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Wall Street Protests

A growing number of protests against "greed and corruption" have garnered headlines in New York, with a focus on Wall Street. The protesters have not articulated demands, but are clear about their feelings that the culture of the money managers is out of control, and damaging to the whole country. The redistribution of resources from the middle class to a small number of people at the top is the basic problem. The protesters formulate this as the 1% dominating and stripping 99% of the population of opportunity and wellbeing.

Because this is an ongoing "event", isolating a few hours to represent it is somewhat arbitrary. An old friend and I were talking about the awful, fascist-style attack of some NYPD officers on several young women who had been herded together behind orange plastic construction netting. Videos show an officer indiscriminately macing the women, and their screams of pain. They had been completely peaceful but treated as if they were violent and attacking the police. Pretty sad and shameful.

This moment got lots of coverage in the media (albeit less in the mainstream than we should expect) so I chose it for a sample of the protest. The GCP event was set for 1-4 PM local time (17:00-20:00 UTC). The result is 10925.978 on 10800 df for p = 0.195 and Z = 0.858. The approximate time of the mace attack and arrests is marked in the graph.

Wall Street

It is important to keep in mind that we have only a tiny statistical effect, so that it is always hard to distinguish signal from noise. This means that every "success" might be largely driven by chance, and every "null" might include a real signal overwhelmed by noise. In the long run, a real effect can be identified only by patiently accumulating replications of similar analyses.

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