Four short links: 18 May 2017

Checking Fact-Checkers, Simpler Java, JSON Feed, and Street-Fighting Mathematics

By Nat Torkington
May 18, 2017
  1. Checking How Fact-checkers CheckI evaluate the performance of two major online fact-checkers, Politfact at Tampa Bay Times and Fact Checker at Washington Post, comparing their interrater reliability using a method that is regularly utilized across the social sciences. I show that fact-checkers rarely fact-check the same statement, and when they do, there is little agreement in their ratings. Approximately, 1 in 10 statements is fact-checked by both fact-checking outlets, and among claims that both outlets check, their factual ratings have a Cohen’s κ of 0.52, an agreement rate much lower than what is acceptable for social scientific coding. The results suggest that difficulties in fact-checking elites’ statements may limit the ability of journalistic fact-checking to hold politicians accountable. (via Marginal Revolution)
  2. Kotlin — a Swift-like take on Java. Statically typed programming language for modern multiplatform applications 100% interoperable with Java and Android. Steve Yegge loves it, and here’s a rundown of the main language features.
  3. Learn faster. Dig deeper. See farther.

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  4. JSON Feed — another tilt at the content syndication windmill. “It’s Atom but in convenient COBOL Object Notation,” he said twitching. “Both remaining bloggers have signed up to use it!”
  5. Street-Fighting Mathematics (PDF) — MIT book on the art of educated guessing and opportunistic problem-solving. The major sections are: Dimensions; Easy cases; Lumping; Pictorial proofs; Taking out the big part; Analogy.
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