Tag: Big Data

Quote of the Day: Father Brown on Skepticism

 

‘It’s what I call common sense, properly understood,’ replied Father Brown. ’It really is more natural to believe a preternatural story, that deals with things we don’t understand, than a natural story that contradicts things we do understand. Tell me that the great Mr Gladstone, in his last hours, was haunted by the ghost of Parnell, and I will be agnostic about it. But tell me that Mr Gladstone, when first presented to Queen Victoria, wore his hat in her drawing-room and slapped her on the back and offered her a cigar, and I am not agnostic at all. That is not impossible; it’s only incredible. But I’m much more certain it didn’t happen than that Parnell’s ghost didn’t appear; because it violates the laws of the world I do understand.

Much as I enjoy reading G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown mysteries, perhaps they’re best taken one at a time. There’s a certain uniformity to them, and I don’t just mean that the murderer never turns out to be Catholic. There are always sound, practical, men of the world who are deceived by some sort of supernatural occurrence, and Father Brown solves the mystery by disbelieving in old curses or modern magicians. While allowing for the vagaries of fiction there are things well worth learning in those stories.

Member Post

 

Steve Bannon’s numbers guy – Rich Baris of Big Data Polling – breaks it down better than anyone. This is a MUST WATCH. Inside The Numbers: Post-Election Day 2020 Breakdown https://t.co/YWepiJqSuD — Peoples_Pundit (@Peoples_Pundit) November 5, 2020 Preview Open

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How to Automate a Job Out of Existence

 

This is an elaboration of a comment I made in @indymb ‘s post “Is there any point in writing to a Congressperson?” and I’m indebted to him and @Misthiocracy (who has experience working for a Canadian Member of Parliament, I understand) for the details on how all this works. Briefly, we’ll look at a simple task done every day in the houses of government and at how we’d train a computer to do it better.

Briefly, as you may have expected, the letter to your Senator isn’t so much read as processed for the minimum amount of information and interaction required. I’ll quote the meat of his description of the process and then describe how I’d go about automating it. You’re encouraged to go back and read his post (and it should go without saying on Ricochet but the comments too).

“Deplorables” Pwning the Info Wars? Blame Canada!

 

Fans of Brexit’s Vote Leave campaign might remember Dominic Cummings’s reflections on the uses (and abuses) of data in politics. Cummings, often hailed as the mastermind behind Vote Leave, is an eloquent advocate for how getting the data science right contributed to Vote Leave‘s success, and he has a prickly – even “psychopathic” – reputation as a man who won’t suffer data-science fools (or at least those whom he deems foolish) gladly.

No doubt Cummings is right that charlatanism infests the ranks of political “data scientists”, but a more charitable term than “charlatanism” for much iffy “data science” might be “ad-hockery”: Adventurous wunderkinds promote ad-hoc heuristics which seem to work well enough, or which work until they don’t, or which may work, but which haven’t yet been vetted by systematic scientific reasoning. Ad-hoc heuristics aren’t inherently deceptive, or incapable of delivering what they claim to deliver. They deserve to be met with plenty of skepticism, of course, but skepticism needn’t always include suspicion of fraud.

Member Post

 

(In the light of the Cambridge Analytica revelations. I thought this 2014 post from Chicago Boyz might be of interest here) There has been much discussion recently of Catalist, a database system being used by the Democratic Party to optimally target their electioneering efforts…see Jonathan’s post here.  I’m reminded of Eugene Burdick’s 1964 novel, The 480.  The book’s […]

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On this week’s episode of Banter, new AEI visiting fellow Naomi Schaefer Riley discusses how big data might contribute to efforts to reform foster care bureaucracies. Naomi published a piece in the February 2018 edition of “Reason” magazine on the issue. The article describes how predictive analytics might be used to assess whether children are at a heightened risk of abuse or neglect based on available data. You can access the full article at the link below.

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Member Post

 

I have an Android phone, which is, essentially, a Google device. LG made the hardware, but the “smarts” are Google. I’ve configured Google Cards to show from my home screen’s launcher. It has a lot of helpful information: weather, traffic conditions, event reminders, birthdays… and an “interests feed.” It’s so helpful, that it’s my daily […]

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Member Post

 

I am taking classes right now related to big-data and the whole world of crazy stuff that it influences now.  I saw this today: http://motherboard.vice.com/read/big-data-cambridge-analytica-brexit-trump, regarding a big-data firm called Cambridge Analytica, and their role in developing voter-targeting tools during the election.  This is not really new news, but I am curious what readers think […]

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Trump Does Data

 

shutterstock_179439824Credit where credit’s due, it seems the Trump campaign’s investing in a data operation, at least for fundraising:

GOP strategists familiar with the Trump team’s efforts pointed out that his campaign has been working for weeks to integrate its data operation with the RNC’s, and they suggested that the candidate may have been intentionally head-faking his critics with comments suggesting he doesn’t see the importance of data to his campaign. For instance,Trump told he Associated Press last month, “Obama got the votes much more so than his data processing machine. And I think the same is true with me.”

One GOP data source said the Trump campaign is “far more sophisticated than anyone has seen or reported on.” The source said “there’s a substantive infrastructure that’s not been seen or found out about or reported about quite purposefully.”

“S’up?”

 

shutterstock_156216785One of the best things about Big Data is how exactly it confirms Small Data. I mean, we all knew that the best way to make an impression on someone you want to make an impression on isn’t to say, “Hey. S’up?” We knew that, but now, thanks to Big Data, we know it.

The dating app Hinge, which is yet another dating app with yet another odd name — its more popular rival is Tinder — has released some of its findings and the results are, well, see for yourself:

Hinge users age 18 to 23 were most interested in the opening line: “Pain reliever personality: Advil, Tylenol, or complaining?” The next group, ages 24 to 28, were most drawn to conversation starters about lifestyle. Ages 29 to 34 saw a 34 percent higher response rate with personal questions such as “Two truths and a lie; ready, set, go!” And lastly, the 35-and-older crowd preferred pop culture references.