Critique on trade offs | Political Science homework help

Additional notes: 

Kaufman’s slide 11 contains conceptual curves.  Each of the 3 is labeled differently, according to the probability of attack of the aircraft carrier.  So each of the 3 is a ‘constant-probability’ curve.  That means that as you move along one of the curves, you can trade off between number of anti-submarine ships assigned and the quality of sailor life.  Since each of these candidates for trade-off has  associated $ (gain or loss) to achieve the change, dollar costs can be traded as you move along the curve.

Or, if you don’t start out on a curve but rather at point A or B, investment of dollars can be used to achieve gains in either # ships or sailor quality of life.  (As Kaufman portrays it — but he’s still working at only the conceptual level — the same $ amount invested at either point A or B achieves different changes in probability depending on whether you choose to move in the X or Y direction.)
His 3 conceptual curves are drawn by holding the quality of the training school fixed.  What that means is the probability also depends on school quality, but visualizing probability changes in 3 dimensions would be too tough.  (It’s tough enough in 2 dimensions already, right?)

What K meant by the term ‘moments of the distribution’ on his slide 9.  That’s math-talk for features of a collection of data.  For example, if I collected data on your heights, I’d get a range of numbers running from about 5′ to about 6’4″.     There  would be clumps of heights near 5’6″ and near 6’1″.  So the ‘moments of that distribution’ would be ‘2 clumps’ and an overall average of 5’8″ or something similar.


 THIS IS NOT A SUMMARY… Your critiques are limited to 300 words. Good critiques are lean, crisp and, above all, illuminating. Good critiques also stand on their own-not requiring the reader to be intimately familiar with the analysis.

The following will help you get started: 

After reading the work, and before you begin to write, try to fit the analysis into proper context. Keep in mind the setting in which a decision maker-the analysis’s and its critique’s consumer-will view the work. 

Next, identify the key assumptions that underlie The work Identify them explicitly (sometimes the author will help you), and decide the degree to which you agree or disagree to which you agree or disagree substantially with any particular assumptions, note why. 

Identify alternative assumptions, if appropriate and possible. Pose at least one competitor assumption (usually, one you’d prefer), and contrast its viability.

If the work is not current, make an issue of it only if new information has become available that refutes the work. (It is generally most appropriate to view the work from the time perspective when it was done.) 

If important facts are incorrect –especially if they influence the results of the analysis -identify and correct them. If other evidence or facts were omitted, characterize and add them. 

Finally, decide whether or the author’s conclusions flow from the works logic and evidence. If not jot down why not.

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