Social-Science

Category archives for Social-Science

Now that we’ve apparently elected Nate Silver the President of Science, this is some predictable grumbling about whether he’s been overhyped. If you’ve somehow missed the whole thing, Jennifer Ouellette offers an excellent summary of the FiveThirtyEight saga, with lots of links, but the Inigo Montoya summing up is that Silver runs a blog predicting…

The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel has just been announced, and goes to Alvin E. Roth and Lloyd S. Shapley “for the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design.” I know basically nothing about these guys, but I assume they’ve earned their Sveriges Riksbank Prize, so…

Somebody on Twitter linked this article about “brogrammers”, which is pretty much exactly as horrible as that godawful neologism suggests. In between descriptions of some fairly appalling behavior, though, they throw some stats at you, and that’s where it gets weird: As it is, women remain acutely underrepresented in the coding and engineering professions. According…

Prompted by a number of people using the phrase “vast majority” recently, I wonder where the line between “majority” and “vast majority” is. Thus, a poll: What is the minimum level of support that constitutes a “vast majority” Assume for the sake of argument that the issue in question is a simple yes-or-no question, with…

The Evitability of History

As mentioned earlier in the week, I recently read Charles C. Mann’s 1493 (see also this interview at Razib’s place), which includes a long section about the colony at Jamestown. Like most such operations, the earliest colonists were almost comically incompetent, managing to nearly starve to death several times, despite being in an absurdly fertile…

Back when I reviewed Mann’s pop-archaeology classic 1491, I mentioned that I’d held off reading it for a while for fear that it would be excessively polemical in a “Cortez the Killer” kind of way. Happily, it was not, so when I saw he had a sequel coming out, I didn’t hesitate to pick it…

Of Education Bubbles and Bad Graphs

The new school year is upon us, so there’s been a lot of talk about academia and how it works recently. This has included a lot of talk about the cost of higher education, as has been the case more or less since I’ve been aware of the cost of higher education. A lot of…

A while back, I Links Dumped Josh Rosenau’s Post Firing Bad Teachers Doesn’t Create good Teachers, arguing that rather than just firing teachers who need some improvement, schools should look at, well, helping them improve. This produced a bunch of scoffing in a place I can’t link to, basically taking the view that people are…

The other big gender-disparity graph making the rounds yesterday was this one showing the gender distribution in the general workforce and comparing that to science-related fields: This comes from an Economics and Statistics Administration report which has one of the greatest mismatches between the tone of the headline of the press release and the tone…

Keeping the week’s unofficial education theme, Kevin Drum posts about the latest “kids these days” study, namely the just-released NAEP Geography results. Kevin makes a decent point about the 12th grade questions being fairly sophisticated, but includes one comment that struck me as off base: I gotta tell you: I went through the five sample…