Blog posts

A star ★ against the title indicates a post that I think stands the test of time. You can also filter to posts about economics or technology topics; posts containing quantitative analysis or data visualization; conceptual explainers, technical how-tos or reviews.

The right country codes are ISO alpha-3
Borgen's fictional country of Kharun
Who first said: if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together?
Setup for Apple Silicon M1 Macbook Air 2020
Goodbye, hello Jekyll!
Contact tracing can give a biased sample of COVID-19 cases
Reflections on four years of using data to explain the world
Op-ed: "Trump’s Desperate Plan to Cut Short the Census Could Backfire" (New York Times)
Should this citizenship question be added to this census?
How the west was really won: by manipulative data visualization
Optimisation in data science: processing billions of GPS coordinates
What is big data?
Multi-color text in ggplot2
Introduction to Wikidata using SPARQL
Making of: comparative treemaps
Choosing choropleth class boundaries
What is purchasing power parity?
Data visualization and truth
Four ways economists helped usher in the "post-fact" era
Fuzzy matching multiword strings and sentences in R
"They used a pencil": technology adoption in different countries
Growth slowdown (3): perhaps the mid-century growth spurt was just catch-up
Growth slowdown (2): GDP is a measure of a mid-20th century industrial economy
Growth slowdown (1): Robert Gordon's misleading chart
Growth slowdown: Krugman's 'Big Meh'
The cost of the last mile
The Apple MacBook 2015 and Moore's Law
Google's data supremacy: should we be worried?
Roll-your-own geocoding with OpenStreetMap Nominatim on Amazon EC2
Domain name analyzer/tokenizer with Elasticsearch
What is life expectancy?
What is the legacy of economics, so far?
And another thing on birth control effectiveness stats...
Formal analysis of birth control aggregation
Averages deceive: birth control is better than the NYT credits
The new curse of 27? U2 in 2014 = Rolling Stones in 1995
Google maps new !-style embed format
Bad data journalism
Taking supermarket sociology (a bit) seriously
Getting the data you pay for
In defence of the 'killer phone'
Getting data from the web for research
Why I found the Newsnight piece on 'Year of Code' problematic
The internet steps out of America's shadow
Female convenors invite more female speakers (or do they?)
My three most popular posts for 2013: Politics, ethnicity & more politics
An experiment with cultural open data using TimeMapper
The fat lady sings for airplay quotas
ABC's Q&A and panellist gender
ABC's Q&A and (lack of) political party bias
Has Apple built a secret hyperloop across Central Asia?
Enigmatic PC repair
UK Hansard archive bulk download URL file (or when is open data not)
Which tech company?
On the census consultations
Who was overlooked?
Women in Australia's Parliament
UK ethnicity dot map
Clustering of UK MPs
Follow that tank! Political orientation of UK think tanks (and newspapers), via Twitter
Thoughts on: Code and Data for the Social Sciences
Big data in social science research: access and replication
How likely is PRISM to catch a terrorist, really?
How many British families have 17 children?
Driverless cars, asset utilization and the peak demand problem