Saturday, March 29, 2008

Allende's cybernetic economy project

Wow -- teletype machines and cybernetics to run an economy!

Before ’73 Coup, Chile Tried to Find the Right Software for Socialism - New York Times

(note they mean this version of the word "cybernetics")

And here's a better Guardian article on it.

The control room:

I suspect this happens anyway today -- using computers to help decisionmakers run the economy -- but without the cool Star Trek chairs and display screens. Economists at central banks get data and use computers to analyze it, then eventually the data is used to inform decisions.

Though this vision involves more fine-grained data collection and automated analysis. (And other more Internet-y things like two-way communication between workers and management/government.). I suspect it would be way easier to do today, with better computational infrastructure (CPU, memory, data transmission, and software are better these days).

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Quick-R, the only decent R documentation on the internet

For R users or wannabes...

I really love R, but it has horrid documentation and a steep learning curve. Recently I was introduced to Quick-R, a really excellent documentation site. I think it's made the system dramatically more useful for me.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spending money on others makes you happy

Yes, Money Can Buy Happiness . . . - TierneyLab - Science - New York Times Blog

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

color name study i did

Where does “Blue” end and “Red” begin?

I'm writing some posts on and this is the best one so far. Methodology-wise, along the lines of my earlier Amazon Mechanical Turk moral decisions survey...

Sunday, March 09, 2008

PHD Comics: Humanities vs. Social Sciences

PHD Comics: Humanities vs. Social Sciences

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

data data data

This is a lot of data:

Inductio Ex Machina - A Meta-index of Data Sets