Thursday 30 November 2017

How Turnbull Proved Marx and Engels Right.

Malcolm Turnbull isn't a lucky man. In a country where banking scandals are commonplace (a list up to April 2016), the current Australian Prime Minister has witnessed a succession of high-profile banking scandals since he assumed office in 2015, including what is perhaps one of the most damaging in Australian history (last August):


Wednesday 29 November 2017

Saturday 25 November 2017

Bits and Pieces: Aussie QLD Politics and Unions.

The results of the Queensland state elections are out …  well, sort of. It may take a while to know who won and in what circumstances. Labor seems favourite to cross the line first, but it was a close election and it may depend on alliances, which Labor leader Annastacia Palaszczuk had previously ruled out.

But there is good news. We do know who lost.

Sunday 19 November 2017

Malcolm Young RIP

If you were a teenage boy a bit wilder and with a little more attitude than the average, Oz seemed like a dream: cold beer, the outback, crazy "Mad Max" bikies, crocs, big "knoives" a la "Crocodile Dundee" and ... Acca Dacca! What's there not to like? :-)


No more Malcolm Young, founder of AC/DC. As I grow older, all that's gone. Man, life sucks. Some cool videos, photos, and twits from Malcolm's rocker mates

RIP mate.

Tuesday 14 November 2017

Bits and Pieces (xi).

So, the results of the pompously named Aussie SSM (same-sex marriage survey) are out. This was the question: "Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?".

These were the answers:


Saturday 4 November 2017

Unequal Economists!

Last time we discussed a data set, in many ways very similar to income/wealth distributions, but simple and small enough for an unskilled person to analyse with a standard spreadsheet package.

The data are distributed very unequally. A few unusually high values had a huge influence in the statistics of the sample:
"1% of the sample determines 41% of the sample's mean.
There's more. …  From 3,252 'likes', for example, the range would collapse to 480 with the removal of the "1%": a 85% fall!"
One would need to consider very seriously the presence of a number of outliers: from the top six (in a very conservative "guesstimate") to the top 89 (in a much more structured and stringent estimate).

That data set could offer an interesting exercise for advanced high-school/early undergraduate students of statistics/econometrics. In particular, it would allow for ties with topical issues, like the Piketty/associates literature on income/wealth size distribution:
"In words, 25% of the sample gets between 1 and 2 ‘likes'; the next quarter gets between 2 and 4; the third gets between 4 and 8; and the last between 8 and 3,253 …  Welcome to inequality."
It, however, has another interesting characteristic. I never explained what that data were supposed to mean. What are those "likes" and data points? I mentioned a survey, how was it conducted? Was that a random sample? What were the questions included?

Today's the day!