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Math on a plane!

Paul Alper pointed me to this news article about an economist who got BUSTED for doing algebra on the plane. This dude was profiled by the lady sitting next to him who got suspicious of his incomprehensible formulas. I feel that wayShow More Summary


Jona Sassenhagen writes: Here is a paper , in case you, errrrr, have run out of other things to blog about … I took a look and replied: Wow—what a horrible paper. Really ignorant. Probably best for me to just ignore it! The post Drive-by appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

Doing data science

Someone sent me this question: As a social and political science expert, you analyze data related to everything from public health and clinical research to college football. Considering how adaptable analytics expertise is, what kinds...Show More Summary

Why Some Cicadas Have Reason to Brood: Potential Extinction

?Periodical cicadas live underground for 13 or 17 years before emerging to mate, lay eggs and die off, and today, there are 15 known broods in the U.S. There used to be 16 and the current number may dwindle if the teetering Brood VII goes extinct.

The Puzzle of Paul Meehl: An intellectual history of research criticism in psychology

There’s nothing wrong with Meehl. He’s great. The puzzle of Paul Meehl is that everything we’re saying now, all this stuff about the problems with Psychological Science and PPNAS and Ted talks and all that, Paul Meehl was saying 50 years ago. Show More Summary

I’m really getting tired of this sort of thing, and I don’t feel like scheduling it for September, so I’ll post it at 1 in the morning

A couple days ago I received an email: I’m a reporter for [newspaper], currently looking into a fun article about a recent study, and my old professor recommended I get in touch with you to see if you would give me a comment on the statistics in the study. Show More Summary

Bummer! NPR bites on air rage study.

OK, here’s the story. A couple days ago, regarding the now-notorious PPNAS article, “Physical and situational inequality on airplanes predicts air rage,” I wrote: NPR will love this paper. It directly targets their demographic of people...Show More Summary

Categorifying Lucas' Equation

Gavin Wraith asks: can you find a nice bijective proof that $1^2 + \cdots + 24^2 = 70^2$?

A template for future news stories about scientific breakthroughs

Yesterday, in the context of a post about news media puffery of the latest three-headed monstrosity to come out of PPNAS, I promised you a solution. I wrote: OK, fine, you might say. But what’s a reporter to do? They can’t always call...Show More Summary

PPNAS: How does it happen? And happen? And happen? And happen?

In the comment thread to today’s post on journalists who take PPNAS papers at face value, Mark asked, in response to various flaws pointed out in one of these papers: How can the authors (and the reviewers and the editor) not be aware of something so elementary? My reply: Regarding the authors, see here. Show More Summary

Journalists are suckers for anything that looks like science. And selection bias makes it even worse. But I was unfair to NPR.

Journalists are suckers. Marks. Vics. Boobs. Rubes. You get the picture. Where are the classically street-trained reporters, the descendants of Ring Lardner and Joe Liebling, the hard-bitten journos who would laugh in the face of a press release? Today, nowhere in evidence. Show More Summary

Ahhhh, PPNAS!

To busy readers: Skip to the tl;dr summary at the end of this post. A psychology researcher sent me an email with subject line, “There’s a hell of a paper coming out in PPNAS today.” He sent me a copy of the paper, “Physical and situational...Show More Summary


Some of the discussion of yesterday’s post reminded me of a wonderful bit from Life on the Mississippi: When I was a boy, there was but one permanent ambition among my comrades in our village on the west bank of the Mississippi River. Show More Summary

Are you pro or anti-biotics?

Paul Alper points to this news article by Susan Perry: Probiotics have been overhyped and rely on ‘shaky’ science, reporter finds Although some of these studies’ results may be promising, they aren’t strong enough to support the long list of claims currently being made by the manufacturers of probiotic products.... Show More Summary

On deck this week

Mon: Are you pro or anti-biotics? Tues: “Null hypothesis” = “A specific random number generator” Wed: No guarantee Thurs: The Puzzle of Paul Meehl: An intellectual history of research criticism in psychology Fri: Redemption Sat: Doing...Show More Summary

No Retractions, Only Corrections: A manifesto.

Under the heading, “Why that Evolution paper should never have been retracted: A reviewer speaks out,” biologist Ben Ashby writes: The problems of post-publication peer review have already been highlighted elsewhere, and it certainly isn’t rare for a paper to be retracted due to an honest mistake (although most retractions are due to misconduct). Show More Summary

Controlling for variation in the weather in a regression analysis: Joe and Uri should learn about multilevel models and then they could give even better advice

Joe Simmons and Uri Simonsohn have an interesting post here. Unfortunately their blog doesn’t have a comment section so I’m commenting here. They write this at the end of their post: Another is to use daily dummies. This option can easily be worse. Show More Summary

Some folks like to get away, take a holiday from the neighborhood

Saw a couple of plays, both excellent. Fun Home. Compared to what I remembered of the book (which I also thought was excellent), the play seemed to be more about her family and less about Bechdel herself. But that worked for me. Bechdel’s story won’t be shared by everybody, but we all have families. Show More Summary

Relative Endomorphisms

There's a very general notion of endomorphism object that specializes to endomorphism monads, endomorphism operads, and the codensity monad. Has anyone seen it?

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