Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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Entries Tagged as 'Data'

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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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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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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The Predictable Housing Bubble – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction”, Nate Silver

November 15th, 2012 · Comments Off on The Predictable Housing Bubble – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction”, Nate Silver · Data, Economics, ICT, Policy

Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize–winning economist, wrote of the bubble and its inevitable end in August 2005. “This was baked into the system,” Krugman later told me. “The housing crash was not a black swan. The housing crash was the elephant in the room.” Ordinary Americans were also concerned. Google searches on the term “housing […]

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What You Can’t State Your Innocence, Proclaim Ignorance – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction”, Nate Silver

November 14th, 2012 · Comments Off on What You Can’t State Your Innocence, Proclaim Ignorance – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction”, Nate Silver · Data, Prediction, Quotes

Nobody saw it coming. When you can’t state your innocence, proclaim your ignorance: this is often the first line of defense when there is a failed forecast.

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

November 14th, 2012 · Comments Off on Connecting Subjective and Objective Reality – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction”, Nate Silver · Data, Prediction, Statistical Inference, Statistics

Prediction is important because it connects subjective and objective reality. Karl Popper, the philosopher of science, recognized this view. For Popper, a hypothesis was not scientific unless it was falsifiable—meaning that it could be tested in the real world by means of a prediction.

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There is no Such Thing as Perfectly Objective Predictions – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction”, Nate Silver

November 13th, 2012 · Comments Off on There is no Such Thing as Perfectly Objective Predictions – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction”, Nate Silver · Causation and Correlation, Data, Modelling, Prediction, Statistical Inference, Statistics

Some of you may be uncomfortable with a premise that I have been hinting at and will now state explicitly: we can never make perfectly objective predictions. They will always be tainted by our subjective point of view.

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The Diminishing Returns of Additional Information – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction”, Nate Silver

November 13th, 2012 · Comments Off on The Diminishing Returns of Additional Information – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction”, Nate Silver · Causation and Correlation, Data, Modelling, Statistical Inference, Statistics

Our biological instincts are not always very well adapted to the information rich modern world. Unless we work actively to become aware of the biases we introduce, the returns to additional information may be minimal—or diminishing.

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Tetlock’s Study of Expert Prediction – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction”, Nate Silver

November 12th, 2012 · Comments Off on Tetlock’s Study of Expert Prediction – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction”, Nate Silver · Data, Journalism, Newspapers, Politics, The Media

A long-term study by Philip E. Tetlock of the University of Pennsylvania found that when political scientists claimed that a political outcome had absolutely no chance of occurring, it nevertheless happened about 15 percent of the time. (The political scientists are probably better than television pundits, however.)

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