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

End of the week blogging

The summer is rapidly approaching its end as many of us are preparing for the classes we are teaching, quickly completing those papers for the upcoming APSA conference, and finishing up any summer projects (or finding ways to push back those deadlines).  As such, the blogging here has slowed down a bit while the Dark Knight post continues to draw hundreds of new hits daily from Google, blogs, and some random message boards – but normal posting should resume once people re-settle into the semester swing.  The International relations dispute of interest for the week has been the continued conflict Continue reading End of the week blogging

Data collection using Web-based Forms

Thanks to a comment on an earlier post, Stephen Haptonstahl answered some of my questions and technical misgivings I had about setting up a larger user interface for collecting data via a webpage.  Specifically, he has an article in the Political Methodologist‘s from 2008 (the specific issue can be found here, starts on page 12) that details the set up for data entry using the web-based forms to compile data: […]Web-based forms provide some clear advantages: more than one person can enter data at a time without fear of writing over each other’s work; the data is stored on a Continue reading Data collection using Web-based Forms

Manual Data Collection in the age of Computers

I am beginning a new data collection project that requires the manual coding of data collected from various sources in print and online.  As I start this project, I am tasked with how to build a master record of all the data I collect in the process.  I have worked on projects that used extensive paper coding forms that were later filed away only to be retrieved when appropriate.  This serves as a safeguard to both checking original coding decision, errors in the database, and any other information the coders found while researching the topic at hand.  Alternatively, other projects Continue reading Manual Data Collection in the age of Computers

A Few Non-Connected Thoughts and Links

The three of us, along with Ray Carman, traveled to New York City for the weekend to enjoy a few hours of Eddie Izzard performing at Radio City Music Hall for this current "Stripped" tour.  As such, the trip is still fresh in my mind as I return to work on a few projects involving asymmetric relationships; this clip from over a decade ago is begging to be included as an introductory quote to an article or chapter on imperialism: Second, for those of you who are design savvy (I am not), the Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science Continue reading A Few Non-Connected Thoughts and Links

Did Data Kill Theory?

Thanks to Geoff McGovern for pointing us toward a fascinating essay in Wired.  Chris Anderson posits that the accessibility of information has vaulted us into what he calls the Petrabyte Age, in which information is not a matter of simple three- and four-dimensional taxonomy and order but of dimensionally agnostic statistics. It calls for an entirely different approach, one that requires us to lose the tether of data as something that can be visualized in its totality. It forces us to view data mathematically first and establish a context for it later. Given how much data is readily available, Anderson Continue reading Did Data Kill Theory?

Something to keep an eye out for: Google Data

Wired reports that Google plans to release, soon, a framework for hosting, storing, and distributing large or frequently used data.  The Project, Palimpsest, will pay the fees to both ship the data (by sending users a 3TB hard drive to download the data) and for hosting.  This, if applicable for political science scholars, not only is a good way to reduce the cost of hosting our work, but also to facilitate some sort of centralization that is currently lacking and can often encouraging data seeking via Google anyways. Link to a slide show about the project (middle of the page). Continue reading Something to keep an eye out for: Google Data

When Form can Overwhelm Content

I am not a visually oriented person or, more appropriately, I am less than stellar at design.  This may not be a surprise to anyone that has seen my attempts to assemble a wardrobe, but this is also true in the sense of organizing information – whether it is in a paper, on a poster, or for a conference presentation.  As such, I am compelling myself to learn two programs/languages this summer that will both allow me to overcome my shortcomings ~ LaTeX and R.  Yes, my devotion to wysiwyg interfaces and minimal .do files might be crumbling a bit.  Continue reading When Form can Overwhelm Content