should sociologists have political commitments?

Over on OrgTheory, Steve Vaisey takes sociologists to task for what he seems to perceive as unwarranted political commitment. Apparently because sociologists tend to be “liberal” (as useless a term as that is), we are less objective than we ought to be and we think stuff for partisan, as opposed to soundly scientific, reasons. (I am paraphrasing here, of course.)

Continue reading “should sociologists have political commitments?”

103% chance that somebody will win

Curiously, as of this moment, both Obama and McCain’s estimated probability of victory on Intrade has risen about a point-and-a-half with the choice of Sarah Palin And Tall.

Also: for observers of genetics-in-society, Kay Bailey Hutchinson used as evidence of Palin’s character that she did not terminate a pregnancy with Down Syndrome.

from being a heartbeat away from miss alaska to being a heartbeat away from the presidency

Oy, the Republican presidential nominee I thought would be the toughest for the Democrats to beat chooses the Republican vice presidential nominee I thought would be the toughest for the Democrats to beat.

Kind of takes the euphoric edge off watching my candidate give the best nomination speech of my lifetime. Maybe Palin will end up coming across as wildly inexperienced.

what to do

This is a followup to today’s earlier post.  My spouse and I went by, our friends were alone, we hugged them a lot and sat with them for an hour while they cried and talked.  I’m glad I went.  The younger generation is asking me what they should do.  I thought you’d be interested, as a lot of older people don’t know either.   Many of you have had to be on the receiving end of this, so you may want to tweak the advice I gave the kids.  Here’s what I wrote (edited to be generic):  You don’t have to do a lot. Showing up is 90%. They are going to feel terrible no matter what, but they will remember that other people cared enough to show up. You don’t need to — it isn’t helpful to — try to say anything to make it better. You can’t. You just say how sorry you are and listen to them and, in a low key way, tell stories you remember about the good times you had with them. They are likely to cry and this is normal. It’s OK to remember funny and happy things, it is OK to laugh. It is OK to cry. Offer to leave every 15 minutes or so. If there is food out, it is ok to eat it. (People bring LOTS of food to the houses where there has been a death.)   These things are not done on appointments.  The hardest thing is know whether to call ahead.  Talking on the phone is really hard when you are grieving (your voice chokes up) and calling someone to say how sorry you are is not good unless you are a really close relative or friend and you are manifestly too far away to get there.  So you just kind of go over, and if it turns out to be a bad time, you come back a different time.   Or, if they have someone to handle the phone, you talk to that person to find out if it would be a good time to come over.  Or maybe call just to ask whether it is ok to come over.