Options Techtonic with Mark Hurst: Playlist from April 5, 2021 Options

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Options April 5, 2021: Tim Harford, author, "The Data Detective"

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Tonight: Tim Harford, author, "The Data Detective"

Links:

The Data Detective: Ten Easy Rules to Make Sense of Statistics, by Tim Harford (published in the UK as How to Make the World Add Up: Ten Rules for Thinking Differently About Numbers)

timharford.com, Tim's official website

Cautionary Tales, Tim's podcast

Interview of Tim Harford, on Numberphile, about the statistics of storks and babies

Other links

• From Hannah Ritchie, recommended books on statistics, including Tim's book

The Decisions We Made: Looking back at what made The COVID Tracking Project work (by Erin Kissane, March 31, 2021): "A lot of our research and context work was about trying to find out what the numbers states published actually represented."

Google Is Testing Its Controversial New Ad Targeting Tech in Millions of Browsers (EFF, March 30, 2021): "A switch has silently been flipped in millions of instances of Google Chrome: those browsers will begin sorting their users into groups based on behavior, then sharing group labels with third-party trackers and advertisers around the web. . . . FLoC is a terrible idea. Google's launch of this trial - without notice to the individuals who will be part of the test, much less their consent - is a concrete breach of user trust in service of a technology that should not exist."

533 million Facebook users' phone numbers and personal data have been leaked online (Business Insider, April 3, 2021). And from Axios today: "A leaker said Saturday they were making public personal information on 533 million Facebook users, including phone numbers, locations, birth dates and other data. ... The leak includes data from 32 million users in the U.S., 11 million users in the U.K., and 6 million users in India. The leaked data contains phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birth dates, bios and email addresses. It does not contain password information."

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Artist Track Images Approx. start time
  Tim Harford discusses his new book, "The Data Detective."
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  Mark's intro  
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  Interview with Tim Harford  
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0:07:10 (MP3 | Pop‑up)
  Mark's comments  
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0:45:06 (MP3 | Pop‑up)
Buffalo MC  Stop and Bust a Move   Options
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0:55:51 (MP3 | Pop‑up)


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Listener comments!

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:00pm ultradamno:

Mark! Techtomshoes!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:01pm listener james from westwood:

Evening, Mark and all!
  6:01pm headcleaner:

yeah math!
Avatar 6:02pm Bas NL:

Hi Mark! Detechtonitecives!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:02pm Handy Haversack:

Mark and the Techyon Drives!

Techgin is poured! I'm ready!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:03pm Ike:

Magic is just incomprehensibly advanced mathematics.
Avatar 6:05pm Rolando:

Yay ... it's Rainy in Australia and I'm ready for the Techtonic show. Let it loose Mark !!
  6:05pm headcleaner:

your pics are on the money, Mark
  6:05pm David in London:

Evening Technoids! Hi Mark.
Ah, the esteemed Tim, good.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:06pm Handy Haversack:

I hope They Might Be Giants is listening tonight and immediately rejiggers and releases "(She Was a) Data Detective."

Evening, David!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:06pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Hello, Mark and data points.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:06pm Handy Haversack:

Congrats, Mark! Had my second one this very morning in the bright Brooklyn day!
  6:06pm JBoogie:

It's not a vaccine. do your research, people
  6:07pm (another) Patrick in Hoboken:

The relief of having been vaccinated, and the difference it makes to your life, is underestimated I think
Avatar 6:07pm Bas NL:

Our national database for vaccination was hacked. Not kidding.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:07pm melinda:

Hi Mark and everyone!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:07pm Webhamster Henry:

I know something about the glut of Clinical Trial data.
  6:07pm David in London:

Handy, ultradamno, Bas, Ken et al.
Avatar 6:09pm Bas NL:

Hi DiL!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:09pm Handy Haversack:

That is basically the conversation Kate and I had every time she quoted the latest stats from Gothamist to me.

Ave, Bas!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:09pm ultradamno:

Hiya DiL!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:10pm Mark Hurst:

Hi all! Thanks for joining in!
Avatar 6:10pm Bas NL:

Hi Handy!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:10pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Hi, David in Londata!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:10pm Mark Hurst:

@headcleaner thanks - had fun putting together the images for this show.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:11pm Mark Hurst:

@Ken and Bas in the Netherlandata
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:11pm Webhamster Henry:

I like how the name is less clickbait-y in the UK edition.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:11pm Mark Hurst:

and @Handata Haversack
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:12pm nathan:

I've been reading "The Wake" by Paul Kingsnorth after hearing his interview on here. Really cool stuff! I was surprised by how quickly I acclimated to the pseudo-Old-English
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:12pm Carmichael:

Heya Mark and citizens.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:12pm Handy Haversack:

Oh, DiL, that book I mentioned to you some months ago, Better Data Visualizations, should be available now, if you're still interested.

Hey, ultradamnata!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:13pm tim from champaign (now washington):

Hwy Mark and everyone! I enjoyed the statistics classes I took in college. They were social service/sociology focused classes.I actually still use some of what I learned in sussing out information that presented.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:14pm Webhamster Henry:

I'm a promoter of the Mode and Median (and n-iles) as the stats to present rather than the mean.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:14pm Mark Hurst:

@nathan glad to hear it!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:14pm melinda:

Interesting story.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:15pm Ed F. Sleestak:

It's toasted!
Avatar 6:16pm Bas NL:

'Lies, damned lies, and statistics.'
  6:16pm David in London:

But ironically, it was Richard Doll’s use of statistics that really proved the link between smoking and cancer.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:16pm ultradamno:

Hey Handy!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:17pm Mark Hurst:

@DiL Tim starts his book with the whole case study about how that link was finally established
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:17pm Webhamster Henry:

You'll be shocked to learn in this amazing satire, written by Bill Dana ("José Jimenez"), that smoking was seen as cancerous in the late 50's and even then, the tobacco companies were trying to spin their way out of trouble. listen. All dialog in period ad-speak! www.echo.net...
Avatar 6:17pm Jeff Moore:

Okay, that's a really solid nerd joke up top.

Also: LeVar Burton for "Jeopardy!" Host!
  6:17pm headcleaner:

here's that book - http://cup.columbia.edu/book/better-data-visualizations/9780231193115
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:17pm Handy Haversack:

Is Russel Crowe in that case study? I think it's easier to believe things when Russel Crowe says so.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:17pm Mark Hurst:

@Jeff next week: irrational humor
Avatar 6:19pm Jeff Moore:

@Mark H:

<rimshot>
  6:20pm David in London:

Thanks Handy. I’ll take a look at that.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:22pm Webhamster Henry:

Sharing grows that social network that they use to feed the beast.
Avatar 6:22pm Rolando:

The truth is sometimes as plain and simple as it first appears to be .... at other times it's the complete opposite. (I'll take that as my own).
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:24pm Handy Haversack:

Well, the word "home" in regular America means you're being manipulated by finance and banking, so you can't say Silicon Valley didn't learn from the best.
Avatar 6:24pm northguineahills:

I like my life uncertain, it's a blessing and a curse...
  6:24pm David in London:

Damnit, I have to just say that (as a Brit) having Mark H and Tim H together is just my absolute dream team.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:25pm Mark Hurst:

@DiL too kind, sir
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:25pm Handy Haversack:

David's a Brit?!?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:26pm Jackie:

Loved this recent paper on the seduction of clarity: philpapers.org...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:26pm Webhamster Henry:

Flu trends got botted.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:27pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Social media trolls at it again, bothering female Egyptian sea captain Marwa Elselehdar. They're trying to pin blame on her for the Suez Canal problem while she was in Alexandria at the time.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:29pm ultradamno:

If you click on the timeline thing on Twitter while set to chronological, it says "go back home"
Avatar 6:29pm Rolando:

I have been hanging around Micro.Blog a lot more, and staying away from Twitter ... Good one @Handy Haversack - they truly have learned from the best and make you feel like your social tag and followers are akin to property and real estate.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:30pm Handy Haversack:

We don't yet know that alchemical gold *won't* grant eternal life. John of Rupecissa is only one data point!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:30pm tim from champaign (now washington):

I'm digging this bed music.
  6:30pm Dave Miss:

Good interview Mark.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:30pm Mark Hurst:

@Jackie thanks for that link! I will take a look.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:30pm ultradamno:

And sometimes it just throws you back to home without prompting, much like You Tube likes to reverse no autoplay settings
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:30pm Mark Hurst:

@Tim thanks
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:30pm Mark Hurst:

@Dave Miss thanks
  6:30pm Fragonard:

This is a GREAT interview. Very insightful
Avatar 6:31pm northguineahills:

@Ken: I saw that! bloody buggerrs biased against females yet again,,,,
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:31pm Mark Hurst:

@Fragonard thank you!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:32pm ultradamno:

Anyone else lose the feed for a minute?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:33pm Webhamster Henry:

We really old programmers remember when software was not shared - it was rare enough to even sell it. Every company had its own computer department maintaining their own business systems. The programmers then were alchemical in Tim's sense.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:34pm Eki:

Thanks for that note about US/UK titles for this book. I’ve added an appropriate note for this at Very Large Audiobook Co. Hopefully RH doesn’t get irritable about it.
  6:34pm GC in transit:

Has Sarah Brayne been a guest on the show yet?

https://global.oup.com/academic/product/predict-and-surveil-9780190684099?cc=us&lang=en&
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:36pm Handy Haversack:

GC: www.wfmu.org...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:38pm Webhamster Henry:

I used to say: a computer report doesn't have a signature; its conclusions, reached in an opaque manner, then become an undeniable basis for (bad) business decisions.
  6:39pm David in London:

As a data and analytics bod by trade, I whole heartedly endorse that: analysing data and communicating the end results of that analysis are two waaaay different things / skill sets.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:40pm Mark Hurst:

@DiL I appreciate your dataviz for Techtonic last summer!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:41pm Wendy del Formaggio:

Hello Mark! Hello friends! Mark, as usual, I'm loving this show.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:41pm Webhamster Henry:

Lousy data set: unemployment statistics.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:41pm Mark Hurst:

@Wendy thanks for joining! And thanks!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:42pm Webhamster Henry:

Viagra subsidizes lots of other drugs, it's so profitable.
  6:42pm David in London:

Analysing that Viagra data set, why were they making it so hard?

Thanks Mark. Always at your disposal.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:43pm ultradamno:

I see what you did there.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:43pm melinda:

@DiL hahaha
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:43pm Handy Haversack:

Hey, Wendy!

Related to this, I find there are a lot of people who cite how "the vaccine" can't be "safe" because normal development times are years long -- without looking at the fact that that timeframe is a construct of what is valued and funded just as much as the accelerated timeframe of these products.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:43pm Webhamster Henry:

That' a whole other program for you , Mark, : those godawful surveys.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:44pm Mark Hurst:

@Webham I agree
  6:44pm Cris Lom:

Pie charts get user too hungry
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:45pm Webhamster Henry:

@Handy yes - developing drugs kind of starts with "is there a market for this?"
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:45pm Mark Hurst:

@Cris ha
Avatar 6:45pm Bas NL:

Once received a call from a company: 'Our computer told me to call you.' Why? 'I'm not sure..' Tell your computer thanks for calling, bye.
Avatar 6:45pm northguineahills:

The dangers of infomatics....(something I do).
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:45pm Handy Haversack:

Bas, you should have asked to speak with the computer!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:45pm melinda:

@Handy the more accurate claim would be that any mid to long term hazards are unknowable at this stage
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:46pm Handy Haversack:

Hell yeah, Tim! Roll for initiative!
Avatar 6:46pm mace:

Hey!! DnD is my job! Sometimes we use discord too
  6:47pm David in London:

Nightingale’s visualisations are truly awesome. She used them to show the high command that more soldiers were dying in poor field hospitals than in actual combat. Seriously cutting edge work they were.
Avatar 6:47pm mace:

Nat 20s all day
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:47pm listener james from westwood:

It is dark. You are likely to be eaten by an algorithm.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:47pm Handy Haversack:

Yeah, mace!
Avatar 6:47pm Bas NL:

Ha, ha! Should have thought of that Handy! He kept calling on a monthly basis for half a year!
  6:47pm Listener Robert:

You found an outstanding person to interview there, thanks!
Avatar 6:48pm mace:

Very informative
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:49pm Webhamster Henry:

More great visualizations, c/o former WFMU DJ Donna Summer (Jason Forrest) are by W.E.B. Dubois. www.newyorker.com...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:50pm Handy Haversack:

Mark Hurst: best theatrical sarcasm voice in radio! "Emergent!"
  6:50pm Fragonard:

I’m changing my name to Al Gorithm
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:51pm WR:

No time for something like D&D. Barely can keep up with WFMU programs and attendant playlist comments.
Avatar 6:51pm northguineahills:

if I had a nickel for every time I worked in gov't and made a decision based on our analysis....(it was an analysis, not a truth (that's what QA/QC and ground truthing is for)).
Avatar 6:51pm mace:

bummer, it's like gaming therapy
  6:52pm Fragonard:

@WR that’s how it should be! Go WUFMOO
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:52pm Handy Haversack:

We went from "hopefully twice a month" to every damn week over Zoom and Discord pretty much on pandemic week one.

D&D-wise, you gutterminds!
  6:53pm Cris Lom:

It's like quantum physics... data is portrayed relative to a goal/end-point, some goals are quiet obscure
Avatar 6:53pm Bas NL:

The statistics lean heavily towards you leaving Twitter, Mark.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm ultradamno:

Doxfest 2021
  6:54pm headcleaner:

I'm so glad the only FB account I ever had was a total fake, front to back
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm Handy Haversack:

Great episode, Mark -- really good interview.

Great to be here with you all: you're tonic yourselves!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:55pm Ike:

Can’t find Tweetdeck on iOS. Fellow Twitter addicts, is Twitterific any good for de-algorithmic-izing your timeline on an iPhone? Anyone tried it? I’m going to check it out.
  6:55pm David in London:

Such a great show today Mark, I could easily have listened to another two hours of it.

OK, night all. See ya later, saved your data!
Avatar 6:55pm Rolando:

You're a wise man headcleaner - wish I could say the same.
Avatar 6:56pm Bas NL:

Thanks Mark!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm melinda:

Great show Mark, thanks!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm tim from champaign (now washington):

Thanks, Mark. I enjoyed the slight variation of the them today with exploring data analysis. Always enlightening and interesting.

I'm not so sure about Station Manager Ken's live broadcast of a head transplant next week.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm Ike:

On the rare occasion that I use FB anymore, I try to remember to often claim that I am a lumberjack.
  6:57pm lpfnrobin:

Great show TY
Avatar 6:57pm Feldpausch:

Thanks Mark and Tim!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm Handy Haversack:

Other good ideas for getting off bad stuff available here: goodreports.com

!
Avatar 6:58pm Bas NL:

-'Say goodbye, Data!' -'Goodbye data.'
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm Webhamster Henry:

A WFMU DVD premium a few years ago included Youtube videos of the Russian dog head transplant , so Ken is an expert.
Avatar 6:58pm northguineahills:

Thanks Mark and Tim.

I use Zillow for GIS purposes.....
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm Webhamster Henry:

Well, more books and podcasts to busy myself with. Thanks!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm ultradamno:

That Robin Hood is a thing after the entire run of Silicon Valley (with it's Pied Piper software) is funny...
Avatar 6:59pm northguineahills:

If it existed in 2003, my MA thesis computer model would have been so much easier...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm WR:

Thank you Mark for another great program.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm listener james from westwood:

And Dr. Schillace's show should be a treat! The FMU record fair projected that Russian transplant film on the wall one year.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm Mark Hurst:

Thanks, everyone! Great comments tonight. See you in two weeks.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:00pm Handy Haversack:

Have a nice break, Mark! But if SV wins while you're away ...
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