The War We Don’t See

This is a topic that I’ll probably expand on later, but I was just reading an article discussing the role of Hamid Karzai’s brother in the present Afghan conflict.  This article gets at an issue that I’ve thought about before.  From the FP article cited above: But he could not exist without the support of coalition forces. AWK has long worked closely with, and perhaps been paid by, the CIA, for whom he helps operate a paramilitary force, according to press reports.   As some of my research interests deal with the role of bureaucratic agencies in foreign policy, I find this particular chunk Continue reading The War We Don’t See

Paranormal Phenomenon and Economics

Peter Leeson, an economist from George Mason University, and Claudia Williamson, an economist from Appalachian University, are currently working on a UFO-Bigfoot sightings project. Their preliminary results indicate that there is a positive correlation between the number of UFO sightings in a state (per 10,000 residents) and the number of Bigfoot sightings in a state (per 10,000 residents). In other words, the more UFO sightings there are in a state, the more Bigfoot sightings there are in a state. Further, six of the top ten UFO and Bigfoot states are the same: Washington, Oregon, New Mexico, Alaska, Wyoming, and Colorado. Continue reading Paranormal Phenomenon and Economics

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