Monthly Archives: September 2011

ask a scatterbrain: lecture recording

A reader writes in, “I discovered today that some number of students have been audio recording my lectures. I never gave my permission for these recordings to be done. I am willing to allow them to keep the existing recordings and make additional ones, as long as they promise to use these digital files for […]

wait, why are we paying for this twice?

To promote an item Gabriel left in a comment to its own post: Princeton University has apparently approved a policy that prevents faculty from being able to sign away all their copyright privileges, or at least to require a special waiver otherwise. At particular issue is the ability of journals to demand that authors sign […]

ASA Annual Report

We’ve been asked to be sure Scatterplotters read and comment on ASA’s first-ever annual report, prepared in response to our and other gripes about lack of information in the past.  Here’s the link:

sign here

Video of an imagined dialogue between a scientist and for-profit journal publisher [HT:JS]:

everybody hurts

Correlation, or causality? Within, as far as I can tell, roughly a 30 hour period: R.E.M. announces that they are breaking up; Presidential candidate Thaddeus McCotter is sought out by the media and says that he is “bummed” about the breakup; McCotter announces that he is dropping out of the Presidential race. Incidentally, for nearly […]

age of visualizations, cont’d

Awhile back I posted a link to a visualization of the expansion of the United States by the location of post offices. Here is an interesting visualization of the opposite sort: the change in Indian lands over the 19th century. Some of the comments on the linked post are also striking in a cesspooly way. […]

diction alert!

A manuscript reviewer points out: “Comprised of” is incorrect. And they’re right! Given my battles against related things like the use of “impact” as a transitive verb–I have, in the past, asked graduate students to refrain from this as a personal favor to me if nothing else–I am embarrassed to have been caught unawares.

crimes of disambiguation

(What happens if you enter “Howard Becker” into Wikipedia. Incidentally, P. vs. S. led to a recurrent confusion among grad students when I was at Wisconsin, as the origin story of Wisconsin Sociology’s rise to greatness involves a story about the nowadays lesser-known and half-century-dead Howard Becker. Somebody should add it to his Wikipedia entry, […]

can you imagine if they proposed doing the same thing with handguns in west virginia?

The University of West Virginia was embarrassed earlier this year when a student wearing a T-shirt that said “West [expletive deleted] Virginia” appeared briefly during a live broadcast of a football game. Of course, what can they do, they are a public university? Apparently they can’t even legally stop people from wearing the t-shirts to […]

beautiful questions

Beth Duckles of Bucknell University has written a passionate post on asking students beautiful questions. Beautiful questions don’t rest, but rather are generative. These are the questions that create more than they stay still. Beautiful questions inspire discussion, debate, engagement, inquiry and reflection. This is a very thoughtful response to the problems of grade inflation, […]

the end of don’t ask, don’t tell

Today is the first day of the U.S. military’s acceptance of lesbian, gay, and bisexual personnel (which, by the way, scatterplot predicted last year–who says sociology can’t predict the future?). The NY Times has a very moving story of one Airforce officer, Lt. Josh Seefried, who came out of the closet this morning at 12:01am. […]

godlessness pervasive in canada?

I don’t expect Canada to be anywhere near as religious as the United States, but these latest poll numbers indicate that only 53% of Canadians believe in God. The almost-half of Canadians who don’t believe includes 23% of people who regularly attend religious services, and a whopping one-third of Catholics. Given that the questionnaire is […]

kanazawa and racism (take 2)

Remember this? When LSE professor Satoshi Kanazawa wrote a post asking why Black women were less attractive? So, LSE has completed its internal review and disciplinary hearing. The result? Kanazawa is not allowed to publish anything that isn’t peer reviewed for one year, and won’t be teaching any required courses at the school. And he […]

through the looking-glass

Nearing the end of a four leg part-business/part-pleasure European trip, from Helsinki to Tallin to Berlin to Luxembourg. Sure, I could post about all the marvelous and beautiful things we’ve seen, but I’ve never been much for travelblogue. Instead, let’s talk design. Because Scandanavians are renowned for it, various slight adjustments that either prefer the […]

obesity or the octagon. up to you.

Spotted near campus: Parents, either you can have a sedentary child who sits around and plays video games all day, or you can pay to have them transformed into trained cage fighters.


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