sociology in the news!

From the Washington Post blog [HT: rdstevens]:

“A very attractive woman — looked like she just got finished teaching a sociology class at Bryn Mawr College, if you know what I mean — she said, ‘Senator Biden . . . I came fully prepared to be unimpressed with you.’ I said, ‘Well, thank you very much.’ “Joe Biden , telling a Concord, N.H., audience about a young woman who challenged him for wearing a flag pin (as reported by the Concord Monitor’s Ethan Wilensky-Lanford).

Insight into what he means welcome. (Also, here are the people who actually teach sociology at Bryn Mawr.)

sociologists to the rescue – stat!

Earlier this month, columnist Paul Krugman wrote about Giuliani’s misrepresentation of the differences in US and UK prostate cancer survival rates and  their role in his  misrepresentation of health care reforms proposed by Democrats.

A more extensive listing of Giuliani’s mis-stats appear on the front page of today’s NY Times.

Perhaps one of our home departments should offer up a first year quant/stats student to help candidates with their counting (I’d say “with their calculating” but I don’t think that’s the problem!)…

anomalies of rational choice

Why, rather than bringing myself short-term joy by looking at cheery photos on Cute Overload, or promoting my long-term well-being by being asleep, am I instead reading different accounts of this story over and over again, despite it being one of the more depressing and horrifying things I have read in some time? I mean, really, I feel like if I could, I would choose to take some magic pill and forget that the incident reported in the story ever happened, because it makes me feel so morose and angry. Yet, not only am I not forgetting it but I’m perseverating in reading source after source about it. Of course, given that I just identified the story as depressing and not something that would bring one any kind of happiness or obvious other form of utility, it’s unclear why you would click on any of the links to see what I was talking about. I hope you are more rational than I am–here, check out this adorable photo of a quokka instead.