Monthly Archives: June 2011

do student interests reveal the future of sociology?

Below the jump are the ASA sections ranked by the proportion of their members that are student members. I would have made it into a graph if I had sophomore-level Excel skills; as it is, you are lucky I managed to sort and round the numbers. Is this a good measure of the areas of […]

if harry hay could see them now

In the news today, trouble in gay softball leagues: what to do with all the straights who want to play, too. Leagues have limits, either everyone who plays must be gay, or there might be a 2-hetero limit on each team. The question becomes how to tell who has too many straights. The blurry and […]

free kittens or social measurement ideas

I was reviewing something yesterday that had a sentence of the form “Recent work, however, indicates that… (Smith 1997).” About which my first thought was, “That’s not recent.” And my second thought was, “Well, this paper is in a slow-moving specialty area, so maybe that does count as recent.” I wonder if somebody handy with […]

al gore invents something and all republicans want to do is tear it down

I looked through the Coburn report (hipsters pronounce it co-BURN re-PURN) ┬áthat recommends eliminating the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences directorate of NSF. The report contains a section that gives examples of smart funding by NSF. First on the list: the Internet. Second: cloud computing (i.e., the Internet). The latter half of it are studies […]

stata 12!

Stata 12 has been announced. The three biggest additions for sociologists are probably: 1. Structural equation modeling, including (sigh) a path-diagram drawing module for folks who cannot figure out what their diagram implies in terms of a set of linear equations. Includes FIML estimation for missing data, which is the SEM counterpart to multiple imputation […]

parents of the reading class: the backlash against your little ‘joke’ has begun

From, regarding the best-selling book Go the F*** to Sleep: “Crass in concept and execution, this is an expletive-filled bedtime story intended solely for the amusement of parents. [...] Imagine if this were written about Jews, blacks, Muslims or Latinos,” says Dr. David Arredondo. He is an expert on child development and founder of […]

welcome, dissidents!

So, just in case Scatterplot and Orgtheory end up squaring off in a race to get banned in China, I looked up a list of phrases that will supposedly put you on the golden road to getting blocked. Phrases of potential relevance to handicapping the contest: 1. A power law [advantage, Orgtheory, which occasionally discussions […]

global minima

Social scientists have recently been involved with exploring the possibilities of using Amazon Mechanical Turk for various research purposes. (What about data entry? Has anyone used it for data entry?) In a twist, here are some journalists using Mechanical Turk to try to figure out the minimum wage for which they could at least get […]

worrying world of psychiatry

Marcia Angell has written a fascinating two-part (here and here) review in the New York Review of Books on the transformation of the psychiatric profession over the last 50 years — my post is mostly a rehash of her longer argument. What I find most fascinating is that the theory that depression is caused by […]

unhealthy obsession, revived

So, I tend to get obsessed with facts, figures, and numbers. It’s not healthy. Initially I was obsessed with the visit statistics here on scatterplot. I stopped caring about that after a few months. But when my book came out in January… wow was that an entirely different story. Particularly, I started an unhealthy obsession […]

the tweet hereafter

I cleaned out the blogroll today, for the first time in years. I was surprised by how many once-upon-a-soc-blogs had not simply become inactive, but had disappeared entirely.

social causes of death

There is a new piece in the American Journal of Public Health┬áthat does a meta analysis of the “social causes” of death: poverty (individual and area), segregation, low levels of education, and inequality. The results shouldn’t surprise. In 2000 approximately 245,000 deaths in the United States in the year 2000 were attributable to low levels […]

rising expectations?

Greetings from, Thank you for your recent inquiry. Did your contact with Customer Care exceed your expectation? If yes, please click here: [link] If no, please click here: [link] So if I expected a rapid and complete resolution of my problem by a friendly and well-trained representative and that’s what I got, do I […]

ask a scatterbrain: journal submission length

Posted by request of a reader: Some journals have maximum length guidelines for manuscripts that one submits, perhaps in page count or word length. If a journal’s guide to authors says that the maximum length is, say, a maximum of 9,000 words, what gets included in that word count if the guidelines do not explicitly […]

adventures in entitlement

This video is all the rage in NY right now. With titles varying from “Well-Educated Person Wrongfully Accused of Being Loud on Train” to “‘Educated’ Snob Berates Train Conductor for No Good Reason“. From the person who recorded this and put it on youtube, “This woman was talking too loud on the train when the […]


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