Birth Control Rule – Reflections on Reporting

As a public policy student, one of whose focuses is health care policy, I subscribed and am following health care news and analyses by the Kaiser Health News, the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Health Care Payer and other sources. I admire these organizations’ excellent work in keeping the public informed on health care policy in the United States, and aspire to contribute to more awareness on health care policies once I graduate from University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Continue reading

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Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

Unfortunately being born of a certain race often has a significant impact in your entire life. It may have an effect on who your friends are and who is likely to like you or hate you not for your personality, which is supposed to be what is relevant about your approval rating, but for your appearance instead.

Being born mulatto – with a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas – as is the case with Barack Obama – is even different from having parents of the same race, especially when most of the extended family that you would communicate with would be from one of the parents’ side instead of both.

Due to the inability to travel to Kenya at young age for various reasons, Barack Obama, Jr., the future President of the United States, was unable to communicate with his father’s family at young age.

Some may argue that to a certain extent his years in Indonesia compensated that, but I would disagree, as Indonesians are both racially and culturally very different from Kenyans and other African nationals.

This book is worth reading to people interested in what it is to be born bi-racial, among other things.

Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance also presents the reader with decisions from real life that Barack Obama, Jr. had to face – most important of which, in my opinion, is his preference to become community organizer to other much more lucrative and profitable options.

Once Mr. Obama got admitted to Harvard University, there came another situation in the book that people of his background – being attached in one way or another to low-income communities like Altgeld – whether Altgeld is starting to get too narrow to his potential, and if yes, what he should do. In his book, Barack Obama explained how confident he was that he would go back to Altgeld, contrary to what the local people there were expecting and was congratulating him for his success, and how he would not understand their confidence that he would never get back to Altgeld.

This moment is one of the inheritance instances in the book, in my opinion. One’s feeling of belonging to a community often has the form of inheritance. And at earlier years in our lives we tend to be more attached to our communities. The question is once we grow up and see what our potential is – especially if it appears to be bigger than the potential that our community can give us – how attached or detached we become from that community.

Note: I have noticed several claims on the internet that this book is full of fabrications. This article is my reaction to the book, and is completely conceptual in its essence. Whether the stories in the book are true, almost true, half true, almost false or completely false is irrelevant in my reflections.

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Predictably Irrational

The rational choice theory in economics assumes that consumers are rational. However, as in most cases of social science, such assumption is quite limited, thereby leading to plenty of economists’ questioning it and measuring its plausibility. Such economists are also referred to as behavioral economist. Dan Ariely, the author of the book Predictably Irrational, has dedicated his research to people’s behaviors in regards to situations involving money and social values namely by questioning that rational choice theory’s assumption. Continue reading

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How to Make a Difference Between Type I and Type II Errors

Type I and Type II errors are commonly encountered in statistics. However, they are also often confused especially by beginner and some intermediate statisticians, the latter most often due to having not been exposed to them in their work for a certain period of time. Continue reading

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Framing, Framing, Framing!

 

Words are strong. Especially in today’s advanced information technology era, they are stronger than ever. That being said, derogatory terms and also perceptively derogatory terms are capable of inflicting defensive reactions on the part of the recipients. For example, the word ignorant essentially means not being aware of but the latter seems much weaker and more acceptable than the former in western cultures. So choose your words wisely when trying to convey a message! In the world of politics, as well as in social science, the choice of words to describe a person, a group of people, an idea, or an object is referred to as framing. Continue reading

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Challenge: Statistics

At every university social science majors are being told by their professors to “know your stats,” to “know your numbers,” to “have data in their analyses.

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Deliberately Arrested: How Ro Su-hui and the North Korean Government Orchestrated the Event

 

About a month ago, Reunification of the Fatherland Vice-Chairman Ro Su-hui from South Korea tried to cross the border from North Korea but was immediately held and arrested by the South Korean authorities as soon as both of his feet stepped on South Korea’s territory. The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), which is controlled by the North Korean government, deemed the act fascist on their Facebook page. In another report of the event, the KCNA added a demand from the North Korean regime that Ro Su-hui be sent back to North Korea. Continue reading

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