Statistics

1 posts
Harassement in the Statistics field

Statistician Kristian Lum described her experiences with harassment as a graduate student. She held back on talking about it for many of the same reasons others have, but then there was a shift and she began warning colleagues. I started doing this because I heard that S (for the second time to my knowledge) had taken advantage of a junior person who had had too much to drink. This time,...

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Worries over the 2020 Census

Michael Wines, reporting for The New York Times: “The politicization of the census would erode what is already fragile trust and confidence in the integrity of the count,” said Vanita Gupta, the president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, which has worked for years on census issues. The Trump administration’s heated rhetoric on immigration, race and the trustworthiness of government is fueling fears that minorities, legal and...

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How artificial intelligence can augment our own

There’s another essay on Distill by Shan Carter and Michael Nielsen. They describe and demonstrate how one might use artificial intelligence to augment human intelligence. Our essay begins with a survey of recent technical work hinting at artificial intelligence augmentation, including work on generative interfaces – that is, interfaces which can be used to explore and visualize generative machine learning models. Such interfaces develop a kind of cartography of generative...

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Flawed hate crime data collection

Data can provide you with important information, but when the collection process is flawed, there’s not much you can do. Ken Schwencke, reporting for ProPublica, researched the tiered system that the FBI relies on to gather hate crime data for the United States: Under a federal law passed in 1990, the FBI is required to track and tabulate crimes in which there was “manifest evidence of prejudice” against a host...

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The visual should be easier to read than your data

A reader sent this tip in some time ago and I lost track of who he/she is. This graphic looks deceptively complex. What's complex is not the underlying analysis. The design is complex and so the decoding is complex. The question of the graphic is a central concern of anyone who's retired: how long will one's savings last? There are two related metrics to describe the durability of the stash,...

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Uber got hacked and then paid the hackers $100k to not tell anyone

This is fine. Totally normal. Eric Newcomer reporting for Bloomberg: Hackers stole the personal data of 57 million customers and drivers from Uber Technologies Inc., a massive breach that the company concealed for more than a year. This week, the ride-hailing firm ousted its chief security officer and one of his deputies for their roles in keeping the hack under wraps, which included a $100,000 payment to the attackers. Ugh....

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Google collected Android users’ location without permission

Keith Collins reporting for Quartz: Since the beginning of 2017, Android phones have been collecting the addresses of nearby cellular towers—even when location services are disabled—and sending that data back to Google. The result is that Google, the unit of Alphabet behind Android, has access to data about individuals’ locations and their movements that go far beyond a reasonable consumer expectation of privacy. What. Google says they didn’t store or...

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Troubling pick for Census Bureau deputy director

The administration’s current pick for deputy director of the United States Census Bureau is Thomas Brunell. He is a political science professor outside of the Bureau and argues against “competitive elections.” Danny Vinik and Andrew Restuccia, reporting for Politico: Since 2005, he has worked at the University of Texas at Dallas, where his research and writing has focused on redistricting and voting rights cases. He has frequently advised states on...

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Based on your morals, a debate with a computer to expose you to other points of view

Collective Debate from the MIT Media Lab gauges your moral compass with a survey and then tries to “debate” with you about gender bias using counterpoints from the opposite side of the spectrum. The goal isn’t to be right. Instead, it’s to try to understand the other side. At the end, you see how you compare to others. Tags: bias, morality

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Changing internet markets for sex work

The internet changed how sex workers and clients find each other and how the former does business. Allison Schrager, Christopher Groskopf, and Scott Cunningham, reporting for Quartz, delve into actual numbers using scraped data from The Erotic Review: Sex work is as old as civilization, but in the past 20 years the market for illegal sex services has undergone a radical transformation thanks to the internet, upending how it is...

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