Posts Tagged ‘ science ’

If you are practicing your power pose, stop now

September 29, 2016
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Andrew and I warned you about "power poses" in Slate some time ago (link). Breaking news is that Dana Carney, a co-author of the paper that claimed the benefits of the power pose, has now confirmed that she no longer believes in the power pose. She is actively discouraging researchers from this "waste of time and resources." Here is her statement (PDF link), which is well worth reading in full.…

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Inside joke for data analysts (via Gelman)

September 28, 2016
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Inside joke for data analysts (via Gelman)

Andrew Gelman suggested this sign in a recent blog post: This is patterned after a similar sign that used to show up at auto mechanics: For those needing background, see this post.

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Thank you Buzzfeed for noticing us humans

August 31, 2016
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My friend John R. sent me this excellent Buzzfeed feature on music playlists. Here are some choice quotes to whet your appetite: In 2014, when Tim Cook explained Apple’s stunning $3 billion purchase of Beats by repeatedly invoking its “very rare and hard to find” team of music experts, he was talking about these guys. And their efforts since, which have pointed toward curated playlists (specifically, an industrial-scale trove of…

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GMO labeling is good science

August 18, 2016
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A GMO labeling law has arrived in the US, albeit one that has no teeth (link). For those who don't want to click on the link, the law is passed in haste to pre-empt a more stringent Vermont law. The federal law defines GMO narrowly, businesses do not need to put word labels on packages (they can, for example, provide an 800-number), and violaters will not be punished. One of…

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It’s more important to know the source than the value of a number

July 12, 2016
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Here we go again. ABC News reported that Ricky Williams, former NFL star, proclaimed himself as holding "the world record for most times drug tested". (link) He said he was tested 500 times. During this 11-year career, Williams failed the test four times. So there is one thing we know - the drug testing regime is not much of a deterrent. Since the athlete knows when he is juicing or…

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Computational foreign language learning: a study in Spanish verbs usage

June 30, 2016
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Computational foreign language learning: a study in Spanish verbs usage

Abstract: I did some computer-y stuff to construct a personal Spanish text corpus and create a Spanish verb study guide specifically tailored to the linguistic variety of Spanish I intend to consume and produce. It worked fairly well. It also… Continue reading →

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Your emails are being read (though I also think this is a hoax)

June 20, 2016
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CNBC reports that Goldman Sachs flags employee emails based on a long list of "offending" phrases. If an employee types a profanity, apparently a window pops up to confirm that the person really truly wants to say that word. The other objective given is to detect fraudulent behavior. The list they published apparently came from 2008, so very aged, but I think it is a hoax. Many of the terms…

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Why is this chart so damn hard to read?

June 8, 2016
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Why is this chart so damn hard to read?

My summer course on analytical methods is already at the midway point. I was doing some research on recommendation systems the other day, and came across the following chart: Ouch. This is from the Park, et. al. (2012) survey of...

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Tip of the day: don’t be Theranosed

May 23, 2016
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Theranos (v): to spin stories that appeal to data while not presenting any data To be Theranosed is to fall for scammers who tell stories appealing to data but do not present any actual data. This is worse than story time, in which the storyteller starts out with real data but veers off mid-stream into unsubstantiated froth, hoping you and I got carried away by the narrative flow. Theranos (n):…

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How to train undergraduate psychologists to be post hoc BS generators

April 3, 2016
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How to train undergraduate psychologists to be post hoc BS generators

Teaching undergraduate psychology is difficult for a variety of reasons. Students come in with preconceived notions about what psychological research is and are sometimes disappointed with the mismatch between their preconceptions and reality. Much of ...

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