Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Drug Ballad

While I was looking for the costs of running the Prime Minister's office I came across this report.
My views on "drugs" are not well received by my conservative-as-hell colleagues, being a liberal in a conservative profession is like being a round peg in a square hole.
A browse through the report shows the "War On P", yet another minor battle in the "War on Drugs", has resulted in not very much.
The report piqued my interest, due to its attempt to quantify success in statistical terms.  I don't intend to pull the report to bits with an argument on the merits of the data manipulation (partially because the description of he methodology is too poor).  Suffice to say that I am sceptical about any purportedly "good" statistical analysis that begins by referring to data as a singular.  The singular form is datum; its plural form is data.
Enough of that - the report shows that the various measures have varied little since the baseline year, 2006.  The exception is the wholesale bulk price, which has risen by 20% since 2006.  That's about 3.7% per year.  Now, what was the inflation rate over the corresponding period?  About 3 or 4 percent.
Back to the war on drugs - it's time to quit while we are behind and try something that actually works.


Relating to drugs, a confession:
I'm as dull as dishwater when it comes to intoxicants.  For fifteen years, or thereabouts, I've had alcohol up to in moderation less than monthly, no tobacco and nothing illegal.
Yet I was outraged when I was told I will be required to sign a workplace policy that requires me to provide a sample for testing to prove I am drug free.  Refusal to provide a sample means I head down the same path as someone who returns a positive sample.
First response, when outrage was expressed, was "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear"
Followed by "everyone else is required to, too"
A decent discussion has lead me to believe that logic will not prevail in this instance.
I have nothing to hide, but I still don't want to be compelled.  My initial response will be passive resistance.
Weird juxtaposition: later in the day the boss was tapping his desk to Jefferson Airplane - "White Rabbit".

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