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.