Sanders versus Clinton supporters in the American National Election Studies data

Were it not for Trump, the great drama of the 2016 election would have been the primary contest between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.  Sanders generally fit the mold of a “leftist protest candidate”, but was far more successful than previous such candidates have been.  In this post, I will examine the 2016 American National Election Studies data, hoping to find clues that explain why.

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Braised tofu with minced pork and stir-fried kale

I always thought “braised” meant “simmered for a long time,” but actually it means “cooked once with dry heat, then simmered for any length of time.”  For this dish, the tofu was stir-fried until lightly golden, then simmered briefly in thickened broth.

As in many (most?) Asian dishes, the tofu is a “meat replacement” in an economic sense only; it accompanies meat rather than fully replacing it.

The broth was flavored with some ginger, sriracha, and leaks, sauteed with some rice wine, soy sauce, and oyster sauce; for the broth, I used chicken Better Than Bouillon thickened with corn starch.  I ended up overdoing the salty/savory a bit, an overcorrection to my previous experiments with Cantonese recipes.

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Book Reviews: Crooked / Back Mechanic / Complete Guide to Low Back Pain

This is a review of three books about low back pain: Crooked, by Cathryn Ramin; Back Mechanic, by Stuart McGill, and the Complete Guide to Low Back Pain, an book-length article by Paul Ingraham from PainScience.com (paywalled.)

These are three very different books, written by three very different authors:

  • Cathryn Ramin is an investigative journalist who suffers from severe low back pain.
  • Stuart McGill is a Ph.D. kinesiologist at the University of Waterloo.
  • Paul Ingraham is a science writer and massage therapist, but more importantly for our purposes, he’s a empiricist nerd obsessed with evidence-based medicine.

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Bayesian analysis of Slate Star Codex survey data.

[Epistemic status: I’m teaching myself Bayesian analysis out of an O’Reilly-esque programming book; I haven’t yet mustered myself to crack the intimidating Andrew Gelman tome on my shelf. I beg you, correct me if I have screwed this up.]

Scott Alexander posted his survey data results several months ago, and recently has been posting some interesting things about how different groups perceive optical illusions.

As part of my quest to finally understand the differences between Bayesian analysis and frequentist analysis, I downloaded his data and poked at it with PyMC, again modeling my analyses after those in chapter 2 of Bayesian Methods for Hackers, by Cameron Davidson-Pilon (the A/B testing example and the Challenger example.)

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CNN did not commit blackmail but did abuse “newsworthiness.”

After some discussion on Popehat yesterday, I’m convinced that blackmail is the wrong way to look at the CNN thing. Blackmail has two elements1, a threat and a demand:

  1. It’s okay to tell my wife about the affair.
  2. It’s okay to not tell my wife about the affair.
  3. It’s okay to ask me for $50,000.
  4. But it’s not okay to condition the choice between (1) and (2) on (3); that’s blackmail.

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There is no “populist surge.”

Larry Bartels on the non-existent populist surge.

I mentioned something like this in my review of Dividing Lines,

…it’s a ironic time for an anti-immigrant populism to take power; immigration levels from Mexico have fallen dramatically over the past decade or so, to the point where net migration is now negative. And at the same time, the American public has recently become friendlier than ever before to the idea of immigration (okay, perhaps “friendlier” means “less hostile”; people want less immigration now outnumber people who want more immigration by only two-to-one.)

As I think about it now, I realize this reinforces (what I see as) the book’s central claim – that American immigration policy is driven by partisan coalitions, not public opinion.  And so the future viability of Trump-like candidates will depend, not chiefly on public opinion, but on how well Republican elites can control the nomination process.

blogroll

I just added a blogroll.  In the long run I would prefer that it contain more links to independent blogs, but for now it’s an honest reflection of what I read, which is heavy on columnists for major publications.