Gus Reed really hates the long census questionnaire:
I admit to some disappointment that you have so totally and uncritically capitulated to the Forces of Social Planning on the census issue. Contrarians need to be contrary. Apart from the indisputably careless design of the long form (or the sloppy posting of an unedited version), there are a couple of things that rankle:Many of the questions are sort of inherently interesting, but that doesn't mean they should be asked. What government policy hinges on knowing the birthplace of my parents (#25)? I like this statement attached to the race/ethnicity question: "This information is collected to support programs that promote equal opportunity for everyone to share in the social, cultural and economic life of Canada." It would be good discipline to have such a statement attached to each question, or at least each section. If the statement is not succinct and understandable, then it's a good indication that someone's just fishing: "We want to know where your parents were born because your government is considering a system of preferential immigration based on national origin."
More argument, and Contrarian rebuttal, after the jump - photos included!
Contrarian reader Gus Reed has found a mistake in Census Canada's long form questionnaire — or at least in the sample that appears on the agency's website.
It seems to me that at the top of page 5 the columns should be labeled "Person 3," "Person 4," and "Person 5" - continuing the logic of page 4. Is it my PDF reader that's wrong, or did StatsCan send out 2.4 million errors?
StatsCan hasn't sent out anything yet, and there's still time to fix the error, along with the much more serious mistake of making the long form voluntary. But Gus...
Contrarian friend Gus Reed doesn't think altitude maps add much to our understanding of complex social issues:
These graphs don't meet the minimum standard for clarity. Your pal Edward Tufte would be appalled. What is the scale of the z-dimension? Are we to suppose that the high peak for narcotics is on the same scale as the high peak for prostitution? Absolute numbers? Percentages? Logarithmic? I'm suspicious that McCune is mixing his units.
And I don't like the fundamental assumption that it's OK to smooth this kind of data. Consider the three hills of...
Haligonian Warren Reed has a sobering take on our discussion about potential "cures" for people with Down syndrome:
I am still stuck on the Down Syndrome thread. As Canadians with disabilities will tell you, Canada has a medical model of disability. The approach is, "let's fix what's wrong with you," rather than, "let's fix what's wrong with us." Hence the inaccessible buses, devilish sidewalks, and antediluvian building codes. The result is a hidden and large group of people who are disenfranchised, undervalued, ignored, and sometimes abused. See the shocking account in Monday's Chronicle-Herald.
One of my big defeats was an unsuccessful complaint...