SUNDAY, MAY 5, 2013
Has never been piled quite so high: Ironical, isn’t it?
When we come to the Hudson Valley, we come here to visit an older friend who is a patient in a Medicaid-funded long-term care facility. He suffers from the effects of Parkinson’s.
We’re always impressed by what we see in the facility where he now lives, especially when we recall our own father’s last years in the late 1950s.
Ironic, then, that on this weekend, the New York Times hits an apparent now low with this op-ed column by the apparently uninformed Ross Douthat. The column stands out today among other examples of the types of nonsense which characterize New York Times high pseudo-culture.
Douthat attempts to report on a new study of the effectiveness of Medicaid coverage. His piece seems to be so uninformed that it almost defines a whole new standard for New York Times cluelessness.
But because we’re headed off to a Medicaid-funded facility, we can’t really cover the Douthat column today. Therein lies the day’s irony!
For a background primer, we will recommend this post from last week by Kevin Drum. As we do, we’ll remind you of a very basic fact—“statistical significance” is not the same thing as sociological significance.
If some study's results aren't “statistically significant,” that doesn't mean that the study shows no results at all. It doesn't tell you what kinds of results a larger study would have shown.
Our journalists have a great deal of trouble with the very basic concept of “statistical significance.” Again, we'll recommend the Drum post as a starting point.
(For an earlier post, where even Drum jumped the gun, just click here. Check his postscript and his update.)
We’ll also marvel at Douthat’s cluelessness regarding the financial aspects of the study he cites. Correct us if we’re wrong: But the study Douthat characterizes doesn’t compare people who got health care through Medicaid with people who got no health care at all. It compares people who got health care through Medicaid with people who got health care without such financial assistance.
That said, because we ourselves are headed off to a Medicaid-funded facility, we can’t really cover the Douthat piece today! Therein lies the day’s irony.
Two other pieces in today’s Times reek of instant classic New York Times pseudo-culture. (Just click here. After that, for the ultimate insult to your intelligence, timorously click this.) Neither piece “matters” in the way Douthat’s groaner does. But truly, our intellectual pseudo-elites are a comically fallen lot.
Kierkegaard and relativity and statistical significance oh my! Full disclosure as we head out the door:
We haven't even looked to see what the public editor says.