Sunday data/statistics link roundup (7/21/2013)

  1. Let’s shake up the social sciences is a piece in the New York Times by Nicholas Christakis who rose to fame by claiming that obesity is contagious. Gelman responds that he thinks maybe Christakis got a little ahead of himself. I’m going to stay out of this one as it is all pretty far outside my realm - but I will say that I think quantitative social sciences is a hot area and all hot areas bring both interesting new results and hype. You just have to figure out which is which (via Rafa).
    1. This is both creepy and proves my point about the ubiquity of data. Basically police departments are storing tons of information about where we drive because, well, it is easy to do so why not?
    2. I mean, I’m not an actuary and I don’t run cities, but this strikes me as a little insane. How do you not just keep track of all the pensions you owe people and add them up to know your total obligation? Why predict it when you could actually just collect the data? Maybe an economist can explain this one to me.  (via Andrew J.)
    3. [ 1. Let’s shake up the social sciences is a piece in the New York Times by Nicholas Christakis who rose to fame by claiming that obesity is contagious. Gelman responds that he thinks maybe Christakis got a little ahead of himself. I’m going to stay out of this one as it is all pretty far outside my realm - but I will say that I think quantitative social sciences is a hot area and all hot areas bring both interesting new results and hype. You just have to figure out which is which (via Rafa).
    4. This is both creepy and proves my point about the ubiquity of data. Basically police departments are storing tons of information about where we drive because, well, it is easy to do so why not?
    5. I mean, I’m not an actuary and I don’t run cities, but this strikes me as a little insane. How do you not just keep track of all the pensions you owe people and add them up to know your total obligation? Why predict it when you could actually just collect the data? Maybe an economist can explain this one to me.  (via Andrew J.) 4.](http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/19/opinion/in-defense-of-clinical-drug-trials.html?src=recg&gwh=9D33ABD1323113EF3AC9C48210900171) reverse scoops our clinical trials post! In all seriousness, there are a lot of nice responses there to the original article.
    6. JH Hospital back to #1. Order is restored. Read our analysis of Hopkins ignominious drop to #2 last year (via Sherri R.).
 
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