Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Because You Should Use R

A colleague asked me about starting with R, which is not the easiest thing to do unless you know the ideas behind object-oriented programming (for instance, you don't open files, you load a spreadsheet or CSV into a data object, probably a dataframe -- this is not Excel or SPSS where you have the file open and staring you in the face).

I came up with a list of intro books I have so far found useful, besides help from friends and all of the awesome help online.

There are some good books by the publisher Springer, in its "Use R!" series and related books, with nice matching spines for if they are ever shelved (so far mine are all desk).

Also, here's a useful intro PDF a friend of mine put me onto, it's by John Verzani, if you prefer digital to paper.


A Beginner's Guide to R

Introductory Statistics with R

For graphing you will use the excellent ggplot (aka ggplot2) package.
ggplot2: Elegant Graphics for Data Analysis

If you are an SPSS or SAS user, a Rosetta Stone:

Or if you are a Stata person instead:

And some non-Springer books too.
I have liked both of these a great deal.

Using R for Introductory Statistics

R in a Nutshell

That should get you started!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

On Leaving Academia - Terran Lane

A great blog entry by Terran Lane, titled, On Leaving Academia. A snippet:

Countless people, from my friends to my (former) dean have asked “Why? Why give up an excellent [some say 'cushy'] tenured faculty position for the grind of corporate life?” 
I agree wholeheartedly with everything in it and highly recommend you read it.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Homage in WoW - Gamera!

Homage in games isn't just found in one game, like EverQuest 2 -- as I detail in my paper "When firms encourage copying: Cultural borrowing as standard practice in game spaces" which was published in IJoC. Given that we like to play with the things we like, including cultural items, this is no surprise. Here is a photo from a quest in World of Warcraft, and, if you know your old-school Japanese Godzilla/Ultraman-esque kinds of things, you'll know Gamera the turtle (friend of all children!).

Repackaged here as "Gammerita", female, and not friendly, Gammerita is obviously an homage to Gamera (giant turtle, the name, the fangs....). The quest is from a troll, which are presented with some Jamaican-typed speech (this is a whole other issue that scholars have dealt with, so I won't go any further with that contentious subject), as you can see in the quest text. A bit blurry since it's a photo not a screen shot.

Again, it's one of those things that if you get it, you get it (in-group), but if you don't it isn't a big deal and has no effect in-game either way.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

"Pay to Publish" Scam Journals

A great list of "fake" journals that continually spam everyone and that don't actually have peer-review, they are just vanity journals where you pay and you are published. I find this kind of behavior really offensive. If they have enough resources to run a website and send out so many emails, why not do something legit? I do object a bit to the "open access" label used here, although it is true that the journals in question label themselves as such I don't feel they have anything to do with the actual concept. List is here: Beall's List of Predatory Journals (updated 9/2015 with new URL).

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Fallout: Switzerland -- The Game

Apparently, the nation of Switzerland could be the setting for the Fallout game series:

In a nuclear emergency, huge doors would slide closed with the town's population inside.
One of the main elements in Fallout is always The Vault, where the player starts. It protected everyone from the nuclear disaster, so they could re-emerge to a world that was full of mutants that glow in the dark.