Understanding “Deep Double Descent” - AI Alignment Forum
"If you're not familiar with the double descent phenomenon, I think you should be. I consider double descent to be one of the most interesting and surprising recent results in analyzing and understanding modern machine learning. Today, Preetum et al. released a new paper, “Deep Double Descent,” which I think is a big further advancement in our understanding of this phenomenon. I'd highly recommend at least reading the summary of the paper on the OpenAI blog. However, I will also try to summarize the paper here, as well as give a history of the literature on double descent and some of my personal thoughts."
2 days ago
McMansion - Wikipedia
'The neologism "McMansion" seems to have been coined sometime in the early 1980s.[3] It appeared in the Los Angeles Times in 1990[4][5] and the New York Times in 1998.[6] Related terms include "Persian palace",[7] "garage Mahal", "starter castle", and "Hummer house".[8] Marketing parlance often uses the term "tract mansions" or executive homes.'
soc  usa:society 
2 days ago
The E.U. is supposed to promote democracy. So why do anti-democratic politicians thrive within it? - The Washington Post
"Before the civil rights era, the Democratic Party in the United States protected one-party authoritarian regimes in the “Solid South” because Southern Democrats delivered them votes. In just the same way, Europarties protect national pet autocrats who deliver votes for them at the E.U. level."
eu:politics  polisci:democracy 
7 days ago
How to Assess “Economic Significance” | Jeffrey R. Bloem
"I find that distance to coast, malaria ecology, and legal origins are the three most important factors explaining contemporary development, ceteris paribus. Temperature, the share of the population from European descent, and the timing of the Neolithic transition are also important. In comparison, ruggedness, genetic diversity, slave trade intensity, and ethnolinguistic fragmentation appear to be relatively unimportant."
12 days ago
My Education in the Patriarchy | by Garry Wills | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books
"The commune where I found the most nearly equal division of labor between men and women was different from others in that its pacifism was professedly religious. But this commune in Baltimore had different problems in sharing its workload. The political demonstrations it organized sometimes led to arrests, trials, or imprisonment. Those who were, at any time, engaged in an “action,” as they called it, or in court, or in jail, had to have their domestic assignments taken up by the members who remained at the communal home. And when their numbers were reduced in this way, the less committed members reverted to the stereotypes of “women’s work,” which reasserted themselves even here."
12 days ago
Are You Estimating the Right Thing? An Editor Reflects | Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy | Oxford Academic
Good points about DVs and OLS, or about papers ignoring complex samples and thus getting DEFFs wrong.

We do have this conversation going in poli-sci, but not everywhere. It's in the JOP and AJPS, in the ESR even, but not in e.g. EJPR. Perhaps it's in PSRM. I need to start keeping tabs of journals again. TODO: find READ time every day.

@via https://jeffbloem.wordpress.com/2019/09/06/binary-dependent-variable-just-use-ols/
12 days ago
Doing research - Paul Niehaus - Medium
"I think in terms of giving myself opportunities to notice connections between three categories of things.

The first category is the state of the conversation in your field. What questions are other people asking? What questions are they not asking? What things do they believe have been proven? What implicit assumptions are they making? What do they see as the big challenges in making further progress?

The second category is reality. What is in fact actually happening in the real world in the area you want to study? What decisions are people making? How is their environment changing, and why? What facts or patterns seem important or surprising to you?

The third category is research opportunities. What datasets exist that might be useful in your area of work? What natural experiments exist that you could potentially use to examine causal relationships? What partners in the public or private sector might potentially be interested in collaborating with you?"
academia:research  academia:phd 
13 days ago
David Pratt: The stories behind seven of my photographs | The National
"That I have not grown weary of photographing war is perhaps because of one thing above all else.

I’m talking now about the remarkable courage and fortitude of those ordinary people I have met along the way, caught up in war through no fault of their own."
art:photography  violence:war 
20 days ago
Western Individualism Arose from Incest Taboo - Scientific American
From WEIRD people., using things like U.N. parking tickets. Not sure what to think, except that my Bullshit Alarm is ringing strong.
psychology  anthropology 
22 days ago
Lethwei - Wikipedia
"Lethwei is considered to be one of the most aggressive and brutal martial arts in the world, because the fighters fight bareknuckle with only the use of tape and gauze on their hands.[2] The use of fists, elbows, knees, and feet, but more surprisingly, the head makes it a very unusual martial art. Although disallowed in many combat sports, in Lethwei, the use of headbutt is encouraged. This is the reason it also known as "The Art of 9 Limbs"."

@via https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muay_boran
22 days ago
Mac OS Catalina: more trouble than it’s worth | Riccardo Mori
"I remember enthusiastically upgrading to the next version of Mac OS from Mac OS X’s early days until Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks. Then 10.10 Yosemite gave me pause" -- same here.
4 weeks ago
The Economics of Lying About GDP - Byrne Hobart - Medium
With a large bit on India: "By importing rich-world norms and failing to export manufactured goods, India has made its economy vulnerable to the worst side effects of dodgy GDP statistics, without the attendant benefits."
econ:macro  soc:quantification  econ:development 
5 weeks ago
Homophily: The Urban History of an Algorithm - e-flux Architecture - e-flux
"The ties between network science, urban planning, and social engineering are deeply historical, conceptual, and bi-directional. Network science is haunted by the consequences of urban planning, and vice versa—smart cities are just the latest manifestation of this intricate web of influence."
networks:theory  soc:theory 
5 weeks ago
atahk/bucky: Bucky's Archive for Data Analysis in the Social Sciences
"This is an R package that provides functions for various statistical techniques commonly used in the social sciences, including functions to compute clustered robust standard errors, combine results across multiply-imputed data sets, and simplify the addition of robust and clustered robust standard errors. The package was originally developed, in part, to assist porting of replication code from Stata and attempts to replicate default options from Stata where possible."
r  stats:clustered-standard-errors  stata 
6 weeks ago
Re-conceptualizing centrality in social networks† | European Journal of Applied Mathematics | Cambridge Core
"In the social sciences, networks are used to represent relationships between social actors, be they individuals or aggregates. The structural importance of these actors is assessed in terms of centrality indices which are commonly defined as graph invariants. Many such indices have been proposed, but there is no unifying theory of centrality. Previous attempts at axiomatic characterization have been focused on particular indices, and the conceptual frameworks that have been proposed alternatively do not lend themselves to mathematical treatment.

We show that standard centrality indices, although seemingly distinct, can in fact be expressed in a common framework based on path algebras. Since, as a consequence, all of these indices preserve the neighbourhood-inclusion pre-order, the latter provides a conceptually clear criterion for the definition of centrality indices."
6 weeks ago
People Are Brains, Not Stomachs « An Africanist Perspective
"My second Kremer paper is Population Growth and Technological Change: One Million B.C. to 1990. An economist examining one million years of the economy! I like to say that there are two views of humanity, people are stomachs or people are brains. In the people are stomachs view, more people means more eaters, more takers, less for everyone else. In the people are brains view, more people means more brains, more ideas, more for everyone else. The people are brains view is my view and Paul Romer’s view (ideas are nonrivalrous). Kremer tests the two views. He shows that over the long run economic growth increased with population growth. People are brains."
econ:macro  econ:development  demography 
6 weeks ago
About 12% of ships around the world fly the Liberian flag « An Africanist Perspective
"Since its inception, the Liberian Registry has been operated from the United States. In fact, the U.S. structure and principles governing the Administration of the Liberian Registry are embedded into Liberian law. Pursuant to these statutes, the Registry must be principally operated from the U.S. and managed by international maritime professionals for the benefit of the people of Liberia. The strong U.S. – Liberia alliance provides the Registry with the ability to participate in the international arena with key industry institutions."
6 weeks ago
Parameters Descritpion • parameters
`easystats` now has its own `broom::tidy`
r  stats:models 
6 weeks ago
We checked 100 years of protests in 150 countries. Here’s what we learned about the working class and democracy.
"The strongest finding in our study is that protest movements dominated by industrial workers outperform all other protest campaigns in bringing about democracy. Industrial worker campaigns also clearly outperform situations without any mass protest campaigns. There is some evidence that urban middle class movements are associated with democratization, but it is weaker than the evidence of the importance of industrial workers."
polisci:democracy  polisci:protest 
6 weeks ago
‘Impostor syndrome’ is a pseudo-medical name for a class problem | Nathalie Olah | Opinion | The Guardian
"In a society that is drunk on market logic, that sense of impostordom may just be the guiding light you need to see things clearly."
via:scottlgreer-on-twitter  soc:stratification 
7 weeks ago
This economist has a plan to fix capitalism. It's time we all listened | WIRED UK
Title is crap. On Mazzucato's work on state funding of innovation, and her influence on both Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal and Horizon Europe:

> In May, the European Parliament voted and approved Mazzucato’s mission-oriented proposal for the Horizon Europe programme. After a lengthy consultation period, five mission areas were chosen: adaptation to climate change; cancer; healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters; climate-neutral and smart cities; and soil health and food.
econ:macro  usa:politics 
8 weeks ago
In Search of an Honest Man | by Gary Saul Morson | The New York Review of Books
'In meetings with representatives of the writer’s union and the party’s chief ideologist, Mikhail Suslov, Grossman was told that his book, which was deemed far more dangerous than Doctor Zhivago, could not be published for two hundred years, a judgment that the novelist Vladimir Voinovich called a testimony to its lasting significance. “You think we have violated the principle of freedom in your case,” Suslov forthrightly explained. “Yes, that is so, if one interprets freedom in the bourgeois sense.”'
literature  history:ussr 
8 weeks ago
Negative Critic Reviews for Joker - Metacritic
I disagree -- highly thought-provoking, thanks to, not despite of, the highly disturbing bits. It's a psychologically brutal film. We went to watch it after visiting the Francis Bacon exhibition at Centre Pompidou -- perfect combination.
8 weeks ago
Tenure announcement: April 2019 | James Mickens
"When I learned that I would be Reviewer #3 for your journal article, I covered my naked body in war paint and waited for Saturn to ascend so that the ancient ones could gaze upon my wickedness."

@seealso on ML: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajGX7odA87k
academia:profession  academia:humour  stats:machine-learning 
8 weeks ago
Démocraties de circonstances - Le Grand Continent
See Judt's _A Grand Illusion?_ for the same argument about ethnic homogeneity.
8 weeks ago
L'État du Parti - Le Grand Continent
"Au centre du pouvoir, à Pékin, ce sont les instances du Comité central qui envoient leurs instructions aux ministères et commissions du Conseil des Affaires de l’État, et non l’inverse : le Département central de la Propagande, par exemple, chapeaute les domaines de la culture (dont le Ministère de la Culture et du Tourisme, les médias, le cinéma, l’édition, etc.) et de l’éducation (Ministère de l’Éducation, Académie chinoise des Sciences sociales, etc.) ; la Commission politique et légale centrale supervise le système policier (Ministère de la Sécurité publique) et le système judiciaire (Ministère de la Justice et procureurs et juges, à l’encontre du principe libéral d’indépendance de la justice). L’Assemblée nationale populaire, quant à elle, nommément investie du pouvoir législatif, est bien dirigée par un organe du Parti situé en son sein, à savoir le groupe du Parti du Comité permanent de l’Assemblée nationale populaire."
world:china  polisci:state 
9 weeks ago
What Happens If You Don’t Pay a Hospital Bill? - The Atlantic
"Medical debt is unique among consumer debts in that it’s rarely taken on voluntarily—and sometimes not even when the debtor is conscious. The number of people drowning in medical debt varies from state to state, and depends in part on the uninsured rate. In Texas, where 17 percent of people are uninsured, more than a quarter of households have a medical debt that has been reported to collections agencies, higher than the national average. According to the Urban Institute, the median amount of medical debt owed nationally is $681—which is especially a problem for the nearly half of Americans who don’t have $400 on hand."
9 weeks ago
Simultaneous recruiting of new graduates - Wikipedia
"Simultaneous recruiting of new graduates or periodic recruiting of new graduates (新卒一括採用 Shinsotsu-ikkatsu-saiyō) is the custom that companies hire new graduates all at once and employ them. This custom was unique to Japan and South Korea. A 2010 age discrimination law enforced in South Korea bans employers from discriminating against job-seekers who have not recently graduated from high school or university. Japan is now the only country practising this custom; however, in 2018, the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) announced that its 1,600 member companies, which represent a large portion of Japan's big business companies, would no longer be required to follow the custom from 2020 onwards."

Also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Academic_pressure_in_East_Asian_culture
world:japan  econ:labour  academia 
9 weeks ago
The Rights of Guns | by Garry Wills | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books
'“Gun rights,” as used by devotees of an absolutist Second Amendment, means their right to own guns. But as used in real American life these days (or real American deaths), it means the rights of guns. Guns themselves possess even more rights than persons do.' -- Non-human actants, Latour-style.
9 weeks ago
Terrorism – Joshua Tschantret
Full syllabus. Author has a dataset of terrorist orgs on his Data page.
violence:terrorism  academia:teaching 
9 weeks ago
The Quietus | Reviews | Alexander Tucker
Faithfully captures my first impression of the album: the album is a tribute to _Another Green World_.
9 weeks ago
BBC - Future - The tiny kingdom fighting an epidemic
"Successfully wiping out malaria in Bhutan requires balancing Buddhist sanctity of life with prevention and treatment."
10 weeks ago
Inference for Exponential-Family Random Graph Models from Egocentrically-Sampled Data with Alter–Alter Relations
"Egocentric design is probably the most frequently used survey method for studying large offline social networks. There are several methods of estimating network descriptives from such data, but they lack a unified and rigorous statistical foundation for estimation and inference. Recent work has shown that data collected through an egocentric design can be used to estimate certain specifications of Exponential-family Random Graph Models (ERGM). In particular, data about the egos’ immediate connections can be used to estimate models with nodal, degree, and assortative and disassortative mixing effects. In this work, we present methods of estimating triadic effects given that the data contains information about tie presence/absence between the alters. We also show that nodal effects of covariates can be estimated both with and without observing them on alters. Models are estimated through the pseudo-maximum-likelighood approach. Presented methodology is illustrated with an application to data on networks of discussing important matters collected in General Social Survey in 2004."
networks:ego  networks:models  networks:exponential-models 
10 weeks ago
The history of celebrity: from Bernhardt to the Kardashians
"Contemporary celebrity culture is a pumped-up, sped-up version of an old dance between people who want to be special and the folks who want to watch them try."
history  lulz:famous 
11 weeks ago
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