August 23, 2017


  • On Thursday 7 September, 3pm, in Auckland, “The Future of Open Data in Aotearoa”, featuring Ed Corkery (CEO of Koordinates),  Harkanwal Singh (Data Editor, NZ Herald) and Liz MacPherson (Government Statistician)
  • “The flip side of personal genomics: When a mutation doesn’t spell disease” from Nature News
  • Another story about machines learning stereotypes, this time in image recognition.
  • A couple of eclipse graphs:
    From reddit user  superpaow
    and from Noah Illinsky

Thomas Lumley (@tslumley) is Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Auckland. His research interests include semiparametric models, survey sampling, statistical computing, foundations of statistics, and whatever methodological problems his medical collaborators come up with. He also blogs at Biased and Inefficient See all posts by Thomas Lumley »


  • avatar
    megan pledger

    It’s more like “most social programmes that need to be tested with a RCT to discover if they have an effect don’t work”.

    The point being that the obvious treatments are already in place and didn’t need RCTs to discover their merit. They’ve become so standard and engrained that noone actually perceives them as treatments.

    For example, in the medical sphere – if you are sick, go to the doctor. Going to the doctor is the treatment but it’s so standard nowadays that virtually noone would consider doing it as a RCT.

    Basically, after a few millenia, we’ve got the low hanging fruit by trial and error.

    1 month ago

    • avatar
      Thomas Lumley

      That’s the optimistic view. On the other hand, you could imagine people saying that about leeches or enforced bed rest or punitive drug laws.

      1 month ago

      • avatar
        Megan Pledger

        But leeches, some enforced bedrest (e.g. after back operations) and punitive drug laws are known now to have bad outcomes on average.

        In some cases, the social programmes are not the best treatments but the best given idealogical beliefs and legal knots.

        Rather than say the laws are wrong or the ideology is wrong, they say social programmes don’t work.

        1 month ago

  • avatar
    steve curtis

    Heres some nifty details with zoomable maps of total solar eclipses for NZ and Australia coming up this century.
    The North Island gets a double : in both 2037 and 2038

    1 month ago