Category Archives: Uncategorized

BART Strike Visualizations and a Medium Piece

by lewis500 on October 11, 2013, no comments

The BART strike is on hold, but a group of data visualization guys and I made a series to inform the public about it. Hack the BART Strike My vis of BART ridership Atlantic Cities posts one of the visualizations of BART employee salaries My take on the strike and fairness arguments at Medium

an age of trades

by lewis500 on August 18, 2013, no comments

I have a theory about Booker T. Washington. He is most often remembered as an orator, educator, or sellout, but what no one appreciates about Washington is that he distinguished the two models of education–signalling and human capital formation–well before there existed the intellectual vocabulary to express his opinions succinctly. Like Bryan Caplan today, it’s clear [...]

a huge transportation problem no one knows about

by lewis500 on July 31, 2013, no comments

It’s silly how news compares entities without any weighting system for population. For example, Scott Sumner says that the most important news story of 2013 is China’s pro-market reform.  With China this is somewhat excusable as their language and culture are vastly different, but India is a Commonwealth country where everything is printed in English [...]

Pittsburgh and Detroit

by lewis500 on July 23, 2013, no comments

Paul Krugman has a post on Pittsburgh, where I once lived for six years and hope to live again: It’s hard to avoid the sense that greater Pittsburgh, by taking better care of its core, also improved its ability to adapt to changing circumstances. In that sense, Detroit’s disaster isn’t just about industrial decline; it’s [...]

winning upzoning in the Bay

by lewis500 on July 6, 2013, no comments

In A Denser San Francisco, Reihan Salam notes the Bay’s paradox: Despite San Francisco’s reputation as a hotbed of progressivism, the city is in many respects very “conservative,” which is to say resistant to change. Many San Franciscans are adamant that the look of the city remains frozen in its midcentury state. I used to [...]

can we accommodate the immigrants?

by lewis500 on June 24, 2013, no comments

Dr. Eric Rasumsen at U. of Indiana has a great informal paper: How Immigration Can Hurt a Country. To me this work is what makes me optimistic about academia in the Internet age: professors can ship product directly once they get tenure and still create quite a buzz. Also, because informal publication does not have [...]

tesla as revealed preference experiment

by lewis500 on June 18, 2013, no comments

Tesla Motors is trying to sell cars directly to customers in its own stores and online, much the way Apple does. Unfortunately, states have laws designed to increase the profits of dealers at the expense of customers. Interestingly, Tesla is having the most trouble in blood red Republican states (WSJ India ungated link) Some states, like [...]

i was right about china

by lewis500 on June 15, 2013, no comments

A few weeks ago I wrote that China’s urbaniztion policy was driven by the state’s desire to make households less self-sufficient, to get people trading their labor for goods and services, because the state reaps a share of formal transactions but not household production. I noted this answer was more likely than Dr. Karl Smith’s [...]

central limit theorem

by lewis500 on June 3, 2013, no comments

My roommate Victor Powell has made an illustration of the Central Limit Theorem that is getting a lot of attention online. It’s made in d3.js which is what we’re using at the Visualizing Urban Data ideaLab. We are making one right now about fat-tailed distributions a la Taleb. Here is the CLT: