A statistical paradox?

Check out this paper by Xiao-Li Meng on statistical paradoxes in which Meng poses the following question: “Which one should I trust more: a 1% survey with a 60% response rate or a self-reported administrative dataset covering 80% of the population?” Or to borrow Jason N. Doctor’s formulation via Twitter (@jasndoc):

“An urn contains 10K red & blue marbles of unknown proportion. Win $1M if you estimate the correct proportion. You can either: (1) sample 80%, or, (2) stir the marbles & sample 1%. Which do you do?”

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Memo to Speaker Pelosi

Can we all just get along? If not, why place all of your impeachment eggs in a Ukranian basket (so to speak)? More to the point, why not impeach President Trump for tax evasion instead? Ukraine is a corrupt country anyways, and worse yet, it appears the so-called “hearsay whistleblower” may have been politically motivated (you think?!), but tax fraud is a felony. (See 26 U.S. Code § 7201; look it up!) Moreover, unlike the partial transcript of the disputed July 25 phone call to the President of Ukraine, which the White House has released for all to see, Mr. Trump has refused to release any of his tax returns, thus creating a rebuttable presumption that he has at some point in his life committed tax fraud. Right?

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A city without a metro is not a city

Now that we have observed Halloween and All Saints Day, check out this beautiful and interactive collection of metro logos from around the world. (Alas, the logos for Orlando’s budding “SunRail” system or San Juan, Puerto Rico’s “Tren Urbano” are not included in this fairly comprehensive collection of metro logos.) Which one do you like the best? Least? Hat tip: @kottke.

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Fake news or fake wall?

According to this report in The Washington Post, smugglers in Mexico have repeatedly sawed through new sections of President Trump’s border wall by using commercially available power tools, opening gaps large enough for people and drug loads to pass through. Here is an excerpt:

“The breaches have been made using a popular cordless household tool known as a reciprocating saw that retails at hardware stores for as little as $100. When fitted with specialized blades, the saws can slice through one of the barrier’s steel-and-concrete bollards in a matter of minutes, according to [Border Patrol] agents, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the barrier-defeating techniques. After cutting through the base of a single bollard, smugglers can push the steel out of the way, allowing an adult to fit through the gap. Because the bollards are so tall — and are attached only to a panel at the very top — their length makes them easier to push aside once they have been cut and are left dangling, according to engineers consulted by The Washington Post.”

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Have you honored your ancestors today?

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Predicting the future (Blade Runner edition)

Casablanca, meet The Killers! The original Blade Runner movie (circa 1982), one of my all-time favorite films, was set in November 2019. (Shout out to my colleague and friend Daniel Nina for introducing me to this classic film so many years ago.) Enjoy!

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White Man’s Justice?

Why do the wealthy get so many breaks from criminal prosecution? The only persons charged in the murder of law professor Dan Markel are two Hispanics and an Asian woman (pictured on the bottom row below), but according to this report in the Tallahasee Democrat:

“Prosecutors say Markel was killed as part of a murder-for-hire plot orchestrated by the family of his ex-wife Wendi Adelson. Her brother and mother, Charlie and Donna Adelson, have been implicated but not arrested in connection with the Florida State law professor’s broad daylight shooting in his Trescott Drive garage. Markel was found on July 18, 2014, with two gunshot wounds to the head and died the next day.”

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