6/4/21 Recommended Issues: Research Bias, First Impressions, Standard of Living

6/4/21 Recommended Issues: Research Bias, First Impressions, Standard of Living

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Each week we handpick newsletter issues by independent writers you may have missed that provide new or unique perspectives. 

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Here's what's worth reading this week...enjoy!



One Study, Many Results in New Things Under The Sun by Matt Clancy on May 4
Publication Bias is a Real Thing in New Things Under The Sun by Matt Clancy on June 3

Matt has written some fascinating issues about the reliability of research and biases in the publication of research. In the May issue, he discusses how different research groups, starting with the same dataset and question to solve, end up with a wide variety of statistically quite different answers; the researchers make assumptions, interpret data differently, run different tests, etc -- all culminating in different results. Matt builds on this concept with his June 3 issue which is all about how high ranked research journals bias their publications towards outcomes with positive results-- and what that should mean to you as a consumer of this research. Both issues are super interesting reads because they’ll make you question any individual study you read… are there other publications (perhaps in lower tiered journals) showing no significance or negative results? Were those other outcomes just not published? Should you base what you believe (or do) off of one positive study? Your interpretation of scientific research may be permanently altered… Read May’s “multiple results”; Read June’s “reliability bias


How Perception Blinds Us To the Truth in The Profile by Polina Marinova Pompliano on June 1

This is a more introspective read which challenges you to think about HOW you judge first impressions. It’s not suggesting that there’s a right or wrong way -- rather that HOW you create a first interpretation of someone in your own mind may say more about you then about the other person. At the end of the issue, Polina pushes you a bit out of your comfort zone with a few questions that you can (should?) ask yourself if you’re negatively triggered by a first impression, such as “Are there other ways I could better gauge their personal values than this singular lens through which I have chosen to see the world?”. It’s worth a read (and further thought) because your perspective on first impressions will be broadened and you just may find yourself rethinking a first impression you may have previously written off… (888 words; 3 minutes) Read it...


Are we better off? In Noahpinion by Noah Smith on May 31  

In this issue, replete with clear, helpful graphs and charts, Noah tackles the question of how the US standard of living has changed (and why) since the 1970s. He takes you through various methods of calculating standard of living, and explains their problems/weaknesses, so that you feel like you understand why they may (or may not) be good measures. Delving deeper, he also looks at adjacencies which could have an effect, such as: are Americans working more hours now? (Spoiler: Americans work 13% fewer hours now than in the early 70’s!). It’s worth a read to have a better sense of why the US standard of living does seem to have improved...and also why it hasn’t improved as much as it could have. (1703 words; 6 minutes) Read it...

Learnings from newsletters this week:

  • When one uses the "real median income" in the US: by the end of the 2010s the typical American is making about half again as much as in the early 70s. Noahpinion 5/31
  • In the Bay Area, the most common marriage is, perhaps not surprisingly: Software developers to software developers... Expected marriages/10k marriages was 15 ... but the real number is 91 marriages of every 10k marriages are software dev to software dev... :) quantum of sollazzo 6/1
  • There's an interesting, interactive website (here) where you can click anywhere in the continental US and see where a raindrop, dropped there, would end up!  It actually takes you on a visual ride of the raindrop's path, tells you the names of rivers/creeks it would flow through, and how far it would travel on each... Have fun! quantum of sollazzo 6/1
  • Google apparently has been working on an AI-powered dermatology assist tool...It's not live yet, but it's an intriguing concept to help bring earlier/easier access to detection (like of skin cancers)... Dynamically Typed 5/23
  • Research results are more likely to be published if they are positive than if the results are negative or inconclusive. New Things Under The Sun 6/3
  • Some stats on marriage and its relationship to poverty... In California: 1. Marriage levels for college-educated parents is 20 percent higher than for non-college graduates. 2. In the fancy zip codes in Los Angeles, between 50 and 70 percent of households are married. 3. In the poorest areas, less than 15 percent of households are married.  (Link to a fascinating report with lots more data is here) Rob Henderson Newsletter 5/30
  • Someone (a man named Charlie Swatkins) published a 34 page guide to Investing in Legos! You too could be a Lego Investor...  Alternative Assets 6/1


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