Government only deducts the zakat from the checking account. I am from Pakistan and very few people(basically salaried employees for corps/govt which is a very small portion of population) have bank accounts and the main use is to just withdraw the salary immediately every month. People who are on the threshold of $300 lifetime savings have almost negligible chance of owning a bank account.So I am going to call BS on this paper. There are so many problems with the data in this paper that I can't even. Also quite racist to say factually that a lot of charity money goes to fund terrorist attacks and the proof for this is nada. They are using metrics for terrorist attacks in Pakistan (most of which used to happen indiscriminately in public places in metros where most people with bank accounts live). Do you really think that people living in metros are bankrolling indiscriminate terrorist attacks against themselves?
I studied IR at a uni with a fairly good research reputation, one of the hot projects (funded to the tune of 7 figures) at the time (some time ago now) was the physical identification of terrorists i.e. by various body measurements...I am 100% serious. And this guy was not an idiot, in the conventional sense at least, PHd in Biology from Oxbridge, "genius", who (at the time) was talked about in breathless tones of wonder by the science departments (and ridiculed everywhere else).
Every few years a scientist will say: "Terrorism isn't solved...but I have a formula"...stop, we know why terrorism occurs but it isn't as simple as your calculus homework.
And I agree, it is totally unfounded to suggest that charities are funding terrorism (or that people who would give to charities and somehow be unaware of that fact, if it was the case).
But yeah it's going to be pretty poor and not really actionable.
You have also misunderstood slightly. It wasn't stuff like scars, or things correlated to wealth (or race...much good that would do in Northern Ireland or the Basque...I take it you don't know much about terrorism). It was purely body measurements iirc.
I see we are playing with fire today
Then last week I realized two of my "Easter Europen" coworkers were in fact from Pakistan.
https://tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations (or https://tylervigen.com/old-version.html ).
Start by regulating the maximum length of spelling bee words, then let every japanese car be audited for motorcycle homicidal AI. And do something for the honey bee.
The guy was disciple of Cesare Lombroso, I guess? Ah well... that should put a swift end to the "good research reputation" of that institution.
The more commonly accepted fact is that Muslim terrorist organizations have laundered most of their money through Muslim charities (or at least have done so in the past).
As you state, this doesn't necessarily imply the opposite: that most Muslim charities fund terrorism. But it doesn't not say that either. In any case, this seems more like a lapse in logic to me than overt racism.
However, making this claim incorrectly is one of the more common logical fallacies. Given that, it seems more appropriate to attribute the error to logical fallacy than to specific racist intent, again, unless we have more information about the authors with which to make this stronger claim.
That’s not necessarily contradictory. A different example is drug related gang violence. Money from drugs can be traced and consequential and resulting in gang violence, but obviously a given gangster isn’t going to fund a shootout targeting her or him, but obviously other targets, but in the end in aggregate can result in violence for all gangsters (and many bystanders).
That intuitively doesn’t contradict the idea that most people don’t change their giving based on the price of silver. If only the rich do they can still move the needle.
My god these things drive me crazy.
If it’s real, then he should be able to answer this question posted on Twitter by Gregory Allen Perry ( @gallenperry ):
What is the payout on a $1000 bet that a terrorist attack in will occur in Kashmir in the month of February with no less than 20 victims killed if the price of silver drops by 5% immediately prior to Pakistani tax assessment in the year before?
If he can’t answer a question at least somewhat in the same vein as that, then this is crap. If he can (within any reasonable degree of confidence), then I’m wrong.
According to the post if the price of silver is higher, the tax threshold increases and more people have extra money to support whatever organization they want.
Despite the lower price of the silver, the "tax" is a static fiat-based % so basically more people are donating the same %. All the people that were donating 1.5% if holding a balance over $380 would still be donating it (and the same $amount) if the threshold were $360 (silver price drops), more people would be donating since now everyone between $360 and $380 would also be donating a 1.5% in addition.
If the donation was in silver then it might even itself out, but you'd have to look at a distribution curve of income to know for sure.
From the twitter posts:
> Individuals who fall just below the threshold one year due the chance price of silver suddenly avoid a 2.5% gvt tax. Those people then increase their private donations to charity (since they have more disposable income + islam calls for alms-giving).
Or in clearer terms:
> ↑silver price → ↑tax threshold → ↓taxes → ↑charity → ↑terrorist financing → ↑terrorist attacks!
Worse: their data doesn't even fit! Just look at that https://mobile.twitter.com/benmarrow/status/1180141555044294...
How can anyone see this kind of plot and be like “Eureka!”…
Even if the explanation of the twitter post is far-fetched, the approach of understanding and finding periods of stress in some population around the world by trying to understand their cultures and economies is refreshing.
Is it normal for econ papers to use the first person? Super weird to read. His Latex formatting is a mess too. Check out page 37 for a scatter plot of rock solid correlation, lol. Not going to read the full 56 page mess because that's a job for an unpaid reviewer, not an unpaid commentator.
That being said, there's a shit ton of easy hidden variables here. Mountains of them. People are going to talk about spurious correlations, which is fine, but there' s a more subtle trick here, the hidden variable.
Sunscreen use is correlated with an increase in shark attacks and increase in hot dog sales. Are sharks attracted to sunscreen? Is there a secret ingredient in hot suncreen that makes people eat hot dogs? I can come up with pretty good explanations, that pass a qucik sniff test, all day long.
The answer is of course not. More people are simply at the beach. More people --> more collisions with sharks, more hot dogs shoved down gullets.
Not familiar enough with the culture of Pakistan to point out the specific variables, but that's the guess.
Yeah that's all I needed to read to know that this is BS.
On a more serious note, if charities are indeed funding terrorism, you wouldn't have data on them. Especially in Pakistan where keeping data is something only the reputable orgs do.
This "paper" is not peer-reviewed and it will never get published. Just a usual case of a smartass thinking they can justify that their correlation means something when in fact it doesn't.
"Correlation is not causation."
Second, try to calculate the silver price fluctuations, and calculate the ACTUAL dollar amount that becomes disposable to spend. Its peanuts.
Finally, this category of people do not give charity. They take charity.
Subtle, but this is spot price - typically the price negotiated by large institutions based on large transfers. Individuals in the $300 range of silver buying pay premiums on top of that which scales down with size; a single gram bar has a higher premium and costs a lot more than a single 10 ozt bar with a lower premium. This can be observed at any precious metals trading platform, whether it's corporate sited like APMEX or community sites like reddit or dedicated forums; it would be highly inefficient to buy gram bars to fund anything - but people with $300 in life savings probably can't afford more than 1 ozt at a time. Silver spot price is pretty volatile as well, the trade tariff war has driven it up $2 or more in the last year.
You could also read the paper. The part linking silver prices to charitable giving is straightforward.
Anyone else have a link to the paper/data?
It's a good one in two ways. First, it's nicely obvious that these things are unrelated. Second, these are two variables that fluctuate (together) over time -- a lot of the spurious correlations turn out to be two things that basically just increase or decrease more or less constantly over the period in question.
And you missed this > 0.99 one (a bit dated, still ...):
Apple iPhone sales
People who died by falling down the stairs
Reminds me of that company that revived millions of dollars for their software for finding hidden messages on the internet and somehow predicting terror attacks.
The main flaw is that the graph doesn't show a correlation of fluctuations, it just shows two high-variance metrics increasing over time.
> 2.5 million terrorist chat board messages from the dark web
Now that's fascinating.
I agree with your comment.