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Entries from December 30th, 2012

Gerrymanders, Part 1: Busting the both-sides-do-it myth

December 30th, 2012, 12:29pm by Sam Wang

Here’s a video explainer on how to detect partisan gerrymandering: To learn more, see gerrymander.princeton.edu. Help us with a donation! Update, September 2018: I have expanded the analysis below to include three independent tests to detect gerrymandering – you can read more about them in the Stanford Law Review. The ideas are also described in […]

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Tags: 2012 Election · House · Politics · Redistricting

In search of the nerd/poet gene

December 26th, 2012, 11:00pm by Sam Wang

Today, I ask for your help with my laboratory research. It will only take a few minutes. The concept of a “physics gene” or “poetry gene” might not be a joke. Intellectual predispositions are likely to be driven in part by genes – including those that drive autism, mood disorders, and substance abuse. My students and […]

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Tags: Uncategorized

Happy holidays!

December 24th, 2012, 12:00pm by Sam Wang

At the start of the year this community was small. Four million views later…thank you. It’s been a pleasure and a privilege. For the new breed of quants: For the old-school: Travel safely. Watch out for enormous poodles.

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Tags: Uncategorized

Scientific American’s gun error

December 22nd, 2012, 10:43pm by Sam Wang

Update: A reader has pointed out that a substantial fraction of gun deaths are suicides (homicide data are here), raising a complication. However, this point is well-established in peer-reviewed literature (PDF): gun ownership increases death rates across the board: suicides, homicides, accidents… For more discussion of the relationship between guns and homicide, see the work […]

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Tags: Politics

What’s your favorite chart of 2012?

December 20th, 2012, 10:45pm by Sam Wang

Nerds around the blogosphere seem to be collecting their favorite charts of the year. Obviously, I can’t pick my own. But to recall the Woody Allen joke… …I can pick my second-favorite.

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Tags: 2012 Election · Politics

Did the federal ban on assault weapons matter?

December 14th, 2012, 11:49pm by Sam Wang

August 2019: This topic is again and again in the news. For those looking for information, here are some interesting articles. By Christopher Ferguson, here’s a review of violent shooters. He gets into the “correlated variables” problem – basically, people who are already prone to violence seek out violent games, but there is no good evidence that […]

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Tags: Politics

We’re back!

December 5th, 2012, 9:40am by Sam Wang

After a rest, I cautiously re-enter the fray. Analysis of polls is far less interesting when there’s no horserace. Let’s just say that I don’t expect NPR to drop by today. Other themes from this summer remain important, including filibuster reform and gerrymandering. Gerrymandering lends itself well to what we do here. Stay tuned! Filibuster reform: […]

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Tags: Politics