Author Archives: jsilter

The comments of the few outweigh the comments of the many

The Pareto Principle for businesses states that 80% of sales come from 20% of customers. Social media has the same skew; the majority of content comes from a minority of users. I’ve always been curious just how skewed this activity can be. … Continue reading

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Some musings on statistics

A) Beware of The Wrong Summary Statistics SlateStarCodex had a pretty interesting post entitle “Beware of Summary Statistics“, showing how they can be misleading. This isn’t exactly new, there are famous examples of how just looking at the mean and standard deviation greatly … Continue reading

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Subreddit Map

Reddit describes itself as the “front page of the internet”, and given how many users it has, that’s not too far off. It’s divided into subreddits, which can have either broad or narrow topics. These subreddits are (mostly) user-created, with … Continue reading

Posted in reddit, Social Media, Text Mining | 4 Comments

Exaggeration of Science

Communicating scientific results to the public is difficult, even with the best intentions. There are all kinds of subtleties in any study which don’t make it into media coverage. Furthermore, caveats about interpreting results get lost along the way. A recent … Continue reading

Posted in Science Publishing | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Early Ebola Intervention

As I’ve alluded to in previous posts, I’m a big believer in being rational about charity. Ideally, one has several independent randomized controlled trials on which to decide how cost-effective an intervention. But sometimes that just isn’t possible. Disease outbreaks are a … Continue reading

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