art. For an adult to think so is just embarrassing.

Anonymous said...

Some fool has bragged here that 'Austria's 30,000 Chechens' have - so far - not committed any terrorist atrocities.
Perhaps, but then again Austrian armed forces aren't now at this very moment firing drones at the umma in Afghanistan, nor did they tiumphantly double-tap Osama Bin Laden and (allegedly) dump his body in the sea.
Anyway, my point is that perhaps the Austrians (Hitler's people, no less) haven't yet been treated to the joys of islamists bombings, but what (being the un-pciest of the un-pc) of the CHARACTER of such a race, a people who have shown themselves in dozens and dozens of recorded incidents to be psychopathic - and criminal with it, to the point of cold-bloodedly massacring school-children (Beslan) and murdering women in maternity hospitals?

Would YOU, Mr. Geller, feel happy if such a people moved in next to you?

As for the Austrians, bein the most hard-headed,shrewd dispassionate and rational of people, it beggars belief that they could no somethig so damned stupid. I mean, it's the sort of thing one would expect from the British (especially the dastardly Labour Party), or indeed the post 1965 pussy-whipped Americans.

Anonymous said...

It never ceases to amaze me how hard-line muslims (who despise everything about the wesern way of life), lie, cheat, beg, grovel, deceive, in fact perform everyform of self-abasement and trickery that is humanly possible, in order to impose themselves on western nations, western nations in which the actual host people (as opposed to the shitty politicians), in turn despise the muslims, and quite pure and simply DO NOT WANT THEM.
Anyhow, my point is that Turkey, not being shackled to that appaling, catastrophic train-wreck of a dicatorship known as the EU, is doing markedly better (in terms of actual economic growth and therefore opportunities), than any of the EU states. (As an aside the EU has probably murdered Europe for good, economically at least).
Why don't the Chechens seek refuge in Turkey, their former lords, masters and allies? furthermore most of the 'top nobs' in Turkey are, in fact, partially Checehn, due to the historical fact that the Turks traditionally took female sex-slaves from Chechnya.

Anonymous said...

Not to disagree on the general alienation point but in England the Muslims aren't a particularly rioting sort. They seem to be in France but I can't think of a significant riot where Muslims have been significant. Even the ones a year and a half ago (although some say that it coincided with Ramadan - when Muslims are more Muslim).

Perhaps North Africans are more likely to riot than North Indians. Who knows?

Steve Sailer said...

"but in England the Muslims aren't a particularly rioting sort"

Perhaps, but

Anonymous said...

a necessary but not a sufficient condition for school shootings seems to the exposure to SSRI medication.

a necessary but not a sufficient condition for being a terrorist seems to be Islam-

Giving SSRI drugs to teens decreases the amount of suicides and rapes (rapes because they suppress the sexual drive)

Islam increases vibrancy and diversity.

David said...

In the mind of a pro-immigration statistician (marketer), 1% (2/200) < 6.3492063e-07 (200/315,000,000).

Anonymous said...

Thomas Meehan, are you really buying that story? Did you see the photo of the body in the morgue? Did that visible aftermath suggest that the police were cuffing him when his bother ran him over?

Absent time-stamped video proof, I'm not buying the LE story about big bro's death for a minute.

Anonymous said...

"Chechins driving? As in backing up over ones own brother? Like that?"

The FBI is calling it death from friendly tire.

Jacob A. Geller said...

Steve, you're saying that 1% of Chechens in America being terrorists constitutes a "rebunking" of the stereotype that Chechens are terrorists. I ask a specific statistical question about Austria, I get no answer. The post and comments thread are statistically illiterate. Show your readers actual data and evidence that a very large fraction of Chechens are terrorists, or stop defending the stereotype.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Geller, why can't Israel take in its 'fair share' of Checehens?

Why did Israel build a wall sealing of Palestinians if Palestinians are 'not all terrorists'?

fnn said...

Mr. Geller, why can't Israel take in its 'fair share' of Checehens?

Send all the "Austrian" Chechens to live with the hospitable Israelis. Time for Statute of Limitations on all the Hitler guilt.