Creating Equivalency?

There is an worrying amount of commentary in Germany these days that equates the actions of the far left with those of the far right. Simply put, many people seem to think that setting a car on fire to protest the G20 meeting is just as bad as setting a shelter for asylum seekers ablaze -- something neo-nazis in Germany have been doing at a frightening rate. I decided to take a look at the annual reports of the domestic intelligence office to see whether there is a trend on the official side toward creating an equivalency of left and right.

The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, as the domestic intelligence office is known, monitors extremist and terrorist groups and publishes an annual report on their activities. The report for 2016 was published last month. While the report documents a decrease in violent crimes by so-called left-wing extremists, the report and its popular summary contain strongly worded warnings about the purported willingness of individuals on the far left to use violence, including deadly violence, to achieve their goals. This has already led to some alarmist headlines

ArXiv Fever

ArXiv is a public repository where researchers make their new work available. It's a great resource when you are trying to find cutting-edge research undertaken by physicists, computer scientists, or biologists, among others. Since these are people who do a lot to advance fields like social network analysis and datamining, sociologists should not shy away from this work, despite the many equations.

In this post, I'll develop a quick and diry way to get an impression of what is happening on arXiv using the service's API.

Introducing I/O

By setting up this research blog, I'm finally getting around to something I've been planning to do ever since starting my postdoc at the beginning of this calendar year. I'm calling it I/O, not just because I deal a lot with inputs and outputs in my day-to-day work as a researcher, but also because I hope to provide a bit of a peek into the ins and outs of doing the kinds of research work I'm currently doing. It involves collecting, handling and analyzing novel kinds of data.

At irregular intervals I will be posting snippets of code and other solutions to research problems I've come up with in the course of my work. My work relies heavily on the Python programming language and a number of excellent libraries in its ecosystem, including pandas, numpy, igraph, shapely, and fiona. I'm mostly dealing with ...