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payroll tax cut extension roll call (a quick look)

Tuesday December 13, 2011

Filed under: politics,statistics — jackman @ 8:48 pm

A few defections from the party line(s) here. The defections largely cancel out, leaving the estimated cutpoint right at the party split.

As usual, the “big” errors (legislators voting the “wrong way” with ideal points a long way from the cutpoint) might be worth a closer look.

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“I was a statistician before I became a scientist.”

Friday December 9, 2011

Filed under: statistics — jackman @ 6:40 pm

Ouch… From Freeman Dyson’s review of Danny Kahneman’s new book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, in the New York Review of Books (p40, Dec 22, 2011):

I was a statistician before I became a scientist.

Someone as smart as Dyson doesn’t toss a line away a line like that. So bugger him.

For many people in the social sciences, they don’t become scientists until they become statistical (if not statisticians).

On the other hand, Dyson’s review does stress Paul Meehl’s influence on Kahneman. My own exposure to Meehl comes via Paul Sniderman (who has been pushing Meehl onto many of us at Stanford for years!). It is extremely interesting to see Meehl’s concern with prediction — and the “real world” clinical setting — feature prominently in Kahneman’s formation too.

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Did Race Cost Obama in 08?

Friday December 2, 2011

Filed under: politics — jackman @ 9:11 pm

Interesting wrap-up of papers at the American Prospect. The author seemed to get one of the messages of my paper with Lynn Vavreck, on just what is the relevant counter-factual here:

It’s not just enough to imagine a world without racism—whether measured with explicit question, implicit question, or Google searches. It may be equally relevant to imagine a world without a black candidate.

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