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Archive of posts filed under the Uncategorized category.

Against optimism about social science

Social science research has been getting pretty bad press recently, what with the Excel buccaneers who didn’t know how to handle data with different numbers of observations per country, and the psychologist who published dozens of papers based on fabricated data, and the Evilicious guy who wouldn’t let people review his data tapes, etc etc. […]

The New York Times Book of Mathematics

This was an good idea: take a bunch of old (and some recent) news articles on developments in mathematics and related ares from the past hundred years. Fun for the math content and historical/nostalgia value. Relive the four-color theorem, Fermat, fractals, and early computing. I have too much of a technical bent to be the […]

Foundation for Open Access Statistics

Now here’s a foundation I (Bob) can get behind: Foundation for Open Access Statistics (FOAS) Their mission is to “promote free software, open access publishing, and reproducible research in statistics.” To me, that’s like supporting motherhood and apple pie! FOAS spun out of and is partially designed to support the Journal of Statistical Software (aka […]

Subsidized driving

This post is by Phil. This DC Streets Blog post gives a concise summary of a report by “The Tax Foundation”. The money shot is here, a table that shows what fraction spending on roads in each state in the U.S. is covered by local, state, and federal gas taxes, tolls, registration fees, etc. (Click […]

When you SHARE poorly researched infographics…

Understanding regression models and regression coefficients

David Hoaglin writes: After seeing it cited, I just read your paper in Technometrics. The home radon levels provide an interesting and instructive example. I [Hoaglin] have a different take on the difficulty of interpreting the estimated coefficient of the county-level basement proportion (gamma-sub-2) on page 434. An important part of the difficulty involves “other […]

Back when 50 miles was a long way

This post is by Phil. Michael Graham Richard has posted some great maps from the 1932 Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States; the maps show how long it took to get to various places in the U.S. from New York City in 1800, 1830, 1857, and 1930. (I wonder if the atlas […]


This story of a Cindy Sherman impersonator reminded me of some graffiti I saw in a bathroom of the Whitney Museum many years ago. My friend Kenny and I had gone there for the Biennial which had an exhibit featuring Keith Haring and others of the neo-taggers (or whatever they were called). The bathroom walls […]

Richer people continue to vote Republican

From the exit polls: This is all pretty obvious but it seemed worth posting because some people still don’t seem to get it. For example, Jay Cost, writing in the Weekly Standard: The Democratic party now dominates the Upper East Side of Manhattan, as well as the wealthiest neighborhoods in the most powerful cities. And […]

How to Lie With Statistics example number 12,498,122

This post is by Phil Price. Bill Kristol notes that “Four presidents in the last century have won more than 51 percent of the vote twice: Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Reagan and Obama”. I’m not sure why Kristol, a conservative, is promoting the idea that Obama has a mandate, but that’s up to him. I’m more interested […]