Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Ben Folds Five

Monday

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* As I discuss in my presentation for SLSA next week, Octavia Butler predicted it: Huntington’s mutation can improve learning before symptoms arrive.

* How to fight a nuclear war: Jimmy Carter had a plan.

* Stuyvesant, Harvard, people are alike all over: the psychology of cheating.

* “In Plain View”: How molesters get away with it.

* Meta poll-of-polls analysis shows the Romney campaign is in serious trouble.

What Erikson and Wlezien did is rather remarkable: They collected pretty much every publicly available poll conducted during the last 200 days of the past 15 presidential elections and then ran test after test on the data to see what we could say about the trajectory of presidential elections. Their results make Romney’s situation look very dire.

For instance: The least-stable period of the campaign isn’t early in the year or in the fall. It’s the summer. That’s because the conventions have a real and lasting effect on a campaign.

But the most surprising of Erikson and Wlezien’s results, and the most dispiriting for the Romney campaign, is that unlike the conventions, the debates don’t tend to matter. There’s “a fairly strong degree of continuity from before to after the debates,” they write. That’s true even when the trailing candidate is judged to have “won” the debates. “Voters seem to have little difficulty proclaiming one candidate the ‘winner’ of a debate and then voting for the opponent,” Erikson and Wlezien say.

Massachusetts looks to be reverting to the mean, too.

* Underselling it a bit: “Potentially unsafe” rat meat is being sold illegally in London marketplaces. Remember, it’s only potentially unsafe. Who among us can really know anything for sure?

* Also at io9: George Dvorsky takes the recent rheseus monkey brain-implant study as a hook for another ride on the what-could-possibly-go-wrong merry-go-round about uplifting animals.

* The Los Angeles Review of Books visits the comics.

* And just because it’s Monday: Ben Folds vs. the Fraggles.