Category: Miscellaneous Science

“Law professor Alan Dershowitz’s new book claims that political differences have lately been criminalized in the United States. He has it wrong. Instead, the orderly enforcement of the law has, ludicrously, been framed as political.”

This op-ed by Virginia Heffernan is about g=politics, but it reminded me of the politics of science. Heffernan starts with the background: This last year has been a crash course in startlingly brutal abuses of power. For decades, it seems, a caste of self-styled overmen has felt liberated to commit misdeeds with impunity: ethical, sexual, […]

The post “Law professor Alan Dershowitz’s new book claims that political differences have lately been criminalized in the United States. He has it wrong. Instead, the orderly enforcement of the law has, ludicrously, been framed as political.” appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

Melanie Miller says, “As someone who has worked in A.I. for decades, I’ve witnessed the failure of similar predictions of imminent human-level A.I., and I’m certain these latest forecasts will fall short as well. “

Melanie Miller‘s piece, Artificial Intelligence Hits the Barrier of Meaning (NY Times behind limited paywall), is spot-on regarding the hype surrounding the current A.I. boom. It’s soon to come out in book length from FSG, so I suspect I’ll hear about it again in the New Yorker. Like Professor Miller, I started my Ph.D. at […]

The post Melanie Miller says, “As someone who has worked in A.I. for decades, I’ve witnessed the failure of similar predictions of imminent human-level A.I., and I’m certain these latest forecasts will fall short as well. “ appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

My two talks in Austria next week, on two of your favorite topics!

Innsbruck, 7 Nov 2018: The study of American politics as a window into understanding uncertainty in science We begin by discussing recent American elections in the context of political polarization, and we consider similarities and differences with European politics. We then discuss statistical challenges in the measurement of public opinion: inference from opinion polls with […]

The post My two talks in Austria next week, on two of your favorite topics! appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

Facial feedback: “These findings suggest that minute differences in the experimental protocol might lead to theoretically meaningful changes in the outcomes.”

Fritz Strack points us to this article, “When Both the Original Study and Its Failed Replication Are Correct: Feeling Observed Eliminates the Facial-Feedback Effect,” by Tom Noah, Yaacov Schul, and Ruth Mayo, who write: According to the facial-feedback hypothesis, the facial activity associated with particular emotional expressions can influence people’s affective experiences. Recently, a replication […]

The post Facial feedback: “These findings suggest that minute differences in the experimental protocol might lead to theoretically meaningful changes in the outcomes.” appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

Raghuveer Parthasarathy’s big idea for fixing science

Raghuveer Parthasarathy writes: The U.S. National Science Foundation ran an interesting call for proposals recently called the “Idea Machine,” aiming to gather “Big Ideas” to shape the future of research. It was open not just to scientists, but to anyone interested in potentially identifying grand challenges and new directions. He continues: (i) There are non-obvious, […]

The post Raghuveer Parthasarathy’s big idea for fixing science appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

What does it mean to talk about a “1 in 600 year drought”?

Patrick Atwater writes: Curious to your thoughts on a bit of a statistical and philosophical quandary. We often make statements like this drought was a 1 in 400 year event but what do we really mean when we say that? In California for example there was an oft repeated line that the recent historic drought was […]

The post What does it mean to talk about a “1 in 600 year drought”? appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

Debate about genetics and school performance

Jag Bhalla points us to this article, “Differences in exam performance between pupils attending selective and non-selective schools mirror the genetic differences between them,” by Emily Smith-Woolley, Jean-Baptiste Pingault, Saskia Selzam, Kaili Rimfeld, Eva Krapohl, Sophie von Stumm, Kathryn Asbury, Philip Dale, Toby Young, Rebecca Allen, Yulia Kovas, and Robert Plomin, along with this response […]

The post Debate about genetics and school performance appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

A study fails to replicate, but it continues to get referenced as if it had no problems. Communication channels are blocked.

In 2005, Michael Kosfeld, Markus Heinrichs, Paul Zak, Urs Fischbacher, and Ernst Fehr published a paper, “Oxytocin increases trust in humans.” According to Google, that paper has been cited 3389 times. In 2015, Gideon Nave, Colin Camerer, and Michael McCullough published a paper, “Does Oxytocin Increase Trust in Humans? A Critical Review of Research,” where […]

The post A study fails to replicate, but it continues to get referenced as if it had no problems. Communication channels are blocked. appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

“The dwarf galaxy NGC1052-DF2”

Paul Pudaite points to this post by Stacy McGaugh entitled, “The dwarf galaxy NGC1052-DF2.” Pudaite writes that it’s an interesting comment on consequences of excluding one outlier. I can’t really follow what’s going on here but I thought I’d share it for the benefit of all the astronomers out there. P.S. Apparently it is common […]

The post “The dwarf galaxy NGC1052-DF2” appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

An actual quote from a paper published in a medical journal: “The data, analytic methods, and study materials will not be made available to other researchers for purposes of reproducing the results or replicating the procedure.”

Someone writes: So the NYT yesterday has a story about this study I am directed to it and am immediately concerned about all the things that make this study somewhat dubious. Forking paths in the definition of the independent variable, sample selection in who wore the accelerometers, ignorance of the undoubtedly huge importance of interactions […]

The post An actual quote from a paper published in a medical journal: “The data, analytic methods, and study materials will not be made available to other researchers for purposes of reproducing the results or replicating the procedure.” appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.