Should it worry us when a statistician says he's seen something happen
more times than I can count
I would happily pay a subscription to the Guardian – it’s long frustrated me that I can’t voluntarily donate short of sending an envelope with cash to the office of A Rusbridger.
For that exact reason, I'm using the subscription option on the Guardian's Android app, even though I use the website more often. The only drawback is that $1 a month doesn't feel like enough.
This meta-analysis of all the drug company data on 6 of the 7 SSRIs found that drug is better than placebo ONLY for people who were severely depressed.
This study (paywalled) found that monthly sessions of 'behavioural activation therapy' is as effective than drugs in the severely depressed, and cheaper after 9 months (at US prices).
Oddly, Cochrane collaboration doesn't appear to have a study comparing drugs with therapy more generally. Does anyone else have a better reference?
So on Monday, I was tailgated and honked at by one of Zap Pest Control's cars (licence number: EFR something), when free-wheeling down Pirie St, a steep-ish suburban wellington street and bus-route. When I responded with the cheery wave and call of 'good morning' that I reserve for these situations, the driver responded by accelerating out into the oncoming lane to pass me, then braking to a halt while fishtailing me into the kerb.
Ok, I admit I wasn't wearing hi-vis. Dear Public Address: If I were, would it have helped this driver calmly cruise to the next red light at 40k instead of 50?
Had anyone suggested linking the 4 year term with term limits? So for example, a prime minister could be limited to a single 4 year term?
Could remove a lot of distractions from cabinet ministers - and shadow ministers - if they all knew they had a better chance of having a turn.
Interesting that most of this discussion has focussed on civil rights etc, laws that can be voted through as fast as they can be written. But this:
the main impact is on the Executive.
The government Budget is set only once a year. It's got huge momentum: months to set up, to haggle between departments and Ministers, sometimes years to reset (think health, education). So the first Budget is just tweaks on what went before, maybe with some coalition deals glued on top. The second Budget is the real deal. The third Budget is just some patches; no time to learn from the effects of the previous one.
A four year cycle might give the (elected) Government and the Executive enough time to learn how to work together by year 3.
Real currency traders don't need to know metalwork?
5 Quality of teaching 808 0.67
40 Classsize 2559 0.13
These numbers are being quoted as if they're regression coefficients .. which they may be. But in what units? I'd be interested in seeing them converted to dollars. As in, how many dollars does it take to buy one unit of teacher quality per class? And how many dollars to buy one unit of smaller class size?
Maybe you'd find that adding a million dollars to "class size" would improve education more than adding it to 'teacher quality'.
Or more than "banish all technical education from years seven and eight, while pretending it's something about class sizes".
Its very mathematical though, which is appropriate as so was Santer et al 2008.
I wonder sometimes if there's a genuine 'two cultures' disconnect on the modelling. Econometricians like McKitrick are determined to run ever-fancier regression models on the data, and therefore distrust series that leap away from historical trends (which may have something to do with their inability to predict or even believe in financial crashes and other such Black Swans). Are they simply trained not to comprehend structural models, where (for example) a long slow increase in CO2 can trigger sudden changes away from previous equilibria?
Does it sound to anyone else as though Brownlee's been reading John Maynard Keynes?
If the Treasury were to fill old bottles with banknotes, bury them at suitable depths in disused coalmines which are then filled up to the surface with town rubbish, and leave it to private enterprise on well-tried principles of laissez-faire to dig the notes up again (the right to do so being obtained, of course, by tendering for leases of the note-bearing territory), there need be no more unemployment and, with the help of the repercussions, the real income of the community, and its capital wealth also, would probably become a good deal greater than it actually is.
Only he's missed the punch-line:
It would, indeed, be more sensible to build houses and the like; but if there are political and practical difficulties in the way of this, the above would be better than nothing.