You know what your book means… but does the reader? Tackle it with two mindsets — Nail Your Novel


Have you ever had this type of comment in feedback? ‘You’re grasping for a strong thematic purpose. The characters’ actions and the plot are full of significance. Somewhere there’s a strong message. But it’s too abstract or muddied to come through.’ If so, this concept might help. It’s borrowed from writing instructor Lynn Steger Strong, […]

via You know what your book means… but does the reader? Tackle it with two mindsets — Nail Your Novel

Can we use data analysis to make policing less racist? — mathbabe


A couple of weeks ago there was a kerfuffle at Columbia, written up in the Columbia Spectator by Julie Chien. A machine learning course, taught in the CS department by Professor Satyen Kale, was assigned to “Help design RoboCop!” using Stop and Frisk data. The title was ill-chosen. Kale meant it to be satirical, but his actual wording of […]

via Can we use data analysis to make policing less racist? — mathbabe

Sentencing more biased by race than by class — mathbabe


Yesterday I was super happy to be passed along this amazing blogpost from lawyerist.com called Uncovering Big Bias with Big Data and written by David Colarusso, a lawyer who became a data scientist (hat tip Emery Snyder). For the article, David mines a recently opened criminal justice data set from Virginia, and asked the question, what affects the length of […]

via Sentencing more biased by race than by class — mathbabe

Three Ideas for defusing Weapons of Math Destruction — mathbabe


This is a guest post by Kareem Carr, a data scientist living in the Cambridge. He’s a fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Quantitative Social Science and an associate computational biologist at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. Formerly, he has held positions at Harvard’s Molecular and Cellular Biology Department and the National Bureau of Economic Research. When your […]

via Three Ideas for defusing Weapons of Math Destruction — mathbabe

The US DOE’s sunk costs into for-profit colleges — mathbabe


There’s been a lot of squabbling around how to deal with student debt lately, especially the debt incurred by shitty for-profit colleges. I claim these are sunk costs and should be treated as such. If you aren’t familiar with the for-profit college boondoggle, let me break it down for you: there’s a federal aid system […]

via The US DOE’s sunk costs into for-profit colleges — mathbabe

OIG Report: Broken Windows doesn’t work — mathbabe


The Office of the Inspector General for the New York Police Department (OIG-NYPD) issued a report yesterday which used statistical analysis to demonstrate that the “Broken Windows” theory of policing is flawed. From their Recommendations, page 72: OIG-NYPD found no evidence that the drop in felony crime observed over the past six years was related to […]

via OIG Report: Broken Windows doesn’t work — mathbabe

End Broken Windows Policing — mathbabe


Yesterday I learned about Campaign Zero, a grassroots plan to end police violence. The first step in their plan is to end Broken Windows policing. Here’s their argument: A decades-long focus on policing minor crimes and activities – a practice called Broken Windows policing – has led to the criminalization and over-policing of communities of color […]

via End Broken Windows Policing — mathbabe


I just finished a neat little book called The Wellness Syndrome by Carl Cederström and André Spicer. They are (business school) professors in Stockholm and London, respectively, so the book has a welcome non-U.S. perspective. The book defines the wellness syndrome to be an extension and a perversion of the concept of individual well-being. According to Cederström and Spicer, […]

via Review: The Wellness Syndrome — mathbabe