Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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Annual Reading Diary 2013

January 13th, 2014 · 5 Comments · Admin, Reading Related

For a number of years now I’ve been publishing an Annual Reading Diary as a discipline to my resolution to read at least one book a week every year. Disappointingly, this has been the first year since I made my resolution that I didn’t hit my target. In my defence, reading is a domestic activity and a […]

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Annual Reading Diary 2012

December 20th, 2012 · No Comments · Admin, Reading Related

For a number of years now I’ve been publishing an Annual Reading Diary in conjunction with my resolution to read at least one book a week every week of the year. So without further ado, here’s the list for 2012: “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”, Maya Angelou. Autobiography African-American poet and writer. Tackles strong themes […]

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Political Behaviour as a Pro-Social Activity – “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns”, Sasha Issenberg

December 6th, 2012 · No Comments · Campaigning, Democracy, Politics, Psychology, Social Psychology

Rogers and Grebner were coming from a different set of questions but arriving at a similar understanding of what drove political activity. No one decided to vote in a vacuum, and interpersonal interactions mattered. In fact, their psychologically minded tests and feints were moving toward something that felt very familiar to Gerber. Rogers’s project to […]

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The Importance of Voter Contact – “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns”, Sasha Issenberg

December 6th, 2012 · No Comments · Campaigning, Politics

When the results of the experiment came in, the phone calls showed no influence in getting people to vote. The direct-mail program increased turnout a modest but appreciable 0.6 percentage points for each postcard sent. (The experiment sent up to three pieces per household.) But the real revelation was in the group of voters successfully […]

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Political Advice and Story Telling – “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns”, Sasha Issenberg

December 5th, 2012 · No Comments · Campaigning, Data, Narrative, Politics

“A lot of what gets done on campaigns gets done on the basis of anecdotal evidence, which often comes down to who is a better storyteller. Who tells a better story about what works and what doesn’t work?” says Christopher Mann, a former executive director of the New Mexico Democratic Party. .. The people who […]

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Ask Them About Their Neighbours – “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns”, Sasha Issenberg

December 5th, 2012 · No Comments · Electoralism, Multi-culturalism, Psychology

One night Binder asked, “Do you think your neighbors would be willing to vote for an African-American for president?” Some of the voters answered no, and Strasma watched them closely. Something in that response—perhaps a feeling of being liberated to publicly share an unpopular opinion—convinced him that the people who acknowledged their neighbors’ racism might […]

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Good Career Advice – “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns”, Sasha Issenberg

December 4th, 2012 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Levitt told his students they would be smart to live below their means, so they could always have the flexibility to afford taking a different job if it was lower-paying.

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The Origins of Statistical Inference – “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns”, Sasha Issenberg

December 4th, 2012 · No Comments · Data, Policy, Statistical Inference, Statistics

Not far from Fisher, a young economist named Austin Bradford Hill was growing similarly impatient with the limits of statistics to account for cause and effect in health care. In 1923, for example, Hill received a grant from Britain’s Medical Research Council that sent him to the rural parts of Essex, east of London, to […]

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‘Baked In’ Voter Perceptions – “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns”, Sasha Issenberg

December 3rd, 2012 · No Comments · Economics, Electoralism, Policy, Political Communication, Politics, Power

When a pollster asked if someone would be more or less likely to vote for a candidate in favor of shipping jobs overseas—a typical way of auditioning what was then a promising line of attack against Bush—they would often hear from voters across the board that it made them “less likely.” But when the AFL […]

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The Deep Seated Paranoia and Insecurity of Political Parties – “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns”, Sasha Issenberg

December 1st, 2012 · No Comments · Campaigning, Politics, Progressive Politics

The best way to get anyone to do anything on the Democratic side—and I’m sure it’s the reverse on the Republican side—is to tell people that the Republicans are doing it. It doesn’t matter: the Republicans could be doing something completely stupid, but if you tell the Democrats they get scared and think they should […]

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