John Kenneth Galbraith had Rolf Wagenfuhr kidnapped in order to calculate Germany’s Gross National P

Philipp Lepenies reminds us statistics are no stranger to skullduggery. In his book on the political history of GDP, during World War II the Allied Forces economics team kidnapped a star economist and dispatched agents to steal documents, all just to get a clear picture of the size of the German economy. Rolf Wagenfuhr, known by some as a ‘roast beef’ Nazi – brown on the outside, red on the inside, headed the industrial economy research department in IfK, the German Institute for Economic Research. In the last phases of the war, the American economist John Kenneth Galbraith set up shop in Berlin to help Allied forces plan economic policy for post-War Germany. Galbraith needed Wagenfuhr’s

Tracking Syrian Internet censorship with data from Alkasir, Internet circumvention tool

Dr. Walid Al-Saqf, creator of the Alkasir, a tool to circumvent Internet censorship, discusses his research on how Syrians are using the tool to get information. The tool is used most often when there are major military events in the war. The most popular censored destinations are Facebook, Youtube, Tagged, Mig33, and All4Syria. Like other censorship circumvention tools, Alkasir relies on proxies. While a user may be blocked from accessing a site, they are able to communicate with proxies. The proxies are not blocked from accessing the site; they are able to collect the information, encrypt it, and send it to the user. Al-Saqf originally created Alkasir in 2009 to encourage access to hi

Frequent Internet users more likely to petition, protest, and use political violence in East Asia an

Shin Haeng Lee’s study shows that for politically active people in East and Southeast Asia, the more they use the Internet, the more likely they are to participate in in political protests, petitions, and violence, as compared to campaign meetings and contacts with elected officials. Such people are more likely to have political discussions with others and believe they can make a difference in politics, despite the fact they are likely to be more isolated from traditional political structures and organizations. Shin’s work is based on data collected through the Asian Barometer Survey, one of the largest, recurring social science surveys in the region. The survey included 8 countries (South

On “Likes” for peace, and Tweeting Arabs on Facebook

What a world it could be if we knew how to build an online peace that would hold in the real world. The “Tweeting Arab” Facebook page with around 7000 users was by far the most popular pagefor Palestinian – Israeli Jew dialogue in 2014. The second most popular only ran to 4000 users. Mor,Ron, and Maoz used “Tweeting Arabs” to test on social media several theories built on the role of face-to-face dialogue in creating peace. The narrative model of intergroup dialogue suggests that if people share difficult personal stories, their empathy with each other grows, which can contribute to reconciliation. The authors focused on two important lines of dialogue in their analysis of 85 posts in No

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