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zarq (2)

Nixon's Five Wars

Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward: 40 years after Watergate, Nixon was far worse than we thought. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 11, 2012 - 72 comments

The pivot from the quantitative finding to the speculative explanation

Everyone knows that correlation doesn't imply causation, but researchers invariably need to come up with plausible explanations (i.e., models) for the patterns found in their data. However, very different models can "explain" the same pattern. The books The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It and Wars, Guns and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places by Oxford economist Paul Collier try to explain why some countries have remained poor using data from econometric studies. In his very interesting review (PDF), Mike McGovern, a political anthropologist at Yale, critiques the types of explanations found in popular economics books. Statistician Andrew Gelman has further thoughts on descriptive statistics, causal inference, and story time.
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear on Jul 13, 2011 - 59 comments

Neolithic Grog!

The Beer Archaeologist. "Biomolecular archaeologist" Dr. Patrick McGovern has unearthed millennia-old alcohol recipes and ancient medicinals, "by analyzing residues in ancient pottery. Now he's working with brewer Sam Calagione, (of Discovery Channel's Brew Masters, (autoplaying video)) whose pub Dogfish Head serves up beers based on recipes that are thousands of years old." (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 26, 2011 - 45 comments

The supreme irony.

During a speech at George Washington University by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in which she condemned governments that arrest protesters and don’t allow free speech, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern was arrested and beaten by security for standing silently with his back turned during her remarks.
posted by - on Feb 25, 2011 - 117 comments

Mr. Bush, I have some impertinent questions for you

An Impartial Interrogation
One of the things I miss about my eighteen years in the US Senate are the stories of the old Southern Democrats. I didn't always vote with them, but I loved their technique of responding to an opponent's questions with a humorous story. Once when Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina had to handle a tough question from Mike Mansfield, he said, "You know, Mr. Leader, that question reminds me of the old Baptist preacher who was telling a class of Sunday school boys the creation story. 'God created Adam and Eve and from this union came two sons, Cain and Abel and thus the human race developed.' A boy in the class then asked, 'Reverend, where did Cain and Abel get their wives?' After frowning for a moment, the preacher replied, 'Young man--it's impertinent questions like that that's hurtin' religion.'"
posted by nofundy on Jan 19, 2007 - 17 comments

Come Home, America: Liberals need another George McGovern—and perhaps conservatives do too

Come Home, America: Pat Buchanan's magazine, The American Conservative, prints a passionate defense of George McGovern. (via)
posted by pandaharma on Jan 27, 2006 - 8 comments

McGovern was right, says right-winger

McGovern was right, says right-winger Conservative columnist Cal Thomas, upon reading a new Michael Beschloss book about the LBJ tapes, says Nixon's 1972 opponent was right in opposing the war, as were Senate critics. Says, in a column printed on a Heritage Foundation site, that the book should serve as a warning to fellow conservatives who won't tolerate dissent or any differing viewpoints. Via kausfiles.
posted by raysmj on Nov 15, 2001 - 8 comments

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