Running the numbers on autism, welfare reform, and exonerations

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While you're reading this, I will quasi-not exist.  (I'm on a plane to New Zealand, and, as a consequence of the International Date Line, I won't have a Thursday this week).I'm off to speak at the Eucharistic Convention in Auckland and do a Theology on Tap in Sydney. Next week. I'll be running this year's Ideological Turing Test (entries appearing MWF), so stay tuned.In the meantime, here's a rundown of what I've been covering for my new job at FiveThirtyEight:  Kansas Welfare … [Read more...]

I’ve taken a job at FiveThirtyEight!

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I'm pleased to announce that I've started working this week at FiveThirtyEight.  I'm a news writer, so most of my pieces will be shorter, news cycle-driven pieces on data angles in the stories of the day.  I like to read "data" a little broadly, so I'm as excited to write about choices of methodology as I am to take a crack at a big dataset myself.My first piece as a staffer went up yesterday, and I've got a couple of links for you all to pieces I wrote earlier for the site.  I'll still be bl … [Read more...]

Even a Small Saint is an Urgent Need [Saints Bookclub]

(Wikimedia Commons)

In 2015, I’m reading and blogging through Ronald Knox’s collection of sermons on Christian exemplars, Captive Flames: On Selected Saints and Christian Heroes.  Every Monday, I’ll be writing about the next portrait in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along. In this week's chapter, Ronald Knox sets up St. Edward the Confessor as a bulwark against our longing for fame, and, indeed, I had never heard of him before turning to his chapter.  He was anonymous to … [Read more...]

Help Pick Questions for my Ideological Turing Test Talk

From my Effective Altruism talk at Yale

I've got two speaking engagements coming up this week, and I could use your crowdsourced  help for one of them.  How to Have Better Fights About Religion Wednesday, March 18, 7p Shotel Dubin Auditorium, Penn Hillel 215 S. 39th St. Philadelphia, PA 19104    A Night of Intra-Christian Dialogue Thursday, March 19, 7:30p George Mason School of Law 3301 Fairfax Dr, Arlington, Virginia 22201  At the Intra-Christian Dialogue event, I'll be part of an ecumenical … [Read more...]

The Word Gap Needs More Than Individual Effort

(mob mob / Flickr)

I'm posting at Fare Forward today, talking about the word gap, and why solutions should include structural reform of work schedules, wages, and zoning -- not just increased effort from individual parents: Poorer children start falling behind the richer children in their age cohort long before they toddle off to their first day of school or sit down for their first standardized test. Before formal instruction begins, children learn from their parents. Poorer children fall into a “word gap”—they h … [Read more...]

Promises No One Asks the Church to Keep [Saints bookclub]

(Sailko / Wikimedia Commons)

In 2015, I’m reading and blogging through Ronald Knox’s collection of sermons on Christian exemplars, Captive Flames: On Selected Saints and Christian Heroes.  Every Monday, I’ll be writing about the next portrait in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along.In this week's chapter, Ronald Knox is describing St. Gregory the Great, and roots his sermon in an anecdote of St. Gregory punning on the name of an English captive, Angles, explaining that his true heritage wa … [Read more...]

Love Applied to Charity and Fighting in New Haven

(Ragesoss / Wikimedia Commons)

I'm making speaking appearances in New Haven today and tomorrow, so here's a heads up for students in the area.  Effective Altruism and Caritas Yale Effective AltruistsMonday, Feb 16, 5pmJE Dining HallWhen looking for high-impact opportunities to give, how should we weight the effect that different ways of giving have on the giver?  If you get the most bang for your charity buck abroad, how will you stay engaged with the needs of the people around you and avoid becoming de … [Read more...]


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