Media Influence on Vote Choices: Unemployment News and Incumbents’ Electoral Prospects (Marcel Garz, Gregory J. Martin)

How does news about the economy influence voting decisions? We isolate the effect of the information environment from the effect of change in the underlying economic conditions themselves by taking advantage of left‐digit bias. We show that unemployment figures crossing a round‐number “milestone” cause a discontinuous increase in the amount of media coverage devoted to unemployment conditions, and we use this discontinuity to estimate the effect of attention to unemployment news on voting, holding constant the actual economic conditions on the ground. Milestone effects on incumbent U.S. governor vote shares are large and notably asymmetric: Bad milestone events hurt roughly twice as much as good milestone events help.

Abstract from: Garz, M. and Martin, G.J. (2021), Media Influence on Vote Choices: Unemployment News and Incumbents’ Electoral Prospects. American Journal of Political Science, 65: 278-293.

Get access to the full article via Wiley.

Photo cred: NASA

Free Your Mind.

Decentralizing The Internet: The Hitchhiker’s Guide (Nicholas Resendez – Hackernoon)


The world wide web, aka the internet used by the majority of users is heavily centralized. The main reason being the way which users can easily communicate and operate their daily needs and wants which ultimately enables big tech companies operations. Since internet users typically express their opinions, needs, and wants online, a tech company will attempt to identify these mutual interests, creating a bridge or in other words, a digital footprint. This bridge can then be connected to another big tech company, ultimately transferring the interests, desires, and behaviors of a user to find mutual interests on other sites. This helps keep users enticed on web pages, showing them relevant content. This can then be used by monopolistic tech companies in hopes of reaping direct traffic from one network to another.

The users are catching onto these internet monopolies. It is quite clear that many internet users believe big tech companies such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon are beginning, if not have already have attempted to take over the internet. Users have become dependent on eCommerce for their home goods, groceries, and nearly any physical goods on Amazon. The answers of the unknown can be uncovered by a quick Google search, but while you’re at it might as well check your email, then pull up the Google Maps app to head home. The main problem behind these issues is the centralization of goods and services in which we have become dependent in order to operate daily routines. The questions begs, “why can we just ditch these monopolistic companies and create better concepts?” We can; however, it seems that users tend to utilize these technology giant sites since they offer better interfaces, and quicker services.

Read the full article on Hackernoon, and follow Nicholas Resendez on Instagram @nirholas, on LinkedIn, and Twitter @Bothersome for updates on new articles.

Photo cred: Markus Spiske

Free Your Mind.

The Wave (CLOriginals-006)

Cover photo cred: Elliott Blair

Another dark night in the den – lost in a wave of bourbon and blues. I spend most of my nights here, staring at my poison while taking in the music. Only looking up every now and then to admire the band, and the crowd under its spell. Even though the floor is packed tonight, the seats next to me at the bar are empty – as always.

I’m okay with that.

I’m not here looking for company.

I’m here to ride the wave.

Photo by Justin

As the bartender pours me another round, I notice another lost soul at the other end of the bar. Like me, she’s alone. Like me, she couldn’t care less. She exudes confidence and proudly wears her scars – as I do my own.

The cigarette.

The tattoos.

The bourbon.

The piercing eyes.

She’s mesmerizing.  I know nothing about her, yet I feel a sense of familiarity – as though I’ve known her for a lifetime.

Meanwhile, the guitar is wailing in the background, and it captivates us both. The look in her eye tells me she rides the wave, too. The wave that quiets the mind and heals the soul. The wave I’m addicted to surfing, and she is too.

When our eyes first meet, my instincts hijack the moment, and I get a dose of fear. If I let her in, I could risk it all. But while my fear is real, so is her magnificence. It would be overwhelming on its own, but with the surge of the guitar howling in the background, it’s intoxicating.

I glance down at my drink, take a breath, and down it in one go. It only takes a moment for the poison to work its magic; the fear subsides. I look back up and summon a smile. After what feels like an eternity, she smiles back.

She makes her way to the seat next to me.

The bartender pours us a round.

And then we disappear.

Into the night.

Into the wave.

Free Your Mind.

Hard Rock Selections 20/02/21: Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees (Sershen & Zaritskaya Cover)


One of those where you are expecting it to be terrible, and it’s actually flames. Daria’s booming vocals mixed with shredding solos and an insane bassline make for an explosive track.

Also, this video is a visual spectacle, to say the least. Check it out for yourself.

Free your mind.

Photo Cred:

The Big Lies of Strategy (Rotman Management, Fall 2018)

“The first thing to keep in mind about strategy is that it is not all that complex. You should keep it simple and always remember that, put simply, strategy is about choices. After years of working closely with leaders of large corporations, I have come to the conclusion that strategy is actually about a set of five choices that must be made:

1. What is our winning aspiration?
2. Where will we play?
3. How will we win?
4. What capabilities must be in place?
5. What management systems are required?

The very core of any strategy is the world of question #3 — the ‘how to win’ choices: Where are you going to place yourself on the playing field, and how are you going to win there? Answering that question is the hardest part of strategy.”

– Roger L. Martin

Read the full article in the September 2018 issue of Rotman Management.

Photo Cred: Rotman Management. Magazine (September 2018)

The Destroyer of Worlds (Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History 59)

“We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried. Most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita; Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty, and to impress him, takes on his multi-armed form and says, ‘Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.’ I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.” ― J. Robert Oppenheimer

Free Your Mind.

Photo Cred: Scott Rodgerson

Hard Rock Ballad Selections 25/10/20: IRIS – DIAMANTE & Breaking Benjamin


What. A. Cover.

Diamante and Ben absolutely knocked this one out of the park. That makes back-to-back weeks of unreal covers being featured (in case you missed last week’s post – listen to Chris Cornell kill this cover of Patience by GnR.

Before pressing play on this for the first time, we were skeptical to say the least. Iris is an iconic song and, often, when iconic songs get covered – they get butchered. After listening to the first 20 seconds of this one, it was obvious this was not the case. Diamante – one of our favourite female leads in the game right now, kicks of the track with beautiful vocals. Ben comes in 20 seconds later, and its clear their voices have an amazing synergy.

By this point the track has dug its claws into your soul – then the chorus hits…and you’re gone. The whole song is a runaway feels-train; especially around 1:54. “When everything feels like the movies (Diamante), ya you bleed just to know your Alive (Ben).” Dear god. Between the nostalgia of the lyrics, and the raw power in Ben’s voice, its impossible not to get hit hard by that part.

But don’t. take our word for it – listen for yourself. Then listen again….and again….and again.

Free your mind.

Photo Cred: Nextmosh

What Sharks Can Teach Us About Survivorship Bias (Farnam Street)

“When asked what the deadliest shark is to humans, most people will say the great white. The lasting influence of the movie Jaws, reinforced by dozens of pop culture references and news reports, keeps that species of shark at the top of the mind when one considers the world’s most fearsome predators. While it is true that great white sharks do attack humans (rarely), they also leave a lot of survivors. And they’re not after humans in particular. They usually just mistake us for seals, one of their key food sources.

We must be careful to not let a volume of survivors in one area blind us to the stories of a small number of survivors elsewhere. Most importantly, we need to ask ourselves what stories are not being told because no one is around to tell them. The experiences of the dead are necessary if we want an accurate understanding of the world.” – Farnam Street

Read the full piece on the Farnam Street blog.

Free your mind.

Photo Cred: Jake Gaviola