Blog

Rodney King

Everything is related to everything else, they say (quoting ecologist Barry Commoner). This is proven to be true in cities every day. If a driver slows own on an expressway, there’s a chain reaction back a few miles which slows everybody down. When this causes 1,000 people to be late for work, there’s a loss […]

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Walking Tours

Walking tours are a great way to see a city. Wear good shoes, dress for the weather, pack a snack, and meet at pre-determined landmark or transit stop. This is how I saw a lot of Berlin, New York, and countless themed tours of London—Bloomsbury, Shakespeare, the World Wars, and so on. The companion Beatles […]

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Bylund

There are very few researchers who document the positive effects of disasters. But a very few do note that a disaster also injects a lot of new money into a region. Tough way to get a little economic activity going, but the imperative is to repair. Per L. Bylund is one of the rare birds […]

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Focus Groups

  I’ve written often about the concerns I have with research techniques.  This column was inspired by my attendance at a focus group.   I was just asked to attend some focus groups and I was reminded of the dozen or so reasons I don’t like them.   First, rich and busy people usually won’t […]

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Research Design Issues

  I have many concerns about the quality of research conducted in political campaigns, by those governing and by industrialists.  I even see those in the not-for-profit sector spending precious money on unproductive research.  “Original” research in universities is often only conducted at the doctoral level.  Research that is done often involves relatively unproductive statistical […]

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Anamatics

Competitive advantage can be achieved in a political campaign through the better use of a blackboard and chalk, more phone lines for the phone bank, more volunteerdrivers or better use of new technology.  We’re never sure which technological wave will stick and which one will affect the outcome of a particular campaign.  I speculated about such […]

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On Line At New York

Outside the Helen Hayes Theatre, waiting for the doors to open, a very agitated male teenager passed on the sidewalk.  He was walking briskly and talking in a loud voice with himself.  He was also gesticulating, and in so-doing was using up all the free airspace in all directions. “What’s the matter with him?” asked […]

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Boston’s Wake Up Call

Where I live in Canada, Boston is well known for a few things. First, it’s “Maritimers’ Heaven.” Folks from the Canadian provinces bordering on the Atlantic Ocean, think Boston is pretty special and sophisticated. Boston is also known as a tough town. Boston’s urban emergency plan and the Mayor’s recent Task Force on Climate Change […]

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