Let’s Talk about Race and Bayes: How a British Statistician Helps Explain Racial Dialogue in America

Watching The People vs. O.J. Simpson, it’s hard not to be struck by the radically different views held by white and black Americans about the trial. But in twenty years, not that much has changed: when race is part of a national storyline, different people see different things. Why? Continue reading

SPOTLIGHT – Prison Rape is Corporal Punishment

It is no surprise that bad things happen when criminals are held together in an overcrowded and poorly controlled environment. Prison life is rampant with drug abuse, gang activity, and violence. The widespread disorder, including sexual assault, raises serious questions for a system administered under full government control. Continue reading

Who’s Afraid of Radical Islam?

Given a choice, most politicians prefer a symbolic fight to a substantive one. To see how, consider the fight over the term ‘radical Islam’. Even by the low standards typically set by American politicians, the argument stands out for its inanity. It’s worth asking: what are Americans so afraid of? Continue reading

The American Debate on Guns Continues to Ignore the Facts

The latest high-profile American mass shooting has reignited the debate on gun control – and the frustration among gun control advocates is palpable. But despite the efforts of the statistically minded, the conversation around guns continues to obsess over the least relevant form of gun violence. Continue reading

Ballghazi – What Footballs Can Tell Us About the Media

Lying or not, the Patriots are still being railroaded. Here’s why it matters. For a bit over a week, yours truly has been – despite his better judgement – gripped by the controversy surrounding the New England Patriots. (For those … Continue reading

Charlie Hebdo, Free Speech, and European Hypocrisy

It has been two weeks since the offices of the French satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, were attacked by gunmen. The attack on free speech and the murder of cartoonists led to police shootouts with gunmen, a European crackdown on suspected … Continue reading