Sports Fans vs. Skill

David Henderson has a post on Econlog arguing that sports are good because they’re one of the rare instances where you can sit around and celebrate achievement in public. When a big company makes a huge profit, the reporters don’t typically talk about how incredibly good many of the company’s employees are. But they usually…

A Statistical Analysis is not a Person with Legal Standing

Man, the Supreme Court sure hates statistics! Orthodox statistical analysis takes another legal hit in the opening arguments of Wal-Mart v. Dukes. None of this is binding yet, of course, since no decision has been handed down – but the line of questioning pursued by several of the Justices (of all ideological stripes, in fact)…

So how much p do I need, then?

One of the sillier points about quantitative science is the statistical significance fetish. Which isn’t to say that significance tests aren’t useful, because they are. But treating the p < 0.05 requirement as ex cathedra is problematic in a lot of cases. Obviously, what science boils down to is researcher intuition more than anything. If…

A Second Look at the Sumi Decision

Visiting Marquette law prof Rick Esenberg has some detailed objections to the Sumi decision that go a bit further than mine. In brief: (1)The state DID cite conflicting legislative procedures in its defense which Judge Sumi ignores. In an earlier post on this I noted that the Open Meetings Law applies to all legislative meetings…

How good is good?

A followup from the last entry on the legality of the special committee session that removed the “fiscal” portions from Wisconsin’s budget bill (so as to allow a simple majority to pass the rest of it, including the new collective bargaining restrictions). It seems a judge has issued a restraining order on the publication of…

The Legality of the Latest

The situation in Wisconsin keeps getting more interesting. The Republicans just pulled a bit of sleight-of-hand to get the controversial parts of the bill through. Basically, they stripped the parts of the bill that are likely to count as “fiscal” under Wisconsin’s historically narrow interpretation of the word. This amounts to removing just over 4%…

Luke Burrage does Atlas Shrugged

I enjoy Luke Burrage’s Science Fiction Book Review Podcast. And I really like Atlas Shrugged. So when I heard that Mr. Burrage had reviewed Atlas Shrugged on the SFBRP I was … anxious – because let’s not kid ourselves, nothing good was going to come out of this. Not all good things mix, and given…

“Fear the Boom and Bust” is a Command

Steven Horowitz has a predictable response for Keynesians who like to characterize the Austrian Business Cycle Theory as a “morality play.” That is, that belief in a cycle of boom and bust somehow commits one to the position that suffering through the bust is one’s “just deserts” for bad policies during the boom. That response,…

Pick a Government

Paul Krugman writes A quick note on polling and voting: as more and more polls come out showing that the public does not, in fact, hate public workers and their unions, there’s been a stock answer — namely, that the real poll took place in November, so who cares what a thousand or so people…

In the Heat of the Night

Since I’m getting more sensitive about slights of the South, I decided it was time to give In the Heat of the Night another look – to see if my opinion had changed. It hasn’t really. It’s still a great movie. If anything, I like it better now. For one thing, I have a bit…