Carter Jernigan and Behram F.T. Mistree found that sexual orientation of an individual is strongly correlated to the sexual orientation of the individual’s friends on Facebook. After analyzing 4,080 Facebook profiles from the MIT network, we determined that the percentage of a given user’s friends who self–identify as gay male is strongly correlated with the sexual orientation of that user, and we developed a logistic regression classifier with strong predictive power. Although we studied Facebook friendship ties, network data is pervasive in the broader context of computer–mediated communication, raising significant privacy issues for communication technologies to which there are no neat solutions.
One of the findings of a new working paper by John Ahlquist, Kenneth R. Mayer and Simon Jackman is that “the lower bound on the population reporting voter impersonation is nearly identical with the proportion of the population reporting abduction by extraterrestrials.” Roughly 2.5 percent of the population effectively admit to one or the other.
we just went out to the store - it’s 18 degrees, snowing with some intensity, streets are slippery as hell - and there encountered the [redacted] county care team that goes around looking for homeless folks to make sure they do not literally freeze to death. i am very glad this volunteer team, with their SUV packed with donated blankets and parkas and hand warmers, exists, but feel sad as hell that we need them.
If you don’t mind all this too much, you can make the historical argument: light fare has always supported serious stuff in journalism. You can’t have front page investigative reporting without the funny pages. But there’s difference between running some Dilbert cartoons and intermixing real, reported stories with fake soap operas cooked up by people who are bored on Twitter.
Or maybe there isn’t! Maybe we just need to become comfortable allocating trust in individual writers rather than across entire outlets, which I suspect is what a lot of readers are already doing.
The other facet of this is that, frankly, I have outrage fatigue. I could spend every week being mad about a new viral fiction I’ve been told and half-believed, or I can just accept that these stories are the modern equivalent of folklore. I can choose to treat these hoaxes as pieces of culture rather than pieces of reporting, as vessels by which we transmit values and fend off boredom.
This is mostly what I think but I am beginning to have my doubts. John Herrman’s right that a lot of the stuff you find on UpWorthy or other buzzy sites right now (“This Recently Married Man Just Realized Marriage Is Not For Him. You Have To Read What He Wrote.”) is just a new way of distributing the content you used to find in e-mail chain letters. But maybe the form of distribution matters. If the “Diane in 7A” hoax is a piece of culture, it’s a piece of corporate culture, produced by an entertainment industry professional (the hoaxer is a reality TV producer) and then distributed by BuzzFeed, a massive media company. When chain letters come to you through your relatives or co-workers, their intent is to amuse you and maybe strengthen your relationship. (Or annoy you, depending on your family.) When they come to you through a media company, the intent is to make money. Culture that serves a social function is judged by different standards than culture with a profit motive.
I don’t care if an e-mail story my Grandma sends me is true because she just wants to virtually hang out with me. You wouldn’t fact-check a story you got told at a bar. I care if a story a media company sells me is true because verifying information is one of their two jobs. We don’t need a media company to repackage tweets for us because this is the internet and we can all just read the stupid tweets ourselves. There’s no value added by distributing content on the internet because you’re just pointing to something everyone else can see. Like I said about horse_ebooks, on the internet, our reception of a piece of culture has a lot to do with how we perceive its intentionality. The intentionality of my Grandma forwarding me something fake is to say hi. The intentionality of media companies, I assume, is to tell me things that are true. I don’t need them to access culture online, because I can do that on my own; I need them to tell me what’s true. For a media company to be reporting a hoax as if it’s true feels like I got duped at the airport into hiring a tour guide who’s bringing me to sights I could see perfectly fine on my own—and then telling me inaccurate stories on top of it. I feel like an understanding has been violated.
San Francisco is often viewed as a Mecca for gay people. But the warmth of the city’s welcome can quickly vanish for those who are poor. City leaders were startled this year when a survey revealed that 29 percent of the homeless population —about 2,100 of the 7,350 people counted — identified themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Bevan Dufty, the director of the city’s homelessness initiatives, said he was surprised the percentage held true for all age groups, even adults and the elderly. “What was really staggering was to see that it didn’t change as you got older,” he said. The survey found that gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people who are homeless had higher rates of disability than homeless heterosexuals and were more likely to be homeless when they arrived in the city. Some of them were older gay men with AIDS who had been evicted from their apartments or people who had been cast out by their families in other states. Others, like Mr. Bolvito, a native of Guatemala who graduated from college in Hayward, Calif., with a degree in political science and once worked as a real estate agent, had good jobs that disappeared during the recession.
“I don’t want to name artists but Britney is the most focused and disciplined of all the artists in the industry. […] Because she’s a pro! […]
Those [other artists in the music industry] aren’t pros. Britney’s a pro. Her time is valuable: she has kids. And a lot of the time with an artist they’ll go into the studio, they’ll sit around, they’re watching TV, they order some food, they’re giggling and joking, they’re searching and listening to other people’s songs, they finally get to work then they take a break, they order some food, their friends come… And that happens for four or five months, sometimes eight months. Britney’s like: “I’m coming in from 2pm until 6pm.” She’ll arrive at 1.30, and from 2 to 6 she’ll be like BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM. BAM BAM BAM BAM. BAM BAM. I’ve never seen anything like that. Her work ethic is pretty admirable.”—will.i.am, repeating what by my reckoning literally every producer who has ever talked about working with godney has said about our queen :’) (x)
my brain is such a pile of vacation mush that i think i will go hang up a whole lot of laundry instead of writing a three page report that normally would only take me 45 minutes. pretty sure anything that didn’t get done before i took 5 consecutive days off i going to be thoroughly half-assed.
Starting Jan. 1, President Obama’s health care law will expand Medicaid coverage to adults with incomes under 138 percent of the federal poverty line, and enrollment is expected to increase by about nine million next year. Thousands of homeless people will be among the newly covered. Housing advocates say they believe that the Medicaid expansion has the potential to reduce rates of homelessness significantly, both by preventing low-income Americans from becoming homeless as a result of illness or medical debt and by helping homeless people become eligible for and remain in housing. “We really feel like this is the last piece of the puzzle that we need to end chronic homelessness,” said Steve Berg, the vice president for programs and policy at the National Alliance to End Homelessness. But signing up homeless people for Medicaid is a huge logistical challenge, as housing advocates acknowledge. Homeless individuals often do not have an email address, phone number or permanent address. Many are unaware of the health care law or are skeptical of public programs. Housing advocates and social workers across the country are now on a major push to inform impoverished and homeless people that they are eligible for Medicaid in the 25 states that are expanding the program and in the District of Columbia, and to enroll them.
Q: Larry, does the President have any reaction to the announcement—the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, that AIDS is now an epidemic and have over 600 cases? MR. SPEAKES: What’s AIDS? Q: Over a third of them have died. It’s known as “gay plague.” (Laughter.) No, it is. I mean it’s a pretty serious thing that one in every three people that get this have died. And I wondered if the President is aware of it? MR. SPEAKES: I don’t have it. Do you? (Laughter.) Q: No, I don’t. MR. SPEAKES: You didn’t answer my question. Q: Well, I just wondered, does the President— MR. SPEAKES: How do you know? (Laughter.) Q: In other words, the White House looks on this as a great joke? MR. SPEAKES: No, I don’t know anything about it, Lester. Q: Does the President, does anybody in the White House know about this epidemic, Larry? MR. SPEAKES: I don’t think so. I don’t think there’s been any— Q: Nobody knows? MR. SPEAKES: There has been no personal experience here, Lester. Q: No, I mean, I thought you were keeping— MR. SPEAKES: I checked thoroughly with Dr. Ruge this morning and he’s had no—(laughter)—no patients suffering from AIDS or whatever it is. Q: The President doesn’t have gay plague, is that what you’re saying or what? MR. SPEAKES: No, I didn’t say that. Q: Didn’t say that? MR. SPEAKES: I thought I heard you on the State Department over there. Why didn’t you stay there? (Laughter.) Q: Because I love you, Larry, that’s why. (Laughter.) MR. SPEAKES: Oh, I see. Just don’t put it in those terms, Lester. (Laughter.) Q: Oh, I retract that. MR. SPEAKES: I hope so. Q: It’s too late.
Good looks matter: there is evidence that good looking people are treated better, earn more money, are more likely to be thought of as intelligent, and many other outcomes most of us would all prefer to have happen to us. But there is no good evidence that good looks can cause a person to win political office.
Despite that nobody seems to know anybody who will admit to voting based on looks, there is a popular impression that good looks matter in politics — we’ve all heard about the famous Kennedy-Nixon debate – and a constant flow of research from psychology explaining why and how good looking politicians are more likely to win elections. Just recently, two articles in peer-reviewed psychology journals explored this very topic. One article, claiming that the tendency to vote for physically attractive candidates is related to an evolutionary need for disease avoidance, was covered in The New York Times. The premise of this article is that humans have evolved to avoid disease and the attractiveness of another person is a clue about the possibility that they carry disease. Voters in places where they are more likely to catch a disease show a stronger tendency to vote for physically attractive politicians than do voters in places where they are less likely to catch a disease. Perhaps you could also ask yourself if you know of any Democrats who voted for Romney because they had the flu on Election Day?
Here’s the problem with this type of research: several years ago, my colleagues and I extensively studied this phenomenon and found that the best available evidence says that politicians don’t get elected because of their good looks. In fact, after examining every contest for the U.S. Senate between 1990 and 2006, we couldn’t find a single election where the candidates’ appearance made the difference in the election. This isn’t surprising: Politics and voting are greatly affected by factors such as partisanship, the economy, campaigning, and even policy – all of which leave little room for voters to cast votes based on politicians’ looks.
Anyone in the US doing their holiday shopping from the product showcases that appear at the top of Google’s search results is almost certain to pay substantially more than if they delved deeper in the search engine. Five out of every six items in the panels shown on a Google search made in America are more expensive than the same items from other merchants hidden deeper in the index, with an average premium of 34 per cent, according to a Financial Times analysis.
looking at endless rows of nearly identical numbers was lulling my brain into sleepy lethargy so i ate a snack including a bunch of horseradish and now i am FIRED UP and READY TO GO and also THE INSIDE OF MY FACE IS FILLED WITH FIRE
Do you think there should or should not be a law that would ban the possession of handguns, except by the police or other authorized persons? The current breakdown is just what Europeans would expect of Cowboy Nation. Only 25% of Americans say “Yes, should be” - versus 74% who say, “No, should not be.” But if you think this reflects a long-standing American tradition, you’re dead wrong. Back in 1959, the breakdown was 60% yes, 36% no. Support for gun-grabbing fell almost non-stop during the ensuing decades, with just one odd reversal in 1979.
I could imagine Glass Concierge becoming a future job title, basically a personal assistant who looks in on your Google Glass video feed to make helpful suggestions and advice, basically a rally co-driver for your life.
motherfucking perpetual license for the stats software i’m trying to run won’t work on the upgraded mac OS and instead of apologizing that my perpetual license is not longer so perpetual they are telling me to pay them $600 to upgrade to a perpetual license that will work, at least until a few mac OS upgrades from now.
I see these findings as devastating for advocates of the expansion of state pre-k programs. This is the first large scale randomized trial of a present-day state pre-k program. Its methodology soundly trumps the quasi-experimental approaches that have heretofore been the only source of data on which to infer the impact of these programs. And its results align almost perfectly with those of the Head Start Impact Study, the only other large randomized trial that examines the longitudinal effects of having attended a public pre-k program. Based on what we have learned from these studies, the most defensible conclusion is that these statewide programs are not working to meaningfully increase the academic achievement or social/emotional skills and dispositions of children from low-income families.
while writing up my paper on measuring attitudes towards statistical and quantitative methods in the social sciences, i realized i was trying to figure out my writing rate in words per 15 minutes so i could, like, graph my overall pace and make predictions about overall writing time.
Central City is used to making history. The Rush to the Rockies got its start in May 1859, when John Gregory made the first lode discovery on Clear Creek. The town sprang up right above that find and grew so fast that it almost became the state capitol; today it’s home to the historic Teller Opera House, Victorian buildings and casinos made possible by Colorado voters. And now Central City has made more history, as home to the first business granted a recreational marijuana retail sales license not just in Colorado, but the world.
yeah, cool, innovative and all - but also, the federal department of justice showed up in boulder and denver yesterday and did raids on state-licensed grow houses and dispensaries, even though they were operating consistently with colorado laws. not minor raids, either - at one grow house in boulder, they seized over $1million in plants. this despite a federal statement earlier this year that they wouldn’t be conducting these kinds of raids on marijuana operations operating consistently with state law.
so. let’s get this federalism stuff worked out, and then we can get excited about state law innovations.
US hospitals are exploring ways to buy “Obamacare” insurance plans for their sickest and poorest patients as they strain under the weight of tens of billions of dollars in uncompensated costs from the uninsured.
Although research on social embeddedness and social capital confirms the value of friendship networks, little has been written about how social relations form and are structured by social institutions. Using data from the Adolescent Health and Academic Achievement study and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, the authors show that the odds of a new friendship nomination were 1.77 times greater within clusters of high school students taking courses together than between them. The estimated effect cannot be attributed to exposure to peers in similar grade levels, indirect friendship links, or pair-level course overlap, and the finding is robust to alternative model specifications. The authors also show how tendencies associated with status hierarchy inhering in triadic friendship nominations are neutralized within the clusters. These results have implications for the production and distribution of social capital within social systems such as schools, giving the clusters social salience as “local positions.”
Across all nine presidential administrations, infant mortality rates were below trend when the President was a Democrat and above trend when the President was a Republican. This was true for overall, neonatal, and postneonatal mortality, with effects larger for postneonatal compared to neonatal mortality rates. Regression estimates show that, relative to trend, Republican administrations were characterized by infant mortality rates that were, on average, three percent higher than Democratic administrations. In proportional terms, effect size is similar for US whites and blacks. US black rates are more than twice as high as white, implying substantially larger absolute effects for blacks.
Transgender women continue to bear the brunt of anti-LGBT violence in the United States. According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, 53.8 percent of anti-LGBT homicide victims in 2012 were transgender women, the majority of whom were people of color. In 2011, the percentage of transgender women in this statistic was substantially lower: 40 percent. For transgender women, it doesn’t get better, apparently. We experience most of the violence with none of the visibility. We are the dead and we are the forgotten.
IN a 2010 study by researchers at the University of Chicago, only 6 percent of former foster youths had earned a two- or four-year degree by age 24. Those not in college may be in jail; 34 percent who had left foster care at age 17 or 18 reported being arrested by age 19.
Most of the research is bleak — but not all. It appears that extra support can make a difference. The Chicago study tracked the lives of about 700 foster children in Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin. Those in Illinois who were still getting foster care services at age 19 were less likely to have been arrested (22 percent versus 34 percent) than those in the other two states who were on their own. The same was true for education. The foster children from Illinois, which has long allowed young people to remain in care until their 21st birthday, were more likely to have completed at least one year of college than their counterparts from Iowa or Wisconsin, where the age of emancipation at the time was 18.
Which is why a growing number of colleges — from those that are selective, like U.C.L.A., to those that are not, like Los Angeles City College — have created extensive support programs aimed at current and former foster young people. At U.C.L.A., this includes scholarships, year-round housing in the dorms for those who have no other place to live, academic and therapeutic counseling, tutoring, health care coverage, campus jobs, bedding, towels, cleaning products, toiletries and even occasional treats. Ms. Boccara mentioned the gift cards she was given to a local supermarket. At Los Angeles City College, Marcellia Goodrich likes the free snacks in the program office and Mr. Roque noted the free paper. “It’s useful and helps you stay on budget,” he said.
University of Massachusetts political scientist Tatishe Nteta and Brandeis political scientist Jill Greenlee compared the racial attitudes of what they call the the “Obama generation” to the attitudes of six previous generations. Naturally, later generations tend to express more positive views of blacks than earlier generations. But Nteta and Greenlee did not find that each generation has become inexorably more favorable toward blacks. After accounting for other factors, they found that the Obama generation was more favorable to blacks than every previous generation — even the generation that came of age in the 1990s immediately prior to the Obama generation.
The distinctiveness of the Obama generation was most evident when asked questions designed to get at subtler forms of prejudice — such as how much individuals think racial inequality is due to the failings of African Americans. Thus the Obama generation was less likely than other generations to agree with statements like “It’s really a matter of some people not trying hard enough; if blacks would only try harder they could be just as well off as whites.” When asked questions designed to measure overt prejudice — such as approval of interracial marriage — the Obama generation was certainly unlikely to express such attitudes, but not necessarily more so than at least some earlier generations.
To be sure, it is difficult to prove that Obama’s ascendance caused these generational differences in racial attitudes. But Nteta and Greenlee’s findings dovetail with other research that documented a decline in racial prejudice during the 2008 presidential campaign — suggesting that Obama’s rise may really affect how people perceive African Americans. It is too soon to know whether any generational changes will stick, or what will be true for future generations.
Long commutes are a fact of life for many people — particularly here in the Washington area — and commuting brings with it an increased risk of many bad outcomes: obesity, divorce, insomnia, and on and on. Now we may need to add one more consequence to the list: people who spend more time commuting are less likely to be interested and get involved in politics. That is an implication of new research by political scientists Benjamin Newman, Joshua Johnson, and Patrick Lown. (Another link to the piece is here.) They show that Americans who report longer commutes say they are less involved in politics. Participation in politics is 12 points lower for people with a 60-minute commute relative to people who work from home and have no commute. Why does this effect emerge? Newman and colleagues suggest it is because commuting saps people’s underlying interest in politics.