Could you please cite your sources on the studies that disproved the point?
Elizabeth Decker

Could you please cite your sources on the studies that disproved the point? I got mine from the Washington Post, and they were citing fairly recent work done by the Department of Education.
It’s moot to continue debating that point until we each are fully informed on the matter. I can post a link for your convenience if you like.

Well, I don’t save links and citations. I rather have a discussion than an argumentative ‘debate.’ This is why I currently don’t have the specific data that debunk your argument.

That being said, I think it will be the most beneficial if you could link me to your sources. I could either point to the flaws or concede that you are indeed correct.

Your point about these biases being manufactured is simply false.

Well, I’m not beyond making a mistake. This is why discussing a source we both agree is a valid representation of reality is more beneficial than each of us bringing a source that confirms our own biases.

I make that statement based on numerous data points from well-respected institutions, with some of my own real-life observations thrown in.

An institution can be “well-respected” and make a mistake or utilize flawed methodologies. Those statistics are compiled by humans and humans make mistakes. It doesn’t mean that the institution or the people conducting the research or statistic are doing it out of malice or personal convenience.

As for real-life observations, although they have a place in the discourse, they are a poor argument. Not because you (or me) are flawed in our perspectives, but because perception is based on other factors that represent how we see reality, rather than what reality really is.

Data can be manipulated, yes, but overwhelmingly when the raw data is run through calculations a middle school student could complete, it demonstrates the point I’m making.

Data does not represent anything, other than numbers on a chart. The people conducting the research need to give meaning to the numbers for it to represent anything.

To illustrate what I mean I’ll fabricate data:

Data: in the stadium, there are 3,200 smokers, over two-thirds of them are straight, white, and male and between the ages of 21–35.

You could interpret this as smoking being mostly a white millennials problem that affects men. However, we need to consider the data that is not present. What event is drawing the people to the stadium and what demographics it is aimed at? What is the maximum occupancy of the stadium? And other similar questions.

The meaning lies in what we ask or fail to ask and what conclusions we derive from the data itself. This is not a criticism of the studies you rely on, but an important perspective to maintain while reading those studies. I found studies that support my argument that failed to take important data into account and drew a conclusion based on personal beliefs.

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