Monthly Archives: July 2011

More fun with the Failed States Index (and the State Fragility Index)

July 9, 2011
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More fun with the Failed States Index (and the State Fragility Index)

So the other day’s experiment with the Failed States Index and the Polity Data didn’t yield the linear trend I had originally expected.  After all, the two measure fundamentally distinct things.  But perhaps there’s another dataset which will match linearly.  The same people who made polity also put out a dataset called the State Fragility

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R at Wikimedia

July 9, 2011
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Last year Wikipedia rolled out a pilot program to use Wikipedia article creation as an assignment in the classroom. Students wrote articles on a topic area and rather than turning them into a professor and forgetting about it they upload it to Wikipedia and expose it to readers around the world. 24 schools inside the…

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The Road to Default: We Crumble Like A Cookie

July 9, 2011
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The Road to Default: We Crumble Like A Cookie

What should we be expecting when the United States defaults and how will this unsavory process unfold? Well for one thing anticipate the downfall with a downgrade in the credit rating.  According to recent Bloomberg article in the event of a U.S. ...

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Index decomposition with R

July 9, 2011
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Index decomposition with R

Few days ago, I finally finished a small package ida. It enables you to analyse contributions of underlying factors to the change in an aggregate, using methods based on index number theory. These methods have become popular by, but are not restricted to, investigating the change of CO2 emissions.Here is a chart that shows what the change of population,...

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R on the cloud

July 9, 2011
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Just as scientists should never really have to think much about statistics, I feel that, in an ideal world, statisticians would never have to worry about computing. In the real world, though, we have to spend a lot of time building our own tools.It would be great if we could routinely run R with speed and memory limitations...

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Notes on Engineering Data Analysis (with R and ggplot2)

July 8, 2011
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Notes on Engineering Data Analysis (with R and ggplot2)

Hadley Wickham gave a Google Tech Talk a couple weeks back titled Engineering Data Analysis (with R and ggplot2). These are my notes. The data analysis cycle is to iteratively transform, visualize and model. Leading into the cycle is data access an...

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Blog in motion

July 8, 2011
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In the next few days we’ll be changing the format of the blog and moving it to a new server. If you have difficulty posting comments, just wait and post them in a few days when all should be working well. (But if you can post a comment, go for it. All the old entries

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The Road to Default: Let’s Look at the Damage with a Rant.

July 8, 2011
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The Road to Default: Let’s Look at the Damage with a Rant.

The following graph shows Real GDP as a percentage of the Gross Federal Debt.  FRED is the resource I frequently use for United States financial data and it serves us well here.  What is Gross Federal Debt? Well, its total government debt out...

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NYT on the importance of reproducible research

July 8, 2011
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NYT on the importance of reproducible research

Yesterday's New York Times includes a great article on the failure of some genetic tests for cancer detection, and the flaws in the research that led to them. The article features quotes from Keith Baggerly of MD Anderson Cancer Center, and includes a photo of him and colleague Kevin Coombes in front of a page of R code: The...

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The Rebirth

July 8, 2011
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The Rebirth

Hey guys, I know that I have been gone for awhile now.  I just came back from a month long euro adventure so have no fear, I have plenty of time to devote to blogging now.  From this day forward, X.U. Economics will be known as The Dancing Ec...

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