Morning Coffee – 8 April 2019
Here are a few stories to read this Monday morning.
- Amazon’s munging of reviews is confusing customers into buying the wrong product.
- A new study shows teens aren’t harmed by increased screen time.
- The New York Times asks why consumers can’t fix their property.
- The life and death struggle between authors and their translators.
Gordon Horne April 8, 2019 um 12:21 am
Re: Amazon Reviews (and listings)
Last year I was trying to find a replacement copy of The Mouse and His Child. A search on Amazon only turned up listings that had the description and reviews for the book, but the attached product was a stage play based on the book. I reported it to Amazon.
Just rechecked now out of curiosity. The book is visible now. The stage play doesn’t not show up at all in the search results, also boughts, or related items. That seems to substitute one problem for another as I assume the stage play still exists.
I’m guessing this is another symptom of over enthusiastic use of algorithms.
Sunita April 8, 2019 um 11:30 am
On the study of teen wellbeing and screentime use, they use real-time self-reporting as well as time diaries, which are both quite different from retrospective self-reporting (and have been found to be more accurate). They are not only using "second-hand data," they are also conducting their own data collection. Although meta-analytic studies (which are technically "second-hand") are also widely used medical and social science research, so that wouldn’t necessarily be disqualifying.
Therefore, I think you’re being too quickly dismissive of their results. I haven’t read the entire paper but looking at their data and methods section suggests that they are taking the normal criticisms and problems into account.
Nate Hoffelder April 8, 2019 um 11:52 am
I fixed it – thanks for the correction