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saco-indonesia.com, Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi mulai telah mengusut dugaan pemberian (gratifikasi) dari PT Pertamina kepada mantan Sekretaris Jenderal Kementerian Energi Sumber Daya Alam Mineral, Waryono Karno. Guna untuk menguak hal itu, penyidik lembaga antikorupsi itu juga memeriksa Direktur PT Pertamina, Karen Agustiawan.

Karen telah memenuhi panggilan pemeriksaan hari ini. Perempuan itu juga mengenakan batik coklat dan didampingi oleh kuasa hukumnya, Rudi Alfonso. Tetapi, Karen juga enggan memberikan pernyataan apapun. Malah Rudi yang telah memberikan pernyataan.

"Bersaksi untuk Pak Waryono Karno," kata Rudi kepada awak media di Gedung KPK, Jakarta, Senin (27/1).

Rudi menampik dalam pemeriksaan kali ini penyidik bakal mengusut soal pemberian Tunjangan Hari Raya kepada anggota DPR. Dia juga menyatakan akan membeberkan soal materi yang ditanyakan usai pemeriksaan.

"Ya enggak tahu, kan belum diperiksa. Tunggu saja nanti selesainya, baru ini kita kasih tahu," ujar Rudi.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

KPK AKAN USUST DUGAAN GRATIFIKASI DARI PERTAMINA

Saco- Indonesia.com - Sekitar 6.000 orang bukan perokok didiagnosis kanker paru setiap tahunnya. Sebagian besar adalah kaum wanita dan wanita Asia beresiko paling tinggi.

Meski kemungkinan seorang bukan perokok untuk terkena kanker paru lebih kecil dibanding perokok, tetapi data di Inggris menunjukkan 41.500 kasus baru kanker payudara ditemukan setiap tahunnya. Sekitar 14 persen, atau 6.000 kasus tidak terkait dengan kebiasaan merokok.

Kebanyakan pasien kanker paru yang bukan perokok adalah kaum wanita. "Secara anekdoktal, kami melihat makin banyak pasien wanita yang tak pernah merokok tapi terdiagnosis kanker paru, dibandingkan dengan 10 tahun lalu," kata Dr.Michael Beckles, konsultan respiratori dari Royal Free Hospital.

Apa yang menyebabkan kondisi tersebut belum sepenuhnya diketahui. Tetapi para ilmuwan menduga ada kaitannya dengan faktor genetik yang dikombinasikan dengan paparan zat-zat pemicu kanker, misalnya asbestos, gas radon, bahan pelarut, asap buangan mesin diesel, hingga asap rokok orang lain.

Faktor risiko lain adalah terapi radiasi ke dada untuk penyakit lain seperti kanker payudara atau limfoma. Bisa juga dari luka paru-paru yang berasal dari kondisi medis sebelumnya.

Menurut Deputi British Lung Foundation, Stephen Spiro, kanker paru-paru selalu dihubungkan dengan merokok. Padahal sebelum kebiasaan merokok menyebar pada awal abad 20, penyakit ini kerap menimpa wanita bukan perokok.

Orang yang tidak merokok biasanya menderita adenokarsinoma atau sel kanker paru tidak kecil. Kondisi ini terjadi di kelenjar yang memproduksi lendir pada jalan masuk udara ke paru-paru.

Mereka yang tekena kanker adenokarsinoma ini juga mengalami kesalahan gentik pada protein di permukaan sel yang memicu pertumbuhan sel.

Kabar baiknya adalah pasien yang terdiagnosis jenis kanker paru tersebut bisa mendapatkan manfaat positif dari obat-obatan kanker terbaru, misalnya gefitinib. Obat ini memperlambat keganasan penyakit tanpa adanya efek samping seperti kemoterapi.

Sementara itu, beberapa penelitian masih berlangsung untuk mengenali apa penyebab kanker paru pada bukan perokok. Tetapi mencari dana untuk penelitian ini juga tak mudah karena kanker paru sering dianggap sebagai penyakit yang dicari sendiri oleh perokok.

Diagnosa dini memang berperan besar dalam kesembuhan kanker, tetapi dalam kasus penyakit paru ini bukan hal yang mudah.

"Masalahnya paru tidak memiliki ambang sakit sehingga tak akan memberi peringatan jika ada sesuatu yang salah. Tidak ada gejala kanker paru yang spesifik dan sulit menentukan apakah batuk atau sesak napas yang diderita karena kanker atau bukan," kata Spiro.

Ia menambahkan, yang memprihatinkan adalah saat batuk membandel tak kunjung sembuh, penyakitnya mungkin sudah ganas. "Pada 70 persen pasien yang berobat ke dokter, penyakitnya sudah berkembang serius," katanya.

Pemeriksaan standar seperti rontgen paru pun terkadang tak mampu menemukan sel-sel kanker. "Rontgen paru punya kelemahan karena dua dimensi. Sehingga ada area tertentu, misalnya di belakang jantung, yang tak terlihat," katanya.

Meski begitu pemeriksaan pendukung dengan CT-scan biasanya cukup membantu. Karena itu sebaiknya lakukan pemeriksaan jika batuk tidak sembuh lebih dari tiga minggu atau ada penurunan berat badan tanpa sebab.

 

Editor : Liwon Maulana
Mengapa Bukan Perokok Bisa Kena Kanker Paru?

 Data yang dikumpulkan mahasiwa ketika akan membuat tugas akhir, selain data sekunder diantaranya adalah data primer. Data sekunder adalah data yang diperoleh dari catatan-catatan atau informasi tertulis dari perusahaan, serta data-data lain yang terdokumentasi dengan baik dan valid. Sedangkan data primer adalah data yang direspon langsung oleh responden berdasarkan wawancara ataupun daftar pertanyaan yang dirancang, disusun, dan disajikan dalam bentuk skala, baik nominal, ordinal, interval maupun ratio oleh mahasiswa ketika membutuhkan data demi kepentingan penelitian.

Teknik pengumpulan data seperti ini lazim digunakan karena selain bisa langsung menentukan skala pengukuranya, akan tetapi juga bisa melengkapi hasil wawancara yang dilakukan dengan responden.

Skala pengukuran yang dibuat oleh mahasiswa sebaiknya dibuat sedemikian rupa, mengikuti kaidah, sehingga akan memudahkan pemilihan teknik analisis yang akan digunakan ketika pengumpulan datanya sudah selesai.

Catatan: Artikel ini membahas bagaimana transformasi dari data ordinal ke interval, sedangkan untuk transformasi data dalam keperluan untuk memenuhi asumsi klasik, baca artikel kami yang berjudul "Transformasi Data"

Dalam studi empiris, misalnya saja mahasiswa ingin menggunakan statistika parametrik dengan analisis regresi untuk menganalisis dan mengkaji masalah-masalah penelitian. Pemilihan analisis model ini ini hanya lazim digunakan bila skala pengukuran yang yang dilakukan adalah minimal interval. Sedangkan teknik pengumpulan data yang dilakukan oleh mahasiswa sudah dilakukan dengan menggunakan skala pengukuran nominal (atau ordinal).

Menghadapi situasi demikian, salah satu cara yang dilakukan adalah menaikkan tingkat pengukuran skalanya dari ordinal menjadi interval. Melakukan manipulasi data dengan cara menaikkan skala dari ordinal menjadi interval ini, selain bertujuan untuk tidak melanggar kelaziman, juga untuk mengubah agar syarat distribusi normal bisa dipenuhi ketika menggunakan statistika parametrik.

Menurut Sambas Ali Muhidin dan Maman Abdurahman, “salah satu metode transformasi yang sering digunakan adalah metode succesive interval (MSI)”. Meskipun banyak perdebatan tentang metode ini, diharapkan pemikiran ini bisa melengkapi wacana mahasiswa ketika akan melakukan analisis data berkenaan dengan tugas-tugas kuliah.

Sebelum melanjutkan pembahasan tentang bagaimana transformasi data ordinal dilakukan, tulisan ini sedikit membahas tentang dua perbedaan pendapat tentang bagimana skor-skor yang diberikan terhadap alternatif jawaban pada skala pengukuran Likert yang sudah kita kenal. Pendapat pertama mengatakan bahwa skor 1, 2, 3, 4, dan 5 adalah data interval. Sedangkan pendapat yang kedua, menyatakan bahwa jenis skala pengukuran Likert adalah ordinal. Alasannya skala Likert merupakan Skala Interval adalah karena skala sikap merupakan dan menempatkan kedudukan sikap seseorang pada kesatuan perasaan kontinum yang berkisar dari sikap “sangat positif”, artinya mendukung terhadap suatu objek psikologis terhadap objek penelitian, dan sikap “sangat negatif”, yang tidak mendukung sama sekali terhadap objek psikologis terhadap objek penelitian.

Berkenaan dengan perbedaan pendapat terhadap skor-skor yang diberikan dalam alternatif jawaban dalam skala Likert itu, apakah termasuk dalam skala pengukuran ordinal atau data interval, berikut ini kami mneyampaikan pemikiran yang bisa dijadikan pertimbangan: Ciri spesifik yang dimiliki oleh data yang diperoleh dengan skala pengukuran ordinal, adalah bahwa, data ordinal merupakan jenis data kualitatif, bukan numerik, berupa kata-kata atau kalimat, seperti misalnya sangat setuju, kurang setuju, dan tidak setuju, jika pertanyaannya ditujukan terhadap persetujuan tentang suatu event. Atau bisa juga respon terhadap keberadaan suatu Bank “PQR” dalam suatu daerah yang bisa dimulai dari sangat tidak setuju, tidak setuju, ragu-ragu, Setuju, dan sangat setuju.

Sementara data interval adalah termasuk data kuantitatif, berbentuk numerik, berupa angka, bukan terdiri dari kata-kata, atau kalimat. Mahasiswa yang melakukan penelitian dengan menggunakan pendekatan kuantitatif, termasuk di dalamnya adalah data interval, data yang diperoleh dari hasil pengumpulan data bisa langsung diolah dengan menggunakan model statistika. Akan tetapi data yang diperoleh dengan pengukuran skala ordinal, berbentuk kata-kata, kalimat, penyataan, sebelum diolah, perlu memberikan kode numerik, atau simbol berupa angka dalam setiap jawaban.

Misalnya saja alternatif jawaban pada skala Likert, alternatif jawaban “sangat tidak setuju” diberi skor 1; “ tidak setuju diberi skor 2; “ragu-ragu” diberi skor 3; “setuju” diberi kode 4; dan “sangat setuju” diberi skor 5. angka-angka (numerik) inilah yang kemudian diolah, sehingga menghasilkan skor tertentu. Tetapi, sesuai dengan sifat dan cirinya, angka 1, 2, 3, 4, dan 5 atau skor yang sudah diperoleh tidak memberikan arti apa-apa terhadap objek yang diukur. Dengan kata lain, skor yang lebih tinggi lebih tidak berarti lebih baik dari skor yang lebih rendah. Skor 1 hanya menunjukkan sikap “sangat tidak setuju”, skor 2 menunjukkan sikap “tidak setuju, skor 3 menunjukkan sikap “ragu-ragu’, skor 4 menunjukkan sikap “setuju”, dan skor 5 menunjukkan sikap “sangat setuju”. Kita tidak bisa mengatakan bahwa skor 4 atau “setuju” dua kali lebih baik dari skor 2 atau “tidak setuju”.

Fenomena ini berbeda sekali dengan sifat/ciri yang dimiliki oleh data interval, dimana angka-angka atau skor-skor numerik yang diperoleh dari hasil pengukuran data langsung dapat dibandingkan antara satu dengan lainnya, dikurangkan, dijumlahkan, dibagi dan dikalikan. Misalnya saja penelitian yang dilakukan mahasiswa tentang suhu udara beberapa kelas, dan diperoleh data misalnya suhu ruangan kelas A 15 derajat Cls, suhu ruang kelas B 20 derajat Cls, dan suhu ruang kelas C 25 derajat Cls. Berarti bahwa suhu ruang kelas A adalah 75 % lebih dingin dari suhu ruang kelas B. Suhu ruang kelas A 60 % lebih dingin dari suhu ruang kelas C. Suhu ruang kelas A lebih dingin dari suhu ruang kelas B dan C. Atau suhu ruangan kelas B lebih panas dari suhu ruang kelas A, tetapi lebih dingin dibandingkan dengan suhu ruangan kelas C. Contoh lain misalnya prestasi mahasiswa yang diukur dengan skala indek prestasi mahasiswa.

KEPUSTAKAAN
Babbie, Earl R., The Pravtice of Social Research, 4th Edition, Belmont, CA, Wadsworth,
1986. Kerlinger, F.N., Foundation of Behavioral Research, 2nd Ed., New York, MacMillan, 1971.
Moh nazir, Ph.d. Metode Penelitian, Penerbit Ghalia Indonesia, Jakarta, 2005).


TRANSFORMASI DATA ORDINAL menjadi INTERVAL SECARA MANUAL
(Kasus Transformasi Data Ordinal Menjadi Interval)
Oleh: Suharto*

A. Pendahuluan
Beberapa ahli berpendapat bahwa pelaksanaan penelitian menggunakan metode ilmiah diantaranya adalah dengan melakukan langkah-langkah sistematis. Metode ilmiah sendiri adalah merupakan pengejaran terhadap kebenaran relatif yang diatur oleh pertimbangan-pertimbangan logis. Dan karena keberadaan dari ilmu itu adalah untuk memperoleh interelasi yang sistematis dari fakta-fakta, maka metode ilmiah berkehendak untuk mencari jawaban tentang fakta-fakta dengan menggunakan pendekatan kesangsian sistematis. Karenanya, penelitian dan metode ilmiah, jika tidak dikatakan sama, mempunyai hubungan yang relatif dekat. Dengan adanya metode ilmiah, pertanyaan-pertanyaan dalam mencari dalil umum, akan mudah dijawab. Menuruti Schluter (Moh Nazir), langkah penting sebelum sampai tahapan analisis data dan penentuan model adalah ketika melakukan pengumpulan dan manipulasi data sehingga bisa digunakan bagi keperluan pengujian hipotesis. Mengadakan manipulasi data berarti mengubah data mentah dari awal menjadi suatu bentuk yang dapat dengan mudah memperlihatkan hubungan-hubungan antar fenomena. Kelaziman kuantifikasi sebaiknya dilakukan kecuali bagi atribut-atribut yang tidak dapat dilakukan. Dan dari kuantifikasi data itu, penentuan mana yang dikatakan data nominal, ordinal, ratio dan interval bisa dilakukan demi memasuki wilayah penentuan model.

Pada ilmu-ilmu sosial yang telah lebih berkembang, melakukan analisis berdasarkan pada kerangka hipotesis ilakukan dengan membuat model matematis untuk membangun refleksi hubungan antar fenomena yang secara implisit sudah dilakukan dalam rumusan hipotesis  Analisis data merupakan bagian yang amat penting dalam metode ilmiah. Data bisa memiliki makna setelah dilakukan analisis dengan menggunakan model yang lazim digunakan dan sudah diuji secara ilmiah meskipun memiliki banyak peluang untuk digunakan. Akan tetapi masing-masing model, jika ditelaah satu demi satu, sebenarnya hanya sebagian saja yang bisa digunakan untuk kondisi dan data tertentu. Ia tidak bisa digunakan untuk menganalisis data jika model yang digunakan kurang sesuai dengan bagaimana kita memperoleh data jika menggunakan instrumen. Timbangan tidak bisa digunakan untuk mengukur tinggi badan seseorang. Sebaliknya meteran tidak bisa digunakan untuk mengukur berat badan seseorang. Karena masing-masing instrumen memiliki kegunaan masing-masing. Dalam hal ini, tentu saja kita tidak ingin menggunakan model analisis hanya semata-mata karena menuruti selera dan kepentingan. Suatu model hanya lazim digunakan tergantung dari kondisi bagaimana data dikumpulkan.

Karena pada dasarnya, model adalah alat yang bisa digunakan dalam kondisi dan data apapun. Ia tetap bisa digunakan untuk menghitung secara matematis, akan tetapi tidak dalam teori. Banyaknya konsumsi makanan tentu memiliki hubungan dengan berat badan seseorang. Akan tetapi banyaknya konsumsi makanan penduduk pulau Nias, tidak akan pernah memiliki hubungan dengan berat badan penduduk Kalimantan. Motivasi kerja sebuah perusahaan elektronik, tidak akan memiliki hubungan dengan produktivitas petani karet.

Model analisis statistik hanya bisa digunakan jika data yang diperoleh memiliki syarat-syarat tertentu. Masing-masing variabel tidak memiliki hubungan linier yang eksak. Data yang kita peroleh melalui instrumen pengumpul data itu bisa dianalisis dengan menggunakan model tanpa melanggar kelaziman. Bagi keperluan analisis penelitian ilmu-ilmu sosial, teknik mengurutkan sesuatu ke dalam skala itu artinya begitu penting mengingat sebagian data dalam ilmu-ilmu sosial mempunyai sifat kualitatif. Atribut saja sebagai objek penelitian selain kurang representatif bagi peneliti, juga sebagian orang saat ini menginginkan gradasi yang lebih baik bagi objek penelitian. Orang selain kurang begitu puas dengan atribut baik atau buruk, setuju atau tidak setuju, tetapi juga menginginkan sesuatu yang berada di antara baik dan buruk atau di antara setuju dan tidak setuju. Karena gradasi, merupakan kelaziman yang diminta bagi sebagian orang bisa menguak secara detail objek penelitian. Semakin banyak gradasi yang dibuat dalam instrumen penelitian, hasilnya akan makin representatif.

Menuruti Moh. Nazir, teknik membuat skala adalah cara mengubah fakta-fakta kualitatif (atribut) menjadi suatu urutan kuantitatif (variabel). Mengubah fakta-fakta kualitatif menjadi urutan kuantitatif itu telah menjadi satu kelaziman paling tidak bagi sebagian besar orang, karena berbagai alasan. Pertama, eksistensi matematika sebagai alat yang lebih cenderung digunakan oleh ilmu-ilmu pengetahuan sehingga bisa mengundang kuantitatif variabel. Kedua, ilmu pengetahuan, disamping akurasi data, semakin meminta presisi yang lebih baik, lebih-lebih dalam mengukur gradasi. Karena perlunya presisi, maka kita belum tentu puas dengan atribut baik atau buruk saja. Sebagian peneliti ingin mengukur sifat-sifat yang ada antara baik dan buruk tersebut, sehingga diperoleh suatu skala gradasi yang jelas.

B. Pembahasan
a. Data nominal
Sebelum kita membicarakan bagaimana alat analisis digunakan, akan diberikan ulasan tentang bagaimana sebenarnya data nominal yang sering digunakan dalam statistik nonparametrik bagi mahasiswa. Menuruti Moh. Nazir, data nominal adalah ukuran yang paling sederhana, dimana angka yang diberikan kepada objek mempunyai arti sebagai label saja, dan tidak menunjukkan tingkatan apapun. Ciri-ciri data nominal adalah hanya memiliki atribut, atau nama, atau diskrit. Data nominal merupakan data kontinum dan tidak memiliki urutan. Bila objek dikelompokkan ke dalam set-set, dan kepada semua anggota set diberikan angka, set-set tersebut tidak boleh tumpang tindih dan bersisa. Misalnya tentang jenis olah raga yakni tenis, basket dan renang. Kemudian masing-masing anggota set di atas kita berikan angka, misalnya tenis (1), basket (2) dan renang (3). Jelas kelihatan bahwa angka yang diberikan tidak menunjukkan bahwa tingkat olah raga basket lebih tinggi dari tenis ataupun tingkat renang lebih tinggi dari tenis. Angka tersebut tidak memberikan arti apa-apa jika ditambahkan. Angka yang diberikan hanya berfungsi sebagai label saja. Begitu juga tentang suku, yakni Dayak, Bugis dan Badui. Tentang partai, misalnya Partai Bulan, Partai Bintang dan Partai Matahari. Masing-masing kategori tidak dinyatakan lebih tinggi dari atribut (nama) yang lain. Seseorang yang pergi ke Jakarta, tidak akan pernah mengatakan dua setengah kali, atau tiga seperempat kali. Tetapi akan mengatakan dua kali, lima kali, atau tujuh kali. Begitu seterusnya. Tidak akan pernah ada bilangan pecahan. Data nominal ini diperoleh dari hasil pengukuran dengan skala nominal. Menuruti Sugiono, alat analisis (uji hipotesis asosiatif) statistik nonparametrik yang digunakan untuk data nominal adalah Coeffisien Contingensi  Akan tetapi karena pengujian hipotesis  Coeffisien Contingensi memerlukan rumus Chi Square (χ2), perhitungannya dilakukan setelah kita menghitung Chi Square. Penggunaan model statistik nonparametrik selain Coeffisien Contingensi tidak lazim dilakukan.

b. Data ordinal
Bagian lain dari data kontinum adalah data ordinal. Data ini, selain memiliki nama (atribut), juga memiliki peringkat atau urutan. Angka yang diberikan mengandung tingkatan. Ia digunakan untuk mengurutkan objek dari yang paling rendah sampai yang paling tinggi atau sebaliknya. Ukuran ini tidak memberikan nilai absolut terhadap objek, tetapi hanya memberikan peringkat saja. Jika kita memiliki sebuah set objek yang dinomori, dari 1 sampai n, misalnya peringkat 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 dan seterusnya, bila dinyatakan dalam skala, maka jarak antara data yang satu dengan lainnya tidak sama. Ia akan memiliki urutan mulai dari yang paling tinggi sampai paling rendah. Atau paling baik sampai ke yang paling buruk.

Misalnya dalam skala Likert (Moh Nazir), mulai dari sangat setuju, setuju, ragu-ragu, tidak setuju sampai sangat tidak setuju. Atau jawaban pertanyaan tentang kecenderungan masyarakat untuk menghadiri rapat umum pemilihan kepala daerah, mulai dari tidak pernah absen menghadiri, dengan kode 5, kadang-kadang saja menghadiri, dengan kode 4, kurang menghadiri, dengan kode 3, tidak pernah menghadiri, dengan kode 2 sampai tidak ingin menghadiri sama sekali, dengan kode 1. Dari hasil pengukuran dengan menggunakan skala ordinal ini akan diperoleh data ordinal. Alat analisis (uji hipotesis asosiatif  statistik nonparametrik yang lazim digunakan untuk data ordinal adalah Spearman Rank Correlation dan Kendall Tau.

c. Data interval
Pemberian angka kepada set dari objek yang mempunyai sifat-sifat ukuran ordinal dan ditambah satu sifat lain, yakni jarak yang sama pada pengukuran dinamakan data interval. Data ini memperlihatkan jarak yang sama dari ciri atau sifat objek yang diukur. Akan tetapi ukuran interval tidak memberikan jumlah absolut dari objek yang diukur. Data yang diperoleh dari hasil pengukuran menggunakan skala interval dinamakan data interval.

Misalnya tentang nilai ujian 6 orang mahasiswa, yakni A, B, C, D, E dan F diukur dengan ukuran interval pada skala prestasi dengan ukuran 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 dan 6, maka dapat dikatakan bahwa beda prestasi antara C dan A adalah 3 – 1 = 2. Beda prestasi antara C dan F adalah 6 – 3 = 3. Akan tetapi tidak bisa dikatakan bahwa prestasi E adalah 5 kali prestasi A ataupun prestasi F adalah 3 kali lebih baik dari prestasi B. Dari hasil pengukuran dengan menggunakan skala interval ini akan diperoleh data interval. Alat analisis (uji hipotesis asosiatif)  statistik parametrik yang lazim digunakan untuk data interval ini adalah Pearson Korelasi Product Moment, Partial Correlation, Multiple Correlation, Partial Regression, dan Multiple Regression.

d. Data ratio
Ukuran yang meliputi semua ukuran di atas ditambah dengan satu sifat yang lain, yakni ukuran yang memberikan keterangan tentang nilai absolut dari objek yang diukur dinamakan ukuran ratio. Ukuran ratio memiliki titik nol, karenanya, interval jarak tidak dinyatakan dengan beda angka rata-rata satu kelompok dibandingkan dengan titik nol di atas. Oleh karena ada titik nol, maka ukuran rasio dapat dibuat perkalian ataupun pembagian. Angka pada skala rasio dapat menunjukkan nilai sebenarnya dari objek yang diukur. Jika ada 4 orang pengemudi, A, B, C dan D mempunyai pendapatan masing-masing perhari Rp. 10.000, Rp.30.000, Rp. 40.000 dan Rp. 50.000. bila dilihat dengan ukuran rasio maka pendapatan pengemudi C adalah 4 kali pendapatan pengemudi A. Pendapatan D adalah 5 kali pendapatan A. Pendapatan C adalah 4/3 kali pendapatan B. Dengan kata lain, rasio antara C dan A adalah 4 : 1, rasio antara D dan A adalah 5 : 1, sedangkan rasio antara C dan B adalah 4 : 3. Interval pendapatan pengemudi A dan C adalah 30.000. dan pendapatan pengemudi C adalah 4 kali pendapatan pengemudi A.

Dari hasil pengukuran dengan menggunakan skala rasio ini akan diperoleh data rasio. Alat analisis (uji hipotesis asosiatif)  yang digunakan adalah statistik parametrik dan yang lazim digunakan untuk data rasio ini adalah Pearson Korelasi Product Moment, Partial Correlation, Multiple Correlation, Partial Regression, dan Multiple Regression. Sesuai dengan ulasan jenis pengukuran yang digunakan, maka variabel penelitian diharapkan dapat bagi 4 bagian, yakni variabel nominal, variabel ordinal, variabel interval, dan variabel rasio. Variabel nominal, yaitu variabel yang dikategorikan secara diskrit dan saling terpisah seperti status perkawinan, jenis kelamin, dan sebagainya. Variabel ordinal adalah variabel yang disusun atas dasar peringkat, seperti peringkat prestasi mahasiswa, peringkat perlombaan catur, peringkat tingkat kesukaran suatu pekerjaan dan lain-lain.

Variabel interval adalah variabel yang diukur dengan ukuran interval seperti penghasilan, sikap dan sebagainya, sedangkan variabel rasio adalah variabel yang disusun dengan ukuran rasio seperti tingkat penganggguran, dan sebagainya.

e. Konversi variabel ordinal
Adakalanya kita tidak ingin menguji hipotesis dengan alat uji hipotesis statistik nonparametrik dengan berbagai pertimbangan. Misalnya kita ingin melakukan uji statistik parametrik Pearson Korelasi Product Moment, Partial Correlation, Multiple Correlation, Partial Regression dan Multiple Regression, padahal data yang kita miliki adalah hasil pengukuran dengan skala ordinal, sedangkan persyaratan penggunaan statistik parametrik adalah selain data harus berbentuk interval atau rasio, data harus memiliki distribusi normal. Jika kita tidak ingin melakukan ujinormalitas karena data yang kita miliki adalah data ordinal, hal itu bisa saja kita lakukan dengan cara menaikkan data dari pengukuran skala ordinal menjadi data dalam skala interval dengan metode Suksesive Interval.

Menuruti Al-Rasyid, menaikkan data dengan skala ordinal menjadi skala interval dinamakan transformasi dengan menggunakan metode Suksesiv Interval. Penggunaan skala interval bagi kepentingan statistik parametrik, selain merupakan suatu kelaziman, juga untuk mengubah data agar memiliki sebaran normal. Transformasi menggunakan model ini berarti tidak perlu melakukan uji normalitas. Karena salah satu syarat penggunaan statistik parametrik, selain data harus memiliki skala interval (dan ratio), data harus memiliki distribusi normal. Berbeda dengan statistik nonparametrik, ia hanya digunakan untuk mengukur distribusi. (Ronald E. Walpole).

Berikut ini diberikan contoh sederhana bagaimana kita meningkatkan data hasil pengukuran dengan skala ordinal menjadi data interval dengan metode Suksesiv Interval. Sebenarnya data ini lazimnya hanya dianalisis dengan statistik nonparametrik. Akan tetapi oleh karena model yang diinginkan adalah statistik parametrik, data tersebut ditingkatkan skalanya menjadi data interval dengan menggunakan metode Suksesive Interval, sehingga di dapat dua jenis data yakni data ordinal dan data interval hasil transformasi. Tabel berikut ini adalah konversi variabel ordinal menjadi variabel interval yang disajikan secara simultan. Data ordinal berukuran 100.


Tabel 1.
Proses Konversi Variabel Ordinal menjadi Variabel Interval
1. Pemilih jawaban (kolom 1) atau kategori dan jumlahnya dibuat dari hasil kuisioner fiktif.

2. Masing-masing frekuensi setiap masing-masing kategori dijumlahkan (kolom 2) menjadi jumlah frekuensi.

3. Kolom proporsi (kolom 3) nomor 1 diisi dengan cara, misalnya yang memilih kategori 1 jumlah responden 25 orang, maka proporsinya adalah (25 : 100) = 0,25. Kolom proporsi no 2 diisi dengan cara, kategori 2 dengan jumlah responden 17 orang, maka proporsinya adalah (17 : 100) = 0,17. Kolom proporsi nomor 3 diisi dengan cara, kategori 3 dengan jumlah responden 34 orang, proporsinya adalah (34 : 100) = 0,34. Kemudian kolom proporsi nomor 4 dengan jumlah responden 19 orang, proporsinya dihitung dengan cara (19 : 100) = 0,19, begitu seterusnya sampai ditemukan angka 0,05.

4. Proporsi kumulatif (kolom 4) diisi dengan cara menjumlahkan secara kumulatif item yang ada pada kolom no 3 (proporsi). Misalnya 0,25 + 0,17 = 0,42. Kemudian nilai 0,42 + 0,34 = 0,76. Lalu 0,76 + 0,19 = 0,95. Dan terakhir adalah 0,95 + 0,05 = 1,00. 5. Kolom 5 (Nilai Z), diisi dengan cara melihat tabel Distribusi Normal (Lampiran 1).

Misalnya angka (– 0,67), diperoleh dari luas 0,2500 (tabel Z) terletak di Z yang ke berapa. Jika tidak ada angka yang pas, cari nilai yang terdekat dengan luas 0,2500. Dalam hal ini angka 0,2514 (terdekat dengan angka 0,2500) terletak di Z ke 0,67. Karena angka 0,25 berada di bawah 0,5, maka beri tanda negatif didepannya. Berikutnya adalah angka (– 0,20), diperoleh dari luas (angka) 0,4200 (tabel Z) terletak di Z ke berapa. Jika tidak ada angka yang sama dengan 0,4200, cari nilai yang terdekat dengan angka 0,4200 dalam tabel Z. Dalam contoh ini, angka 0,4207 (terdekat dengan 0,4200) terletak di Z ke 0,2. Karena angka 0,42 berada di bawah 0,5, maka beri tanda negatif di depannya. Kemudian angka (0,71), diperoleh dari luas distribusi normal (angka) 0,7600 (tabel Z). Angka ini harus dihitung dengan jalan menjumlahkan setengah dari luas distribusi normal, yakni (0,5 + 0,26) = 0,76. Untuk mencapai angka 1,0000, berarti ada kekurangan sebesar 0,2400. Tabel Z yang terdekat dengan angka 0,2400 adalah 0,2389 yang terletak di Z ke 0,71. Berikutnya adalah angka (1,64). Angka ini diperoleh dari luas distribusi normal (angka) 0,9500 (tabel Z). Angka ini juga harus dihitung dengan cara menjumlahkan setengah dari luas distribusi normal, yakni (0,5 + 0,45) = 0,95. Untuk mencapai luas 100% (angka 1,000), distribusi ini ada kekurangan sebesar 0,0500. Tabel Z yang terdekat dengan angka 0,0500 adalah 0,0505 (Z ke 1,64) dan 0,495 (Z ke 165) . Oleh karena angka tersebut memiliki nilai sama, maka kita hanya memilih salah satu, yakni di Z ke 1,645. Nilai ordinat (kolom 6) dapat dilihat pada tabel Ordinat Kurva Normal. Angka 0,3187 bersesuaian dengan P 0,25 (kolom 4). Angka 0,3910 bersesuaian dengan P 0,42 (kolom 4). Kemudian angka 0,3101 bersesuaian dengan P 0,76. (1 – P) = 0,24 (kolom 4). Artinya nilai 0,3101 bersesuaian dengan P 0,24. Dst....

Kolom 7
(nilai skala) dicari dengan rumus :
-------------->Kepadatan pd batas bawah – kepadatan pd batas atas
Nilai Skala = ---------------------------------------------------------------
--------------->Daerah di bwh bts atas – daerah di bwh bts bawah
------------------>0,0000 – 0,3187
Nilai skala 1 = ------------------------ = – 1,2748
--------------------->0,25 – 0,00
------------------>0,3187 – 0,3910
Nilai skala 2 = ------------------------ = – 0,4253
--------------------->0,42 – 0,25
------------------>0,3919 – 0,3101
Nilai skala 3 = ------------------------ = 0,2379
--------------------->0,76 – 0,42
------------------>0,3101 – 0,1040
Nilai skala 4 = ------------------------ = 1,0847
--------------------->0,95 – 0,76
------------------>0,1040 – 0,0000
Nilai skala 5 = ------------------------ = 2,0800
--------------------->1,00 – 0,95


Angka yang diperoleh berdasarkan perhitungan di atas kemudian ditransformasi menjadi variabel Interval dengan menggunakan rumus seperti yang dilakukan dalam kolom 8.

Kolom 8. Nilai Y (kolom 8) dicari dengan rumus: Y = Nilai Skala + │ Nilai Skalamin │. Cari nilai negatif paling tinggi pada kolom 7 (nilai skala). Kemudian tambahkan bilangan itu dengan bilangan tertentu agar sama dengan 1. Angka negatif paling tinggi adalah – 1,2748.

Agar bilangan itu sama dengan satu berarti harus di tambah dengan bilangan 2,2748 (bilangan konstan). Kemudian untuk nilai Y2, juga harus ditambah dengan angka 2,2748. Begitu seterusnya sampai nilai Y5.

Y1 = – 1,2748 + 2,2748 = 1
Y2 = – 0,4253 + 2,2748 = 1,8495
Y3 = 0,2379 + 2,2748 = 2,5127
Y4 = 1,0847 + 2,2748 = 3,3595
Y5 = 2,0800 + 2,2748 = 4,3548

C. Kesimpulan
Nilai Yi (kolom 8) merupakan nilai hasil transformasi dari variabel ordinal menjadi variabel interval dengan metode MSI. Dengan kata lain, nilai Yi sudah berbentuk data interval. Bila transformasi serupa juga diberlakukan terhadap Nilai Xi, maka kedua variabel ini bisa digunakan sebagai variabel untuk keperluan analisis Parametrik bagi mahasiswa. Misalnya menggunakan Pearson Korelasi Product Moment, Partial Corelation, Multiple Corelation, Partial Regression, dan Multiple Regression.


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DAFTAR PUSTAKA
Al-Rasyid, H. Teknik Penarikan Sampel dan Penyusunan Skala. Pasca Sarjana UNPAD, Bandung, 1994.
Anita Kesumahati, Skripsi, PS Matematika, Unila, Penggunaan Korelasi Polikhorik dan Pearson untuk Variabel Ordinal Dalam Model Persamaan Struktural, 2005.
J.T. Roscoe, Fundamental Research Statistic for the Behavioral Sciences, Hol, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., New York, 1969.
J Supranto, Statistik, Teori Dan Aplikasi. Edisi Kelima, Penerbit Erlangga Jakarta, 1987.
Moh. Nazir, Ph.D. Metode Penelitian, Penerbit Ghalia Indonesia, Jakarta, 2003.
Ronald E. Walpole, Pengantar Statistika, Edisi ke-3, Penerbit PT. Gramedia Pustaka Utama, Jakarta, 1992.
Riduan, Dasar-dasar Statistika, Penerbit CV. ALFABETA, Bandung, 2005.
Sugiono, Prof. Dr., Statistik Nonparametrik Untuk Penelitian, Penerbit CV. ALFABETA, Bandung, 2004.
Wijayanto, Structural Equation Modeling dengan LISREL 8.5. Pasca Sarjana FE-UI, Jakarta, 2003.
Zaenal Mustafa El Qodri, Pengantar Statistik Terapan Untuk Ekonomi, Penerbit BPFE, Yogyakarta, 1995.
Babbie, Earl R., The Pravtice of Social Research, 4th Edition, Belmont, CA, Wadsworth, 1986.
Kerlinger, F.N., Foundation of Behavioral Research, 2nd Ed., New York, MacMillan, 1971.

TRANSFORMASI DATA ORDINAL KE INTERVAL dan (PERDEBATANNYA)
Perdebatan tentang Konversi Olah Data Ordinal menjadi Interval agar bisa digunakan dalam analisis statistik parametrik sebenarnya sudah selesai dan berakhir beberapa dasawarsa lalu. Sebagaimana dikatakan oleh Prof. Dr. Imam Ghozali, M.Com., (dalam Muji Gunarto). Akan tetapi belakangan ini relatif sering dipertanyakan berkenaan dengan kelaziman model yang akan digunakan oleh mahasiswa ketika akan membuat tugas akhir. Fenomena seperti itu tentu saja merupakan dinamika pemikiran mahasiswa yang makin kritis mengahadapi tugas-tugas kuliah yang makin komplek. Sebelum mahasiswa melakukan penelitian, variabel dan definisi operasionalnya memang harus dilakukan demi memasuki wilayah penetuan model yang akan digunakan. Karena penggunaan model saja, tanpa melakukan pengkajian akan berakibat pada pelanggaran kelaziman terhadap penggunaan model terhadap data yang diperoleh mahasiswa.

Definisi operasional variabel yang dijabarkan sesuai dengan konsep dan teori yang relatif benar akan membantu mengungkapkan penggunaan data penelitian. Karena berdasarkan definisi ini, kita akan menemukan dan membuat klasifikasi data sesuai dengan keperluan. Beberapa Universitas di Indonesia ada yang memberikan syarat dilakukannya transformasi terlebih dahulu terhadap data ordinal, sebelum dilakukan analisis dengan metode multivariate atau analisis path. Misalkan kita akan menganalisis variabel motivasi dan prestasi kerja karyawan sebuah perusahaan. Variabel motivasi kerja karyawan diberi simbol X dan variabel pretasi kerja karyawan diberi simbol Y. Keduanya diukur dalam satuan skala ordinal.

Setelah dilakukan transformasi, data tersebut kemudian dianalisis dengan metode regresi. Katakan hasilnya adalah Y = 4 + 2X. Artinya bila X (motivasi kerja) meningkat 1 satuan, maka Y (prestasi kerja) akan meningkat sebesar 2 satuan. Kita tahu bahwa X ( motivasi kerja) adalah variabel kualitatif. Angka yang diberikan hanya semata-mata merupakan simbol belaka yang diberikan demi kepentingan analisis data. Karena tanpa memberikan angka (numerik), data kualitatif tidak bisa di analisis dengan statistika.

Bagaimana mungkin X (motivasi) bisa mempengaruhi Y dalam satuan numerik?. Kita hanya bisa mengatakan bahwa variabel Motivasi berpengaruh Signifikan terhadap Prestasi Kerja Karena sejak awal, variabel motivasi dan prestasi kerja adalah data kualitatif, bukan numerik. Simbol numerik yang diberikan kepadanya tidak memberikan arti apa-apa secara kuantitatif, akan tetapi hanya merupakan simbol belaka. Coba saja kita bandingkan dengan kasus lain berikut ini, Pupuk yang digunakan dalam satuan (kwintal) akan digunakan untuk memprediksi hasil Produksi Padi dalam satuan (ton). Katakan hasilnya adalah Y = 4 + 2X. Artinya bila Pupuk naik sebesar 1 satuan (kwintal), diharapkan hasil produksi Padi akan naik sebesar 2 satuan (ton).
Satuan dalam kasus ini, yakni kwintal dan ton, merupakan satuan (numerik) yang bisa diukur, dibandingkan secara kuantitatif dan ditimbang.

Karena sejak awal, data yang di analisis merupakan data interval (ratio) numerik yang bisa diukur secara kuantitatif. Akan tetapi data yang pada awalnya merupakan data kualitatif dan di ukur dengan skala Ordinal, misalnya Motivasi Kerja dan Prestasi kerja, meskipun dilakukan transformasi dengan cara menaikkan skalanya dari ordinal menjadi interval, kemudian dilakukan analisis misalnya dengan metode regresi, atau statistik parametrik, tetap saja kita akan menemui kesulitan dalam melakukan interpretasi terhadap hasil (persamaan regresi) yang kita peroleh. Karena sejak awal, data yang kita analisis adalah merupakan data kualitatif (bukan numerik) seperti halnya data interval/ratio.

Pemberian simbol dalam data kualitatif hanya bertujuan untuk memudahkan perhitungan secara matematis. Satuannya, yakni satuan yang ditunjukkan oleh data kualitatif setelah dilakukan pemberian simbol secara numerik tetap saja tidak akan memberikan informasi secara numerik seperti halnya data interval atau ratio.

OLAH DATA ORDINAL MENJADI INTERVAL

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Ms. von Furstenberg made her debut in the movies and on the Broadway stage in the early 1950s as a teenager and later reinvented herself as a television actress, writer and philanthropist.

Betsy von Furstenberg, Baroness and Versatile Actress, Dies at 83

Late in April, after Native American actors walked off in disgust from the set of Adam Sandler’s latest film, a western sendup that its distributor, Netflix, has defended as being equally offensive to all, a glow of pride spread through several Native American communities.

Tantoo Cardinal, a Canadian indigenous actress who played Black Shawl in “Dances With Wolves,” recalled thinking to herself, “It’s come.” Larry Sellers, who starred as Cloud Dancing in the 1990s television show “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman,” thought, “It’s about time.” Jesse Wente, who is Ojibwe and directs film programming at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, found himself encouraged and surprised. There are so few film roles for indigenous actors, he said, that walking off the set of a major production showed real mettle.

But what didn’t surprise Mr. Wente was the content of the script. According to the actors who walked off the set, the film, titled “The Ridiculous Six,” included a Native American woman who passes out and is revived after white men douse her with alcohol, and another woman squatting to urinate while lighting a peace pipe. “There’s enough history at this point to have set some expectations around these sort of Hollywood depictions,” Mr. Wente said.

The walkout prompted a rhetorical “What do you expect from an Adam Sandler film?,” and a Netflix spokesman said that in the movie, blacks, Mexicans and whites were lampooned as well. But Native American actors and critics said a broader issue was at stake. While mainstream portrayals of native peoples have, Mr. Wente said, become “incrementally better” over the decades, he and others say, they remain far from accurate and reflect a lack of opportunities for Native American performers. What’s more, as Native Americans hunger for representation on screen, critics say the absence of three-dimensional portrayals has very real off-screen consequences.

“Our people are still healing from historical trauma,” said Loren Anthony, one of the actors who walked out. “Our youth are still trying to figure out who they are, where they fit in this society. Kids are killing themselves. They’re not proud of who they are.” They also don’t, he added, see themselves on prime time television or the big screen. Netflix noted while about five people walked off the “The Ridiculous Six” set, 100 or so Native American actors and extras stayed.

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But in interviews, nearly a dozen Native American actors and film industry experts said that Mr. Sandler’s humor perpetuated decades-old negative stereotypes. Mr. Anthony said such depictions helped feed the despondency many Native Americans feel, with deadly results: Native Americans have the highest suicide rate out of all the country’s ethnicities.

The on-screen problem is twofold, Mr. Anthony and others said: There’s a paucity of roles for Native Americans — according to the Screen Actors Guild in 2008 they accounted for 0.3 percent of all on-screen parts (those figures have yet to be updated), compared to about 2 percent of the general population — and Native American actors are often perceived in a narrow way.

In his Peabody Award-winning documentary “Reel Injun,” the Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond explored Hollywood depictions of Native Americans over the years, and found they fell into a few stereotypical categories: the Noble Savage, the Drunk Indian, the Mystic, the Indian Princess, the backward tribal people futilely fighting John Wayne and manifest destiny. While the 1990 film “Dances With Wolves” won praise for depicting Native Americans as fully fleshed out human beings, not all indigenous people embraced it. It was still told, critics said, from the colonialists’ point of view. In an interview, John Trudell, a Santee Sioux writer, actor (“Thunderheart”) and the former chairman of the American Indian Movement, described the film as “a story of two white people.”

“God bless ‘Dances with Wolves,’ ” Michael Horse, who played Deputy Hawk in “Twin Peaks,” said sarcastically. “Even ‘Avatar.’ Someone’s got to come save the tribal people.”

Dan Spilo, a partner at Industry Entertainment who represents Adam Beach, one of today’s most prominent Native American actors, said while typecasting dogs many minorities, it is especially intractable when it comes to Native Americans. Casting directors, he said, rarely cast them as police officers, doctors or lawyers. “There’s the belief that the Native American character should be on reservations or riding a horse,” he said.

“We don’t see ourselves,” Mr. Horse said. “We’re still an antiquated culture to them, and to the rest of the world.”

Ms. Cardinal said she was once turned down for the role of the wife of a child-abusing cop because the filmmakers felt that casting her would somehow be “too political.”

Another sore point is the long run of white actors playing American Indians, among them Burt Lancaster, Rock Hudson, Audrey Hepburn and, more recently, Johnny Depp, whose depiction of Tonto in the 2013 film “Lone Ranger,” was viewed as racist by detractors. There are, of course, exceptions. The former A&E series “Longmire,” which, as it happens, will now be on Netflix, was roundly praised for its depiction of life on a Northern Cheyenne reservation, with Lou Diamond Phillips, who is of Cherokee descent, playing a Northern Cheyenne man.

Others also point to the success of Mr. Beach, who played a Mohawk detective in “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and landed a starring role in the forthcoming D C Comics picture “Suicide Squad.” Mr. Beach said he had come across insulting scripts backed by people who don’t see anything wrong with them.

“I’d rather starve than do something that is offensive to my ancestral roots,” Mr. Beach said. “But I think there will always be attempts to drawn on the weakness of native people’s struggles. The savage Indian will always be the savage Indian. The white man will always be smarter and more cunning. The cavalry will always win.”

The solution, Mr. Wente, Mr. Trudell and others said, lies in getting more stories written by and starring Native Americans. But Mr. Wente noted that while independent indigenous film has blossomed in the last two decades, mainstream depictions have yet to catch up. “You have to stop expecting for Hollywood to correct it, because there seems to be no ability or desire to correct it,” Mr. Wente said.

There have been calls to boycott Netflix but, writing for Indian Country Today Media Network, which first broke news of the walk off, the filmmaker Brian Young noted that the distributor also offered a number of films by or about Native Americans.

The furor around “The Ridiculous Six” may drive more people to see it. Then one of the questions that Mr. Trudell, echoing others, had about the film will be answered: “Who the hell laughs at this stuff?”

Native American Actors Work to Overcome a Long-Documented Bias

Gagne wrestled professionally from the late 1940s until the 1980s and was a transitional figure between the early 20th century barnstormers and the steroidal sideshows of today

Verne Gagne, Wrestler Who Grappled Through Two Eras, Dies at 89

WASHINGTON — During a training course on defending against knife attacks, a young Salt Lake City police officer asked a question: “How close can somebody get to me before I’m justified in using deadly force?”

Dennis Tueller, the instructor in that class more than three decades ago, decided to find out. In the fall of 1982, he performed a rudimentary series of tests and concluded that an armed attacker who bolted toward an officer could clear 21 feet in the time it took most officers to draw, aim and fire their weapon.

The next spring, Mr. Tueller published his findings in SWAT magazine and transformed police training in the United States. The “21-foot rule” became dogma. It has been taught in police academies around the country, accepted by courts and cited by officers to justify countless shootings, including recent episodes involving a homeless woodcarver in Seattle and a schizophrenic woman in San Francisco.

Now, amid the largest national debate over policing since the 1991 beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles, a small but vocal set of law enforcement officials are calling for a rethinking of the 21-foot rule and other axioms that have emphasized how to use force, not how to avoid it. Several big-city police departments are already re-examining when officers should chase people or draw their guns and when they should back away, wait or try to defuse the situation

Police Rethink Long Tradition on Using Force

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Sid Tepper Dies at 96; Delivered ‘Red Roses for a Blue Lady’ and Other Songs

HOBART, Tasmania — Few places seem out of reach for China’s leader, Xi Jinping, who has traveled from European capitals to obscure Pacific and Caribbean islands in pursuit of his nation’s strategic interests.

So perhaps it was not surprising when he turned up last fall in this city on the edge of the Southern Ocean to put down a long-distance marker in another faraway region, Antarctica, 2,000 miles south of this Australian port.

Standing on the deck of an icebreaker that ferries Chinese scientists from this last stop before the frozen continent, Mr. Xi pledged that China would continue to expand in one of the few places on earth that remain unexploited by humans.

He signed a five-year accord with the Australian government that allows Chinese vessels and, in the future, aircraft to resupply for fuel and food before heading south. That will help secure easier access to a region that is believed to have vast oil and mineral resources; huge quantities of high-protein sea life; and for times of possible future dire need, fresh water contained in icebergs.

It was not until 1985, about seven decades after Robert Scott and Roald Amundsen raced to the South Pole, that a team representing Beijing hoisted the Chinese flag over the nation’s first Antarctic research base, the Great Wall Station on King George Island.

But now China seems determined to catch up. As it has bolstered spending on Antarctic research, and as the early explorers, especially the United States and Australia, confront stagnant budgets, there is growing concern about its intentions.

China’s operations on the continent — it opened its fourth research station last year, chose a site for a fifth, and is investing in a second icebreaker and new ice-capable planes and helicopters — are already the fastest growing of the 52 signatories to the Antarctic Treaty. That gentlemen’s agreement reached in 1959 bans military activity on the continent and aims to preserve it as one of the world’s last wildernesses; a related pact prohibits mining.

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But Mr. Xi’s visit was another sign that China is positioning itself to take advantage of the continent’s resource potential when the treaty expires in 2048 — or in the event that it is ripped up before, Chinese and Australian experts say.

“So far, our research is natural-science based, but we know there is more and more concern about resource security,” said Yang Huigen, director general of the Polar Research Institute of China, who accompanied Mr. Xi last November on his visit to Hobart and stood with him on the icebreaker, Xue Long, or Snow Dragon.

With that in mind, the polar institute recently opened a new division devoted to the study of resources, law, geopolitics and governance in Antarctica and the Arctic, Mr. Yang said.

Australia, a strategic ally of the United States that has strong economic relations with China, is watching China’s buildup in the Antarctic with a mix of gratitude — China’s presence offers support for Australia’s Antarctic science program, which is short of cash — and wariness.

“We should have no illusions about the deeper agenda — one that has not even been agreed to by Chinese scientists but is driven by Xi, and most likely his successors,” said Peter Jennings, executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and a former senior official in the Australian Department of Defense.

“This is part of a broader pattern of a mercantilist approach all around the world,” Mr. Jennings added. “A big driver of Chinese policy is to secure long-term energy supply and food supply.”

That approach was evident last month when a large Chinese agriculture enterprise announced an expansion of its fishing operations around Antarctica to catch more krill — small, protein-rich crustaceans that are abundant in Antarctic waters.

“The Antarctic is a treasure house for all human beings, and China should go there and share,” Liu Shenli, the chairman of the China National Agricultural Development Group, told China Daily, a state-owned newspaper. China would aim to fish up to two million tons of krill a year, he said, a substantial increase from what it currently harvests.

Because sovereignty over Antarctica is unclear, nations have sought to strengthen their claims over the ice-covered land by building research bases and naming geographic features. China’s fifth station will put it within reach of the six American facilities, and ahead of Australia’s three.

Chinese mappers have also given Chinese names to more than 300 sites, compared with the thousands of locations on the continent with English names.

In the unspoken competition for Antarctica’s future, scientific achievement can also translate into influence. Chinese scientists are driving to be the first to drill and recover an ice core containing tiny air bubbles that provide a record of climate change stretching as far back as 1.5 million years. It is an expensive and delicate effort at which others, including the European Union and Australia, have failed.

In a breakthrough a decade ago, European scientists extracted an ice core nearly two miles long that revealed 800,000 years of climate history. But finding an ice core going back further would allow scientists to examine a change in the earth’s climate cycles believed to have occurred 900,000 to 1.2 million years ago.

China is betting it has found the best location to drill, at an area called Dome A, or Dome Argus, the highest point on the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. Though it is considered one of the coldest places on the planet, with temperatures of 130 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, a Chinese expedition explored the area in 2005 and established a research station in 2009.

“The international community has drilled in lots of places, but no luck so far,” said Xiao Cunde, a member of the first party to reach the site and the deputy director of the Institute for Climate Change at the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences. “We think at Dome A we will have a straight shot at the one-million-year ice core.”

Mr. Xiao said China had already begun drilling and hoped to find what scientists are looking for in four to five years.

To support its Antarctic aspirations, China is building a sophisticated $300 million icebreaker that is expected to be ready in a few years, said Xia Limin, deputy director of the Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration in Beijing. It has also bought a high-tech fixed-wing aircraft, outfitted in the United States, for taking sensitive scientific soundings from the ice.

China has chosen the site for its fifth research station at Inexpressible Island, named by a group of British explorers who were stranded at the desolate site in 1912 and survived the winter by excavating a small ice cave.

Mr. Xia said the inhospitable spot was ideal because China did not have a presence in that part of Antarctica, and because the rocky site did not have much snow, making it relatively cheap to build there.

Anne-Marie Brady, a professor of political science at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and the author of a soon-to-be-released book, “China as a Polar Great Power,” said Chinese scientists also believed they had a good chance of finding mineral and energy resources near the site.

“China is playing a long game in Antarctica and keeping other states guessing about its true intentions and interests are part of its poker hand,” she said. But she noted that China’s interest in finding minerals was presented “loud and clear to domestic audiences” as the main reason it was investing in Antarctica.

Because commercial drilling is banned, estimates of energy and mineral resources in Antarctica rely on remote sensing data and comparisons with similar geological environments elsewhere, said Millard F. Coffin, executive director of the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies in Hobart.

But the difficulty of extraction in such severe conditions and uncertainty about future commodity prices make it unlikely that China or any country would defy the ban on mining anytime soon.

Tourism, however, is already booming. Travelers from China are still a relatively small contingent in the Antarctic compared with the more than 13,000 Americans who visited in 2013, and as yet there are no licensed Chinese tour operators.

But that is about to change, said Anthony Bergin, deputy director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. “I understand very soon there will be Chinese tourists on Chinese vessels with all-Chinese crew in the Antarctic,” he said.

 

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ate in February, Dr. Ben Carson, the celebrated pediatric neurosurgeon turned political insurrectionist, was trying to check off another box on his presidential-campaign to-do list: hiring a press secretary. The lead prospect, a public-relations specialist named Deana Bass, had come to meet him at the dimly lit Capitol Hill office of Carson’s confidant and business manager, Armstrong Williams. Carson sat back and scrutinized her from behind a small granite table, as life-size cardboard cutouts of more conventional politicians — President Obama, with a tight smile, and Senator John McCain, glowering — loomed behind each of his shoulders. (The mock $3 bill someone had left on a table in Williams’s waiting room undercut any notion that this was a bipartisan zone; it featured Obama wearing a turban.)

Bass seemed momentarily speechless, and not just because no one had warned her that a New York Times reporter would be sitting in on her job interview. Though she knew Williams — a jack-of-all-trades entrepreneur who owns several television stations and a public-affairs business and who hosts a daily talk-radio show — through Washington’s small circle of black conservatives, the two hadn’t spoken in years until he called her two days earlier. He had been struggling to come up with the perfect national spokesperson, he told her. Then, at the gym, her name popped into his head; Williams was fairly certain she was the one. Sitting across from a likely candidate for president, Bass was adjusting to the idea that her life might be about to take a sudden chaotic turn.

“It’s like getting the most random call on a Monday that you simply do not see coming,” she said. “Oftentimes, that is how the Lord works.”

Continue reading the main story

His life in brain surgery
has prepared him for the
presidency, he maintains,
better than lives in
politics have for his rivals.

Carson concurred: “It’s always how he works in my life.” Carson is soft-spoken and often talks with his eyes half closed, frequently punctuating his sentences with a small laugh, even if the humor of his statement is not readily apparent. Bass told Carson that she had been a Republican staff member on Capitol Hill then worked for the Republican National Committee. In 2007 she started a Christian public-relations firm with her sister. She enjoyed working on the Hill, she said, but the pay wasn’t as high as the hours were long. “We figured that we worked like slaves for other people, and we wanted to work for ourselves.”

Carson stopped her. “You know you can’t mention that word, right?” Carson waited a beat, then laughed, and Williams and Bass joined in. He was getting to the point; he needed a professional who could help him check his penchant for creating uncontrolled controversy just by talking.

The Ben Carson movement began in 2013, when Carson, a neurosurgeon, whose operating-room prowess and up-from-poverty back story had made him the subject of a television movie and a regular on the inspirational-speaking circuit, was invited to address the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. With Barack Obama sitting just two seats away, Carson warned that “moral decay” and “fiscal irresponsibility” could destroy America just as it did ancient Rome. He proposed a substitute for Obamacare — Health Savings Accounts, which, he said, would end any talk of “death panels” — and a flat-tax based on the concept of tithing. His address, combined with the president’s stony reaction, was a smash with Republican activists. Speaking and interview requests flooded in. Carson, then 61, announced his planned retirement a few weeks later, freeing his calendar to accept just about all of them. In the months that followed, his rhetoric became increasingly strident. The claim that drew the most attention, perhaps, was that Obamacare was “the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery.”

Bass’s own use of the word prompted Carson to ask her what she thought about that incident. She considered for a moment.

“If you want to reach people and have them even understand what you’re saying, there is a way to do it, without that hyperbole, that might be. . . . ” She paused. “I just think it’s important not to shut people off before they —”

Carson jumped in. “That doesn’t allow them to hear what you’re saying?”

Bass nodded.

Likening Obamacare to slavery — and slavery was incomparably worse, Carson said — had its political advantages for a candidacy like his. It was the kind of statement that stoked the angriest of the Republican voters: conservative stalwarts who can’t hear enough bad things about Obama. This, in turn, led to more talk-radio and Fox News appearances, more book sales, more donations to the super PAC started in his name, more support in the polls. (The day before the meeting, one poll of Republican voters showed Carson statistically tied for first place with Jeb Bush and Scott Walker.)

Rhetorical excess was good for business, but Carson now wants to be seen as more than a novelty candidate. He has come to learn that such extreme analogies, while true to his views, aren’t especially presidential. They alienate more moderate voters and, perhaps even more damaging, reinforce the impression that he is not “serious” — that he is another Herman Cain, the black former Godfather’s Pizza chief executive who rose to the top of the early presidential polls in 2011 but then bowed out before the Iowa caucuses, largely because of leaked allegations of sexual misconduct, which he denied but from which he never recovered. Cain lingers as a cautionary tale for the party as much as for a right-leaning candidate like Carson. The fact that Cain, with his folksy sayings (“shucky ducky”) and misnomers (“Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan”), reached the top of the national polls — much less that he was eventually followed there by the likes of Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, who all topped one or another poll in the 2012 primary season — wound up being a considerable embarrassment for the eventual nominee, Mitt Romney, and for the longtime party regulars who were trying to fast-track his way to the nomination.

Carson liked Bass and, without directly saying so, made it clear the job was hers for the taking. Carson’s campaign chairman, Terry Giles — a white lawyer whose clients have included the comedian Richard Pryor and the stepson of the model Anna Nicole Smith and who helped reconcile the business interests of the descendants of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. — had assembled a mostly white campaign team, including many from the 2012 Gingrich effort, and Carson wanted a person of color to speak for him. Bass said she would have to mull it over, pray about it. Carson nodded approvingly. “Pray about it,” he said. “See what you think.”

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Williams knew the party was intent on protecting the eventual 2016 nominee from the same embarrassment Romney suffered. Already, suspiciously tough articles about Carson were showing up in conservative magazines and on right-wing websites. “They’re protecting these establishment candidates,” Williams said. “This is coming from within the house. This is family.” At the very least, he wanted to make sure that Carson didn’t do their work for them. (Carson would commit another unforced error a week later, when he told CNN that homosexuality was clearly a choice, because a lot of people go in prison straight and “when they come out, they’re gay”; he later apologized.)

“We need somebody to protect him, sometimes, from himself,” he told Bass — laughing, but only half kidding.

A candidacy like Carson’s presents a new kind of problem to the establishment wing of the G.O.P., which, at least since 1980, has selected its presidential nominees with a routine efficiency that Democrats could only envy. The establishment candidate has usually been a current or former governor or senator, blandly Protestant, hailing from the moderate, big-business wing of the party (or at least friendly with it) and almost always a second-, third- or fourth-time national contender — someone who had waited “his turn.” These candidates would tack predictably to the right during the primaries to satisfy the evangelicals, deficit hawks, libertarian leaners and other inconvenient but vital constituents who made up the “base” of the party. In return, the base would, after a brief flirtation with some fantasy candidate like Steve Forbes or Pat Buchanan, “hold their noses” and deliver their votes come November. This bargain was always tenuous, of course, and when some of the furthest-right activists turned against George W. Bush, citing (among other apostasies) his expansion of Medicare’s prescription drug benefit, it began to fall apart. After Barack Obama defeated McCain in 2008, the party’s once dependable base started to reconsider the wisdom of holding their noses at all.

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Republican candidates at a pre-straw-poll debate, held at Iowa State University in 2011. Credit Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

This insurgent attitude was helped along by changes in the nomination rules. In 2010, the Republican National Committee, hoping to capture the excitement of the coast-to-coast Democratic primary competition between Obama and Hillary Clinton, introduced new voting rules that required many of the early voting states to award some delegates to losing candidates, based on their shares of the vote. The proportional voting rules would encourage struggling candidates to stay in the primaries even after successive losses, as Clinton did, because they might be able to pull together enough delegates to take the nomination in a convention-floor fight or at least use them to bargain for a prime speaking slot or cabinet post.

This shift in incentives did not go unnoticed by potential 2012 candidates, nor did changes in election law that allowed billionaire donors to form super PACs in support of pet candidacies. At the same time, increasingly widespread broadband Internet access allowed candidates to reach supporters directly with video and email appeals and supporters to send money with the tap of a smartphone, making it easier than ever for individual candidates to ignore the wishes of the party.

Into this newly chaotic Republican landscape strode Mitt Romney. There could be no doubt that it was his turn, and yet his journey to the nomination was interrupted by one against-the-odds challenger after another — Cain, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul; always Ron Paul. It was easy to dismiss the 2012 primaries as a meaningless circus, but the onslaught did much more than tarnish the overall Republican brand. It also forced Romney to spend money he could have used against Obama and defend his right flank with embarrassing pandering that shadowed him through the general election. It was while trying to block a surge from Gingrich, for instance, that Romney told a debate audience that he was for the “self-deportation” of undocumented immigrants.

At the 2012 convention in Tampa, a group of longtime party hands, including Romney’s lawyer, Ben Ginsberg, gathered to discuss how to prevent a repeat of what had become known inside and outside the party as the “clown show.” Their aim was not just to protect the party but also to protect a potential President Romney from a primary challenge in 2016. They forced through new rules that would give future presumptive nominees more control over delegates in the event of a convention fight. They did away with the mandatory proportional delegate awards that encouraged long-shot candidacies. And, in a noticeably targeted effort, they raised the threshold that candidates needed to meet to enter their names into nomination, just as Ron Paul’s supporters were working to reach it. When John A. Boehner gaveled the rules in on a voice vote — a vote that many listeners heard as a tie, if not an outright loss — the hall erupted and a line of Ron Paul supporters walked off the floor in protest, along with many Tea Party members.

At a party meeting last winter, Reince Priebus, who as party chairman is charged with maintaining the support of all his constituencies, did restore some proportional primary and caucus voting, but only in states that held voting within a shortened two-week window. And he also condensed the nominating schedule to four and a half months from six months, and, for the first time required candidates to participate in a shortened debate schedule, determined by the party, not by the whims of the networks. (The panel that recommended those changes included names closely identified with the establishment — the former Bush White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, the Mississippi committeeman Haley Barbour and, notably, Jeb Bush’s closest adviser, Sally Bradshaw.)

Grass-roots activists have complained that the condensed schedule robs nonestablishment candidates — “movement candidates” like Carson — of the extra time they need to build momentum, money and organizations. But Priebus, who says the nomination could be close to settled by April, said it helped all the party’s constituencies when the nominee was decided quickly. “We don’t need a six-month slice-and-dice festival,” Priebus said when we spoke in mid-March. “While I can’t always control everyone’s mouth, I can control how long we can kill each other.”

All the rules changes were built to sidestep the problems of 2012. But the 2016 field is shaping up to be vastly different and far larger. A new Republican hints that he or she is considering a run seemingly every week. There are moderates like Gov. John Kasich of Ohio and former Gov. George Pataki of New York; no-compromise conservatives like Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania; business-wingers like the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina; one-of-a-kinds like Donald Trump — some 20 in all, a dozen or so who seem fairly serious about it. That opens the possibility of multiple candidates vying for all the major Republican constituencies, some of them possibly goaded along by super-PAC-funding billionaires, all of them trading wins and collecting delegates well into spring.

Giles says his candidate can capitalize on all that chaos. Rivals may laugh, but Giles argues that if Carson can make a respectable showing in Iowa, then win in South Carolina — or at least come in second should a home-state senator, Lindsey Graham, run — and come in second behind Bush or Senator Marco Rubio in their home state of Florida, he could be positioned to make a real run. But that would depend on avoiding pitfalls like Carson’s ill-considered comments on homosexuality. Rather than capitalizing on the chaos, Carson may only contribute to it.

Ben Carson is, in many ways, the ideal Republican presidential candidate. With a not-too-selective reading of his life story, conservative voters can — and do — see in him an inspiring, up-from-nowhere African-American who shares their beliefs, a right-wing answer to Barack Obama. Before he was born, his parents moved to Detroit from rural Tennessee as part of the second great migration. His father, Robert Solomon Carson, worked at a Cadillac factory. His mother, Sonya — who herself had grown up as one of 24 children and left school at third grade — cleaned houses. When Carson was 8, Sonya discovered that Robert was keeping a second family. She moved, with her two sons, into a rundown group house. It was in a part of town that Carson described to me as crawling with “big rats and roaches and all kinds of horrible things.” Sonya worked several jobs at a time and made up the shortfall with food stamps. (Carson has called for paring back the social safety net but not doing away with it.)

Carson recounts this story in his best-selling 1990 memoir, “Gifted Hands,” which also became the basis for a 2009 movie on TNT, starring Cuba Gooding Jr. as Carson. Raised as a Seventh Day Adventist, Carson realized that he wanted to become a physician during a church sermon about a missionary doctor who, while serving overseas, was almost attacked by thieves but found safety by putting his faith in God. When Carson, then 8, told his mother his new dream, “She said, ‘Absolutely, you could do it, you could do anything,’ ” he told me. Forced by his mother to read two extra books a week, he made it to Yale, then to medical school at the University of Michigan, where he decided to specialize in neurosurgery. He was selected for residency at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, where he was named director of pediatric neurosurgery at 33, becoming the youngest person, and the first black person, to hold the title. He drew national attention by conducting a succession of operations that had never been performed successfully, most famously planning and managing the first separation of conjoined twins connected through major blood vessels in the brain.

Carson, a two-time Jimmy Carter voter, traces his conservative political awakening to a patient he met during the Reagan years. During a routine obstetrics rotation, he found himself treating an unwed pregnant teenager who had run away from her well-to-do parents. When Carson asked her how she was getting by, she informed him she was on public assistance; this led him to ponder the fact that the government was paying for the result of what he did not view as a “wise decision.” The incident, he says, fed his growing sense that the welfare system too often saps motivation and rewards irresponsible behavior. (When we spoke, he suggested that the government should cut off assistance to would-be unwed mothers, but only after warning them that it would do so within a certain amount of time, say five years. “I bet you’d see a dramatic decrease in unwed motherhood.”)

Carson’s friends at Hopkins say they do not remember him being particularly outspoken about his conservatism. He devoted most of his public engagement to urging poor kids in bad neighborhoods to use “these fancy brains God gave us,” through weekly school visits, student hospital tours and, ultimately, a multimillion-dollar scholarship program. “His issues were always medical care for the poor, education for the poor, equal opportunity — helping the less fortunate and really inspiring them as an example,” a mentor who named him to the chief pediatrics-neurosurgery post at Hopkins, Dr. Donlin Long, told me.

Even when Carson got the chance, in 1997, to speak in front of President Bill Clinton, at the national prayer breakfast, he mostly discussed the lack of role models for black children who were not sports stars or rappers. (There was possibly an oblique reference to Clinton’s sex scandals, when he told the audience that, if they are always honest, they won’t have to worry later about “skeletons in the closet.”)

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Ben Carson at CPAC on Feb. 26 in Oxon Hill, Md. Credit Dolly Faibyshev for The New York Times

In 2011, Carson’s politics took a strident turn, mirroring that of many in his party during the Obama years. “America the Beautiful,” his sixth book, which he wrote with Candy Carson, his wife of 39 years, included a get-tough-on-illegal-immigration message and offered anti-establishment praise for the Tea Party. It suggested that blacks who voted for Obama only because he was black were themselves practicing a form of racism. (Earlier this year he admitted to Buzzfeed that portions of the book were lifted directly from several sources without proper attribution.) His prayer-breakfast performance in 2013, and the extremity of his remarks in the months afterward (Obamacare is the worst thing since slavery; the United States is “very much like Nazi Germany”; allowing same-sex marriage could lead to allowing bestiality), left some of his old friends bewildered. Students at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine protested his planned convocation address there in 2013, and he eventually backed out. When I asked Carson about the view at Hopkins that he had changed, he said his themes are still the same: “hard work, self-reliance, helping other people.” If he had become more overtly political, he said, it was only because the Obama years had led him to believe that “we’re really moving in a direction that is very, very destructive.”

None of this went unnoticed by campaign professionals. In August 2013, John Philip Sousa IV and Vernon Robinson, each of whom professes to be a virtual stranger to Carson, and who had previously been active in the anti-illegal-immigration movement, started the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee. Sousa was just coming off a campaign to defend the sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, Joe Arpaio, from a recall effort, and he told me that he found Carson’s lack of political experience refreshing. “We have 500 guys and gals with probably a collective 5,000 years experience, and look at the mess we’re in,” he said.

Many others in the party feel the same way. Carson’s PAC finished 2014 with more than $13 million in donations, more than Ready for Hillary. Much of its money has gone toward further fund-raising, but Sousa — the great-grandson of the famous composer — points out that their effort has already built far more than just a war chest, organizing leaders in all 99 of Iowa’s counties. Regardless, Carson credits the fund-raising success of Sousa and Robinson with persuading him to enter the race.

Very early the morning after the job interview, Carson was in a black S.U.V., heading from Washington to the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Oxon Hill, Md., where he was to give the opening candidate speech of the Conservative Political Action Conference. The event, which functions as an early tryout for Republican presidential contenders, tends to skew rightward in its audience, drawing many of the same sorts of people who shouted at Boehner in Tampa. As such, it tends to favor anti-establishment candidates, but the news leading up to this year’s event was that Jeb Bush hoped to make inroads there.

It was still dark when we set out, and I joked with Carson about the hour, telling him he’d better get used to it. He retorted that his career in pediatric brain surgery made him no stranger to early mornings. This is a big theme of Carson’s presidential pitch: that neither the rigors of the campaign nor those of the White House can faze a man who held children’s lives in his hands. His life in brain surgery has prepared him for the presidency, he maintains, better than lives in politics have for his rivals. At the very least, he says, it conditioned him against getting too worked up about any problem that isn’t life threatening. “I mean, it’s grueling, but interestingly enough, I don’t feel the pressure,” he said.

At the convention hall, we were quickly surrounded by admirers. Two women were already waiting to meet him — white, middle-aged volunteers for Carson’s super PAC, who had traveled from South Carolina. One of them, Chris Horne, was holding a dog-eared and taped Bible. A founding member of the Charleston Tea Party who went on to work for Gingrich’s successful South Carolina primary campaign in 2012, Horne lamented over the attacks that Carson was sure to face. “You served us, you served the Lord, just don’t let them steal that from you,” she said. Her friend told him, “You’ve got God behind you!” Such religious evocations trailed Carson constantly while I walked the CPAC floor with him. Evangelicals are impressed not only with his devotion to their politics but also with his career path; as one of them told me, what’s more pro-life than saving babies?

During our ride to the conference, Carson told me his speech was not looking to “feed the beast.” When his appointed time came, he kept his remarks as tame as promised. “Real compassion” meant “using our intellect” to help people “climb out of dependency and realize the American dream,” he said. The national debt is going to “destroy us,” Obamacare was about “redistribution and control,” but Republicans better come forward with their own alternative before they repeal it, he said.

Because his speech was first, and it started several minutes early, the auditorium was slow to fill. Still, the first day saw a crush of people seeking autographs and pictures as he roamed the hall. The Draft Carson committee’s 150 volunteers swarmed the auditorium, collecting emails and handing out “Run Ben Run” stickers. After a quick interview with Sean Hannity, the conservative-radio and Fox News host — his second in two days — Carson was off to Tampa.

In the hours that followed his talk, the hall offered a view in miniature of what the next 12 to 14 months might hold for the party. Chris Christie, sitting across from the tough-minded talk-radio host Laura Ingraham, boasted about his multiple vetoes of Planned Parenthood funding, his refusal to raise income taxes and his belief that “sometimes people need to be told to sit down and shut up.” Cruz, an audience favorite, warning his fellow Republicans against falling for a “squishy moderate,” declared, “Take all 125,000 I.R.S. agents and put ’em on our Southern border!” Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, surging in polls, boasted that if he could face down the 100,000 union supporters who protested his legislation limiting collective bargaining for public employees, he could certainly handle ISIS. The next day, the traditional CPAC favorite Rand Paul spoke, packing the hall with his supporters who chanted “President Paul.” He warned, counter to the overall hawkish tenor of the event, that “we should not succumb to the notion that a government inept at home will somehow become successful abroad.” But he also vowed to end foreign aid to countries whose citizens are seen burning American flags. “Not one penny more to these haters of America.”

Perhaps the defining moment came near the end of the conference, when Jeb Bush spoke. In a neat trick of political gamesmanship — and a show of establishment muscle — his team had bused in an ample cheering section for the dozens of cameras on hand for his appearance. But a small contingent of Tea Party activists and Rand Paul supporters staged a walk out. When Bush began a question-and-answer session, they turned and left the auditorium to chant “U.S.A., U.S.A.” in the hallway, led by a man in colonial garb waving a huge “Don’t Tread on Me” banner. Plenty of other detractors stayed in the hall and peppered Bush’s remarks with booing as he stood by positions unpopular with the conservative grass roots: support for the Common Core standards and an immigration overhaul that provides a “path to legal status” for undocumented immigrants. Bush took it all in good humor, but finally seemed to give up.

“For those who made an ‘oo’ sound — is that what it was? — I’m marking you down as neutral,” he said. “And I want to be your second choice.”

Bush strategists told me they would not repeat Romney’s mistakes. Of course they would love to glide to an early nomination, they said, but they are prepared for a long contest and won’t be wasting any energy bending under pressure from a Paul or a Cruz or a Carson.

No one doubts that the pressure will increase, though. Despite the best wishes of the party’s leaders, GOP primary voters have given little indication that they will narrow the field quickly.

Before I left, I spotted Newt Gingrich, himself a fleeting presidential front-runner during those strange primary days of 2012. I asked him whether he thought all the party maneuvering — all the attempts to change the rules and fast-track the process — would preclude someone from presenting the sort of outside primary challenge he had carried out in the last election.

“No,” he told me, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. “Look at where Ben Carson is right now.”

Jim Rutenberg is the chief political correspondent for the magazine. His most recent feature was about Megyn Kelly.

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Frontline  An installment of this PBS program looks at the effects of Ebola on Liberia and other countries, as well as the origins of the outbreak.
Frontline

Frontline An installment of this PBS program looks at the effects of Ebola on Liberia and other countries, as well as the origins of the outbreak.

The program traces the outbreak to its origin, thought to be a tree full of bats in Guinea.

Review: ‘9-Man’ Is More Than a Game for Chinese-Americans

A variation of volleyball with nine men on each side is profiled Tuesday night on the World Channel in an absorbing documentary called “9-Man.”

Television

‘Hard Earned’ Documents the Plight of the Working Poor

“Hard Earned,” an Al Jazeera America series, follows five working-class families scrambling to stay ahead on limited incomes.

Review: ‘Frontline’ Looks at Missteps During the Ebola Outbreak
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