More Burnham et al.

by Kieran Healy on October 16, 2006

Here are some comments from “Andrew Gelman”:http://www.stat.columbia.edu/~cook/movabletype/archives/2006/10/estimate_of_ira.html on the “Burnham et al. paper”:http://www.thelancet.com/webfiles/images/journals/lancet/s0140673606694919.pdf. People who’d like (or ought) to learn more about statistics could do worse than read Gelman and Nolan’s terrific Teaching Statistics: A Bag of Tricks. I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I am awaiting the publication of Gelman and Hill’s Data Analysis Using Regression and Multilevel/Hierarchical Models with a degree of anticipation that seems indecent (or unhealthy) to direct at a statistics textbook. (More about the book “here”:http://www.cambridge.org/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=052168689X. Note the blurb from a well-known blogger.)

Shorter David Kopel

by Henry on October 16, 2006

Calling young African immigrants ‘scum’ is a brilliant move that paves the way for necessary economic reforms in France.

No, really. “See for yourself”:http://volokh.com/posts/1161028053.shtml.

Update: Commenters have suggested that this post might be read as saying that Kopel is himself a racist. That isn’t what was meant, and isn’t what I believe. The snark is because Kopel is uncritically praising a highly offensive and racist statement, but I happily accept that he’s doing so for reasons other than its racism.

Parking for Dummies

by Brian on October 16, 2006

I’m sure I used to be good at parking a car, but the older I get, the worse I get at it. So I was rather excessively excited to see that Lexus have invented “a car that can automatically parallel park”:http://blogs.cars.com/kickingtires/2006/09/ls_460_parking.html. The link is a few weeks old, so apologies to those who find this kind of news old hat.

Review: Jacob Hacker – The Great Risk Shift

by Henry on October 16, 2006

Review: Jacob Hacker, The Great Risk Shift: The Assault on American Jobs, Families, Health Care, and Retirement and _How You Can Fight Back_. Available from “Powells”:http://www.powells.com/partner/29956/s?kw=Jacob%20Hacker%20The%20Great%20Risk%20Shift , from “Amazon”:http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FGreat-Risk-Shift-American-Retirement-%2Fdp%2F0195179501%2Fsr%3D8-1%2Fqid%3D1161014561%3Fie%3DUTF8&tag=henryfarrell-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325 .

In his ethnography (PDF) of Grover Norquist’s weekly breakfast meetings, Thomas Medved tells us how Newt Gingrich sold reluctant conservatives attending the meeting on Medicare reform. [click to continue…]

Cognitive Dissidents

by Harry on October 16, 2006

A magazine called Cognitive Dissidents came online several weeks ago, so its long past time that I link to it. The contributors include a core of philosophy grad students from UW Madison, plus other philosophers and intellectuals. It has a magazine rather than a blog format, and promises regular issues rather than the chaotic and teasing semi-regular updating of the blog format. The current issue has several interesting essays on topics ranging from ethical eating through fair trade, global responsibility for poverty and the distinction between war and terrorism to reflections on the relationship between philosophizing and political activism. Worth keeping an eye on.

Basic economics bleg

by Chris Bertram on October 16, 2006

A close relative of mine has just started a university degree with an economics component and I’m looking to help him out a bit. Since a good few economists and teachers of economics read this blog, I’m interested in what you recommend as a really introductory text aimed at someone with no prior knowledge of the subject. Suggestions in comments, with reasons, and, perhaps some indication of whether the text in question would be a good or bad fit depending on whether the reader has a more mathematical or literary brain.