Miguel Paz writes: Poderomedia Foundation and PinLatam are launching OpenDataLatinoamerica.org, a regional data repository to free data and use it on Hackathons and other activities by HacksHackers chapters and other organizations. We are doing this because the road to the future of news has been littered with lost datasets. A day or so after every [...]
Following up on this post by Noah Smith on economics in science fiction, Mark Palko writes on economics in crime fiction. Just as almost all science fiction is ultimately about politics, one could say that just about all crime fiction is about economics. But if I had to pick one crime novelist with an economics [...]
Mark Palko writes: Salmon is dismissive of the claim that there are fifty million over-the-air television viewers: The 50 million number, by the way, should not be considered particularly reliable: it’s Aereo’s guess as to the number of people who ever watch free-to-air TV, even if they mainly watch cable or satellite. (Maybe they have [...]
I had no idea this sort of thing even existed: I’m reminded of our discussion of Charles Murray’s recent book on social divisions among Americans. Murray talked about differences between upper and lower class, but I thought he was really talking more about differences between liberals and conservatives among the elite. (More discussion here.) In [...]
A graph at war with its caption. Also, how to visualize the same numbers without giving the display a misleading causal feel?
Kaiser Fung discusses the following graph that is captioned, “A study of 54 nations–ranked below–found that those with more progressive tax rates had happier citizens, on average.” As Kaiser writes, “from a purely graphical perspective, the chart is well executed . . . they have 54 points, and the chart still doesn’t look too crammed [...]
I encourage you to check out our linked blogs. Here’s what they’re all about: Cognitive and Behavioral Science BPS Research Digest: I haven’t been following this one recently, but it has lots of good links, I should probably check it more often. There are a couple things that bother me, though. The blog is sponsored [...]
Fabio Rojas points me to this excellently-titled working paper by Joseph DiGrazia, Karissa McKelvey, Johan Bollen, and himself: Is social media a valid indicator of political behavior? We answer this ques- tion using a random sample of 537,231,508 tweets from August 1 to November 1, 2010 and data from 406 competitive U.S. congressional elections provided [...]
Following up on our blog discussions a year ago, I published a review of Charles Murray’s recent book, “Coming Apart,” for the journal Statistics, Politics, and Policy. I invited Murray to publish a response, and he did so. Here’s the abstract to my review: This article examines some claims made in a recent popular book [...]
Noam Chomsky elicits a lot of emotional reactions. I’ve talked with some linguists who think Chomsky’s been a real roadblock to research in recent decades. Other linguists love Chomsky, but I think they’re the kind of linguists I wouldn’t spend much time talking with. Many people admire Chomsky’s political activism, but sociologist blogger Fabio Rojas [...]
Pushback from the elites Insides and essences: Early understandings of the non-obvious
Doug Hartmann writes (link from Jay Livingston): Justice Antonin Scalia’s comment in the Supreme Court hearings on the U.S. law defining marriage that “there’s considerable disagreement among sociologists as to what the consequences of raising a child in a single-sex family, whether that is harmful to the child or not.” Hartman argues that Scalia is [...]
Michael Collins sent along the following announcement for a talk: Fast learning algorithms for discovering the hidden structure in data Daniel Hsu, Microsoft Research 11am, Wednesday April 10th, Interschool lab, 7th floor CEPSR, Columbia University A major challenge in machine learning is to reliably and automatically discover hidden structure in data with minimal human intervention. [...]
My paper with Christian Robert, “Not Only Defended But Also Applied”: The Perceived Absurdity of Bayesian Inference, was recently published in The American Statistician, along with discussions by Steve Fienberg, Steve Stigler, Deborah Mayo, and Wesley Johnson, and our rejoinder, The Anti-Bayesian Moment and Its Passing. These articles revolved around the question of why the [...]
“Ronald Reagan is a Statistician and Other Examples of Learning From Diverse Sources of Information”
That’s the title of my talk at Montana State University this Thursday (21 Mar). For those of you who happen to be in the area, it’s 3:30-5:00pm in the Procrastinator Theater. I’m also speaking in the statistics seminar from 11-12:15 in the Byker Auditorium in the Chemistry building. Topic: Causality and Statistical Learning. P.S. My [...]
Here (from the Annals of Applied Statistics). “Thus, arguably, all of Section 3 is wrong until proven otherwise.” As with retractions in general, it makes me wonder about the rest of this guy’s work. Dr. Anil Potti would be pooping in his pants spinning in his retirement.
Despite the title, this post is mostly not about economics or even politics but rather about the central role of comparisons in statistics and statistical graphics. It started when someone pointed me to this article in which Megan McArdle points out the misleadingness of a graph that seems to show a bimodal income distribution but [...]
1. New Italian production of Life on Mars. 2. Psychological essentialism in everyday thought.
Felipe Osorio made the above video to help people use the General Social Survey and R to answer research questions in social science. Go for it! Meanwhile, Tom Smith reports: The initial release of the General Social Survey (GSS), cumulative file for 1972-2012 is now on our website. Codebooks and copies of questionnaires will be [...]
The following is source material regarding our recent discussion of Jewish admission to Ivy League colleges. I’m posting it for the same reason that I earlier posted a message from Ron Unz, out of a goal to allow the data and arguments to be made as clearly as possible.
Political/business negotiation vs. scholarly communication. In a negotiation you hold back, you only make concessions if you have to or in exchange for something else. In scholarly communication you look for your own mistakes, you volunteer information to others, and if someone points out a mistake, you learn from it. (Just a couple days ago, [...]
John Pugliese writes:
This story from Vivian Yee seems just horrible to me. First the background: Pronto Lotto’s real business takes place in the carpeted, hushed area where its most devoted customers watch video screens from a scattering of tall silver tables, hour after hour, day after day. The players — mostly men, about a dozen at any [...]
My beef with Brooks: the alternative to “good statistics” is not “no statistics,” it’s “bad statistics”
I was thinking more about David Brooks’s anti-data column from yesterday, and I realized what is really bothering me. Brooks expresses skepticism about numbers, about the limitations of raw data, about the importance of human thinking. Fine, I agree with all of this, to some extent. But then Brooks turns around uses numbers and unquestioningly [...]
Last week I posted skeptical remarks about Ron Unz’s claim that Harvard admissions discriminate in favor of Jews. The comment thread was getting long enough there that I thought it most fair to give Unz a chance to present his thoughts here as a new post. I’ve done that before in cases where I’ve disagreed [...]
Given Grandma Mankiw’s hypothetical distaste for Sonia Sotomayor’s spending habits (recall that Grandma “would have been shocked and appalled” by the judge’s lack of savings), I expect she (the grandmother) would be even more irritated by the success of Sotomayor’s recent book: Now that Sotomayor has a ton of money coming in, in addition to [...]