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Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Understanding

There are right answers and wrong answers to real problems in the world, and you can find them! Use statistics and the scientific method to understand economics, current events, and social issues. Inform your decisions, and make a difference!

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In a world full of opinions, fake news, and politically motivated spin, it's easy to throw up your hands and say that there's no way to know who is right. But there is a way! There are definitive answers to big questions: Is there evidence of systemic racism in the United States? Are minorities being more heavily impacted by Covid? Is the economy doing better or worse than in the past? These questions have answers, and you can find them! We use the scientific method and statistical models to find hard answers to these tough questions!

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Is Covid-19 really that bad?

Understanding Covid by looking at Excess Deaths I've been writing a series of articles that explain common elements of Covid models and how various characteristics impact Covid outcomes. In spite of my best efforts, there continues to be confusion around the true cause of death. Is Covid really that bad? Isn't it 'just like the flu?' Were pre-existing conditions the reason the individual died? I believe people also struggle with the 'low' numbers and probabilities. You often

The Effect of Medical Conditions on Covid Outcomes (Part II in a series)

In my first article, we laid the ground work for examining the effect of existing medical conditions on COVID outcomes. The article was prompted by a series of tweets and social media that suggested only 9,000 people really died of COVID. The rest died of other conditions. We’re going to build a model that explains how pre-existing conditions impact COVID outcomes and use that to explain the concept of comorbidity. We have a data set from the CDC with a lot of information. To

COVID Comorbidity Tweets and Data Science (Part I in a series)

There has been a post floating around social media indicating that the CDC quietly updated the COVID numbers and admitted that only 6% of all the recorded deaths are due to COVID. The post suggests that COVID deaths including comorbidities are not truly caused by COVID. The post also carries a conspiratorial tone, suggesting the CDC changed the data in secret. Even the President retweeted this post, and Twitter — correctly — removed it as false information. Eventually, Dr. An

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