Quotes, Citations, & Markup

When collecting data for a report, I come across data in a multitude of markup formats. A markup language is a format for annotating a document in a way that is distinguishable from the text. Each markup language has its own syntax. The differing syntax between languages creates a problem when I need to extract quotations, create citations, and create appendices. What I need is a program that can understand and convert document text annotated with different markup languages.  It must handle footnotes, tables, definition lists, superscript and subscript, strikeout, enhanced ordered lists, and the render the text into a form usable by MS Word. It must also translate math equations into something useful.

If you have been struggling with this too, try a programme called panddoc. This programme will take a while to learn, but once you have experimented a little, you will learn how to solve most of your markup-to-report conversion problems.

Irrational Fear as Law

I noticed in my normal news feed that Obama will ‘evaluate’ bill to ban online munition sales. We have to recognise that many of our laws are enacted to satisfy irrational fears associated with risk.

Billions of cartridges are manufactured in the U.S.A each year. For example, about 4 billion .22 rimfire cartridges are produced per year.

We must ask, of all the cartridges made, what percentage of those used in violent crimes are purchased online?

The violent crime rate in the U.S. is about 403 per 100,000 people. Then we have to subtract those crimes that do not involve a firearm. Then we have to subtract those in which the ammunition was NOT bought through online sources.

If we can then properly quantify how many violent crimes were committed by someone with a firearm while using ammunition bought online, then we can calculate the percentage of all ammunition manufactured that was sold online and then used in violent crimes.

I can guaranteed that the percentage will have a lot zeroes after the decimal. This would be policy by irrational fear. Fear of a risk that is not worth considering.