politics · stats

The new spatial model of voting in Spain

Kiko Llaneras published last week a very interesting collection of figures describing the new political arena in Spain. In my opinion, the most remarkable message from his post is that, in spite of Podemos’ effort to become a partido transversal, a party that operates outside the narrow scope of ideological competition, if one takes the political surveys from the CIS what we see is a party that is located somewhere between IU and PSOE, fighting in an already crowded space. It is (not so) surprising once you think that the common perception is that Podemos is capturing disatisfied and disaffected... Read more ›

politics · tech

Government and technology from the perspective of politicians

I read last week two fascinating books about the relation between technology, transparency, and government from the perspective of politicians and bureaucrats. The literature is so positive about the way technology can make public policies more efficient that I wanted to explore how things are perceived from the other side. It seemed reasonable to look into the incentives that are misaligned between citizens and their representatives in order to explain why we remain in an arguably suboptimal situation. Innovative State by Aneesh Chopra, former CTO of Obama, and Citizenville by Gavin Newsom, the Lieutenant Governor of California, and Lisa Dickey,... Read more ›

politics · tech

Tecnología, accountability y responsiveness

Gonzalo Toca publica esta pieza excelente en Jot Down sobre innovación y democracia tras el 15M. La parte más original es la discusión sobre los esfuerzos de grupos independientes de desarrolladores para mejorar el control de los políticos con soluciones tecnológicas. Hay una cosa que me resulta llamativa. Casi todas las iniciativas —aunque esto quizás sea sesgo de atención— se dirigen a mejorar los mecanismos básicos de la democracia. Es llamativa la energía que se ha puesto en conseguir una aplicación de votación segura, sencilla y transparente o un foro de debate que no sobrecargue a los usuarios y en... Read more ›

music · python · stats

Music collection

I have used last.fm for the past 7 years mostly as a way to document the music I listen to. I used to like the recommendation engine, but then I became a Spotify avid user, and only went back a few times. Last month I thought it would be fun to take a look at my habits, and used their fantastic API to retrieve all my music history. And you can easily see my daily routine since I moved to San Francisco: Read more ›

politics · economics

Behavioral economics and public policy

Cass Sunstein in Simpler. The Future of Government: My own experience in government was that in tough cases, the real issues usually mainvoved the facts, not values, and certainly not which interest groups to favor. When people in government are discussing a rule, a central task is to ascertain those facts. What would a rule accomplish? What would it cost? If people are able to get clear on the actual effects of a rule —whether it involved highway safety, energy efficiency, clean air, workplace safety, or education— they are far less likely to disagree. The book is an admitedly disorganized... Read more ›