(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)Matthew Hindman, George Washington University(THE CONVERSATION) The researcher whose work is at the center of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data analysis and political advertising uproar has revealed that his method worked much like the one Netflix uses to recommend movies.In an email to me, Cambridge University scholar Aleksandr Kogan explained how his statistical model processed Facebook data for Cambridge Analytica. The accuracy he claims suggests it works about as well as established voter-targeting methods based on demographics like race, age and gender.If confirmed, Kogan’s account would mean the digital modeling Cambridge Analytica used was hardly the virtual crystal balla few have claimed. Yet the numbers Kogan provides also show what is – and isn’t – actually possible by combining personal datawith machine learning for political … [Read more...] about How Cambridge Analytica’s Facebook targeting model really worked – according to the person who built it
This really works
Homeopathic remedies are a popular type of alternative treatment based on the concept that a tiny amount of illness-causing substances can be diluted and transformed into natural medicines to cure any number of ailments. Homeopathic treatments promise to help conditions ranging from acne to migraines to respiratory illness, and celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Dr. Mehmet Oz have sung their praises. But if you think these "natural" remedies sound too good to be true -- you're probably right, a new study suggests. The new report from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) in Australia reviewed hundreds of published studies testing the effectiveness of homeopathic treatments, and found no reliable evidence that any of them really work. In the report, the council finds studies on homeopathic remedies were typically poorly-designed and scientifically flawed, and their findings inconclusive at best. In most cases, the review found homeopathic remedies worked no better … [Read more...] about CBS News Logo Do homeopathic remedies really work?
Last Updated Dec 7, 2010 12:21 PM EST By AmyLynn Keimach, Co-owner, Border7 Studios, Simi Valley, Calif. Work/life balance is an absolute necessity for both me and my business partner: We both run our Web site design studio and go to school. We have to be able to take a few days off to study for a big exam, or work flexible hours around our class schedules. We hired our first employee in 2009, and have brought on seven more since then. We want to offer the same workplace flexibility to our mix of full-time and part-time employees as we allow ourselves, but it comes down to a question of trust: When an employee logs in from home, how can we be sure that he's really working? It has taken us about a year -- and a fair amount of trial and error -- but we've finally figured out how to do a better job of managing this kind of flexibility. Who needs a five-hour commute? Everything we do takes place online, so working remotely really only requires Internet access. We conduct a lot of our … [Read more...] about Telecommuting Employees: Are They Really Working?
Many people believe there has been no progress in economics, but that isn't true. For example, one of the most important questions in the 1970s and 1980s was whether monetary policy could be used to stabilize the macroeconomy. One popular theoretical model, known as the New Classical model, implied that monetary policy could not affect output and employment, and hence was of no use in trying to offset cyclical fluctuations in these variables. Economists call this "money neutrality." A competing theoretical model, the Keynesian model, asserts that money is non-neutral. In these models, monetary policy is a useful tool to stabilize fluctuations in output and employment. The economics profession was split between these two theoretical camps, and there was great passion on both sides. This left monetary policymakers in a quandary. If money was neutral, the best policy was to simply stabilize interest rates and the money supply to whatever extent possible. But if money was … [Read more...] about How do economists figure out how the world really works?
(CBS News) Contributor Faith Salie is really worked up about a certain use of the word "Really" . . . I mean, REALLY! . . . . : Recently, New York Times critic Neil Genzlinger expressed that he really has an issue with "Really?" As in, Really? Then comedian Jerry Seinfeld, an early adopter of the "Really?" wrote a public defense of the "R word," predictably, mordantly summing up his response to the Times with . . . "Really." In case you don't watch much TV or spend time with anyone under 40, "Really?" is pop culture's pithiest way to deliver a withering put-down. In today's abbreviated world of texting and 140-character tweets, this adverb says it all. But adverbs aren't meant to say it all! Adverbs, we know, are meant to modify a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. They help us understand things more clearly, more vividly, more . . . morely. Really! The problem with "Really?" is that when it stands alone, it's an unimaginative riposte. What if earlier generations had leaned on … [Read more...] about Faith Salie is REALLY worked up over “Really?”