Monthly Archives: May 2012

grading feedback

I’m finally done with grading. Well almost done. I’m still dealing with grade appeals. So what’s on my mind is some suggestions about grading, and I may write several posts on this theme. It is important to give students feedback along the way about what your records show for them, especially if the grade depends […]

brave, cute, or self-destructive?

After all their hard work last year to call the world’s attention to how evil Scott Walker is, Madison’s teaching assistants have declined to support Scott Walker’s opponent in the recall election. They don’t like the person nominated to run against him. Awhile back, in the primary, they also declined to support the person the […]

asa baseball 2nd chance

Did you miss your chance to order tickets for the ASA baseball game? Maybe you didn’t know about your trip schedule, or you didn’t want to take a chance on missing Just Desserts. Perhaps you were so excited about THE HUB that you couldn’t dream of walking away from the beating heart of technology information. […]

fox/msnbc parity

A study making the rounds from the Farleigh Dickinson University polling outfit is headlined “What you know depends on what you watch.” It’s a national version of the same group’s earlier study of New Jersey residents, both of which purport to show that exposure to partisan sources, such as Fox News and MSNBC, has a […]

verifying results

Lisa Wade recently made me aware that a group of psychologists have decided to try and verify the results of every article written in three journals in 2008. I think this is a great idea. And the likelihood that the results can be replicated look pretty unlikely. As the Chronicle piece I’ve linked to points […]

tea worthy

The Tea Party movement claims the mantle of Revolutionary forefathers to fight for liberty against the despotism of a distant ruler. They take their name from the Boston Tea Partiers who protested Britain’s taxation of Americans without representation in Parliament; a Parliament whose members nevertheless asserted power over the colonies “…in all cases whatsoever”. If […]

ego-networks on twitter

Neal Caren of UNC Chapel Hill has written up a handy guide to deriving the ego-networks of Twitter users as part of his series of tutorials on text analysis for social scientists. Neal uses my twitter account as his starting point, so you may find some familiar names in the network. I recommend the whole […]

Being a heterosexual white male is like playing a video game on “Easy”.

I so wish I could take credit for that observation but it is, in fact, the work of sci-fi author John Scalzi. He doesn’t just mention it as a one-liner, though, but instead takes the whole notion to its logical conclusion:

ask a scatterbrain: self-citation in works in progress

Is there a standard way to indicate that an author has cut and paste a chunk of text from an earlier work into a work-in-progress? As I move from one part of a larger project to another, I like to plunk down chunks of text as placeholders to frame the argument, provide theoretical or historical […]

herb gans interview

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Herb Gans and interviewing him on a forthcoming article, as well as his career in sociology. The interview is now online, alongside his article (which is provokative, and gave me a lot to talk about). I hesitated to post this because I worried that it would seem […]

the riley flap and anti-intellectualism

For those who haven’t been following it thus far, Horowitz wannabe Naomi Schaefer Riley wrote a screed about black studies as a paid blogger for the Chronicle of Higher Education, following up on the Chronicle’s generally positive news story about the discipline. There’s nothing particularly special about the screed; it’s garden-variety right-wing anti-intellectualism, peppered with […]

who’s guest blogging at the atlantic?

Gabriel Rossman, that’s who. You already read his blog, Code and Culture, and you are going to read his book, Climbing the Charts, as soon as it comes out. Now, for a short time only, you can read his posts on the lamestream, smarty-pants magazine of the lefty elite while sipping Pinot Grigio and eating […]

nc’s awful amendment one

It appears that, despite lots of work and fundraising by the forces of good and reason, my (adopted) state will allow its redneck-goober id to prevail over its progressive-sophisticated superego tomorrow. This despite the fact that the amendment’s sponsor said: he wanted a more narrowly worded amendment but was “overruled” by “national experts” he identified […]

graphics warning

Last week I was on a committee to give out a “best paper” award. Of the six nominated papers, two contained graphs that were completely incomprehensible because they had been produced in high-res color but were given to the committee as photocopies. In fact, I think this was 2 out of 2 of all the […]

are sociologists too nice?

Alan Sica argues that perhaps it is. One quote: Our special and newly formed version of Nice-Nellyism is different, in banishing to the outhouse scholarly criticism that might be interpreted by somebody or other as “harsh” or “unfeeling” or “off the wall” or “unsupportable,” et cetera. If an entire generation of bright young scholars is […]


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