Uranium chart, is this some kind of retarded log chart, never seen anything like it.

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ahausheer's picture
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Uranium chart, is this some kind of retarded log chart, never seen anything like it.



In chapter 18 there is a chart with the title of ''Pounds ore/ Pound'' at about 9:38. It shows how many pounds of ore are needed to be mined to get one pound of uranium.  The x axis is percent uranium and the y axis is pounds of ore mined. The y axis is linear, the x axis appears to be a log chart but the intervals change from .02 percent to .2 percent, then .3 percent then 1 percent, then 2 percent, then 10 percent. Vissually this is very missleading, it should either be a staight linear chart or a normal log chart.


Why is it presented this way?

Thank you for anyhelp. I dont want to sound like a nag, I appreciate the entire video series and it will certainly affect my investing and saving habbits. Have a great day.





maveri's picture
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Re: Uranium chart, is this some kind of retarded log chart, ...

Wow - just goes to show how much I didn't see

At least on this website you'll get a straight answer.

Isn't it refreshing to know your dealing with people who don't have a secret agenda and/or want to fleece people for financial gain...


ampers's picture
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Re: Uranium chart, is this some kind of retarded log chart, ...

You wrote: "...or want to fleece people for financial gain."

Possibly because Chris knows none of us have any money any more :-)

cmartenson's picture
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Re: Uranium chart, is this some kind of retarded log chart, ...

Being accurate is important to me.  Very important.  And being clear, concise and understandable is important to me.  Very important.

The tension here is between the need to be mathematically 'pure' and presenting things in a way that more people can grasp.

I chose to make things more understandable to a broader range of people.

The purpose of the slide in question was to illustrate how mining waste (in this case for copper, by the way) is not linear and I wanted to do it across the ranges discussed in the prior slides.  Hence I had to cover 10% to 0.2%.

[And don't even get me started on the difficulty of using a semi-log
scale and trying to get the average person to know what that means.... ]

What follows next are two charts.  One showing a linear representation of the data spanning 20% to 0.01% (as a proxy for zero and infinity) and the other with a non-linear x-axis.

One is relatively pure from a math perspective, the other is not.

Which better makes the more intuitive and visual point that mining waste changes dramatically with falling percentages?







Next, an important point is if presenting the data in this way misrepresents the information in a material way.

The answer, to me, is "no" because within each linear range (from 20% to 1%, from 0.9% to 0.1%, and from 0.09% to 0.01%) the charts all look like this:



So, yes, I could have put up several charts in a row and then took the time to explain how to make the mental connection between them, or I could have used semi-log charts, all of which would have been more technically accurate.

But I would have lost a lot of people along the way and I just can't see how that would have helped anything because the point I was trying to make is about the energy requirements of chasing smaller and smaller yields, not a tutorial on academically defensible charting practices.

Hopefully that gives you the necessary insight into how I approached the material to either accept or reject my methods.


radiance's picture
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Joined: Oct 11 2008
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Re: Uranium chart, is this some kind of retarded log chart, ...

Nice job Andrew. You are way over my head in seeing such a question one could ask. Which is why I am a bit intimidated by chairing our local Crash Course Meeting. But as I have posted before I know I can trust that Chris new full well what he was doing when he put this together. But I am sure someone some day is going to see something like this during one of our local chapter meetings and I will just have to say: lets ask Chris.

Maybe a sticky listing excellent questions would be helpful.

Ron Fink

rrabbit's picture
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Posts: 7
Re: Uranium chart, is this some kind of retarded log chart, ...

Many, if not most people are mathematically challenged, or thoroughly dislike math. Presenting complex facts in a mathematically pure and correct way will inevitably result in the vast majority of people either ignoring you, or misunderstanding those complex facts.

Simplification thus is necessary. One challenge is to present the facts such that people with no mathematical skills can obtain some level of understanding of the key concepts. That requires the use of charts and pictures rather than tables, or, worse, actual mathematics such as partial differential equations.

Another challenge is to avoid misleading misleading simplifications. For example, one should be suspicious about any chart that creates the impression of extreme spikes by selectively manipulating one axis. 

Rufanuf's picture
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Posts: 2
Being Accurate...

Hi I listened to the crash course videos yesterday. Although I can see a lot of the information is useful, I can also see there area lot of if not inaccuracies, "incongruencies". in some of the facts being used to present arguments...this is particualrly true in the energy/environment chapters. One observation is that discussions on energy sources didnt seem to cover natural gas...or am I missing something, are your describing it as methanol?  either way there is an abundance of natural gas in the world, so much so that it will put the energy crisis of for hundreds of years based on my understanding. Also on the subject of Uranium....the bell curves/peak Uranium. Again I am of the impression that the tail off in Uranium mining was more a matter of policy than scarcity.

Theres another thing that concerns me in terms of accuracy...we seem to be flitting one minute between global statistics and then American ones.

I have only watched these videos once, and have to say I can agree with most of the observations in them based on my own understanding of the world we live in. However there are some areas that I feel need more in depth explanation to justify the presentations, otherwise even fairly sober analytical types like me might feel there are some cracks in the presentation that could discredit the whole thing...a bit like global warming a few years back. Unfortunately facts can be used to paint almost any picture you choose. As much I can see the US and western world has messed up its financial model, I think all thats going to mean is that the greedy types in the west are, in the next 20 years going to have to learn to live more modestly! In most of Asia, captialism seems more like a game than a necessity. here in Thailand there are the follies of thousands of failed "financial" models, in the form of half finished buildings, even half finished towns! Growing all around them is rice fields and Banana trees...and when they mess up they just go back to basics...Asian cultures are more ancient and wise than western ones, they have seen all the shannigans of goverment before, funny money, false economies, the whole thing, for them its just fun, the west could do to learn some lessons, shame its likely to be the hard way for many. If you have forgotten where food comes from, (or believe it comes from Walmart!) then sure you have some rethinking to do in your life! Personally I am quite happy with my pond that grows 20kg of tilapia a week surrounded by Banana and Mango Trees! And most Thai's are the same.


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