Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Strange Days

I found a journal article for sale on amazon.com today for the low, low price of $5.95:


It's the first time I've seen an academic article for sale on amazon. I wonder if it's a viable paradigm. It seems quite odd to me.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I knew there was something different here...

Somehow, after having spent most of my life in California, I never fail to be amazed at the stark gulf between the have's and the have-not's of that place. Today I was reading about how they built this statistical model of literacy rates:


The interesting thing about the model is that you can compare rates of the minimal levels of literacy between counties and states across the country, and it will show you the rates as well as various confidence intervals.

So naturally, I compared the place that I was born with the place where I am now (using the data collected in 2003). The model estimated approximately 24% of the population in the county where I was born to be lacking in basic literacy skills. And now I live in a county where the model estimates only about 5% of the population to be lacking in basic functional literacy skills.

Why can't I shake the feeling that these statistics are deeply related to other problems of race and class?