Omar Wasow | Profile picture
Asst Prof, Berkeley, Pol. Science. Study protests, stats & race: 1/ Agenda Seeding 2/ Race as Bundle of Sticks
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May 30, 2023 4 tweets 3 min read
New study finds “strong evidence that BLM protests were associated with an increased likelihood of voting for the 2020 Democratic candidate.” Further, this effect was “concentrated among less contentious protest events (with arrests, injury, or violence).”… ImageImageImage Study of BLM also uses weather and commute times to address possible unobserved factors as protests more likely “when weather is good and built environment favors local gatherings… factors likely to impact variation in protests but not Democratic voting.”… ImageImageImage
Feb 27, 2023 5 tweets 2 min read
A strange and ahistorical op-ed on SF's ills that spends a precious paragraph on dangers of ranked choice voting but has nothing to say about what policy changes are needed to build more housing, an issue that long precedes current “one party rule.”… A century ago, Bay Area was ground zero for the development of single family zoning as a method to enforce racial segregation in housing.
Feb 2, 2023 4 tweets 2 min read
Has any region offered a Pay-to-NIMBY option? Like a surtax for non-development?

“The privilege of vetoing virtually any housing in rich neighborhoods is so ingrained in American culture that many people believe it is one of their inalienable rights.”… Idea is to shift NIMBYism debates from “rights” to privileges. Imagine upzoning a whole city but with option for any neighborhood to pay an ongoing lower-upzone surtax. Wealthier neighborhoods then pay price for NIMBYism in a way that might also subsidize more affordable housing.
Jan 7, 2023 4 tweets 3 min read
“It seemed absolutely crazy. The idea that an Iowa housewife, equipped with the cutting-edge medical tool known as Google Images, would make a medical discovery about a pro athlete who sees doctors and athletic trainers as part of her job?”… Image For more about Jill Viles, follow her at @jillviles or see

Also, if you liked this piece, I recommend following @DavidEpstein.
Dec 31, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
Our immune systems are not so much like armies as traffic cops. When we’re well, past infections often linger but are kept in check. As thread shows, chronic illnesses—like ME/CFS and Long Covid—are plausibly persistent, harmful infections that remain hard to detect and suppress. Long term infections can also result in damage to tissues which may then be diagnosed as a new illness like cervical instability. @jenbrea notes “infection is actually one risk factor of cervical damage that has the most support in the medical literature.”…
Dec 29, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
Just successfully converted a pdf and OCR’d two paper book chapters to machine readable plain text. Then fed text to Amazon’s Polly service and now have good-enough “audiobooks.” Did it for myself but realize one day could be offered to class like podcast with weekly “episodes.” Listen to Narrative in Political Science by Molly Patterson and Kristen Renwick Monroe as read by one of Amazon Polly’s British female voices (I’m not sure if British voices are actually better than US or if foreign dialectic just seems less robotic).…
Dec 26, 2022 9 tweets 4 min read
I got Covid in Apr'20. Symptoms persisted for 3 mos. Drawing on limited research, did “fat fast” for 8 days, basically coffee & heavy cream (~50% normal calories). Inflammation gone at day 3 but N=1 so🤷🏽‍♂️. Study showing Metformin ↓ Long Covid suggests maybe it wasn’t just luck. Basic logic of partial fast drew on prior research that showed reducing blood glucose impeded other kinds of viral infections.
Dec 20, 2022 6 tweets 4 min read
What effect did 1987 miniseries “Amerika,” which imagined Soviet takeover of US, have on attitudes? The “changes were consistently in the direction of greater conservatism (eg, lower tolerance of communism, more support for enhanced military strength).”… Watch: AMERIKA miniseries Trailer (1987)
Dec 14, 2022 7 tweets 4 min read
New study finds using names “to signal race/ethnicity also influences perceptions about socioeconomic status and class. Americans tend to think individuals with names typically used by Blacks and Hispanics have lower education, income and social class.”… .@pie_try_ka recommends “What's In a Name? An Experimental Analysis of Signaling Race, Ethnicity, and Gender Using Names” which provides “two large, publicly available databases of the attributes associated with common American first names.”
Dec 5, 2022 5 tweets 2 min read
Just listened to a news article read by a computer generated voice and it was surprisingly good. Got me wondering if I could digitize some of the books I own and have them read like an audiobook. Would be imperfect but maybe good for driving, etc. Has anyone done this? The built-in computer generated voice on my Mac is quite stilted. Compared those kinds of synthetic-sounding “readers,” the voice on this article is impressively human sounding:…
Nov 29, 2022 5 tweets 2 min read
I’ve taken this shuttle from the Rancho Cucamonga Metrolink to Ontario Airport and it was about a 15 minute drive. Idea that a tunnel would be some kind of major improvement or good use of public funds is ludicrous. Meanwhile airport has no long term bike parking. Someone asked “who the heck bikes to an airport?”

1. People who work at airport need affordable options.

2. Four million people a year travel via Ontario Airport. With e-bikes, many are within biking distance.

3. ONT offers 6,000 spots for cars and a useless rack for cyclists.
Nov 27, 2022 6 tweets 3 min read
“This year, more foreign service officers were killed by vehicles in the US when they were walking or biking than have died overseas.”… “In 2020, as car travel plummeted around the world, traffic fatalities broadly fell as well. But in the U.S., the opposite happened. Travel declined, and deaths still went up.”…
Nov 26, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
Just finished audiobook for Brain Energy by @ChrisPalmerMD. Key hypothesis supported by many studies is “mental disorders are metabolic disorders of the brain.” Highly recommend if you or someone you love is wrestling with issues from ADHD to For a good introduction to the new book Brain Energy, this interview on the Huberman Lab podcast offers a window into @ChrisPalmerMD’s personal, medical and scientific journey of discovery around connections between metabolic disorders and mental illness.…
Nov 19, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
Rather than collapse or revival, the most likely path for Twitter under Musk seems something more like Facebook: rising levels of politicized data smog and spam, a steady exodus of disgusted users toward other platforms and a slow but meaningful decline in relevance. When I was running BlackPlanet, I began to think of social networks as a bit like gym memberships: early-on folks are excited but their enthusiasm dims. Over last 25 years, almost every hit social network peaked and faded, yet Facebook & Twitter seemed to defy gravity. No longer.
Nov 16, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
“They think about it again and again and again, and then over time there’s this profound sense of shame or guilt that begins to emerge for people,” he said.… “After I was able to step away from it and look back at it, that’s when things got pretty solemn for me. It caused me to reexamine who I was as a human being.”
— Ron McAndrew, Former warden, Florida State Prison, Dunnellon, Fla.…
Nov 15, 2022 5 tweets 2 min read
Podcast idea: “What Happened to …?”

Each episode would follow someone semi-famous who’s taken a strange turn or who seems to have been radicalized against their recent past.

For example, What happened to Kari Lake?

Or, What happened to Elon Musk? Another episode: What happened to Tucker Carlson? Could build on @lyzl’s great piece.…
Nov 11, 2022 5 tweets 3 min read
From March: “In the lawsuit, she said she would hear Latino and white workers, and their supervisors, casually refer to Black workers with the N-word. “You would hear n— this and n— that,” she said. “It was the norm. It was Tesla’s tradition.”… “Workers called Tesla’s factory ‘the plantation,’ and ‘the slave ship,’ not just for the brutal work pace everyone experienced, but especially because Black workers were routinely segregated into a corner of the factory that lacked AC and where work conditions were most crowded.”
Nov 9, 2022 10 tweets 7 min read
Thinking longer term, any book or article recommendations on how the partisan generation gap might play out over the next couple decades?

1st plot from 2017 article by @pbump.…

2nd plot from 2022 article by @GallupNews.… ImageImage .@pbump has a book coming out on the partisan generation gap this January. Pre-ordering now.…
Nov 7, 2022 5 tweets 2 min read
Has anyone written a good piece on Musk’s embrace of the right?
Timing seems to coincide with California Covid restrictions on Tesla production and/or lawsuit detailing blatant racism on factory floor. I don’t follow him closely enough to know, though, if there’s been a shift. Lots of helpful links. Here’s Musk early in Covid pandemic:
Nov 6, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
The fundamental problem for Musk (and, unfortunately, the rest of us) is that he way overpaid to acquire Twitter, took on too much debt, and now has to come up with more than $1 billion annually for interest even though last year Twitter had less than $1 billion in cash flow. 1/ Increasing subscription revenue makes a ton of sense. Reducing headcount as a recession looms could also be sensible. How Musk is executing, though, seems frenzied and thoughtless. The subscription offering is mediocre at best and the firings haphazard. 2/
Oct 28, 2022 6 tweets 2 min read
6yrs, ~5X revenue 😂 “In presentations to investors, Musk said he anticipated Twitter would reach annual revenue of $26.4 billion and have 931 million users by 2028. Twitter reported $5.08 billion in revenue last year and had more than 200 million users.”… Over decades, Apple tried to get into social (eWorld partnership with AOL, Ping on iTunes, Connect for artists) and failed each time. Twitter is different but the larger lesson for Musk stands, success at hardware+software does not map cleanly on to success at social networks.