Monthly Archives: August 2008

things i need to remember

361. Turns out, the world will end up much the same if I read a few hundred analyses of the Palin pick online or not. BTW, see here for speedy polling data that the initial reaction to Palin was (predictably? surprisingly?) a bit more negative among women than men.

that obama/mccain thing is so over…vote for me!

should sociologists have political commitments?

Over on OrgTheory, Steve Vaisey takes sociologists to task for what he seems to perceive as unwarranted political commitment. Apparently because sociologists tend to be “liberal” (as useless a term as that is), we are less objective than we ought to be and we think stuff for partisan, as opposed to soundly scientific, reasons. (I […]

ranking the overcoming adversity narratives

My ranking: 1. POW camp for five years 2. Black + abandoned by father 3. Wife, child killed in car accident leaving two surviving kids 4. Child with Down Syndome I forget: Was there anything bad that had happened to Dan Quayle?

103% chance that somebody will win

Curiously, as of this moment, both Obama and McCain’s estimated probability of victory on Intrade has risen about a point-and-a-half with the choice of Sarah Palin And Tall. Also: for observers of genetics-in-society, Kay Bailey Hutchinson used as evidence of Palin’s character that she did not terminate a pregnancy with Down Syndrome.

from being a heartbeat away from miss alaska to being a heartbeat away from the presidency

Oy, the Republican presidential nominee I thought would be the toughest for the Democrats to beat chooses the Republican vice presidential nominee I thought would be the toughest for the Democrats to beat. Kind of takes the euphoric edge off watching my candidate give the best nomination speech of my lifetime. Maybe Palin will end […]

what to do

This is a followup to today’s earlier post.  My spouse and I went by, our friends were alone, we hugged them a lot and sat with them for an hour while they cried and talked.  I’m glad I went.  The younger generation is asking me what they should do.  I thought you’d be interested, as […]


I’m working on a paper for which the references need to use official abbreviated names for journals. I see where space is saved by changing American Journal of Sociology to Am J Sociol. The official abbreviation for Health Affairs, however, is apparently Health Affair.

joy and sorrow

The intermingling of great joy and great sorrow goes on.  My daughter told us ten days ago that she and her boyfriend plan to marry soon — this is a joy.  Then she became  unexpectedly unemployed and she had to focus on that, diverting attention from wedding plans.  And there are various hassles with getting […]

del martin

Pioneer lesbian activist, Del Martin, died yesterday of natural causes. She was 87, and she is survived by her partner of 55 years, Phyllis Lyon. Phyllis and Del are the mothers of the lesbian rights movement, founders of the earliest lesbian activist organization in the United States, and perhaps the world, the Daughters of Bilitis. […]

before social security, stealthy security

Yesterday I was chatting with someone and they used the phrase “disguised retirement” for a professor who was post-tenure and doing what was required to keep getting paychecks but otherwise had punched out of their department and discipline. I hadn’t heard this phrase before, but I’m using it from now on.

“deep thoughts” with drek the uninteresting

This morning on the radio, the news announcer asked, “What would you do if you didn’t have enough skin to cover your entire body?”* My answer was, “Scream and seek medical attention,” but his answer had something to do with hermit crabs. Call me crazy, but I don’t think that will help. * True story, […]

stereotypes, heuristics, historical sociology, and cowboy iconography

There’s a really great episode of This American Life this week. This one is called “Got You Pegged”, and it’s about stereotypes and initial (wrong) judgments. If you’ve ever read Gerd Gigerenzer or other cognitive psych/bounded rationality micro-foundations of behavior stuff, you’ll find it really interesting. If you want to see how people extrapolate from […]


There needs to me something like that online map of what parts of the country people use soda vs. pop vs. coke, only about “guy” vs. “dude” and instead of geography, age.

reversal of porktune

During 2005, I lost >45 pounds using Weight Watchers Online and posted weekly progress updates while dieting.* At ASA the next year, someone told me that they used to read my blog but stopped when I was dieting because they were self-conscious about their own weight and found my own posts of success depressing. This year, […]


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