Effective Age-gating for Online Alcohol Sales (Final Report)

‘Surprised?  No, not really!’

The ‘Effective Age-gating for Online Alcohol Sales’ report, funded by Alcohol Change UK, is published today.  Written by Jess Muirhead and Vic Grout, it considers the question of how easy it is for UK under 18s to purchase alcohol via the Internet, and makes five key recommendations:

Recommendation 1: The law must be clarified

Despite its best intentions, the current law is ambiguous in relation to how and where safeguards are to be applied to prevent under 18s obtaining alcohol online.  If the intention really is to allow age-checking on delivery as a substitute for online verification then that should be published as official guidance by the relevant authorities.  However, knowing such measures to be as ineffective as they are, it is to be hoped that the necessary clarification would move the law in the other direction: that robust online age verification – at the transaction stage – becomes a clear legal requirement.

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Another Week, Another Nonsense Graph from the Government!

So another week passes by with yet more truly awful science from the UK Government

(Yes, it may well be true that the real Covid-19 scientists are working well – and properly – in the background but it’s becoming increasing obvious that ministers in front of the camera either don’t – or won’t – understand what they’re being told.)

This probably sums it up as well as anything could:  https://www.thepoke.co.uk/2020/05/10/boris-johnsons-covid-19-update-speech-went-down-like-a-cough-in-a-lift/ but the focus of this particular post is that graph above.

What the hell is that?

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How to Lie with Statistics!

This month’s post is inspired by two things.  Firstly, a wonderful textbook, a set pre-university text from my days as a maths student: https://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Lie-Statistics-Penguin-Business/dp/0140136290

Secondly, this:

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Going up Exponentially …

“The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.”

Albert Allen Bartlett

These are depressing times so this month’s contribution (a bit short for time, to be honest), though topically linked to the ongoing pandemic, deserves attention from different angles in its own right.

We’re going to have a quick look at exponential growth.

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