Jesus historian Niall Ferguson and the improving standards of public discourse

May 4, 2013
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Jesus historian Niall Ferguson and the improving standards of public discourse

History professor (or, as the news reports call him, “Harvard historian”) Niall Ferguson got in trouble when speaking at a conference of financial advisors. Tom Kostigen reports: Ferguson responded to a question about Keynes’ famous philosophy of self-interest versus the economic philosophy of Edmund Burke, who believed there was a social contract among the living, [...]The post Jesus historian Niall Ferguson and the improving standards of public discourse appeared first…

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NYC Data Skeptics Meetup

May 3, 2013
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Rachel Schutt writes: The hype surrounding Big Data and Data Science is at a fever pitch with promises to solve the world’s business and social problems, large and small. How accurate or misleading is this message? How is it helping or damaging people, and which people? What opportunities exist for data nerds and entrepreneurs that [...]The post NYC Data Skeptics Meetup appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social…

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Bolides: Explore the Eye-Witnessed Meteorites that Collided with Earth

Bolides: Explore the Eye-Witnessed Meteorites that Collided with Earth

Bolides - Visualizing Meteorites [bolid.es] by data visualization designer Carlo Zapponi visualizes all historical occurrences of meteorites that collided with the Earth and were eye-witnessed when falling and hitting the ground. The visualizes is c...

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Setting aside the politics, the debate over the new health-care study reveals that we’re moving to a new high standard of statistical journalism

May 3, 2013
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Pointing to this news article by Megan McArdle discussing a recent study of Medicaid recipients, Jonathan Falk writes: Forget the interpretation for a moment, and the political spin, but haven’t we reached an interesting point when a journalist says things like: When you do an RCT with more than 12,000 people in it, and your [...]The post Setting aside the politics, the debate over the new health-care study reveals that…

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Culture clash

May 3, 2013
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Culture clash

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 [...]The post Culture clash appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

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Reproducibility at Nature

May 2, 2013
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Nature has jumped on to the reproducibility bandwagon and has announced a new approach to improving reproducibility of submitted papers. The new effort is focused primarily and methodology, including statistics, and in making sure that it is clear what an … Continue reading →

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US Census…analyzed!

May 2, 2013
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US Census…analyzed!

The UCI Machine learning repository houses a plethora of analyzable data sets. One that I've always thought was interesting is the US adult census data. This data set is based on the 1994 US census, filtered by working adults. The goal is to predict wh...

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7 ways to separate errors from statistics

May 2, 2013
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7 ways to separate errors from statistics

Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers have been inspired by the recent Reinhardt and Rogoff debacle to list “six ways to separate lies from statistics” in economics research: 1. “Focus on how robust a finding is, meaning that different ways of looking at the evidence point to the same conclusion.” 2. Don’t confuse statistical with practical [...]The post 7 ways to separate errors from statistics appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal…

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A gift from the NY Times Graphics team

May 2, 2013
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A gift from the NY Times Graphics team

This post is long over-due. I have been meaning to write about this blog for a long time but never got around to it. It's like the email response you postponed because you want to think before you fire it...

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Why the Obsession with Tables?

May 2, 2013
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Lots of data are still presented and released as tables. But why, when we know that visual representations are so much easier to read and understand? Eric Newburger from the U.S. Census Bureau has an interesting theory. In a short talk on visualization at the Census Bureau, he describes how in the 1880s, the Census published maps and charts. Many of those are actually amazingly well done, even by today’s…

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R for dummies

May 1, 2013
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R for dummies

I already mentioned R for dummies a while ago on the ‘Og and never got around to read it from cover to back. Now that I am reduced to a dummy state with too much free time!, I can produce a full review of the book. R for dummies was written by two Belgian statistics […]

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Logistic Ordinal Regression

May 1, 2013
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Logistic Ordinal Regression

TL;DR: I've implemented a logistic ordinal regression or proportional odds model. Here is the Python code The logistic ordinal regression model, also known as the proportional odds was introduced in the early 80s by McCullagh [1, 2] and is a generali...

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A pathological glm() problem that doesn’t issue a warning

May 1, 2013
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A pathological glm() problem that doesn’t issue a warning

I know I have already written a lot about technicalities in logistic regression (see for example: How robust is logistic regression? and Newton-Raphson can compute an average). But I just ran into a simple case where R‘s glm() implementation of logistic regression seems to fail without issuing a warning message. Yes the data is a […] Related posts: Newton-Raphson can compute an average How robust is logistic regression? What does…

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A graph at war with its caption. Also, how to visualize the same numbers without giving the display a misleading causal feel?

May 1, 2013
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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 [...]The post A graph at war with its caption. Also, how to visualize the same…

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Mid-week light entertainment: The Economist imitates USA Today

May 1, 2013
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Mid-week light entertainment: The Economist imitates USA Today

The Economist imitates USA Today, but without the whimsy. Joe D. submitted this via Twitter. (link)

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Le Monde puzzle [#818]

April 30, 2013
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Le Monde puzzle [#818]

The current puzzle is as follows: Define the symmetric of an integer as the integer obtained by inverting the order of its digits, eg 4321 is the symmetric of 1234. What are the numbers for which the square is equal to the symmetric of the square of the symmetric? I first consulted stackexchange to find […]

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Missing tikzDevice

April 30, 2013
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I love using tikzDevice. When preparing LaTeX documents I switched to prepare all graphs in GNU R and then port them to TeX using tikzDevice. Recently I have moved to GNU R 3.0.0 and was shocked to find that this package is no longer available on CRAN....

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What the BBC isn’t telling you

April 30, 2013
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What the BBC isn’t telling you

Yesterday Gareth pointed me to this article on the BBC website. The underlying story has to do with Meredith Kercher's murder and the subsequent trial involving mainly her flat-mate Amanda Knox, in Perugia (Italy). As often in these grue...

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Kalkalash! Pinpointing the Moments “The Simpsons” became less Cromulent

April 30, 2013
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Kalkalash! Pinpointing the Moments “The Simpsons” became less Cromulent

Whenever somebody mentions “The Simpsons” it always stirs up feelings of nostalgia in me. The characters, uproarious gags, zingy one-liners, and edgy animation all contributed towards making, arguably, the greatest TV ever. However, it’s easy to forget that as a TV show “The Simpsons” is still ongoing—in its twenty-fourth season no less. For me, and […]

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Reproducibility and reciprocity

April 30, 2013
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One element about the entire discussion about reproducible research that I haven't seen talked about very much is the potential for the lack of reciprocity. I think even if scientists were not concerned about the possibility of getting scooped by … Continue reading →

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“Tragedy of the science-communication commons”

April 30, 2013
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I’ve earlier written that science is science communication—that is, the act of communicating scientific ideas and findings to ourselves and others is itself a central part of science. My point was to push against a conventional separation between the act of science and the act of communication, the idea that science is done by scientists [...]The post “Tragedy of the science-communication commons” appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

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“Tragedy of the science-communication commons”

April 30, 2013
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I’ve earlier written that science is science communication—that is, the act of communicating scientific ideas and findings to ourselves and others is itself a central part of science. My point was to push against a conventional separation between the act of science and the act of communication, the idea that science is done by scientists [...]

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“Tragedy of the science-communication commons”

April 30, 2013
By

I’ve earlier written that science is science communication—that is, the act of communicating scientific ideas and findings to ourselves and others is itself a central part of science. My point was to push against a conventional separation between the act of science and the act of communication, the idea that science is done by scientists [...]

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