Recent activity by Salimata Korbeogo visiting libraries in northern Burkina Faso for FAVL

Le lundi 06/11/2017 la sortie fut dans la commune de Sabce. Elle avait pour objectif, la vérification des outils de gestion et la récupération des livres en retard, nous avons pu récupérer ensemble une dizaine. Le mardi 07/11/2017 la visite dans la commune de Bourzanga n’a pas eu lieu car la ville était menaces donc je fus à Zimtanga, pour l’enregistrement des livres qui en reste encore une bonne partie.  La visite du mercredi 08 et jeudi 09/11/2017 ont été dans les communes de Nassere et Mané pour aussi faire séances de dessin et jeu de scrabble. Elles ont été très belles car beaucoup d’enfants ont participées aux séances de dessin (libre) qui avait pour objectif permettre aux participants d’avoir leur idées créatif, tous les deux ont vu la participation de plus d’une centaine. Plusieurs et joli dessins sont faits. Pour le jeu de scrabble, a Nassere le jeu était nouveau pour les participants, mais avec les explications suivi du pratique ils ont pu jouer sans difficultés le vainqueur avait 270 point contre 145 et moins. Pour la visite et sensibilisation à l’école B de Mané, nous sommes allés trouver que le directeur est absent mais les autres enseignants nous ont accueillis. Après les présentations, je lui fis l’objet de la visite. Ils se disaient satisfait de la visite feront le point au directeur à son retour. Ils nous ont promis de revenir un autre jour.  La journée porte ouverte qui a eu lieu le vendredi 10/11/2017. Cette journée a été très motivée. Il a eu la visite du gestionnaire de la CEB et aussi l’animatrice de CRS de ladite commune Avant de commencer l’enregistrement des noms nous avons présentés la bibliothèque et son fonctionnement son importance etc… A la clôture 266 usagers ont été enregistrés dont 139 femmes et 127 hommes.

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Data analysis of Literature

Nice New York Times article by Jennifer Schluessler.  Data analysis of texts is fun and informative.  But “close reading” will always remain the primary tool for discussing and interpreting a literary text.  The attention to particular phrasing and using novel arrangements of words is what makes a work literary, rather than simple describing and telling.  A “Lucas Critique” applies here as well: as authors themselves learn from the data analysis of texts, they adapt their choices of words.  Once the World Bank finds out how many “and” their documents contain, they go “and” hunting, and then you get shorter sentences.  The changes in syntax emerge after the data analysis.  Future analysts, in order to understand the evolution of style, will have to take into account trends in data analysis as well as trends in literary criticism.

The history of literary criticism is filled with would-be revolutionaries. But few have issued as radical a cry as Franco Moretti, the professor famous for urging his colleagues to stop reading books.Most literary criticism is grounded in close reading, with scholars poring over individual texts to tease out subtle meanings. But to truly grasp the laws of literature, Mr. Moretti has argued in a series of polemics, requires “distant reading”: the computer-assisted crunching of thousands of texts at a time. It’s a pie-in-the-sky idea, perhaps, but one that Mr. Moretti has put into practice. Since 2010, Stanford Literary Lab, which he founded with Matthew Jockers, has issued a string of pamphlets chronicling its research into topics ranging from loudness in the 19th-century novel to the evolving language of World Bank reports.

HT: Kirstyn Leuner

Posted in Burkina Faso

Compromise and the Civil War: Rejecting the euphemism of John Kelly

Nobody has to be a professional or even amateur historian to understand the import of General John Kelly’s words (below), stated in his capacity as Chief of Staff of the President of the United States, in a formal public interview, in 2017.  In current vocabulary, you just have to be “woke” to understand the meaning.

“… the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War,” is a euphemism for saying, “If northern politicians had been a lot more willing to allow slavery to continue, and to forcibly return escaped slaves, and to allow southern states to secede so that white slave owners could continue to use violence and terror to control their slaves, the Civil War might not have happened.”  Every person in the United States, free and especially slave, knew in 1860 that the first is a euphemism for the second.  And every person in the United States knows this today.

General Kelly uses a euphemism, and not the more true phrasing, for a reason.  He uses the euphemism to deliberately elide the issue.  Why use the euphemism, then?  The only explanation is that the euphemizer cares more about the feelings of the white slave owners, their descendants and their enablers, than the black slaves, their descendants and their allies.  It is that simple.  He decided to tell people what side of the fence he was on.  We heard, loud and clear.  I hope he feels the shame that someone with his experiences should feel, but I am pessimistic that he actually does feel that shame.

General Kelly complains that that people should not apply the moral standards of the present to judge or evaluate the actions of persons in the past.  As many have pointed out, his choice of moral standards of the past is that of the white slave owners. He does not choose the moral standards of the black slaves. He chooses not to empathize with them, and to ignore the easily drawn conclusion that millions of people in the past were quite sure that slavery (forcing people to work through violence and terror) was evil.  Their “old” knowledge of the evils of slavery was quite consonant with our “current” knowledge of the evils of slavery.  There is no basis for his complaint, except a willful blindness.

What Kelly said:

You know, 500 years later, it’s inconceivable to me that you would take what we think now and apply it back then. I think it’s just very, very dangerous. I think it shows you just how much of a lack of appreciation of history and what history is.

I would tell you that Robert E. Lee was an honorable man. He was a man that gave up his country to fight for his state, which 150 years ago was more important than country. It was always loyalty to state first back in those days. Now it’s different today. But the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War, and men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had them make their stand.

Posted in United States

Ioannidis et al. on low bias and publication bias in Economics  the “con” game is still being played loud and even proud

If we adopt the conventional 5% level of statistical significance and 80% power level, as well, then the ‘true effect’ will need to be 2.8 standard errors from zero to discriminate it from zero. The value of 2.8 is the sum of the usual 1.96 for a significance level of 5% and 0.84 that is the standard normal value that makes a 20/80% split in its cumulative distribution. Hence, for a study to have adequate power, its standard error needs to be smaller than the absolute value of the underlying effect divided by 2.8. We make use of this relationship to survey adequate power in economics.

All that remains to calculate power are the values of the standard error and an estimate of ‘true’ effect. Because our survey of empirical economics produced 64,076 effect size estimates and their associated standard errors from 159 meta-analyses…, we have much information from which to work.

Simple weighted or unweighted averages of all reported estimates do much to eliminate sampling error and random misspecification bias, because the average number of estimates per meta-analysis in our survey is 403 (median = 191).

Several statistical methods have been developed to identify and accommodate potential publication and related reporting biases and others have proposed methods to detect and evaluate the extent of p-value hacking. With information from 159 meta-analyses, these statistical methods can be used to approximate the genuine empirical effect, or at the least, to filter out some of the selection bias should it be present in a given area of research.

Table 1 reports the percentage of empirical economics findings that have ‘adequate power’, defined by the widely accepted convention that power is adequate if it is 80% or higher. It is clear that most of empirical economics is underpowered….  half of the areas of economics have approximately 10% or fewer of their estimates with adequate power.

Source: The Power of Bias in Economics Research – Ioannidis – 2017 – The Economic Journal – Wiley Online Library

Posted in Burkina Faso

Quantifying effects of rent control in San Francisco… very large redistibrution and inefficiency

It almost seems like the uncontrolled landlords are quite content to keep rent control in place: their rents go up substantially.

In this paper, we exploit quasi-experimental variation in the assignment of rent con-trol in San Francisco to study its impacts on tenants, landlords, and the rental market as a whole. Leveraging new micro data which tracks an individual’s migration overtime, we find that rent control increased the probability a renter stayed at their address by close to 20 percent. At the same time, we find that landlords whose properties were exogenously covered by rent control reduced their supply of available rental housing by15%, by either converting to condos/TICs, selling to owner occupied, or redeveloping buildings. This led to a city-wide rent increase of 7% and caused $5 billion of welfare losses to all renters. We develop a dynamic, structural model of neighborhood choice to evaluate the welfare impacts of our reduced form effects. We find that rent control offered large benefits to impacted tenants during the 1995-2012 period, averaging between $2300 and $6600 per person each year, with aggregate benefits totaling over$390 million annually. The substantial welfare losses due to decreased housing supply could be mitigated if insurance against large rent increases was provided as a form of government social insurance, instead of a regulated mandate on landlords.

Source: The Effects of Rent Control Expansion on Tenants, Landlords, and Inequality: Evidence from San Francisco  by Rebecca Diamond, Tim McQuade, and Franklin Qian.

HT: Irene, muchas gracais!

Posted in United States

Mercury News weighs in on quiet attempt of Santa Clara County to take over Housing Authority

The Santa Clara County Housing Authority needs a shakeup. Dealing with federal rental vouchers and other programs for low-income residents, the authority’s appointed governing board is autonomous from both the county and the city of San Jose. The joint authority manages about $300 million in federal Housing and Urban Development funds granted to the county and the city. It should be governed by publicly-accountable elected officials from both.Talks are under way to make that happen, but it was a rocky start.An impatient County Supervisor Cindy Chavez jolted things into gear two weeks ago by proposing a unilateral county takeover of the authority — without consulting the city first — and aiming for a vote Oct. 17. Fortunately, that will be postponed, and discussions among top level city, county and housing authority staff this past week left everyone hopeful that agreement can be reached.

Source: Editorial: Santa Clara County Housing Authority takeover

Posted in Burkina Faso

Statues of important historical figures (so far all men) being made Burkina Faso

A nice initiative by the Minister of Culture Tahirou Barry.

Le circuit inaugural s’est refermé à Dori avec le baptême du monument de Hama Arba Diallo, figure emblématique de l’opposition burkinabè. « Arba Diallo est une figure emblématique de notre insurrection populaire qui a dit non au pouvoir à vie dans ce pays. Arba Diallo, c’est le symbole de la réussite de la politique de décentralisation dans notre pays à travers sa gestion efficace de la mairie, malgré l’adversité, malgré les difficultés. Arba Diallo, c’est le symbole du patriotisme, de l’audace, du courage, de la combativité. Et malgré son âge (75ans) il a toujours été présent auprès des jeunes, de tous ceux qui voulaient une nouvelle ère dans notre pays et cela mérite une reconnaissance et un souvenir d’où son portrait monumental exhibant son fameux carton rouge d’expulsion de Blaise Compaoré du jeu politique de 2015 », a expliqué le ministre Tahirou Barry.Ce sont donc au total quatre monuments et un mémorial qui ont été inaugurés à l’issue de cette première tournée du ministre de la Culture, des Arts et du Tourisme en attendant d’autres localités dont l’étape de Koupéla s’annonce imminente.

Source: Burkina Faso : Des monuments érigés à la mémoire des grandes figures (…) – leFaso.net, l’actualité au Burkina Faso

Posted in Burkina Faso