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A half decade ago, Harvard-Stanford economist Raj Chetty got his hands on hundreds of millions of your income tax returns from the IRS and has been publishing results ever since that have been pretty interesting if you know how to think about modern realities.

Now Mark Zuckerberg is going to give your * Facebook data to Chetty:

* Excuse me, the Facebook IP legal department has just informed me that your Facebook data is not, legalistically speaking, your Facebook data. Remember that little box you clicked?

It is Mr. Zuckerberg’s data.

Facebook’s next project: American inequality

A Stanford economist is using the company’s vast store of personal data to study why so many in the U.S. are stuck in place economically.

By NANCY SCOLA 02/19/2018 07:13 AM EST

The new research is the latest sign of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s effort to grapple with the aftershocks of the 2016 election

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is quietly cracking open his company’s vast trove of user data for a study on economic inequality in the U.S. — the latest sign of his efforts to reckon with divisions in American society that the social network is accused of making worse.

The study, which hasn’t previously been reported, is mining the social connections among Facebook’s American users to shed light on the growing income disparity in the U.S., where the top 1 percent of households is said to control 40 percent of the country’s wealth.

What if Chetty discovers that a leading reason the One Percent are doing so much better than the Ninety-Nine Percent is because they don’t waste so much time on Facebook?

Facebook is an incomparably rich source of information for that kind of research: By one estimate, about three of five American adults use the social network.

Now the company is making the user data available to a team led by Stanford economist Raj Chetty, a favorite among tech elites for his focus on data-driven solutions to the nation’s social and economic problems. …

Facebook and Chetty declined to talk about the full scope of the research, but veterans of Washington’s domestic policy debates say the social network’s involvement could turbo-charge efforts to map out how geography and social connections play into economic inequality.

For example, consider a youth named, say, Mark Z. His friend Sean P. explained to him how geography and social connections play into economic inequality by asking him, more or less: Why are you wasting your life in a Nowheresville like Cambridge? Don’t you know that to be somebody in cyberspace, you have to physically be in Palo Alto?

Professor Chetty recently took Sean Parker’s advice and left Harvard for Stanford.

Chetty, in a brief interview following a January speech in Washington, said he and his collaborators — who include researchers from Stanford and New York University — have been working on the inequality study for at least six months.

“We’re using social networks, and measuring interactions there, to understand the role of social capital much better than we’ve been able to,” he said.

Researchers say they see Facebook’s enormous cache of data as a remarkable resource, offering an unprecedentedly detailed and sweeping look at American society. That store of information contains both details that a user might tell Facebook — their age, hometown, schooling, family relationships — and insights that the company has picked up along the way, such as the interest groups they’ve joined and geographic distribution of who they call a “friend.”

I love the quotes around “friend.”

According to a Stanford University source familiar with Chetty’s study, the Facebook account data used in the research has been stripped of any details that could be used to identify users. …

… Muñoz said it makes her nervous that Facebook can hand out that much data to researchers, but said she’s reassured it’s in Chetty’s hands. She said the professor “had a lot of fans” in the Obama White House, who admired his work using Internal Revenue Service tax records to show how Americans’ hometowns strongly predict their future wealth.

… During a 2016 Stanford conference co-hosted by the Obama White House and Zuckerberg’s philanthropic foundation, Chetty said he’d like to use Facebook data to figure out “whether you can network yourself out of poverty.”

If you can afford the rent in Palo Alto, perhaps.

… “Raj Chetty is doing unbelievably good work,” said Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam, whose 2000 book “Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community” is oft-cited for its examination of the value of social relationships. “Mostly, it’s because he’s been able to get access to data that nobody else was able to get access to.“

 
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  1. “Mostly, it’s because he’s been able to get access to data that nobody else was able to get access to.”

    I like how that’s almost a throwaway line.

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    • Replies: @Escher
    Yup. Talk about a backhanded compliment.
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  2. I am very disturbed by this sort of thing, but it’s not what worries me the most.

    You may have seen commercials promoting the new Apple iPad, that dispenses with access codes and uses facial recognition to grant access.

    There are obviously so many problems and disadvantages with using such an access system that one is forced to wonder why they’re pushing it. The benefits to putting facial recognition software on smartphones are entirely to people capable of asking an entire network of phones if they see a particular face and respond.

    Thus far law enforcement has publicly limited itself to sifting through data people put up on social networks and getting warrants to access things like user data and tracking. But this ‘feature’ makes it possible to use smartphones as active tools to find people.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon
    Why not use Facial Recognition and while we are at it, social networks to root out illegals? Raj Chetty needs to explore the social capital of illegals. Although if Homeland Security doesn't already know, we should demand a refund.
    , @Macumazahn
    Indeed, all these "convenience" unlocking features like fingerprint and face recognition serve to make one's device less secure, not more.
    Don't want to unlock your device for a warrantless (or even a warranted) search? Too bad, they'll just hold it up to your face or drag your finger across it.
    On the other hand - demanding my password is met with a simple, "Fuck off, flatfoot."
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  3. Chetty – Not Bowling Alone

    “Raj Chetty is doing unbelievably good work,” said Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam, whose 2000 book “Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community” is oft-cited for its examination of the value of social relationships. “Mostly, it’s because he’s been able to get access to data that nobody else was able to get access to.“

    Q. e. d.

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    • Replies: @senill
    Putnam sounds like he's jealous...
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  4. “Excuse me, the Facebook IP legal department has just informed me that your Facebook data is not, legalistically speaking, your Facebook data. It is Mr. Zuckerberg’s data.”

    Maybe in a US court … maybe. Did FaceBag give adequate consideration in exchange for title to your personal data, or did they merely acquire a license to use it that you can revoke, or ….

    There are so many ambulance-chasing lawyers in America that I am surprised there aren’t already ads on TV soliciting clients for abuse of personal data claims.

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    • Replies: @Marty
    American law jettisoned 'adequacy' as a factor relevant to consideration somewhere around 1940.
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  5. Another massive study that will get nowhere, given the unstated guiding egalitarian assumptions that rule out examination of average group cognitive differences.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hodag
    23 and Me has developed a series of online "games" for people who sent their genome in for sequencing. They get a pretty good proxy for IQ, time preference, big 5 traits etc. If Facebook would send these "games" to users that would really help the targeted marketing. I want a low iq, low time preference person that has a government job...boom. in the old days of direct mail they had "sucker lists" of similar people.
    , @J.Ross
    I disagree. They're clearly hoping to legitimize doxing and refine "limited state." Consider that they could easily find designated "alt right" groups happening to prefer certain brands. They could also attack consumer sovereignty by punishing people who vote with their dollars as low-key racists. They believe that there will be no Trumpeters and certainly no Damores or Petersens if people know they are being watched at all times.
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  6. What are these concepts called “personal property” and “privacy”, Citizen? They sound dangerous and deviant. Beware.

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  7. The ZuckerBorg and Chetty Chetty Bang Bang in the same story. It truly is your lucky day.

    I am amused that this whole body of research about burgeoning income and wealth inequality will be taking place under the (hook) nose of someone worth $70+ billion. The only way this would have been more ironic is if this were a Chetty-Bezos collaboration.

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    • Replies: @Barnard
    Wouldn't the Amazon data be more valuable than the Facebook data? In addition to all the purchasing data, Amazon now has data and what movies and TV shows some users are watching through Prime too. People can put whatever they want, true or not on Facebook. Out of my friends, there are a small number of what I would call "power users" who post near constant updates, but a high percentage post very sparingly. I don't know how valuable this will be expect for what Chetty collects on the power users. The number of dormant or near dormant Facebook accounts has to be in the tens of millions.
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  8. Ha! I have three facebook profiles, and almost everything on them is a lie. I think that’s true for a lot of people. So good luck with the data mining.

    Read More
    • Agree: E. Rekshun
    • Replies: @Travis
    last year I created my first Facebook profile , used a fake name, fake employer, fake hometown etc..
    It is surprising to me that people would ever post personal information, photos and other data on-line.
    , @Barnard
    Based on my limited network of Facebook friends I don't think that is the norm. Almost all of them have given accurate information. I don't understand why people fill in all that detail.
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  9. I’d be interested in knowing the demographic breakdown of the roughly 40% of adult Americans who evidently aren’t on Facebook.

    Some will be too old or poor or whatever to have easy access to that sort of thing. But a whole lot of people–and I’m an example–won’t have anything to do with Facebook because Mark Zuckerberg Is Not Your Friend. The absence of all these people, who after all are self-selecting, has to skew the data in some important ways, no?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Allen
    I'm in my late twenties and facebook never appealed to me, though a lot of people in my age group still use it regularly. However, those I know in their early-twenties all have facebook accounts, but either stopped using them years ago or only update sporadically. This is anecdotal of course, but facebook doesn't seem to attract the current crop of teens and twenty-somethings like it used to.
    , @SWVirginian
    Bingo!

    I have steadfastly refused to get involved in any way w/Facebook because I despise Mark Zuckerburg. And FWIW 'why so many in the U.S. are stuck in place economically' may well be because they waste so much time on crap like Facebook.
    , @PiltdownMan
    I'm not on Facebook. I actually bothered to read their terms of service when they were pretty new, and decided not to sign up. I've never changed my mind, despite the urging of a small group of high-school friend I've stayed in touch with, and who now interact with each other mostly on Facebook. I miss out on quite a bit, but so what?
    , @The preferred nomenclature is...
    I don't know which you would have to pay me more (I'm talking high six figures here) to do: sign up for Faceborg or vote for any Demoncrat. Low six figures would probably entice me to attend an NBA game.
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  10. She said the professor “had a lot of fans” in the Obama White House, who admired his work using Internal Revenue Service tax records to show how Americans’ hometowns strongly predict their future wealth.

    The reason Obama hearts Chetty is because Chetty provides a pseudo-scientific rationale for Modern Day Negro Removal (AFFH).

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  11. Hundreds of thousands of cats are in real trouble now.

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  12. During a 2016 Stanford conference co-hosted by the Obama White House and Zuckerberg’s philanthropic foundation, Chetty said he’d like to use Facebook data to figure out “whether you can network yourself out of poverty.”

    There’s this notion running around SJWville that one of the main drivers of racial inequality is the fact that in many cases, proper networking is a prerequisite to employment and promotion.

    I can attest to the fact that a lot of hiring for a lot of interesting work these days takes place in the realm of networking instead of the traditional HR/personnel ways, (and if a given job is “officially” advertised, the reality is that that’s only CYA for the firm — In reality, the position will be filled off of networking), but the reason for that is that the traditional hiring method is an EEOC/AA/ghetto-lottery minefield.

    Where the SJWs mess up in their reasoning is that they can’t seem to think about the concept of socioeconomic status (SES) sorting. Sure, the country’s many shiny snazzy professional networks can find black people to bring into them, but the problem is, they’ll be the same kind of people as the ones that are already in-network, and therefore, the kind of black people who would benefit from affirmative action anyway. The problem is that SJWs think that all that is needed for Felonytavious and L’Ghettomamashondria to solve all their problems is for them to get plugged in to the right networks. Except the right networks don’t want any part of Felonytavious or L’Ghettomamashondria.

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  13. If one lies on Facebook and an FBI agent reads it, has one committed a felony?

    Read More
    • LOL: Harry Baldwin
    • Replies: @newrouter
    If the Director of the FBI lies to his boss the POTUS, has one committed a felony?
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  14. @zig zig
    Ha! I have three facebook profiles, and almost everything on them is a lie. I think that's true for a lot of people. So good luck with the data mining.

    last year I created my first Facebook profile , used a fake name, fake employer, fake hometown etc..
    It is surprising to me that people would ever post personal information, photos and other data on-line.

    Read More
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  15. In May a new data privacy regime comes into effect in the EU. This study would be illegal under that law.

    Read More
    • Replies: @J.Ross
    However EU police departments already do much harsher and more brazen things online in the name of pretending to be Maquis.
    , @The King is A Fink
    I suspect this sort of study would have been illegal in the EU even before the new legislation. Data protection laws make provision that data must only be used for the purpose for which it was originally captured. Coming up with new and interesting ways of using your customers' data (beyond your original purpose for retaining the data) are not permissable. I guess it depends on Facebooks' stated purpose for collecting the data in the first place.
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  16. What’s facebook ?

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  17. @Thucydides
    Another massive study that will get nowhere, given the unstated guiding egalitarian assumptions that rule out examination of average group cognitive differences.

    23 and Me has developed a series of online “games” for people who sent their genome in for sequencing. They get a pretty good proxy for IQ, time preference, big 5 traits etc. If Facebook would send these “games” to users that would really help the targeted marketing. I want a low iq, low time preference person that has a government job…boom. in the old days of direct mail they had “sucker lists” of similar people.

    Read More
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  18. @zig zig
    Ha! I have three facebook profiles, and almost everything on them is a lie. I think that's true for a lot of people. So good luck with the data mining.

    Based on my limited network of Facebook friends I don’t think that is the norm. Almost all of them have given accurate information. I don’t understand why people fill in all that detail.

    Read More
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  19. What will happen when companies like 23&Me start giving away their data to select individuals or organizations?

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  20. @Mr. Blank

    "Mostly, it’s because he’s been able to get access to data that nobody else was able to get access to."
     
    I like how that's almost a throwaway line.

    Yup. Talk about a backhanded compliment.

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  21. Chetty said he’d like to use Facebook data to figure out “whether you can network yourself out of poverty.”

    Does this count?

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    • Replies: @Charles Erwin Wilson II

    Does this count?
     
    Maybe, but pissing blood to realize your dream of being as rich as Croesus doesn't sound like an attractive option to me.
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  22. Wishing a duckduckgo-like social media site would crop up and get popular.
    “The social media site that doesn’t track you, store your data, share info about your browsing habits, or spy on you in any way” (…..And whose owners don’t seek to alter the politics in your nation). They could make money off ads in the margins, just less of it and less personally directed.

    Its a bit erie to plan a fishing trip with a pal via chat or email, and then suddenly start receiving ads for flyrods and lures in upur mail.

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  23. Really, haven’t we had our fill of studies? Study after study that reveals what you want it to reveal. As sci-fi fans know, the truth is out there. Let’s give another achievement test and expect different results only to be disappointed again – insanity, in the true sense of the word. Has anyone done a study of the Chetty studies? Didn’t iSteve raise some serious doubts about the last biggie that Chetty did? Do they replicate?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I think Chetty's studies are pretty revealing and increasingly reliable, they just aren't revealing much of what Chetty wants them to reveal.
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  24. Bowling for Columbine Alone?

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  25. @countenance
    The ZuckerBorg and Chetty Chetty Bang Bang in the same story. It truly is your lucky day.

    I am amused that this whole body of research about burgeoning income and wealth inequality will be taking place under the (hook) nose of someone worth $70+ billion. The only way this would have been more ironic is if this were a Chetty-Bezos collaboration.

    Wouldn’t the Amazon data be more valuable than the Facebook data? In addition to all the purchasing data, Amazon now has data and what movies and TV shows some users are watching through Prime too. People can put whatever they want, true or not on Facebook. Out of my friends, there are a small number of what I would call “power users” who post near constant updates, but a high percentage post very sparingly. I don’t know how valuable this will be expect for what Chetty collects on the power users. The number of dormant or near dormant Facebook accounts has to be in the tens of millions.

    Read More
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  26. @slumber_j
    I'd be interested in knowing the demographic breakdown of the roughly 40% of adult Americans who evidently aren't on Facebook.

    Some will be too old or poor or whatever to have easy access to that sort of thing. But a whole lot of people--and I'm an example--won't have anything to do with Facebook because Mark Zuckerberg Is Not Your Friend. The absence of all these people, who after all are self-selecting, has to skew the data in some important ways, no?

    I’m in my late twenties and facebook never appealed to me, though a lot of people in my age group still use it regularly. However, those I know in their early-twenties all have facebook accounts, but either stopped using them years ago or only update sporadically. This is anecdotal of course, but facebook doesn’t seem to attract the current crop of teens and twenty-somethings like it used to.

    Read More
    • Replies: @slumber_j
    My daughter is 13, and literally none of her peers are on Facebook. It just isn't done.
    , @3g4me
    @ 26 Allen: "I'm in my late twenties and facebook never appealed to me, though a lot of people in my age group still use it regularly."

    Neither my husband nor I nor our younger son (18) have ever used Faceborg. Our 26 year old has an account he set up as a young teen but is careful what he posts (although he's a member of some alt-rightish by invitation only comment/discussion groups) and says he'd never join it today.
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  27. @The Alarmist

    "Excuse me, the Facebook IP legal department has just informed me that your Facebook data is not, legalistically speaking, your Facebook data. It is Mr. Zuckerberg’s data."
     
    Maybe in a US court ... maybe. Did FaceBag give adequate consideration in exchange for title to your personal data, or did they merely acquire a license to use it that you can revoke, or ....

    There are so many ambulance-chasing lawyers in America that I am surprised there aren't already ads on TV soliciting clients for abuse of personal data claims.

    American law jettisoned ‘adequacy’ as a factor relevant to consideration somewhere around 1940.

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  28. Any data resulting from scientific research that was publicly funded should be publicly available, to any American citizen, for free, for the asking.

    This includes ALL scientific research conducted by ALL researchers at ALL existing American Universities – with the possible exception of Hillsdale.

    Read More
    • Agree: 27 year old
    • Replies: @Charles Erwin Wilson II
    Agree.
    , @JosephB
    I wonder how this approach would work in practice? For many experiments the data would be fairly boring and should be straightforward to obtain.

    What about those that could be used as a proxy for IQ? Or interviews with abuse survivors? (or abuse perpetrators!)

    Would the law be retroactive? If so, that would have some rather negative consequences and I suspect result in many "lab fires."

    Going forward, Institutional Review Boards would look at research proposals with heavy scrutiny. At present, you have to explain if any data will be disclosed, any quotes will be used verbatim, or anything that would enable others to deduce the identity of any of the subjects. If you answer "yes" to any of those you need an explanation. If, by law, all data must be published, a lot of research will grind to a halt -- at least under our current understanding of protecting subjects.
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  29. The study, which hasn’t previously been reported, is mining the social connections among Facebook’s American users to shed light on the growing income disparity in the U.S., where the top 1 percent of households is said to control 40 percent of the country’s wealth.

    Why don’t they start by identifying as much as possible who this one percent is? Wouldn’t it be easier to identify one percent of the population and break it down demographically and geographically, then to deal with the rest?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Forbes
    I'd guess the top 1% are not on FB--excepting Zuck. They're mostly very busy, successful, competitive people--who spend their time in other ways, i.e. productively. FB is an enormous time-waster. (As opposed to posting here!)
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  30. Read More
    • Replies: @Vinteuil
    Hats off to Kim Dotcom - that's really good.
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  31. I predict the product of this research will be something that Chetty himself will be oblivious to, but we’ll get the truth in a future Sailer column in TakiMag.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Clyde
    Chetty is Steve's unpaid research intern. Raj "Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves" Chetty oscillates from Coast to Coast. His move to Stanford is only his latest/
    , @Laugh Track

    I predict the product of this research will be something that Chetty himself will be oblivious to, but we’ll get the truth in a future Sailer column in TakiMag.
     
    Amen to that!
    I reckon the reason that people like Zucky, Gates, and Soros are so interested in leading the charge on income disparity, global inequality and such is that they want to discover an impressive band-aid that allows them to remain in that 1% while coming off as super do-gooders. I'd be more impressed with Zucky's or Gates' philanthropy if they didn't insist on sticking their names on it.
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  32. @Thucydides
    Another massive study that will get nowhere, given the unstated guiding egalitarian assumptions that rule out examination of average group cognitive differences.

    I disagree. They’re clearly hoping to legitimize doxing and refine “limited state.” Consider that they could easily find designated “alt right” groups happening to prefer certain brands. They could also attack consumer sovereignty by punishing people who vote with their dollars as low-key racists. They believe that there will be no Trumpeters and certainly no Damores or Petersens if people know they are being watched at all times.

    Read More
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  33. @Hodag
    In May a new data privacy regime comes into effect in the EU. This study would be illegal under that law.

    However EU police departments already do much harsher and more brazen things online in the name of pretending to be Maquis.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hodag
    At least the police can claim they are an agent of the state, which in the Westphalian order has a right to power.
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  34. @slumber_j
    I'd be interested in knowing the demographic breakdown of the roughly 40% of adult Americans who evidently aren't on Facebook.

    Some will be too old or poor or whatever to have easy access to that sort of thing. But a whole lot of people--and I'm an example--won't have anything to do with Facebook because Mark Zuckerberg Is Not Your Friend. The absence of all these people, who after all are self-selecting, has to skew the data in some important ways, no?

    Bingo!

    I have steadfastly refused to get involved in any way w/Facebook because I despise Mark Zuckerburg. And FWIW ‘why so many in the U.S. are stuck in place economically’ may well be because they waste so much time on crap like Facebook.

    Read More
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  35. @istevefan

    The study, which hasn’t previously been reported, is mining the social connections among Facebook’s American users to shed light on the growing income disparity in the U.S., where the top 1 percent of households is said to control 40 percent of the country’s wealth.
     
    Why don't they start by identifying as much as possible who this one percent is? Wouldn't it be easier to identify one percent of the population and break it down demographically and geographically, then to deal with the rest?

    I’d guess the top 1% are not on FB–excepting Zuck. They’re mostly very busy, successful, competitive people–who spend their time in other ways, i.e. productively. FB is an enormous time-waster. (As opposed to posting here!)

    Read More
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  36. @Dave Pinsen

    Chetty said he’d like to use Facebook data to figure out “whether you can network yourself out of poverty.”
     
    Does this count?

    Does this count?

    Maybe, but pissing blood to realize your dream of being as rich as Croesus doesn’t sound like an attractive option to me.

    Read More
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  37. @Hubbub
    Really, haven't we had our fill of studies? Study after study that reveals what you want it to reveal. As sci-fi fans know, the truth is out there. Let's give another achievement test and expect different results only to be disappointed again - insanity, in the true sense of the word. Has anyone done a study of the Chetty studies? Didn't iSteve raise some serious doubts about the last biggie that Chetty did? Do they replicate?

    I think Chetty’s studies are pretty revealing and increasingly reliable, they just aren’t revealing much of what Chetty wants them to reveal.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ic1000
    > I think Chetty’s studies are pretty revealing and increasingly reliable, they just aren’t revealing much of what Chetty wants them to reveal.

    Yeah, but if a tree falls in the forest. How many of the people who care about Chetty's questions are grappling with the brickbats and plaudits that Steve has pointed out?

    My search "Chetty critique" turns up this single Sailer essay in the first 100 hits (three times on Google, once on DuckDuckGo). (Customization, so YMMV.)

    The search "Chetty critique Sailer" makes for more interesting reading, and not just of Steve-authored pieces. So, some other people are noticing, too.
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  38. Since no one else has access to this dataset, why would anyone believe what Chetty says when he publishes his results?

    I used to work at a grantmaking institution that supported social science researchers in developing countries. I used to read the final reports wondering if any of the numbers were true or if the guys just made them up as they sat at a comfortable table while sipping a cold drink. That would certainly be far easier than going out into the countryside knocking on doors.

    I, a lowly program associate, was undoubtedly the only one in that environment who ever had such evil thoughts.

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    • Replies: @J.Ross
    Yes, but, Chetty massively contradicts himself, and if he felt free to lie he'd feel free to win. He may also be acting on the assumption that other researchers will be able to check him in the future.
    , @Steve Sailer
    "Since no one else has access to this dataset, why would anyone believe what Chetty says when he publishes his results?"

    Because Chetty's results at the county level are quite plausible, but he doesn't particularly seem to understand the reasons why they are the way they are.

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  39. @Old fogey
    Since no one else has access to this dataset, why would anyone believe what Chetty says when he publishes his results?

    I used to work at a grantmaking institution that supported social science researchers in developing countries. I used to read the final reports wondering if any of the numbers were true or if the guys just made them up as they sat at a comfortable table while sipping a cold drink. That would certainly be far easier than going out into the countryside knocking on doors.

    I, a lowly program associate, was undoubtedly the only one in that environment who ever had such evil thoughts.

    Yes, but, Chetty massively contradicts himself, and if he felt free to lie he’d feel free to win. He may also be acting on the assumption that other researchers will be able to check him in the future.

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  40. Whoa, Chetty wants our Facebook data.

    Now he’s going to figure out what people’s kids are wearing on the first day of school. And what classic ’80s movie character we most are like. And what we statused when Prince died.

    I feel so…not giving a shit.

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  41. @Goatweed
    If one lies on Facebook and an FBI agent reads it, has one committed a felony?

    If the Director of the FBI lies to his boss the POTUS, has one committed a felony?

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  42. @countenance
    I predict the product of this research will be something that Chetty himself will be oblivious to, but we'll get the truth in a future Sailer column in TakiMag.

    Chetty is Steve’s unpaid research intern. Raj “Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves” Chetty oscillates from Coast to Coast. His move to Stanford is only his latest/

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  43. “Zuckerberg to Give Chetty Your Facebook Data” – What could possibly go right?

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  44. The new research is the latest sign of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s effort to grapple with the aftershocks of the 2016 election

    What the hell does that even mean?

    …Muñoz said it makes her nervous that Facebook can hand out that much data to researchers, but said she’s reassured it’s in Chetty’s hands.

    Oh sure, it’s very reassuring. Hey, the mere fact that one has to feel “reassured” makes it very clear that somebody has way too much of something that they shouldn’t have. Something that belongs to us.

    Now, when is Raj going to get those IQ scores and credit reports?

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  45. The Zuckerborg sweats…

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  46. @J.Ross
    However EU police departments already do much harsher and more brazen things online in the name of pretending to be Maquis.

    At least the police can claim they are an agent of the state, which in the Westphalian order has a right to power.

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    • Replies: @J.Ross
    Interesting that they allow force and not research.
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  47. @Melendwyr
    I am very disturbed by this sort of thing, but it's not what worries me the most.

    You may have seen commercials promoting the new Apple iPad, that dispenses with access codes and uses facial recognition to grant access.

    There are obviously so many problems and disadvantages with using such an access system that one is forced to wonder why they're pushing it. The benefits to putting facial recognition software on smartphones are entirely to people capable of asking an entire network of phones if they see a particular face and respond.

    Thus far law enforcement has publicly limited itself to sifting through data people put up on social networks and getting warrants to access things like user data and tracking. But this 'feature' makes it possible to use smartphones as active tools to find people.

    Why not use Facial Recognition and while we are at it, social networks to root out illegals? Raj Chetty needs to explore the social capital of illegals. Although if Homeland Security doesn’t already know, we should demand a refund.

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  48. Chetty has just discovered that big booty pictures are causing income inequality.

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  49. Remember that little box you clicked?

    “You invited me. It is not my custom to go where I am not wanted.”

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  50. This is why Faceborg should be abolished. Trump if he does nothing else his term which is likely besides angry tweets at Oprah, should break up Faceborg into five or six competing companies.

    I’m still ticked that a dude like Chetty gets my tax returns. Why? Because Obama liked him. Talk about the original God-Emperor.

    On that subject, avoid like the plague any of the tax software. They ALL sell your data. Yes, you read that right. ALL OF THEM: Intuit, Tax Slayer, Tax Act, HR Block, all sell your data. They sure as hell don’t make money doing your taxes for free or even for $69.99.

    The best way is to use the online forms, use a program like GnuCash (free as in beer, free as in speech) to record your expenses by category all year, run an export to HTML and import from there into a spreadsheet and total up your deductibles. Right away you know which form will give you the bigger tax break.

    Fill the form out with a PDF viewer, print the form out, and mail it in. Raj Chetty will get your data (and probably resell it too the bastich) but at least Intuit and the like won’t.

    It takes work to keep the Oligarchs from turning your data into a cash machine but its worth it.

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  51. Another diversity token follows the rainbow to silicon valley. I expect he feels at home in H-1b valley.
    Leaving Harvard to produce social science studies for Facebook. And that right there is why nobody takes India seriously.
    What kind of data can you get from Fakebook nowadays? I hear all the cool kids left and its really old and boring now. Can you foresee a book from an Indian social scientist based on Dot Com data?
    Maybe Jeb Bush will promote it. Its straight to the bargain bin from there.

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  52. @slumber_j
    I'd be interested in knowing the demographic breakdown of the roughly 40% of adult Americans who evidently aren't on Facebook.

    Some will be too old or poor or whatever to have easy access to that sort of thing. But a whole lot of people--and I'm an example--won't have anything to do with Facebook because Mark Zuckerberg Is Not Your Friend. The absence of all these people, who after all are self-selecting, has to skew the data in some important ways, no?

    I’m not on Facebook. I actually bothered to read their terms of service when they were pretty new, and decided not to sign up. I’ve never changed my mind, despite the urging of a small group of high-school friend I’ve stayed in touch with, and who now interact with each other mostly on Facebook. I miss out on quite a bit, but so what?

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    • Replies: @J.Ross
    You miss nothing, Facebook is a one-stop gathering of already existing things and not an innovation in itself.
    , @Escher
    I was on Facebook for a few months in 2008-09, but dropped out when I discovered (after several months of inactivity) that the Zuck had unilaterally changed all users’ privacy settings to the default (everything visible) option.
    I recall it was quite tedious to delete my account.. had to find another site that went thorough the process step by step. Wonder if it’s any easier now.
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  53. @countenance
    I predict the product of this research will be something that Chetty himself will be oblivious to, but we'll get the truth in a future Sailer column in TakiMag.

    I predict the product of this research will be something that Chetty himself will be oblivious to, but we’ll get the truth in a future Sailer column in TakiMag.

    Amen to that!
    I reckon the reason that people like Zucky, Gates, and Soros are so interested in leading the charge on income disparity, global inequality and such is that they want to discover an impressive band-aid that allows them to remain in that 1% while coming off as super do-gooders. I’d be more impressed with Zucky’s or Gates’ philanthropy if they didn’t insist on sticking their names on it.

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  54. “whether you can network yourself out of poverty.”

    *this* is the kind of shit our brilliant billionaire elite like to kick around?

    here, I have an answer for them: yes, most of the poor people in this country will be happy to attend the “Mark Zuckerberg celebration of how awesome Mark Zuckerberg is” fancy dress ball and kiss his ass if it will set them up financially. They’ll even tell Raj Chetty how great he is or talk to Marks sister about the importance of woke Greek translation. There, mystery solved.

    Btw, does anyone else find it hilarious when senile billionaires like John McCain or his effete media bootlickers just repeatedly assert shit–ad nauseam and without evidence–about jobs Americans just won’t do? Well, I’m not from a blue collar background, but I now live where many uneducated deplorables make a decent living doing hard work in an industry that can’t just be moved to China. Recently I was in a conversation with three men in their 30s, all of whom had (different) stories about directly witnessing people they worked with being killed on the job. One of these men was speaking through no front teeth because hed had a bunch knocked out in a job accident that nearly killed him; this is a job that takes him away from his wife and family for half the days of the year.

    There ain’t no jobs deplorables can’t do or aren’t willing to do. Pay them money to do our important work (fixing power lines in hurricanes, refining petroleum, building factories, welding pipelines, producing our food, killing terrorists) and they will do it–and they will “git r done” if you tell them they have to leave their families and risk death. The bourgeoisie will never understand why that “stupid” standup comedy shtick actually resonated with people.

    I really can’t believe we have an entire genre of writing these days where some trust fund blogger with a political science degree from Yale tells another professional tweeter how much he agrees with him that the proletariat just got left behind because they don’t value hard work like us. That’s a level of The Audacity of Bullshit to make even Zizek blush. It’s just not true most rural/blue collar Trump voters are popping opiates on unemployment or welfare; in fact it is outrageously false and I’m tired of seeing yet another “journalist” cover this narrative by “randomly” going to West Virginia and “happening” upon this “dysfunctional class of people.”

    How is our smart class so dumb? How can they write and read things about non-Ivy whites “irrationally voting against their interests” when they vote republican in Kansas or Alabama? Here’s a free tip for our genius intellectuals: if from where you sit a group of people seems to be voting “irrationally” that’s a cue for the light bulb to go off that youre missing something (probably a LOT of something) and that you should find out what it is you don’t know or are wrong about. It is decidedly *not* a sign it’s time for you to start condescendingly pontificating on how stupid are the people you don’t understand.

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  55. @PiltdownMan
    I'm not on Facebook. I actually bothered to read their terms of service when they were pretty new, and decided not to sign up. I've never changed my mind, despite the urging of a small group of high-school friend I've stayed in touch with, and who now interact with each other mostly on Facebook. I miss out on quite a bit, but so what?

    You miss nothing, Facebook is a one-stop gathering of already existing things and not an innovation in itself.

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  56. Facebook is how married mothers vet each other for socializing their kids.

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  57. @Hodag
    At least the police can claim they are an agent of the state, which in the Westphalian order has a right to power.

    Interesting that they allow force and not research.

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  58. Facebook exec busted today for accidentally thinking for himself:

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/02/20/facebook-ad-executive-rob-goldman-apologizes-for-having-uncleared-thoughts/

    Looks like Zuckerberg told VP Kaplan to throw VP Goldman under the bus.

    The Wired article cited claims that Trump’s America is based on tribalism…

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  59. Raj Chetty – doing the work that native-born Americans won’t do.

    The study is worthless – too many fake Facebook accounts.

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  60. Using Facebook data for scientific research presumes that the data is accurate. However, Jean Twenge (Ph.D.) and W. Keith Campbell (Ph.D.) note in their book, “The Narcissism Epidemic,” that young people using social media (including Facebook) systematically lie about who they are, what they do, and what they accomplish in life. It’s a game of one-upmanship with their peers in their adolescent cliques and gangs.

    Besides the pretentious Millennials, the other people who frequent Facebook and other social media appear to be bored housewives in search of “likes” as they explore, “What should we name this feral cat?” … and lonely grandmothers reviewing smartphone photos of their grandchildren. No one else has idle time for this crap, especially people who do serious work for a living.

    Using Facebook data to find out how people can network their way out of poverty? “Garbage in … garbage out!”

    I wish Raj Chetty well with his Facebook data. However, this appears to be another case of Chetty not understanding American culture and its social structures. Imagine telling poor people that they can improve their lot in life and improve the lives of their children by the simple act, let’s say, of moving from Baltimore to Salt Lake City. Nothing but a rehash of iSteve’s Theory of Magic Dirt that makes fun of Chetty with a lot less work and without the pretense of credible science.

    I await Chetty’s latest results with baited breath.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Chetty and his team are clever so I wouldn't bet against them eventually being able to figure out ways around the authenticity problem with Facebook data.
    , @Jim Don Bob

    I await Chetty’s latest results with baited breath.
     
    Grammar Nazi here. I await Chetty’s latest results with bated breath.

    https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/baited-versus-bated
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  61. @TheJester
    Using Facebook data for scientific research presumes that the data is accurate. However, Jean Twenge (Ph.D.) and W. Keith Campbell (Ph.D.) note in their book, "The Narcissism Epidemic," that young people using social media (including Facebook) systematically lie about who they are, what they do, and what they accomplish in life. It's a game of one-upmanship with their peers in their adolescent cliques and gangs.

    Besides the pretentious Millennials, the other people who frequent Facebook and other social media appear to be bored housewives in search of "likes" as they explore, "What should we name this feral cat?" ... and lonely grandmothers reviewing smartphone photos of their grandchildren. No one else has idle time for this crap, especially people who do serious work for a living.

    Using Facebook data to find out how people can network their way out of poverty? "Garbage in ... garbage out!"

    I wish Raj Chetty well with his Facebook data. However, this appears to be another case of Chetty not understanding American culture and its social structures. Imagine telling poor people that they can improve their lot in life and improve the lives of their children by the simple act, let's say, of moving from Baltimore to Salt Lake City. Nothing but a rehash of iSteve's Theory of Magic Dirt that makes fun of Chetty with a lot less work and without the pretense of credible science.

    I await Chetty's latest results with baited breath.

    Chetty and his team are clever so I wouldn’t bet against them eventually being able to figure out ways around the authenticity problem with Facebook data.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    Maybe that's the whole point.
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  62. @Hodag
    In May a new data privacy regime comes into effect in the EU. This study would be illegal under that law.

    I suspect this sort of study would have been illegal in the EU even before the new legislation. Data protection laws make provision that data must only be used for the purpose for which it was originally captured. Coming up with new and interesting ways of using your customers’ data (beyond your original purpose for retaining the data) are not permissable. I guess it depends on Facebooks’ stated purpose for collecting the data in the first place.

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  63. When Hebrews and Babus team up to “rectify” evil White American society.

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  64. @Allen
    I'm in my late twenties and facebook never appealed to me, though a lot of people in my age group still use it regularly. However, those I know in their early-twenties all have facebook accounts, but either stopped using them years ago or only update sporadically. This is anecdotal of course, but facebook doesn't seem to attract the current crop of teens and twenty-somethings like it used to.

    My daughter is 13, and literally none of her peers are on Facebook. It just isn’t done.

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  65. I’m old enough to remember Friendster. And all my friends were on it and we’re pushing hard for me to join up and I thought it was creepy so I didn’t. By the time Facebook came along I was immune. And I’m so glad. My first assessment about the creepiness turns out to be right

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  66. @Steve Sailer
    I think Chetty's studies are pretty revealing and increasingly reliable, they just aren't revealing much of what Chetty wants them to reveal.

    > I think Chetty’s studies are pretty revealing and increasingly reliable, they just aren’t revealing much of what Chetty wants them to reveal.

    Yeah, but if a tree falls in the forest. How many of the people who care about Chetty’s questions are grappling with the brickbats and plaudits that Steve has pointed out?

    My search “Chetty critique” turns up this single Sailer essay in the first 100 hits (three times on Google, once on DuckDuckGo). (Customization, so YMMV.)

    The search “Chetty critique Sailer” makes for more interesting reading, and not just of Steve-authored pieces. So, some other people are noticing, too.

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  67. @TheJester
    Using Facebook data for scientific research presumes that the data is accurate. However, Jean Twenge (Ph.D.) and W. Keith Campbell (Ph.D.) note in their book, "The Narcissism Epidemic," that young people using social media (including Facebook) systematically lie about who they are, what they do, and what they accomplish in life. It's a game of one-upmanship with their peers in their adolescent cliques and gangs.

    Besides the pretentious Millennials, the other people who frequent Facebook and other social media appear to be bored housewives in search of "likes" as they explore, "What should we name this feral cat?" ... and lonely grandmothers reviewing smartphone photos of their grandchildren. No one else has idle time for this crap, especially people who do serious work for a living.

    Using Facebook data to find out how people can network their way out of poverty? "Garbage in ... garbage out!"

    I wish Raj Chetty well with his Facebook data. However, this appears to be another case of Chetty not understanding American culture and its social structures. Imagine telling poor people that they can improve their lot in life and improve the lives of their children by the simple act, let's say, of moving from Baltimore to Salt Lake City. Nothing but a rehash of iSteve's Theory of Magic Dirt that makes fun of Chetty with a lot less work and without the pretense of credible science.

    I await Chetty's latest results with baited breath.

    I await Chetty’s latest results with baited breath.

    Grammar Nazi here. I await Chetty’s latest results with bated breath.

    https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/baited-versus-bated

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  68. …a study on economic inequality in the U.S. — the latest sign of his efforts to reckon with divisions in American society that the social network is accused of making worse.

    If forcing White school kids to sit next to black school kids, for the past 45 years, hasn’t improved the social networks of blacks, then blacks don’t want to be included in White social networks. It’s been said before – blacks like being black.

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  69. @slumber_j
    I'd be interested in knowing the demographic breakdown of the roughly 40% of adult Americans who evidently aren't on Facebook.

    Some will be too old or poor or whatever to have easy access to that sort of thing. But a whole lot of people--and I'm an example--won't have anything to do with Facebook because Mark Zuckerberg Is Not Your Friend. The absence of all these people, who after all are self-selecting, has to skew the data in some important ways, no?

    I don’t know which you would have to pay me more (I’m talking high six figures here) to do: sign up for Faceborg or vote for any Demoncrat. Low six figures would probably entice me to attend an NBA game.

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    • Replies: @stillCARealist
    NBA games are expensive. A beer will set you back $14 or so. A slice of pizza is $11. I recommend staying home, baking up a frozen pizza, opening up a cold 40 CL, and watching it on your widescreen. You won't have to share a bathroom with strangers and listen to loud banging music.

    Oh, and if the crowd and music are ever quiet because of confusion, you get to hear foul-mouthed black guys yell at each other. You could always hang around a local bball court on Saturday afternoons to hear that.
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  70. Dear iSteve commenters !

    You feel frustrated only a guy named Raj Chetty is allowed to have access to such a trove of private data.

    Here is a GREAT way to catch up:

    The Belgian newspaper Le Soir has recently published the integrality of the 2017 population’s first names.

    (that’s 18,266 for males, 21,649 for females)

    You can download them right from the Government Census Office.

    Now, it’s crunch time!

    PS- If you realize this small European country is on her way to soon become Al Bĕłĝhÿşťąn, well, you’re hardly mistaken.

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  71. @The preferred nomenclature is...
    I don't know which you would have to pay me more (I'm talking high six figures here) to do: sign up for Faceborg or vote for any Demoncrat. Low six figures would probably entice me to attend an NBA game.

    NBA games are expensive. A beer will set you back $14 or so. A slice of pizza is $11. I recommend staying home, baking up a frozen pizza, opening up a cold 40 CL, and watching it on your widescreen. You won’t have to share a bathroom with strangers and listen to loud banging music.

    Oh, and if the crowd and music are ever quiet because of confusion, you get to hear foul-mouthed black guys yell at each other. You could always hang around a local bball court on Saturday afternoons to hear that.

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  72. Facebook has lots of money to hire brilliant stats and machine learning people, which they do. I doubt Chetty is going to find anything that Facebook does not already know.

    I doubt they care much about income inequality. They really care about little social circles scattered around where there’s nobody to point and sputter every time somebody wrongthinks. It drives them up a wall every time a Facebook group is discovered with people posting stuff outside the narrative. Having somebody in each little circle is too expensive. They hope to find a way to save on labor so they don’t have to hire half the population to police the other half.

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  73. Facebook is now what personal email became shortly after it reached a critical mass: a place for middle-aged women to post inspirational messages.

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  74. @wren
    https://www.twitter.com/KimDotcom/status/965302861549613056

    Hats off to Kim Dotcom – that’s really good.

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  75. It doesn’t sound like chetty is using the secret and closed group details that make up most facebook interactions these days.

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  76. Raj needs to get danah boyd on this.

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  77. @Melendwyr
    I am very disturbed by this sort of thing, but it's not what worries me the most.

    You may have seen commercials promoting the new Apple iPad, that dispenses with access codes and uses facial recognition to grant access.

    There are obviously so many problems and disadvantages with using such an access system that one is forced to wonder why they're pushing it. The benefits to putting facial recognition software on smartphones are entirely to people capable of asking an entire network of phones if they see a particular face and respond.

    Thus far law enforcement has publicly limited itself to sifting through data people put up on social networks and getting warrants to access things like user data and tracking. But this 'feature' makes it possible to use smartphones as active tools to find people.

    Indeed, all these “convenience” unlocking features like fingerprint and face recognition serve to make one’s device less secure, not more.
    Don’t want to unlock your device for a warrantless (or even a warranted) search? Too bad, they’ll just hold it up to your face or drag your finger across it.
    On the other hand – demanding my password is met with a simple, “Fuck off, flatfoot.”

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  78. @Allen
    I'm in my late twenties and facebook never appealed to me, though a lot of people in my age group still use it regularly. However, those I know in their early-twenties all have facebook accounts, but either stopped using them years ago or only update sporadically. This is anecdotal of course, but facebook doesn't seem to attract the current crop of teens and twenty-somethings like it used to.

    @ 26 Allen: “I’m in my late twenties and facebook never appealed to me, though a lot of people in my age group still use it regularly.”

    Neither my husband nor I nor our younger son (18) have ever used Faceborg. Our 26 year old has an account he set up as a young teen but is careful what he posts (although he’s a member of some alt-rightish by invitation only comment/discussion groups) and says he’d never join it today.

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  79. @Steve Sailer
    Chetty and his team are clever so I wouldn't bet against them eventually being able to figure out ways around the authenticity problem with Facebook data.

    Maybe that’s the whole point.

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  80. @Vinteuil
    Any data resulting from scientific research that was publicly funded should be publicly available, to any American citizen, for free, for the asking.

    This includes ALL scientific research conducted by ALL researchers at ALL existing American Universities - with the possible exception of Hillsdale.

    Agree.

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  81. @PiltdownMan
    I'm not on Facebook. I actually bothered to read their terms of service when they were pretty new, and decided not to sign up. I've never changed my mind, despite the urging of a small group of high-school friend I've stayed in touch with, and who now interact with each other mostly on Facebook. I miss out on quite a bit, but so what?

    I was on Facebook for a few months in 2008-09, but dropped out when I discovered (after several months of inactivity) that the Zuck had unilaterally changed all users’ privacy settings to the default (everything visible) option.
    I recall it was quite tedious to delete my account.. had to find another site that went thorough the process step by step. Wonder if it’s any easier now.

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  82. @Old fogey
    Since no one else has access to this dataset, why would anyone believe what Chetty says when he publishes his results?

    I used to work at a grantmaking institution that supported social science researchers in developing countries. I used to read the final reports wondering if any of the numbers were true or if the guys just made them up as they sat at a comfortable table while sipping a cold drink. That would certainly be far easier than going out into the countryside knocking on doors.

    I, a lowly program associate, was undoubtedly the only one in that environment who ever had such evil thoughts.

    “Since no one else has access to this dataset, why would anyone believe what Chetty says when he publishes his results?”

    Because Chetty’s results at the county level are quite plausible, but he doesn’t particularly seem to understand the reasons why they are the way they are.

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  83. He is dumb for a genius. He and other tech companies have caused the unequal messed by locating jobs too much in urban areas and scoffing suburbs which a lot of times have a higher percentage of college graduates than urban areas. Case in point Los Angeles County versus Orange County and San Diego. Los Angeles only has 30 percent of its population college educated versus 38 percent for Orange County and 35 percent for San Diego. Locating a lot more tech in Anaheim than downtown LA would help. In Anaheim or Northern OC or Southern LA, the burb areas. Many folks in the Riverside area would have access to good paying jobs and the cost of housing is cheaper in Riverside than LA or OC.

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  84. @Vinteuil
    Any data resulting from scientific research that was publicly funded should be publicly available, to any American citizen, for free, for the asking.

    This includes ALL scientific research conducted by ALL researchers at ALL existing American Universities - with the possible exception of Hillsdale.

    I wonder how this approach would work in practice? For many experiments the data would be fairly boring and should be straightforward to obtain.

    What about those that could be used as a proxy for IQ? Or interviews with abuse survivors? (or abuse perpetrators!)

    Would the law be retroactive? If so, that would have some rather negative consequences and I suspect result in many “lab fires.”

    Going forward, Institutional Review Boards would look at research proposals with heavy scrutiny. At present, you have to explain if any data will be disclosed, any quotes will be used verbatim, or anything that would enable others to deduce the identity of any of the subjects. If you answer “yes” to any of those you need an explanation. If, by law, all data must be published, a lot of research will grind to a halt — at least under our current understanding of protecting subjects.

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  85. @Dieter Kief
    Chetty - Not Bowling Alone

    “Raj Chetty is doing unbelievably good work,” said Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam, whose 2000 book “Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community” is oft-cited for its examination of the value of social relationships. “Mostly, it’s because he’s been able to get access to data that nobody else was able to get access to.“

    Q. e. d.

    Putnam sounds like he’s jealous…

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    "Putnam sounds like he’s jealous…"


    Yep - but for a good (=professional) reason, what makes him "sympa", as the French say.

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  86. @senill
    Putnam sounds like he's jealous...

    “Putnam sounds like he’s jealous…”

    Yep – but for a good (=professional) reason, what makes him “sympa”, as the French say.

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