This blog has gone relatively quiet of late, and it will probably stay that way for a while. That’s partly a function of my personal life, but it also reflects a conscious decision to spend more time improving my abilities as a programmer.
I want to get better at scraping, making, munging, summarizing, visualizing, and analyzing data. So, instead of contemplating world affairs, I’ve been starting to learn Python; using questions on Stack Overflow as practice problems for R; writing scripts that force me to expand my programming skills; and building Shiny apps that put those those skills to work. Here’s a screenshot of one app I’ve made—yes, it actually works—that interactively visualizes ACLED’s latest data on violence against civilians in Africa, based partly on this script for scraping ACLED’s website:
When I started on this kick, I didn’t plan to stop writing blog posts about international affairs. As I’ve gotten into…
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