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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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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Stirred, not Shaken

  Every now and then the topic of earthquakes comes up in Vancouver.  The most recent event was the 4.8 quake on 29 December, 2015.  I have worked on the topic of earthquakes for federal authorities for some years and continue to follow the issue. Vancouver’s emergency planning documents put the risk of an earthquake […]

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What to Wear

  In 1967 Singer/Songwriter Scott MacKenzie (Philip Wallach Blondheim) gave some advice that may still hold.  “If you’re going to San Francisco/Be sure to wear/Some flowers in your hair.”  I did go, several times.  I dined at the Cliff House, Fisherman’s Wharf, and put a quarter in the human jukebox.  The human jukebox occupied a […]

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