Tag Archives: data

Unlikely data

I don’t see any need to know these things: If the US Fed­er­al debt of $8 tril­lion or so were paid in dol­lar bills the height of the pile would reach to the moon four times. One mil­lion, five hun­dred and twen­ty four thou­sand kilo­me­tres. The num­ber of mod­ern Homo Sapi­ens believed ever to have […]

Australia’s median abatement effort

The Pro­duc­tiv­i­ty Com­mis­sion is evi­dent­ly reluc­tant to make any defin­i­tive find­ing on either the costs of abate­ment in dif­fer­ent coun­tries or the effec­tive­ness of the “myr­i­ad” poli­cies affect­ing car­bon emis­sion prices. Their report relies on “rough esti­mates” in the absence of detailed data and the exten­sive (econ­o­my-wide) mod­el­ling that would be need­ed to make any […]

Invisible magic

The hall­mark of glob­al eco­nom­ic inte­gra­tion is the smear­ing of ori­gin. Most of the inter­est­ing things we import com­prise com­po­nent parts or oth­er inputs from a vari­ety of dif­fer­ent coun­tries. The whole world is wealth­i­er in large part because mil­lions of unseen mar­kets spread around the globe coor­di­nate this com­plex­i­ty for us, invis­i­bly, speed­i­ly and […]

If you like working with data

…You’ll love Google Refine

Reading on climate

Debate about glob­al warm­ing is grub­by because there are so many un-acknowl­­edged pri­vate agen­das run­ning just below the sur­face. Many par­tic­i­pants in the debate have some­thing to gain (if only noto­ri­ety) from their advo­ca­cy. But atten­tion to the ques­tion has pro­voked a lot of inter­est­ing research that tells us some­thing about cli­mate and some­thing about […]

World Opera season programs


For opera devo­tees, fans, ‘trag­ics’ … etc., but main­ly for myself, I’ve devel­oped a syn­thet­ic RSS feed of news about Sea­son events, tick­ets and sub­scrip­tions for Opera hous­es around the world that you can find near the bot­tom of this page.

I’ve used Yahoo Pipes and Yahoo’s YQL—an SQL-type query lan­guage for Yahoo search databases—to search for new sea­son announce­ments from the world’s opera hous­es and man­gled the results into an RSS for­mat. The links in the feed jump to the announce­ment pages for each Opera house.

Hope you enjoy it. Please let me know.

A call for evidence-based policy


Many social, edu­ca­tion­al and eco­nom­ic poli­cies are the mod­ern equiv­a­lent of Dr Spock’s advice that babies should sleep face down: well-mean­ing, author­i­ta­tive – and wrong. No doubt it would be awk­ward to see the wis­dom of experts punc­tured and the pet poli­cies of politi­cians dis­cred­it­ed on a reg­u­lar basis. But if politi­cians real­ly cared about those they rep­re­sent, they would insist on more ran­domised tri­als and more sys­tem­at­ic reviews of what works.” Extract from FT.com / Com­ment / Opin­ion — Polit­i­cal ideas need prop­er test­ing

See also Pro­duc­tiv­i­ty Com­mis­sion Chair­man Gary Banks’ detailed sug­ges­tions.