Its 2 a.m on Friday morning in Southern Africa, which means its 3 a.m. in Israel, and this is the hour when I do my pondering about life’s questions. Anything more than 4 hours sleep is a waste of life’s precious hours anyway, and sometimes 48 hour sessions are called for, or as I have said more times than I care to remember, “We sleep forever when we dead”….well our mortal remains do…
And after reading Dr Max Price’s response to the TOI article on the University of Cape Town BSD rumpus and Jewish students fears, I got to thinking about what the good doctor had to say. He gets an A+ for knee-jerk reactions regarding students needing vigorous debate, freedom of speech, and all the self aggrandizing waffle that “top” institutions of learning should embrace, being the visionary sausage machines they are.
Sadly, Dr. Price scores an F and clearly, by rational deduction, Dr Price doesn’t rate the “many students who identify with the plight of the Palestinians and are angry about the scale of civilian deaths and casualties in Gaza” much higher than that “F”, especially when it comes to facts, research and not being gullible twats.
I am surprised that the good Dr Price failed to to mention he is Jewish,
given that he and his family were active members of Temple Emanuel in Johannesburg, prior to his move down to Capetown in July 2008, I guess it didn’t seem important to him at the time. Google™ is our friend Dr Price, maybe you should teach your angry students that. Research tool well worthy of use in the pursuit of higher learning.
Because the Uni I came out of (also in RSA) wasn’t ranked very highly amongst the South African Universities, I am surprised to learn that UCT allows students to make decisions based on media reports, without checking sources and facts, or using logical analysis of available data before taking a position on world affairs. My alma mater (latin for “nourishing mother”) taught me to question EVERYTHING presented, especially when it aroused emotions like anger, rage and knee jerk feel-good left-wing liberal responses like the SRC at UCT invoked in this issue. Then again, I am an engineer, logic and numbers form the bread and butter of my profession, whilst I guess being a medical doctor as the good Dr Price is, the grey areas and assumptions are the faire of the day?
Now I know that the University of Capetown offers Maths and Statistical Maths as “majors”. All good actuaries need these two staples of the trade! So as I mentioned earlier, Google™ is our friend. I did just that, because I have become bored with hearing CNN, BBC, Sky et al regurgitating the self serving figures issued by the “Gaza Health Authority” with the unstated implication that these figures are civilian casualties. I wonder if it escaped the angry students of UCT that Hamas had no casualties, according to their Health Authorities reports?
For the sake of brevity I have liberated the images used below, and agree with the finds of the article I am summarizing. All credits to Joël for the links and images.
The CIA World Factbook (2013), a fine product of US tax dollars, gives the population distribution by age and gender, of the Gaza strip, as shown below.
Now any mathematician will tell you that a death rate from untargeted (random) missiles, mortar, artillery and rifle fire would resemble the curves above. Its called natural distribution. The ever present Qatari based Aljazeera was kind enough to take casualty information from the Facebook and Twitter posts of one Dr Ashraf al-Qedra, a “Gaza health official”, and tabulated this nicely for us. For accuracy, dumped the non gender, no age stated, entries from the list, and came up with the Casualty Distribution list graph below, based the list as at August 5, 2014.