statistics Archive

Trump's chances of winning sink to 8% amid Republican fears Clinton may take Texas

The New York Times’ presidential forecast has millionaire Republican Donald Trump at his lowest ebb of the campaign, with only an 8 percent chance of winning the Nov. 8 general election. A victory by Mr. Trump remains possible: Mrs. Clinton’s chance of losing is about the same as the probability that an N.F.L. kicker misses a 31-yard field goal. The analysis corresponds closely …

Internet shutdowns cost the world at least $2.4 billion last year

Deji from Access Now writes, “How much does it cost to shut down the internet? A new report by the Brookings Institution assesses costs during a one year period between 2015-2016 and found immense losses. It’s just a baseline too — and doesn’t even include things like mobile money or lost tax receipts. The real number is likely much higher.” It …

Black voter registration is inversely correlated with black death at police hands

Correlation is not causation, and the data-set is awfully small (39 incidents), but computational epidemiologist Maimuna Majumder is working with what’s available, because the federal government won’t fund research into gun fatalities, and does not require states to gather data on police use of force. Majumder says that multivariate linear regression showed that a black person’s likelihood of being shot by the …

US religion is worth $1.2T/year, more than America's 10 biggest tech companies, combined

The largely tax-free religion industry is one of the biggest in America, worth $1.2 trillion/year, a number that includes religious “healthcare facilities, schools, daycare and charities; media; businesses with faith backgrounds; the kosher and halal food markets; social and philanthropic programmes; and staff and overheads for congregations.” The figure comes from The Socio-economic Contribution of Religion to American Society: An Empirical …

Weapons of Math Destruction: invisible, ubiquitous algorithms are ruining millions of lives

I’ve been writing about the work of Cathy “Mathbabe” O’Neil for years: she’s a radical data-scientist with a Harvard PhD in mathematics, who coined the term “Weapons of Math Destruction” to describe the ways that sloppy statistical modeling is punishing millions of people every day, and in more and more cases, destroying lives. Today, O’Neil brings her argument to print, with a fantastic, plainspoken, call …