Over the last two weeks, I am been cleaning and checking a large longitudinal dataset on the geography of large law firms and Fortune 500 companies. A large portion of this work has been done by research assistants. I am now left with coding and cleaning all the special cases and running various checks for reliability.
Although this work is time-consuming and tedious, the upside is that it is largely rote work that does not require intense concentration. To help pass the time, I have spent many hours listening to various audio files on NPR. I am a big fan of Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Here are some of the more interesting segments I recently heard:
- Sharon Weinberger, EIC of Defense Technology Int'l, on her new book, "Imaginary Weapons: A Journey Through the Pentagon's Scientific Underworld." The interview includes a facinating discussion of the scientific peer-review process.
- Washington Post Congressional correspondent Juliet Eilperin on her new book, "Fight Club Politics", which provides a detailed (and persuasive) chronology of factors that have produced the intense partisanship in the U.S. House of Representatives.
- An interview with the author of a recent article on Sweatshops in U.S. Territories (and the lobbying efforts that have made them possible).
- Actress CCH Pounder, who plays a detective on the FX drama, "The Shield." Pounder is black but is from Guyana and was schooled in Britain; in contrast, the characters she plays are usually African-American. This is a stunning interview on issues of race in the U.S.
- Neil Young and Jonathan Demme on their new documentary, "Heart of Gold."
- Law professors Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu on their recent book, "Who Controls the Internet."
- NY Times journalist Louis Uchitelle on his recent book, "The Disposable American," which chronicles the history (and rise) of layoffs in the U.S.
All this intellectual stimulation while doing "boring" data coding and cleaning. Not bad.