Two useful blog posts for connecting in the discipline.

Two extremely useful posts went up while I was at MWPSA and are worth re-blogging.  While I am not sure if my readership is radically different than either site, it is still useful to spread the word. First, the Monkey Cage posted an update to their blogroll that I will soon copy.  It now includes all active political science bloggers that they could find.  Of course, if you are missing from the list, let them know. Second, Chris Albon at War and Health compiled a list of "35 global health, foreign affairs, and international security scholars, researchers, and experts active Continue reading Two useful blog posts for connecting in the discipline.

Data and Blogging

Ah Friday, a great day to do final edits on my and Julie's paper for Midwest – also a good time for a quick blog post with a somewhat misleading title as the two subjects refer to two seperate links. First, via Freakonomics, is a competition for the Fraser Institute to have them collect data.  You write up the brief that suggests what they collect and, if you are in the top 6 suggestions, they pay you.  Time to go through my bin of thoughts that usually begins with "If we had data for…" and ends with "we could then Continue reading Data and Blogging

700 Fresh Posts to read…

Traveling for Thanksgiving gave me the opportunity to abandon my daily reading schedule and come back to a stockpile of new posts to read.  The highlights thus far from the last 5 days: – Flowing Data has a chart contest. The winner receives two Tufte books.  Entries are due on Friday. – Andrew Gelman has a interesting stroy of his undergraduate academic years that lead to his publishing a paper from those days over two decades later.  If only my undergraduate work was methodologically related to my background now. – Rodger at The Duck of Minerva watches the History Channel; Continue reading 700 Fresh Posts to read…

Trade Diversion is up for an award, needs your vote.

Jonathan Dingel ( is up for a substantial scholarship for blogging and, apparently, is the only economics-based blog up for the scholarship.  Given that there are also no other quantitative political science or formal theory blogs available (there are plenty of normative politics blogs, though) and his posts are actually useful academically, I encourage you to give him your vote as well.  Vote here. View the finalist list of 20. He has a bit of work to do since he is about 1,000 votes behind a baseball blog about the Seattle Mariners.  I would encourage other like-minded blogs to also Continue reading Trade Diversion is up for an award, needs your vote.

Note to self: the world loves 2×2 tables.

It appears that one cannot go wrong with something as simple as a two-by-two table (produced in Excel) in a blog post.  The three biggest traffic generating posts that I have personally done involve the Prisoner’s Dilemma (it is about a 2×2 game!) that received link love from Freakonomics, the Dark Knight Ferry game which generated over two dozen different links and occupied the number one Google search for Game Theory Dark Knight (until recently that is), and the latest Bayesian-Rumsfeld table which was picked up by Drew at ZIA and Andrew Gelman at the Monkey Cage (who we have Continue reading Note to self: the world loves 2×2 tables.

Prisoner’s Dilemma Answers

I posted previously that Freakonomics was hosting a Prisoner’s Dilemma contest.  About a week ago they selected the top five answers and had a quick voting contest (comment democracy with 48 hours to decide the winner).  Since I am both currently attending one of the EITM summer programs and exercising my current mathematical knowledge by attempting to run a maximum likelihood estimation of a generalized Prisoner’s Dilemma model with a normally distributed cost function to the players for cooperation; it seemed like a good time to return to the post and evaluate the answers provided. Adding a pre-game to the Continue reading Prisoner’s Dilemma Answers

Does “Political Science” Need Saving?

Normally, I tend to ignore how popular media outlets and general popular culture deals with and treats the concept of "political science" as such characterizations often appear to come from indifference, misunderstanding, or ignorant hostility.  However, as we are in the full swing of a political season, it appears that the term of political science, as some of us are practicing it, is being drug through the mud once again and is becoming increasingly confused with "politics". More of a discussion follows the jump…

Interviewing Theorists

While browsing for more distractions in the world of blogging that would add to my understanding of political science, I happily came across Theory Talks, a website devoted to promoting discussion about political science by interviewing prominent writers in our discipline.  For example, the latest post includes a lengthy question and answer with Robert Keohane.  I do enjoy this short snippet on the nature of our science: Do you think it is possible for a theorist who has conceived a “big idea” to change his stripes? Sociologically and psychologically, it would be too much to expect a theorist to renounce Continue reading Interviewing Theorists

Freakonomics allows one question for Prisoner’s Dilemma – Does it Matter?

Dubner at the NYTimes Freakonomics Blog asks the following question to his readers given  prisoner’s dilemma problem: Pretend for a minute that you have done something to put yourself in jeopardy and are facing a real-life Prisoner’s Dilemma. Now pretend additionally that you get to choose your partner in the dilemma. There are three people to choose from. You cannot see or talk directly to the three people, but you are allowed to ask one question of each of the three people to help make your decision. What is the one question you’d ask? Apparently, selected winners will receive material Continue reading Freakonomics allows one question for Prisoner’s Dilemma – Does it Matter?