Monthly Archives: October 2009

fool me once, shame on you…

So a while back I submitted an article to a journal, which we shall call the Drekistan Journal of Sociology.* In the meantime, as the months have gone by with the wheels of publication grinding inexorably onward at their usual glacial pace, I was tagged for two reviews by the same journal. I completed both […]

h1n1 blues

H1N1 is stressing me out. A wave of it is going through the local schools. Four kids in Hamilton are in the ICU (that’s half the pediatric ICU beds in the city), and one healthy young boy died recently in a neighbouring town. At the same time, the vaccine is tantalizingly close to being available. […]

perils of astroturf

Earlier this week I (and, as it turns out, many other North Carolinians) received a postcard from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina: (The rest of the mailing is after the break.) I, like many others, was infuriated that a nonprofit–which, apparently BCBSNC is–was using either my premium dollars or my tax dollars, […]

puzzling sign from campaign ’09

they paid the whole bill

So, I got sick at the ASA this year. It was the worst timing possible. I started feeling sick on the airplane to San Francisco, a flight that carried about 12 sociologists on it, one of whom was seated right behind me across the aisle. I spent the 5-hour flight contemplating barfing in front of […]

i’m in detroit!

On my way to Toledo, OH (presently writing from the Westin Hotel in the Detroit Airport — they have free wifi, fyi). The plane here was packed. I wondered, as I checked in, “why? We’re leaving at 9AM from NYC to Detroit. I can’t imagine it’s that busy a route…” My answer arrived as I […]

economists’ free riding really is caused by treatment, not selection! [more apologies to marwell and ames]

I do mostly think about things besides Freakonomics (my first two posts notwithstanding). But since I got this bee in my bonnet about the climate chapter I’ve been watching their blog to how they would respond to the avalanche of criticism. And I came across a gem today that shows why you should never trust […]

ask a scatterbrain: unethical to assign your own books?

My colleague Neil McLaughlin has a blog post over at Canada’s Academic Matters that argues that it is unethical to require students to buy your own books, or at least to profit from the sale of those books: There are, of course, good pedagogical reasons why a professor might want to assign a book they […]

Relevance, Mr. Coburn?

Since this hasn’t been said (at least not directly) here yet: What I find disturbing about this whole recent spasm regarding the public relevance of political science is that the “hard” sciences are automatically assumed to have relevance and therefore are immune to critiques about exotic questions and lacking “obvious public benefits.” I spent about […]

anonymous econ grads behaving badly

Sent to me by a collague:

nourish the socijournals wiki.

While there have been some recent updates to the wiki devoted to journal turn-around times and experiences, it’s been largely neglected of late. I thought a plug on scatterplot might reinvigorate it. Certainly some of our readers have had good, bad, or ugly experiences with a journal or two – particularly post-summer.

superfreakonomists don’t understand how to stop free riding. does anyone else? [apologies to marwell and ames]

Superfreakonomics is out. Well, one chapter of it is out because it sort of escaped. Levitt and Dubner have turned their professional contrarianism on climate change and — it seems — they were not so careful as they might have been with some of their facts and interpretations. Holy hell has broken loose in the […]

ask a scatterbrain: qual data analysis software

Two questions really. One from a dedicated reader: “I am thinking about purchasing NVIVO 8.  It looks awesome.  Evidently you can code interview recordings directly, which I think would be an improvement on my usual method of taking minute-by-minute notes on an interview, coding the notes, and then transcribing selectively. Also, you can code PDFs, […]

the etiquette must catch up with the technology

Say you walk up to two people having a conversation. It is obviously rude to just interrupt that conversation with whatever it is you want to talk about, and the norm is to hover about until you are acknowledged, politely apologize for interrupting and then say what is on your mind. Similarly, if you walk […]

if it’s on amazon it must be true…

Yes, we sent in the manuscript, yes it’s on its way–if Amazon says it it must be true!


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