On COVID and exponential growth

With BC public health officials doubting mathematical modelling it might be time again for an explainer of exponential growth.

Jens von Bergmann

14 minute read

The recent dismissal of PHAC modelling by the head of the BCCDC, coupled with some reactions we have seen on Twitter, have led us realize how hard it is for most people to understand exponential growth. Part of the fault lies with most modellers generally assume too much math literacy in others. In particular, we assume that public health officials or relevant policy makers can understand the models. Even though we have seen time and time again that this assumption is very tenuous.

Industrial Strength Zombies: Vancouver Edition

What industries are dominant in Vancouver? People throw around all kinds of crazy stories, time take a look at the data and put some zombies to rest. At least for a day or two before someone else digs them up again.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

12 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) The “real estate has swallowed Vancouver’s economy” zombie is back, with wild claims by a City Councillor that “If you look at the long-form census data going back to 1986 every 5 years, […] we went from selling logs to selling real estate […], major shift from resource extraction to real estate property development and construction as the primary driver in the local economy.

Bartholomew's dot destiny

Bartholomew made projections of what a Central Vancouver penninsula (UBC, Musqueam 2, Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster) with 1 million people would look like. We no just about hit that number time to compare how his projections stock up.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

6 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) How did early planners envision Vancouver’s future growth? Fortunately for us, they left a prediction in dot-density map form! Here we compare their prediction to a dot-density map from today. Let’s check out how our dot destiny unfolded! Vancouver grew rapidly from its incorporation in 1886 right up to the great crash of 1913, followed by WWI and a raging influenza epidemic (which we all know way too much about now).

On COVID Trend lines

Trend lines help us distinguish noise from the signal in data. COVID-19 case trend lines is an important tool for understanding where we are at, how we got there and which direction we are trending. This deserves more attention than it has been getting.

Jens von Bergmann

15 minute read

COVID-19 got me thinking about trend lines and the different ways people generate and interpret them. This is a question that’s of course more general than just COVID-19, but let me use this as an example to explain some very basic principles. This post is motivated by discussions I have had with a number of journalists, including Chad Skelton who nerd-sniped me into writing a post on trend lines and a thread discussing trend lines with Roberto Rocha and Tom Cardoso.

Rethinking the "foreignness" of owners living abroad

Comparing CHSP and SVT data we try to tease out how foreign our forein owners really are.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

10 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) TLDR: Combining our two major sources of data on the “foreignness” of property owners suggests at least half of those owning property in high demand parts of BC but living outside of Canada are Canadian citizens or permanent residents. How Foreign Are You? BC housing discussions have often focused on various aspects of “foreignness” – foreign buyers, foreign owners, non-resident owners, foreign capital, home owners with non-anglicized last names, out of province buyers, buyers on 10-year entry program, foreign landlords – the list goes on in bewildering variety, and each category comes with it’s own range of interpretations and definitions.