Saturday, July 26, 2008

My kind of mathematician!

I needed some stats for a letter to my investment advisor. I did a Google search and found Political Calculations.

First Time Visitor to Political Calculations? asks one post:
What makes Political Calculations unique in the world of blogs is the majority of our posts are focused on answering questions for which we don't already know the answers. We then do our best to answer those questions using all the problem solving skills we've gained over the years. Along the way, we create tools to help answer them and what's more, we post them here so you can see how we got to the answers we found.

What's really cool is that the tools we build can answer a lot more than just our own questions. You can change the input factors to better agree with how you see things, to update them with the latest data available to make the answers as relevant to the world today as possible, or if you just want to make one of our tools solve a problem that directly affects your life. And they're always capable of answering our favorite question: "What if ...?"
The author then provides a list of all his "tools to date" (November of 2007).


I found one tool that intrigued me. (There were many more. But this one just caught my fancy.) What If We Bought Cars for the Poor Instead of Light Rail? --Yeah! Good question!

And the answer?

--Well. You'll have to check it for yourself.

Assuming he's done his calculations correctly--and I think that's a reasonable bet--his answer agrees with the thought I've had.

I'm afraid, however, that he has not included all the "externalities" that would have to be properly accounted for.

His calculations do make me think, however.
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