the polanski thing

I don’t get the outrage at Polanski’s arrest. The guy got a 13 year old drunk, drugged her, and forced her into having sex (both vaginal, and then worrying about the fact that she wasn’t on the pill, anal). Yes, his trial was botched. But here’s my read on it. Polanski got a ridiculously sweet deal because he was famous. And when it became clear that he should not have gotten such a deal because he was famous — that he might be treated like everyone else, he fled. Now people from Martin Scorsese to David Lynch to Woody Allen (!!!) are signing petitions to defend him. The LATimes story (linked above) does well to walk through the interview transcripts of the victim. I don’t know what I’m missing.

frontiers of polling and interpretation

Today’s NYT features, on the front page nonetheless, a story under the headline “Poll Finds Frustration on War and Health Plan.” Note that on the website they’ve changed the title to “In Poll, Public Wary of Obama on War and Health.” There are several interesting, problematic elements to the poll and the way it’s presented.

Continue reading “frontiers of polling and interpretation”

who is a young scholar?

Today my copy of blogger-pal, Eszter Hargittai’s new book, Research Confidential: Solutions to Problems Most Social Scientists Pretend They Never Have, arrived. Given the gauntlet of meetings I faced today and face everyday, I didn’t get through much of it, and it probably will be quite a while before I can finish it off. But I did buzz through the Preface, Introduction, and took a trip through another blogger-pal, Jeremy Freese’s chapter on secondary analysis of canned survey data (which is also, of course, the chapter that is the closest to being about my own research experiences).

In Eszter’s Preface, she notes that she asked “young scholars” to write the chapters for the book. I really liked this idea. Oft-times we turned to the wizened sages of Continue reading “who is a young scholar?”

oh my

This is sociologically useful I guess. I friended my aunt on Facebook, and after I posted one of those viral pro-health care reform things that was going around, she responded with notes equating health insurance reform with wanting a government handout because you are too lazy to work and then “everyone gets health care if they ARE DYING WHY DO U LIE” [stet on the capitalization] about that “nobody should die for lack of insurance” thingie. Well ok, I mean not all of us are used to writing in complete sentences and we do have different political opinions and this is my aunt after all, not some troll I don’t know.  I responded politely with my opinions. Continue reading “oh my”

i wonder how they got it to sign the consent form?

Fellow sociologists: have you ever been teaching a class and have felt the need to explain to students that while scientific research is generally a reliable way to gather knowledge, we have to be very careful not to trust our results too much? Have you ever wanted a great example to show why alpha error is a problem, and to explain why findings sometimes have to be considered provisional? Sure, we all have! Only now, I have a way to help. And do you want to know what the best part is?

It involves the brain of a dead fish.
Continue reading “i wonder how they got it to sign the consent form?”