1. A blitz chess game. I had black against a german player, Gerhard Richter. According to FIDE, there’s a guy with that name who has an ELO rating of 1949. I assume that was the guy I played against though I can’t know for certain – he had a quite high ‘slow rating’ so it was a strong player either way. In the game he drops a pawn at one point and I basically just run him over (though he does have some counterplay) after that – very satisfying to get a win like that against a strong opponent.
It’s interesting how far medical science has advanced in some areas – to some degree we do ‘live in the future’, so to speak. I thought it was a bit funny that Ed would post this on the same day that I had a scheduled follow-up related to the medical trial in which I’m participating – I spent two hours today having my eyes looked at and measured in all kinds of ways.
3. U.S. Homicide Trends. The data are not completely up to date, but 2005 isn’t that long ago. Did you know that roughly 8 out of 9 (88,8%) of all homicides are committed by males? Or that males are almost 4 times more likely to get murdered? Here are some more data:
Females are much more likely to be killed by an intimate or a family member. If all else were equal (it’s not, but it’s probably worth pondering whether this changes the conclusion..), a female would be able to reduce her risk of getting killed significantly just by staying single instead of getting intimately involved with someone. Note that whereas something like one third of all female murder victims get killed by an intimate, the corresponding male number is just 3% (here’s another link adding more detail) – in terms of optimal strategies for lowering risk, the two genders should focus on different variables here. When dealing with the murders of females at the age of 25-50, approximately 40% of them are committed by an intimate (see previous link).
3a. I remember reading a study at one point (via MR?) where they looked at murder rates using BAC as an explanatory variable. I tried looking around in the archives but it seems that I did not blog it back then – I thought I had. Anyway, I’m not sure this study was the one I was thinking about but it covers the same subject and it was what popped up when doing a quick google – Alcohol, drugs and murder: A study of convicted homicide offenders. Abstract:
“Data on 1,887 convicted homicide offenders were examined to discern the relationships between alcohol and/or drug use and murder. Information obtained through confidential interviews at state prisons and local jails provided demographics and information on drinking and drug use immediately before the crime and relevant data on the offenders’ typical drinking style. About 50 percent of the offenders were under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crime, similar to the rate found by other studies. Substance use was more prevalent than nonuse before the homicide: 36 percent used alcohol only, 13 percent used both alcohol and drugs, 7 percent used drugs only, and 43 percent did not use either. A heavier style of drinking is much more prevalent among homicide offenders than in the general population. Blacks showed the least involvement with alcohol before homicide. A direct role for alcohol is indicated by the finding that homicides were associated with a heavier than usual episode of drinking and the large mean alcohol consumption contiguous to the crime (9.3 ounces of alcohol or about 18 drinks). Evidence also indicates that a unique relationship existed between drug use and homicide.”
A majority of people who commit murder, at least in the US, do so under the influence of drugs or alcohol.