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From the state that brought you U.S. Americans who couldn’t afford maps: a move to outlaw profanity. Thank you, South Carolina, for proving that the First Amendment will always need someone to defend it against its enemies.

Their First Hammer

The problem with only giving students hammers is that the world contains more skulls than nails.

The Fatal Genetic Condition called Mortality

Rereading Steven Pinker’s recent essay on the Personal Genomic Project — and genetics more generally –, I was particularly struck by this line: All of us already live with the knowledge that we have the fatal genetic condition called mortality, and most of us cope using some combination of denial, resignation and religion.

Forecasting Presidential Elections

Forecasting Presidential Elections

Because of Andrew Gelman’s strong, repeated recommendations, I’ve been reading “Forecasting Presidential Elections” by Steven J. Rosenstone for the last two days. It’s quite a remarkable book and complex enough that I’m sure I’ll return to it many times after I’ve finished it. I was particularly intrigued by a table in the first chapter noting […]

April May Be the Cruelest, But January Is the Strangest Month

April May Be the Cruelest, But January Is the Strangest Month

I always find January a strange month, because the weather tends to get colder over the course of the month, even though the days get progressively longer. Given that I had already scrounged up data on the temperature in New York City a while back, I thought I should plot a graph showing the strange […]

Linear Regression Sampling Techniques Revisited

While thinking about linear regression today, I believe that I’ve realized why using clustered sampling and two point average slope calculation works better than least squares regression with scattered sampling. Specifically, it is the least squares formula that itself causes the problem, because squaring the errors gives undue weight to certain errors, skewing the results. […]