Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Long Silence

Sorry for the long silence. It isn't that I haven't had anything to report, I've just been tired and cranky. Hopefully, I'll get back in the swing of things after the weekend.

In the meantime, here is a clip from the Colbert Report about the census.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word - Noncensus
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorJeff Goldblum

Around the 2 minute mark Colbert mentions the nominee to head the Census Bureau, Bob Groves. Groves is the director of the Survey Research Center, the largest center in the institute where I work. In case you are interested, the controversy around his nomination is because he is an advocate of using sampling to supplement the head count -- essentially a bit of statistical mojo (also known as "science") which allows a smaller group to stand in for the whole group. If the sample is large enough and random enough, it gives an accurate view of the whole. Sampling for the census is off the table, so really, those holding up Groves confirmation are just being big babies. Also, contrary to what Michelle Bachman implies in the clip, pretty much the only question you will be asked on the census is "how many people live here?". The long form questions have all migrated to the American Community Survey (which is a sampled survey and, if you happen to be called for one of these, it is part of your duty as a U.S. resident to respond).

See you in better days (as my stepmother's sister says).

1 comment:

Sharon said...

That's an area of unknowns for most of us white-bread Americans. Census is sacrosanct. I would welcome another blog with elaboration.