Robert P. Jones, adapting from a forthcoming book, writes that white Christianity in America continues to have some unaddressed reckoning to do with its role in racism and slavery, and some uncomfortable but lingering effects of that role.

In my day job, I am the CEO and founder of Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that conducts research on issues at the intersection of religion, culture, and politics. I’m a social scientist by training and have always been fascinated by the ways in which beliefs, institutional belonging, and culture impact opinions and behaviors in public space. I strive to conduct research and write as an impartial observer. In our work at PRRI, we’ve found that white Christian groups—including evangelicals, mainline Protestants, and Catholics—consistently hold views that are at odds with African American Protestants’ views. The attitudes of nonreligious white Americans, conversely, tend to be more aligned with African Americans’. For white Americans, the data suggest that Christian identity limits their ability to see structural injustice, and even influences them to see themselves, rather than African Americans, as a persecuted group.

Emphasis added.

Some new polling of Oregonians from DHM Research and the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center includes some fairly interesting results when it comes to various proposed changes to how we structure policing.

As noted by Aaron Michael Brown, whether they understand it in these terms or not, 58% of Oregonians support defunding the police, while 37% support abolishing police departments outright.

On a sitenote: one of my pet peeves is polling a question that demands ungathered context in order to understand the results. In this instance, the matter of approval or disapproval “of the way police have responded to the protests”. People who think police should be more tough and those who think police should be more lenient can state that they disapprove of the police response.

These types of poll questions are effectively useless for public policy discussions, unless you’ve got the per-respondent answers on whether or not they support the protests; even then, it’s not going to precisely correlate and give you a full sense.

I guess my peevish sidenote ended up being longer than my main point of interest.

Hundreds of mathematicians have signed a letter to appear in Notices of the American Mathematical Society calling for the field to cease collaborating with police departments, engage in public audits of algorithms, and to incorporate “learning outcomes that address the ethical, legal, and social implications” in data science courses.

Public support for Black Lives Matter is growing fast, as is acceptance that African-Americans really do face systemic racism.

Over the last two weeks, support for Black Lives Matter increased by nearly as much as it had over the previous two years, according to data from Civiqs, an online survey research firm. By a 28-point margin, Civiqs finds that a majority of American voters support the movement, up from a 17-point margin before the most recent wave of protests began.

The survey is not the only one to suggest that recent protests enjoy broad public support. Weekly polling for the Democracy Fund’s U.C.L.A./Nationscape survey shows a significant increase in unfavorable views of the police, and an increase in the belief that African-Americans face a lot of discrimination.

Don’t let up the pressure now: “New ABC News/Ipsos polling finds that most Americans believe the recent death of George Floyd is a sign of broader problems in the treatment of African Americans by police and disapprove of President Trump’s handling of the protests.”

This reportedly is a 30% increase since a similar question was asked in “December 2014, four months after the shooting of Michael Brown, an 18-year black man, by a white cop, and five months after the death of Eric Garner, a black man, who died after being put in a chokehold by a white officer”.

The methodology behind that state-by-state binge survey is totally nonsensical.

To determine each state’s favorite show during the COVID-19 outbreak, surveyed 6,852 people, asking what they were watching while sheltering at home. The most popular titles were then analyzed using Google Trends data to discover which shows each region of the US was searching between March 1, 2020 and April 21, 2020.

What does search activity have to do with this? Why didn’t the survey simply ask what state people lived in?

ProPublica’s new tracker for states as they start to reopen uses “metrics derived from a set of guidelines published by the White House for states to achieve before loosening restrictions”. By this data, Oregon meets four of the five criteria (positive tests per 100K people, percentage of tests that are positive, ICU bed availability, and hospital visits for flu-like illness) and isn’t far behind on the fifth (tests per 100K people per day).

Link Log Roundup for May 12, 2020

In this edition: presidential courage, post-pandemic cities, post-pandemic homes, disruptions to HIV care, voluntary surveillance, reopening Iceland, paying the rent, getting sick on the job, disrupting routines, mandatory vaccination, engineered misalignments, jury trials, Census undercounts, open streets, and political investigations.

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Link Log Roundup for May 11, 2020

In this edition: labor surveillance, viral surfaces, blurb writing, knowing the risks, testing questions, child vaccinations, engineering ventilators, actuarial science, Cannon Beach, bunk beds, institutional discrimination, public pharma, money for Western states, virtual reality, false balance, the social safety net, salon workers, opening up the streets, and public opinion.

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Places Journal announced a forthcoming book “by New School professor and columnist Shannon Mattern” called A City Is Not a Computer, named for an article of the same name; if the article is any indication, the book likely goes right onto my to-get list. The timing is interesting, given the economic collapse of Google’s planned “smart city” in Toronto.

Which is not to say wise. For every reasonable question Y Combinator asked — “How can cities help more of their residents be happy and reach their potential?” — there was a preposterous one: “How should we measure the effectiveness of a city (what are its KPIs)?” That’s Key Performance Indicators, for those not steeped in business intelligence jargon. There was hardly any mention of the urban designers, planners, and scholars who have been asking the big questions for centuries: How do cities function, and how can they function better?