Archive for elections

brave new worlds

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2023 by xi'an

The 23 Feb issue of Nature has several “political” articles, if not the title, which refers to the James Webb space telescope bringing in a wealth of information on exoplanets (through five Nature papers!). Beyond the usual editorial (on the need to help rebuilding Ukraine’s research infrastructure as an introduction to the main article on the way Ukrainian researchers coped with one year of war and destruction) and an opinion piece on the ongoing Nigerian elections and the lack of attention to science and technology), a criticism of (recently released) “disgraced scientist” He Jiankui and his (virtual) invitation at the University of Kent, the impact of the new Twitter on social scientists using its data, an attack on the American Geophysical Union for expelling two members who had held up a banner calling for action during an AGU conference talk, and a lengthy opinion piece on banning AI weapons that starts with a rather unwelcome perspective on the “us versus them” Western attitude about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and a conclusion calling for the UN ban of autonomous weapons that is likely to have the same impact as a ban on nuclear weapons…

iconoclastas e inumeráveis [confusing 08 Jan 23 with 06 Jan 21]

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 8, 2023 by xi'an

41% or 27%? [more than 13 million far right voters]

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , on April 26, 2022 by xi'an

ça craint vraiment..!

Posted in Books, pictures with tags , , , , , , , , on April 11, 2022 by xi'an

distracting redistricting?

Posted in Books, Statistics with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 26, 2021 by xi'an

“We at FiveThirtyEight will be tracking the whole redistricting process, from proposed maps to final maps, so watch this space for updates!”

FiveThirtyEight is keeping a tracker on the “redistricting” of U.S. states, namely the decennial redrawing of electoral districts. This is still an early stage when no map has been validated by the state legislature and hence I cannot tell whether or not FiveThirtyEight will be analysing gerrymandering in a statistical manner, to figure out how extreme the map is within the collection of all electoral maps. The States being the States, the rules vary widely between them, from the legislators themselves setting the boundaries (while sometimes being very open on their intentions to favour their own side) to independent commissions being in charge. I did not spot any clear involvement of statisticians in the process.

“The application of differential privacy will bring significant harm to Alabama (…) The Census Bureau has not shown that other disclosure avoidance methods
would not satisfy the privacy requirements
” Case No. 3:21-cv-00211

While looking at this highly informative webpage maintained by University of Colorado Law School Doug Spencer, I came across this federal court challenge by the State of Alabama again the Census Bureau for using differential privacy! A statistical version of “shoot the messenger”?! The legal argument of the State is “the Fifth Amendment, alleging that differential privacy is a violation of the one-person, one-vote principle and will result in the dilution of their votes.” I however wonder what is the genuine (political) reason for this challenge!

%d bloggers like this: