Monthly Archives: June 2008

spin + technology + lazy = bad idea

Religious right group, American Family Association, was embarrassed–or at least they should be embarrassed–by their practice of running Associated Press stories through an auto-correction program that edits articles to suit their preferred framing of issues. For example, they change Democratic Party to Democrat Party and gay to homosexual. Oops!

zomba, 5

(Sal and I, having lunch right now at Tasty Bites) Tasty Bites, where we’ve had lunch every day while teaching, appears to have a couple of mix CDs that they rotate back and forth. They are 80s music, heavy on Lionel Richie, Richard Marx, and other performers from the era who got their record contracts […]

wired pronounces: google trumps science

Over on Gelman’s blog there’s an interesting discussion of a silly Wired article proclaiming that the “petabyte age” makes theory and hypotheses obsolete: Peter Norvig, Google’s research director, offered an update to George Box’s maxim: “All models are wrong, and increasingly you can succeed without them.” This is a world where massive amounts of data […]

should i review that paper?

So I’m being hounded–begged, really–to review a paper for a journal. I review a lot (or it seems like a lot to me – probably 2 papers a month, all told), including for the journal that’s asking. But in this case, I know the paper and commented on it at an ASA panel a few […]

zomba, 4

(immediate outside my hotel room, first morning in Malawi) The plurality of our waking time so far in Malawi has been in the classroom. Most of the rest of our time has been sitting in one of the three places we eat waiting for food. Most of the rest of the rest of the time […]

if you wear lipstick, who knows what will happen to you?

Government officials in Kota Bharu, a northern Malaysian city, have issued guidelines to women on how to dress in order to preserve their dignity and avoid rape: Azman Mohamad Daham, a spokesman for Kota Bharu municipality, said the latest suggestion contained in leaflets was part of a two-year old campaign. “We just distribute pamphlets,” he […]

all masculinity

Being in Paris, one can’t help but think of fashion. Especially where I’m staying (Saint-Germain-des-Pres) where there are small boutiques. I thought of buying new shoes (my fancy ones tore my feet apart, my sneakers, though comfortable, are not really “for work”) and as I wandered into a local place that caught my eye, the […]

how do you take & organize reading notes?

I’d appreciate your dropping comments if you have thoughts, suggestions or links relevant to good strategies for taking and organizing your “literature” notes.  I’m working with my advisees on this, and I have to say that my own procedures have been ad hoc and often unsatisfactory.  I have the index card  files from my notes […]

update on france

1.)    Today, high off my embracing of American provincialism, I dressed the part. Off came the uncomfortable but stylish shoes. On came the white sneakers with jeans. Part of this was because yesterday I wore these horrendous shoes that tore my feet apart (I empathize with women who often navigate the world in footwear that […]

perils of public sociology: not having a clue what you’re talking about

Dalton Conley wastes a page of valuable intellectual real estate. 1. Conley actually wrote this for publication in the New York Times: The truth is that the triumph of conservative ideas may present a political problem for the ailing Republicans, but the party that’s truly lacking in ideas is my own, the resurgent Democrats. Yeah, […]

zomba, 3

Lunch break of Day 2. On Monday I woke up at 3:30am and couldn’t get back to sleep. Last night, same thing, except 1:30am. Nonetheless, I am having a great time. It’s an odd way to acquaint oneself with a country of the developing world: to be in the country teaching natives how to using […]

francophilia, part deux

Last week I posted a teaser about Jeanneney’s Google and the Myth of Universal Knowledge. I did so sans notes, though, so I bring it back up here. I do think this is a very French book, in two ways. The first is the way we discussed last week: the French concern for preserving and […]

lightning: up or down?

It doesn’t really matter which way the current is flowing if you are a part of a 100 million-volt circuit. Nonetheless, Husband found himself arbitrating an “up or down” dispute at work yesterday. Fortunately, we had already found this page to help explain the whole thing to Kid. I wish I could embed the video […]

a peril of public sociology?

As you may remember, I got in a somewhat public tiff with a local Republican/libertarian blog, the Red Clay Citizen, over the veracity of their poll numbers on a state labor issue. Among other things, I was accused of being “basically a government-paid lobbyist for the labor unions,” a particularly incredible idea since NC government […]

a note from france

So I’ve been here a day. But some notes on Paris: 1.) Paris is filled, and I mean FILLED with Americans. They are concentrated in obvious places – like around Notre Dame. But they truly are everywhere. I have heard almost as much English (and mostly American English) as I have French. This strikes me […]


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