Beyond Seven Review No. 47

Posted on Wed 01 July 2020 in Beyond Seven Review

Book and publishing history 🚟

  • How Digitization Has Created a Golden Age of Music, Movies, Books, and Television
    JEP piece by Waldfogel. Abstract: "Digitization is disrupting a number of copyright-protected media industries, including books, music, radio, television, and movies. Once information is transformed into digital form, it can be copied and distributed at near-zero marginal costs. This change has facilitated piracy in some industries, which in turn has made it difficult for commercial sellers to continue generating the same levels of revenue for bringing products to market in the traditional ways. Yet despite the sharp revenue reductions for recorded music, as well as threats to revenue in some other traditional media industries, other aspects of digitization have had the offsetting effects of reducing the costs of bringing new products to market in music, movies, books, and television. On balance, digitization has increased the number of new products that are created and made available to consumers. Moreover, given the unpredictable nature of product quality, growth in new products has given rise to substantial increases in the quality of the best products. Although there were concerns that consumer welfare from media products would fall, the opposite scenario has emerged—a golden age for consumers who wish to consume media products. ..."

Data analysis and Bayesian statistics ⚽

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Beyond Seven Review No. 46

Posted on Wed 17 June 2020 in Beyond Seven Review

Book and publishing history 🚟

  • How to self-publish a book: A handy list of resources
    Comments about Bowker's monopoly on ISBNs in the USA.
  • The Elasticity of Demand With Respect to Product Failures; or Why the Market for Quack Medicines Flourished for More Than 150 Years
    Why demand for low-quality products remains (very) high. Abstract: "Between 1810 and 1939, real per capita spending on patent medicines grew by a factor of 114; real per capita GDP by a factor of 5. The long-term growth and survival this industry is puzzling when juxtaposed with standard historical accounts, which typically portray patent medicines as quack medicines. This paper argues that patent medicines were distinguished from other products by an unusually low elasticity of demand with respect to product failure. While consumers in other markets stopped searching for a viable product after a few failed attempts, consumers of patent medicines kept trying different products, irrespective of the number of failed medicines they observed. The market expanded as the stock of people buying potential cures accumulated over time. Because no one was ever cured and consumers possessed a highly inelastic demand with respect to product failures, demand was unrelenting. In short, patent medicines flourished not despite their dubious medicinal qualities, but because of them. There is also evidence that genuine medical advances, such as the rise of the germ theory of disease and new therapeutic interventions, helped expand the market for quack medicines."
  • What we talk about when we talk
    Interesting take on the Dan Mallory fraud.

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Beyond Seven Review No. 45

Posted on Wed 03 June 2020 in Beyond Seven Review

(Quantitative) literary history and sociology of literature 🦉

Data analysis and Bayesian statistics ⚽

  • The natural selection of bad science
    Abstract: Poor research design and data analysis encourage false-positive findings. Such poor methods persist despite perennial calls for improvement, suggesting that they result from something more than just misunderstanding. The persistence of poor methods results partly from incentives that favour them, leading to the natural selection of bad science. This dynamic requires no conscious strategizing—no deliberate cheating nor loafing—by scientists, only that publication is a principal factor for career advancement. Some normative methods of analysis have almost certainly been selected to further publication instead of discovery. In order to improve the culture of science, a shift must be made away from correcting misunderstandings and towards rewarding understanding. We support this argument with empirical evidence and computational modelling. We first present a 60-year meta-analysis of statistical power in the behavioural sciences and show that power has not improved despite repeated demonstrations of the necessity of increasing power. To demonstrate the logical consequences of structural incentives, we then present a dynamic model of scientific communities in which competing laboratories investigate novel or previously published hypotheses using culturally transmitted research methods. As in the real world, successful labs produce more ‘progeny,’ such that their methods are more often copied and their students are more likely to start labs of their own. Selection for high output leads to poorer methods and increasingly high false discovery rates. We additionally show that replication slows but does not stop the process of methodological deterioration. Improving the quality of research requires change at the institutional level.

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Beyond Seven Review No. 44

Posted on Wed 20 May 2020 in Beyond Seven Review

(Quantitative) cultural studies 🚣

Data analysis and Bayesian statistics ⚽

Information and Geisteswissenschaften 🏺


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Beyond Seven Review No. 43

Posted on Wed 06 May 2020 in Beyond Seven Review

Book and publishing history 🚟

Data analysis and Bayesian statistics ⚽

  • Abandon Statistical Significance
    Abstract: "We discuss problems the null hypothesis significance testing (NHST) paradigm poses for replication and more broadly in the biomedical and social sciences as well as how these problems remain unresolved by proposals involving modified p-value thresholds, confidence intervals, and Bayes factors. We then discuss our own proposal, which is to abandon statistical significance. We recommend dropping the NHST paradigm—and the p-value thresholds intrinsic to it—as the default statistical paradigm for research, publication, and discovery in the biomedical and social sciences. Specifically, we propose that the p-value be demoted from its threshold screening role and instead, treated continuously, be considered along with currently subordinate factors (e.g., related prior evidence, plausibility of mechanism, study design and data quality, real world costs and benefits, novelty of finding, and other factors that vary by research domain) as just one among many pieces of evidence. We have no desire to “ban” p-values or other purely statistical measures. Rather, we believe that such measures should not be thresholded and that, thresholded or not, they should not take priority over the currently subordinate factors. We also argue that it seldom makes sense to calibrate evidence as a function of p-values or other purely statistical measures. We offer recommendations for how our proposal can be implemented in the scientific publication process as well as in statistical decision making more broadly."

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Beyond Seven Review No. 42

Posted on Wed 22 April 2020 in Beyond Seven Review

Book and publishing history 🚟

Counterantidisintermediation 🌔

Data analysis and Bayesian statistics ⚽

  • Experimental Design and the Reliability of Priming Effects: Reconsidering the "Train Wreck"
    Abstract: "Failures to replicate high-profile priming effects have raised questions about the reliability of priming phenomena. Studies at the discussion’s center, labeled “social priming,” have been interpreted as a specific indictment of priming that is social in nature. However, “social priming” differs from other priming effects in multiple ways. The present research examines one important difference: whether effects have been demonstrated with within- or between-subjects experimental designs. To examine the significance of this feature, we assess the reliability of four well-known priming effects from the cognitive and social psychological literatures using both between- and within-subjects designs and analyses. All four priming effects are reliable when tested using a within-subjects approach. In contrast, only one priming effect reaches that statistical threshold when using a between-subjects approach. This demonstration serves as a salient illustration of the underappreciated importance of experimental design for statistical power, generally, and for the reliability of priming effects, specifically."

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Beyond Seven Review No. 41

Posted on Wed 08 April 2020 in Beyond Seven Review

(Quantitative) cultural studies 🚣

  • Translating a Language You Don’t Know in the Chinese Room
    Ulf Hermjakob et al., “Translating a Language You Don’t Know in the Chinese Room,” in Proceedings of ACL 2018, System Demonstrations, 2018, 62–67.
  • Diversity of Artists in Major U.S. Museums
    Chad M. Topaz et al., “Diversity of Artists in Major U.S. Museums,” PLOS ONE 14, no. 3 (March 20, 2019): e0212852, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0212852. Abstract: The U.S. art museum sector is grappling with diversity. While previous work has investigated the demographic diversity of museum staffs and visitors, the diversity of artists in their collections has remained unreported. We conduct the first large-scale study of artist diversity in museums. By scraping the public online catalogs of 18 major U.S. museums, deploying a sample of 10,000 artist records comprising over 9,000 unique artists to crowdsourcing, and analyzing 45,000 responses, we infer artist genders, ethnicities, geographic origins, and birth decades. Our results are threefold. First, we provide estimates of gender and ethnic diversity at each museum, and overall, we find that 85% of artists are white and 87% are men. Second, we identify museums that are outliers, having significantly higher or lower representation of certain demographic groups than the rest of the pool. Third, we find that the relationship between museum collection mission and artist diversity is weak, suggesting that a museum wishing to increase diversity might do so without changing its emphases on specific time periods and regions. Our methodology can be used to broadly and efficiently assess diversity in other fields.

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  • On DH and incremental action
    Scholars' Lab is moving their work from Github to Gitlab due to Github's working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE).

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Beyond Seven Review No. 40

Posted on Wed 25 March 2020 in Beyond Seven Review

(Quantitative) cultural studies 🚣

  • Building Dynamic Knowledge Graphs from Text-based Games
    Steps towards playing arbitrary text-based games. From the first paragraph: "Text-based games are complex, interactive simulations in which text describes the game state and players make progress by entering text actions. They can be seen as sequential decision making tasks where accomplishing certain goals earns rewards (points). Solving these games requires both Reinforcement Learning (RL) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques."
  • PodcastRE: A searchable, researchable archive of podcasting culture
    Interesting project. Seems to have a pay-to-access data download available.

Counterantidisintermediation 🌔

  • How to Block Amazon, Google, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft
    This (part of) a superb piece of reporting. It's the technical side of this article/series: https://gizmodo.com/c/goodbye-big-five "When Gizmodo reporter Kashmir Hill, or Kash, as I call her, approached me about her desire to rid herself of these companies, I was excited. As consumers, we are afforded only a few avenues of acceptable dissent—the most reasonable of which is that, if you don’t like what a company is doing, you can move your money and data elsewhere."

Scholarly communication 🦓


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Beyond Seven Review No. 39

Posted on Wed 11 March 2020 in Beyond Seven Review

Counterantidisintermediation 🌔

  • Exclusive: Apple dropped plan for encrypting backups after FBI complained - sources
    Great reporting. Firm evidence that Apple is not genuinely committed to user privacy. Contradicts Apple's public-facing marketing and PR. Apple dropped plans to let iPhone users fully encrypt backups of their devices at the request of the FBI. '“They decided they weren’t going to poke the bear anymore,” the person said, referring to Apple’s court battle with the FBI in 2016 over access to an iPhone ...'

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  • Internet Research Agency Indictment
    From 2018. Lots of details about how the Russian firm used social media.
  • Playing Soviet: The Visual Language of Early Soviet Children's Books, 1917-1953
    >What is “Playing Soviet?” This interactive database of children’s book illustrations draws the little-known and rarely-seen Soviet children’s books from the Cotsen Collection at Princeton’s Firestone Library. The featured illustrations have been selected and annotated by a diverse group of scholars and students of Russian and Soviet culture. The site’s customizable data visualizations, still under construction, will map relationships among artists, image types, color, style, and publication information.

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Beyond Seven Review No. 38

Posted on Wed 26 February 2020 in Beyond Seven Review

Book and publishing history 🚟

Counterantidisintermediation 🌔

Information and Geisteswissenschaften 🏺

  • The Obama Presidential Center Will Curate Its Own Story | On the Media | WNYC Studios
    "... We learned from the New York Times last month that the Obama Foundation, after building the Obama Presidential Center, would itself curate the museum exhibits documenting his presidency. (The National Archives will manage the documents themselves.) This week, Bob speaks with Louise Bernard, director of the museum at the Obama Presidential Center, and Tim Naftali, historian and former director of the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, about the Obama Foundation's arrangement with the National Archives, and what Naftali worries this could mean for future presidential libraries."

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