For the occassion a lovely song (ht my little brother):
"Merci de prier pour la fin de la guerre en Rd Congo. Pensez à tous ces enfants abandonnées, sans parents ... Clique J'aime et écris ta prière en faveur de ce pays au coeur de l'Afrique. Que Dieu vienne en aide mon pays la RD Congo !!!"
“Since this is a joint product, the authors would like to blame each other for all remaining errors.”Nice!
"At this point in the standard preface it is customary for the author to claim total responsibility for error and wrongheadedness and to absolve others of blame. I am not so sure I want to do that. While I am happy to stand or fall with what I have written, it is also clear that I have learned so much from so many scholars that a great many of us are implicated in this enterprise. If it should turn out that I am on the wrong track, I suspect that many of them are on the same errant train with me!
I wish also to report that my wife and children, who have their own scholarly and other concerns, had virtually nothing to do with this volume. They were not particularly understanding or helpful when it came to research and writing but called me away as often as possible to the many pleasures of life in common. May it always remain so.":)
In this paper we seek to learn how migrant populations integrate into new communities. We do so through an analysis of pro-social behaviors -- benevolence and reciprocity -- between natives and migrants in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We design a novel set of dictator games that takes into account the dyadic and network aspects of pro-social behavior, which allows us to retrieve empirically robust estimates of migrant integration.
We have two statements:
Poor quality data about conflict events weakens humanitarian responses and hinders academic research on the dynamics of violence. To address this problem we piloted a data gathering system in Eastern Congo in which reporters in randomly selected villages reported on events in real-time. We describe the data generated through this system and use it to implement a downstream experiment that illustrates how the data can be used. We take advantage of exogenous variation in the allocation of development aid to assess whether aid is associated with increased or reduced violence. Our data suggests that aid had a negative effect on conflict. Critically, by exploiting the continuous nature of our data, we also highlight the sensitivity of estimates of effects to the timing of measurement.
Models indicate that opportunities for reputation formation can play an important role in sustaining cooperation and prosocial behavior. Results from experimental economic games support this conclusion, as manipulating reputational opportunities affects prosocial behavior. Noting that some prosocial behavior remains even in anonymous noniterated games, some investigators argue that humans possess a propensity for prosociality independent of reputation management. However, decision-making processes often employ both explicit propositional knowledge and intuitive or affective judgments elicited by tacit cues. Manipulating game parameters alters explicit information employed in overt strategizing but leaves intact cues that may affect intuitive judgments relevant to reputation formation. To explore how subtle cues of observability impact prosocial behavior, we conducted five dictator games, manipulating both auditory cues of the presence of others (via the use of sound-deadening earmuffs) and visual cues (via the presentation of stylized eyespots). Although earmuffs appeared to reduce generosity, this effect was not significant. However, as predicted, eyespots substantially increased generosity, despite no differences in actual anonymity; when using a computer displaying eyespots, almost twice as many participants gave money to their partners compared with the controls. Investigations of prosocial behavior must consider both overt information about game parameters and subtle cues influencing intuitive judgments.Link to the complete paper here.
Most severe disasters cause large population movements. These movements make it difficult for relief organizations to efficiently reach people in need. Understanding and predicting the locations of affected people during disasters is key to effective humanitarian relief operations and to long-term societal reconstruction. We col- laborated with the largest mobile phone operator in Haiti (Digicel) and analyzed the movements of 1.9 million mobile phone users during the period from 42 d before, to 341 d after the devastating Haiti earthquake of January 12, 2010. Nineteen days after the earthquake, population movements had caused the population of the capital Port-au-Prince to decrease by an estimated 23%. Both the travel distances and size of people’s movement trajectories grew after the earthquake. These findings, in combination with the disorder that was present after the disaster, suggest that people’s movements would have become less predictable. Instead, the predictability of people’s trajectories remained high and even in- creased slightly during the three-month period after the earth- quake. Moreover, the destinations of people who left the capital during the first three weeks after the earthquake was highly cor- related with their mobility patterns during normal times, and spe- cifically with the locations in which people had significant social bonds. For the people who left Port-au-Prince, the duration of their stay outside the city, as well as the time for their return, all followed a skewed, fat-tailed distribution. The findings suggest that population movements during disasters may be significantly more predictable than previously thought.From Lu, X., Bengtsson, L., & Holme, P. (2012). Predictability of Population Displacement After the 2010 Haiti Earthquake. In Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
To science we owe dramatic changes in our smug self-image. Astronomy taught us that our earth isn't the center of the universe but merely one of billions of heavenly bodies. From biology we learned that we weren't specially created by God but evolved along with millions of other species. Now archaeology is demolishing another sacred belief: that human history over the past million years has been a long tale of progress. In particular, recent discoveries suggest that the adoption of agriculture, supposedly our most decisive step toward a better life, was in many ways a catastrophe from which we have never recovered. With agriculture came the gross social and sexual inequality, the disease and despotism, that curse our existence....
One straight forward example of what paleopathologists have learned from skeletons concerns historical changes in height. Skeletons from Greece and Turkey show that the average height of hunger-gatherers toward the end of the ice ages was a generous 5' 9'' for men, 5' 5'' for women. With the adoption of agriculture, height crashed, and by 3000 B. C. had reached a low of only 5' 3'' for men, 5' for women. By classical times heights were very slowly on the rise again, but modern Greeks and Turks have still not regained the average height of their distant ancestors.....
There are at least three sets of reasons to explain the findings that agriculture was bad for health. First, hunter-gatherers enjoyed a varied diet, while early fanners obtained most of their food from one or a few starchy crops. The farmers gained cheap calories at the cost of poor nutrition, (today just three high-carbohydrate plants -- wheat, rice, and corn -- provide the bulk of the calories consumed by the human species, yet each one is deficient in certain vitamins or amino acids essential to life.) Second, because of dependence on a limited number of crops, farmers ran the risk of starvation if one crop failed. Finally, the mere fact that agriculture encouraged people to clump together in crowded societies, many of which then carried on trade with other crowded societies, led to the spread of parasites and infectious disease. (Some archaeologists think it was the crowding, rather than agriculture, that promoted disease, but this is a chicken-and-egg argument, because crowding encourages agriculture and vice versa.) Epidemics couldn't take hold when populations were scattered in small bands that constantly shifted camp. Tuberculosis and diarrheal disease had to await the rise of farming, measles and bubonic plague the appearnce of large cities.....
Besides malnutrition, starvation, and epidemic diseases, farming helped bring another curse upon humanity: deep class divisions. Hunter-gatherers have little or no stored food, and no concentrated food sources, like an orchard or a herd of cows: they live off the wild plants and animals they obtain each day. Therefore, there can be no kings, no class of social parasites who grow fat on food seized from others. Only in a farming population could a healthy, non-producing elite set itself above the disease-ridden masses. Skeletons from Greek tombs at Mycenae c. 1500 B. C. suggest that royals enjoyed a better diet than commoners, since the royal skeletons were two or three inches taller and had better teeth (on the average, one instead of six cavities or missing teeth). Among Chilean mummies from c. A. D. 1000, the elite were distinguished not only by ornaments and gold hair clips but also by a fourfold lower rate of bone lesions caused by disease....
I argue that journals should require authors to post the raw data supporting their published results. I illustrate some of the benefits of doing so by describing two cases of fraud I identified exclusively through statistical analysis of reported means and standard deviations. Analyses of the raw data provided important confirmation of the initial suspicions, ruling out benign explanations (e.g., reporting errors; unusual distributions), identifying additional signs of fabrication, and also ruling out one of the suspected fraudster’s explanations for his anomalous results. If we want to reduce fraud, we need to require authors to post their raw data.