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The Fairness Doctrine Dies

Bless you, American Senate, for knocking down The Fairness Doctrine. You’ve done a good deed today. Attempts to make society just based on naive numerical equality procedures strike me as uniformly insipid.

Text Processing in R

On a regular basis, I have to process text in R. I invariably find that I need a function whose name or usage I can’t bring to mind. To help my future self, I’m writing this review of R’s built-in text processing functions. Hopefully, this review will also be of use to others. Character Vectors […]

Your Disdain for This Banal Existence

Today’s Rolcats image is certainly my favorite so far.

The Frozen Ocean

I rarely write about music, but I thought that I should recommend The Frozen Ocean, Dave Swanson from Life in Your Way’s new band.

Norvig and Partisanship

Peter Norvig has a great post on his website about models used to claim that the primary system induces greater partisanship in our elected officials. I’d encourage everyone to read it, if for no other reason than to see for yourself that Norvig really does call someone his “homey” while writing about simulated election results. […]

Efficiency versus Readability

Every programming language — also every programmer — must trade off between writing code that is readable and producing code that executes the absolute minimum number of instructions to perform a task. This is a constant source of potential decisions, because it is almost always possible to make code less understandable while making it more […]

Pearson vs. Spearman Correlation Coefficients

Pearson vs. Spearman Correlation Coefficients

One of the misuses of statistical terminology that annoys me most is the use of the word “correlation” to describe any variable that increases as another variable increases. This monotonic trend seems worth looking for, but it plainly is not what most people discover when they use standard correlation coefficients. This is because the Pearson […]

The End of The Exclusionary Rule?

Dear Supreme Court, Please do not end the Exclusionary Rule. We do not need to encourage the police to disregard the constitutional requirement for warrants. Thank you.

Yale Courses Online

Yale has updated its impressive set of videotaped lectures. For those interested in automating downloading the videos for any course, the script below should be useful. You’ll need to install the Perl module WWW::Mechanize before you can run the script. You’ll also want to update the list of courses URLs to reflect the courses that […]

Arnold Kling on Liberaltarianism

Arnold Kling has just written an interesting response to Ross Douthat’s piece in The Atlantic on Liberaltarianism. I agree with a great deal of what Arnold says, especially his claim that the role of libertarian thinkers in America is “to restrain the power-hungry elites in both parties.”