Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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Entries Tagged as 'Statistics'

Political Advice and Story Telling – “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns”, Sasha Issenberg

December 5th, 2012 · Comments Off on Political Advice and Story Telling – “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns”, Sasha Issenberg · Campaigning, Data, Narrative, Politics

“A lot of what gets done on campaigns gets done on the basis of anecdotal evidence, which often comes down to who is a better storyteller. Who tells a better story about what works and what doesn’t work?” says Christopher Mann, a former executive director of the New Mexico Democratic Party. .. The people who […]

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The Origins of Statistical Inference – “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns”, Sasha Issenberg

December 4th, 2012 · Comments Off on The Origins of Statistical Inference – “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns”, Sasha Issenberg · Data, Policy, Statistical Inference, Statistics

Not far from Fisher, a young economist named Austin Bradford Hill was growing similarly impatient with the limits of statistics to account for cause and effect in health care. In 1923, for example, Hill received a grant from Britain’s Medical Research Council that sent him to the rural parts of Essex, east of London, to […]

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Where Objective and Subjective Reality Intersect – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction” – Nate Silver

November 25th, 2012 · Comments Off on Where Objective and Subjective Reality Intersect – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction” – Nate Silver · Prediction, Statistics

Prediction is difficult for us for the same reason that it is so important: it is where objective and subjective reality intersect. Distinguishing the signal from the noise requires both scientific knowledge and self-knowledge: the serenity to accept the things we cannot predict, the courage to predict the things we can, and the wisdom to […]

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The Accuracy of Climate Models – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction” – Nate Silver

November 24th, 2012 · Comments Off on The Accuracy of Climate Models – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction” – Nate Silver · Environmental Policy, Policy, Politics, Prediction, Statistics

Emanuel’s concerns are actually quite common among the scientific community: climate scientists are in much broader agreement about some parts of the debate than others. A survey of climate scientists conducted in 2008 found that almost all (94 percent) were agreed that climate change is occurring now, and 84 percent were persuaded that it was […]

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Shallow Betting Markets – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction” – Nate Silver

November 23rd, 2012 · Comments Off on Shallow Betting Markets – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction” – Nate Silver · Data, Prediction

I don’t know that political betting markets like Intrade are all that good right now—the standard of competition is fairly low. Intrade is becoming more popular, but it is still small potatoes compared with the stock market or Las Vegas. In the weeks leading up to the Super Tuesday primaries in March 2012, for instance, […]

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The Limitations of Statistical Significance – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction”, Nate Silver

November 22nd, 2012 · Comments Off on The Limitations of Statistical Significance – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction”, Nate Silver · Data, Statistical Inference, Statistics

The bigger problem, however, is that the frequentist methods—in striving for immaculate statistical procedures that can’t be contaminated by the researcher’s bias—keep him hermetically sealed off from the real world. These methods discourage the researcher from considering the underlying context or plausibility of his hypothesis, something that the Bayesian method demands in the form of […]

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More Data Means More Noise – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction”, Nate Silver

November 21st, 2012 · Comments Off on More Data Means More Noise – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction”, Nate Silver · Data, Prediction, Statistical Inference, Statistics

As there is an exponential increase in the amount of available information, there is likewise an exponential increase in the number of hypotheses to investigate. For instance, the U.S. government now publishes data on about 45,000 economic statistics. If you want to test for relationships between all combinations of two pairs of these statistics—is there […]

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Bayes’ Theorem – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction”, Nate Silver

November 21st, 2012 · Comments Off on Bayes’ Theorem – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction”, Nate Silver · Policy, Prediction, Statistics

Bayes’s theorem is concerned with conditional probability. That is, it tells us the probability that a theory or hypothesis is true if some event has happened. Suppose you are living with a partner and come home from a business trip to discover a strange pair of underwear in your dresser drawer. You will probably ask […]

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In Medicine, Stupid Models Kill People – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction”, Nate Silver

November 20th, 2012 · Comments Off on In Medicine, Stupid Models Kill People – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction”, Nate Silver · Data, Prediction, Statistical Inference, Statistics

Much of the most thoughtful work on the use and abuse of statistical models and the proper role of prediction comes from people in the medical profession. That is not to say there is nothing on the line when an economist makes a prediction, or a seismologist does. But because of medicine’s intimate connection with […]

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Markets for Predicting Macro-Economic Variables – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction”, Nate Silver

November 20th, 2012 · Comments Off on Markets for Predicting Macro-Economic Variables – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction”, Nate Silver · Economics, Policy, Prediction

One of the most basic applications might simply be markets for predicting macroeconomic variables like GDP and unemployment. There are already a variety of direct and indirect ways to bet on things like inflation, interest rates, and commodities prices, but no high-volume market for GDP exists. There could be a captive audience for these markets: […]

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