New President, New vaccine, Same American Dysfunction

Instead of New Year’s Resolutions, which no one follows anyway, my New Year tradition is writing New Year priors, predictions for the upcoming year to hold myself accountable to.

Elections 2021


The parties are at war over an issue that has no clear winners.

President Trump has made mail-in ballots a political issue for the up-coming presidential election. He has laid false claims about potential voter fraud if states move to mail-in ballot voting as the coronavirus raises fears that voters will not be able to exercise their right to participate in the election by casting an in-person ballot. There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud. Earlier in the year in fact, Trump laid bare his motivations, saying elections that elections that allow mail-in ballots ‘doesn’t work out well for…


Squirrel Census, HealthData Scavenger Hunts, and Labby Hour

The NYC Open Data week is here. New York City has been very transparent with their data, making public everything from 311 calls to building permits. And New York is making sure everyone has the tools to build their own local awesome data project. Here’s the schedule for open data week. Some events are already sold out.


Buffalo, NY Amtrak Central Terminal.

When I first moved to a rust belt city, everywhere you went you felt a pang of nostalgia, even though I had not known the exact place before. I recognized the grand banking center in the old granite building. I could tell that the train station used to bustle with commuters. There is a common thread when you go to any place of seeing better days. Not only that though, there’s always talk about who can bring back the good times. That if they just had someone willing to invest in the place they could turn back the clock and…


The mythology and the reality behind the study of whites’ mortality.

The CDC has reported that 2018 saw a rise in American life expectancy. This would not be big news, life expectancy has been rising in the developed world for almost a century, except the United States has been in a mortality slump. Between the years 2015 to 2017 the US life expectancy has declined year over year. It is really hard to overstate how devastating this turn is. Bill Gardner in his blog The Incidental Economist describes it as losing 400,000 human life years per cohort. …


A political identity that became tied to my emotions, is finding a different outlet.

Iowa caucuses are this Monday, February 3 and Bernie is surging. Fivethirtyeight’s primary model shows Sanders chances of winning the whole primary up 5 points in recent days up to 31 percent, after several recent high quality polls, Monmouth and Civiqs show him pulling ahead to second or first. That makes Bernie in a statistical tie with Joe Biden for winning Iowa. Bernie is also running ahead in New Hampshire and the model gives him a 49 percent chance of winning there. …


Another report on the exorbitant cost of the American healthcare system

Over the radio a man recounted how his wife was bitten by a rabid fox, and the emergency responder told them she had 24 hours to get the rabies vaccination. What they weren’t told was that the hospital would charge them $24,000 for the possibly life saving shot. Every couple of months WNYC in partnership with Clear Health Costs, share local stories about the horrors and challenges of American healthcare system. And the data backs that up.

The National Bureau of Economic Research recently released a report highlighting the cost of US healthcare compared to other economically developed countries. If…


It really is them not you. Math says so.

You had that great interview for a position you think you’re perfect for. You have all the right skills, you hit it off with your interviewer, and he even liked that joke about the llamas from that time you went to the Andes. All you’re waiting for now is, but when you check back later all you have left to show is an automated rejection letter.

What happened? Could someone have one up’d your llamas? How could you have had a better interview?

Bayes’ Theorem might offer an explanation. Bayes’ Theorem is one of the most powerful insights in probability…


The countries have a history of mistrust and armed face-offs.

Antiwar protesters in both countries.

President Trump tweeted his support in Farsi for the Iranian protesters who thronged to the streets against their government’s reckless downing of a passenger airliner within its borders. Trump demanded that Iran allow protests to continue.

“To the brave and suffering Iranian people: I have stood with you since the beginning of my presidency and my government will continue to stand with you. We are following your protests closely. Your courage is inspiring,”

-@RealDonalTrump

Of course if he were really behind the Iranian people like he says he wouldn’t have threatened bombing sites of cultural importance to Iranians. And perhaps…


New Year and a renewed focus on data projects and data people.

Happy New Year! It’s a brand new decade and I resolve to build on my qualifications in my Data Science Career. If you follow my Github you will find NLP and vote counting projects in politics, and a physics forward explainer for sunspots over time. I have yet to dive into my career work in healthcare so that’s where I’ll kick off the New Year.

A look at healthcare data

Health insurance companies have come into their own since the advent (and continued success) of Obamacare. …

Eric Ma

Political Data Analyst. Professional experience in statistical models and surface and air microbiology.

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