Inaugural Post

This website aims to explore current events and prognosticate future events through the application of political theory. As the author is a recent Decision Science graduate, social psychology and behavioral science will also factor into its content. Expect posts to present an issue, the media’s take on that issue, and then the take provided by “the literature.”

The title of the website is a tribute to my personal habit of misreading the phrase “causal factor,” a habit which has survived hundreds if not thousands of the phrase’s appearance before my eyes. It is also a send-up of the nonchalant abuse of causal language in the popular press. There is little I can do by way of illustration other than linking to 3TS’s now-famous <a href=http://cscs.umich.edu/~crshalizi/weblog/662.html>piece</a> on homophily and divorce. People are bad at cause and effect. Maybe, some day, they can be better.

This blog will try to avoid the horse race to the best of its ability, but some note of it will probably be unavoidable. The author recently caught the forecasting bug after some late nights spent reading <a href=http://www.amazon.com/Forecasting-Presidential-Elections-Steven-Rosenstone/dp/0300026919/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1278304474&sr=1-1>Steven Rosenstone</a> and <a href=http://www.amazon.com/Principles-Forecasting-International-Operations-Management/dp/0792374010/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1278304393&sr=1-1>J. Scott Armstrong</a>. Pretty charts may or may not ensue. Rants, hopefully, will be few and far between.

Political science is informative and genuinely interesting, if you’re into that sort of thing. Thus, Casual Factors.

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