"Design and programming are human activities; forget that and all is lost."
~ Bjarne Stroustrup
Prof Bjarne Stroustrup (1951- )
Misuses of Statistics: Examples and Solutions
21 minutes ago
To achieve economic and financial stability, US fiscal policy must be placed on a sustainable path that ensures that debt relative to national income is at least stable or, preferably, declining over time... Although the issue of fiscal sustainability must urgently be addressed, fiscal policymakers should not, as a consequence, disregard the fragility of the current economic recovery... Acting now to put in place a credible plan for reducing future deficits over the longer term, while being attentive to the implications of fiscal choices for the recovery in the near term, can help serve both objectives.Dr Bernanke should simply say what he means...
Bloomberg reporters Bradley Keoun and Phil Kuntz catalog the Fed's $1.2 trillion in "secret loans" to banks, including Bank of America, JPMorgan, and Goldman Sachs.... The Fed's secret bailout comes out to the same amount US homeowners currently owe on 6.5 million delinquent and foreclosed mortgages. The progressive take on this story will be that the Fed has preferenced Wall Street over Main Street by using its exceptional authority to extend trillions in loans to banks without offering similar guarantees to underwater home owners.Let's face it, bankers watch out for other bankers...
Many governors face enormous fiscal shortfalls, forcing them to choose which public employees to anger. Tenured professors, I suspect, have a lot less political clout in most states than do policeman, nurses, prison guards and public school teachers. If online education keeps improving, then I predict that some governor is going to propose firing most of the tenured faculty at his public colleges and replacing the high-priced teachers with online courses. Since Republicans consider academia to be a creature of the far left, many Republican governors would undoubtedly take joy in decimating the traditional higher education market.Embodied knowledge (technology) is beginning to trump embedded knowledge (professors) in higher education -- the future of tenure at public colleges and universities is at best, unclear.
R is an integrated suite of software facilities for data manipulation, calculation and graphical display. It includes:For Excel (Microsoft) users, an R interface/add-in called RExcel is available and offers an integration path for analysts who use Excel. I tested RExcel on my personal workstation and found the add-in extensions to be reliable and useful.
- an effective data handling and storage facility,
- a suite of operators for calculations on arrays, in particular matrices,
- a large, coherent, integrated collection of intermediate tools for data analysis,
- graphical facilities for data analysis and display either on-screen or on hardcopy, and
- a well-developed, simple and effective programming language which includes conditionals, loops, user-defined recursive functions and input and output facilities.
Below is a summarization of what I currently see as some of the differences between DS and BI. I consider the observations preliminary, more gray than black and white. My hope is that in time the “best practices” of BI will weigh positively on DS – and vice-verse. Just as I think BI will benefit from a deeper focus on approximate answers and ubiquitous machine learning, data science should appreciate what's been learned over the years in BI on methodology and governance.Business Intelligence (BI) versus Data Science (DS)
Does fiscal consolidation lead to social unrest? From the end of the Weimar Republic in Germany in the 1930s to anti-government demonstrations in Greece in 2010-11, austerity has tended to go hand in hand with politically motivated violence and social instability. In this paper, we assemble crosscountry evidence for the period 1919 to the present, and examine the extent to which societies become unstable after budget cuts. The results show a clear positive correlation between fiscal retrenchment and instability. We test if the relationship simply reflects economic downturns, and conclude that this is not the key factor. We also analyse interactions with various economic and political variables. While autocracies and democracies show a broadly similar responses to budget cuts, countries with more constraints on the executive are less likely to see unrest as a result of austerity measures. Growing media penetration does not lead to a stronger effect of cut-backs on the level of unrest.The US might take a lesson from the European experiences of the 20th century. Follow the link below to read the entire study.
How do you use your assets... your assets of time, people and resources? What different results would you get if you put all of your “weight” into the stiletto-like focus of one or two goals? You’d expend no more effort, but you’d have a significantly greater impact.Jeff's epiphany is what he calls The Stiletto Principle, which operationalizes as:
Employment consists of all persons who, during the reference week (the calendar week including the twelfth day of the month), (a) did any work at all (at least 1 hour) as paid employees, worked in their own business or profession or on their own farm, or worked 15 hours or more as unpaid workers in an enterprise operated by a member of the family, or (b) were not working but had jobs or businesses from which they were temporarily absent because of vacation, illness, bad weather, childcare problems, maternity or paternity leave, labor-management dispute, job training, or other family or personal reasons, whether or not they were paid for the time off or were seeking other jobs.... The civilian noninstitutional population consists of persons 16 years of age and older residing in the 50 States and the District of Columbia who are not inmates of institutions (for example, penal and mental facilities and homes for the aged) and who are not on active duty in the Armed Forces.Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics