Issuepedia:Frequently Arising Questions
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This is a place where questions of fact can be asked; as the answers become available, they will be recorded and catalogued (either here or on a separate page linked from here).
- Sources Needed: facts and quotes to be verified
- Questions about site-related issues can be posted in the Issuepedia:Commons area.
Issues of Fact
- Why do U.S. schoolbuses stop at every house now? How large is this trend (just here in Durham, the whole U.S., worldwide, or what?)
- Where to find global statistics about abortion rates vs. legality of abortion? "the rates of abortions in societies where abortions are legal and in societies where they are illegal are almost identical" according to this
- Where to find statistics about the crime rate? (specifically in the U.S., but also worldwide)
- Where to find statistics about drug use? (Derek Jennings, Independent Opinion column, 2005-10-19: "Current figures put white drug use at almost 75% of the total, yet black people still make up almost half the prisoners, despite being only around 12% of the general population."),
- What are the statistics (fatality/injury rate) on the effect of air bags in automobile accidents? Why was it decided to make it illegal for the owner to disable airbags?
- How can it be that it is perfectly safe for a woman to walk alone through a park in Esfahan, Iran (a city of over 2 million) in the dead of night? (see )
- data about money in politics:
- opensecrets.org (found 2006-07-07)
- PoliticalMoneyLine (found 2006-07-07)
- Media Matters
- Transport Demand Management Encyclopedia at the Victoria (BC, Canada) Transport Policy Institute
- NCFR Journal press releases: not searchable, and all PDFs... but has full text and data of significant family-related studies
- Overlawyered: "Chronicling the high cost of our legal system"
- Free Patents Online: patent database
- Human Security Report 2005: "documents a dramatic, but largely unknown, decline in the number of wars, genocides and human rights abuse over the past decade"
- See also snippets for miscellaneous useful-looking issue-related links
- Bartleby.com: "Great books online", including reference works such as the 2003 World Factbook and the The Columbia Gazetteer of North America, 2000
- Global Land Use Database
- BP Oil (look for "Reports and Publications") has a lot of detailed information on energy production & costs
- DrugBank: bioinformatics and cheminformatics database
- CIA World Factbook: haven't looked at this closely yet
- The Terrorism Index, July/August 2006: some figures on popular opinion of the War on Terror, the Iraq war, and related issues
- Income and Quality of Life:
- Gapminder 2006 beta: dynamically graphs any pair of dimensions against the year (1960-2004, though some datasets are more restricted) with additional cues configurable by the user
- 2006-01-28 The Very Top of the U.S. Income Distribution: blog entry by Brad DeLong
- Calvert-Henderson Quality of Life Indicators
- 2001-07-18 Income Indicator
- arXiv.org from Cornell University Library: "...e-prints in Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science and Quantitative Biology"
- PLoS Medicine: a peer-reviewed open-access journal
- CorpKnowPedia: not much content yet...
Topics for Discussion
- Is this argument valid?: "Arguing ethics [in some contexts] is useless. Ethics are a function of a belief system that determines what is right or what is wrong. Using an extreme example for great clarity: I might subscribe to a belief system that says it is okay to stone you to death for daring to say aloud the name of my deity. Within that belief system, the stoning is 'ethical'. In a modern christian belief system, the stoning is 'unethical'." (Paraphrased from a reader comment here)
- Does Jesus want us to give away all our possessions right now, even knowing that there are selfish people who will take it all and use it to do bad things (or ruin and lose it), leaving us with no way to stop them? Or should we be working together to teach people how not to be selfish, so that one day we really can give away everything without everything becoming lost and wasted? (Possible answer: apparently Jesus was only talking to his inner circle, not to lay Christians. Need sources. Related thought: Separate wiki for religious issues, maybe, because of the way they have their own internal world separate from reality?)