fool me once, shame on you…

So a while back I submitted an article to a journal, which we shall call the Drekistan Journal of Sociology.* In the meantime, as the months have gone by with the wheels of publication grinding inexorably onward at their usual glacial pace, I was tagged for two reviews by the same journal. I completed both reviews and submitted them as a good little hopeful journal publishee should and went about my business.

A few weeks ago an e-mail popped up in my inbox from DJS that included the phrase “notification of decision.” My pulse pounded, my blood warmed, I felt all feverish, and images of both success and failure swirled through my brain in a very close approximation of Schrodinger’s feline companion. And then I noticed that the full subject line was “Reviewer notification of decision”. Yeah, it was just the journal letting me know how things turned out with a paper I reviewed.

I got on with my life, continued with other projects, and time wore on until yesterday I received another e-mail from DJS. My pulse pounded, my blood warmed, I felt all feverish, I hesitated over opening the message. And then I noticed the same thing. It was a reviewer notification of decision. This time around my verbal response to this let-down was such that I cannot repeat it on a fine and elegantly crafted blog such as this.

Honestly I don’t know what should bug me more: that I over-reacted the same way twice, or that two papers I’ve reviewed since submitting my own have gotten decisions before me.

* Not its real name.

h1n1 blues

H1N1 is stressing me out. A wave of it is going through the local schools. Four kids in Hamilton are in the ICU (that’s half the pediatric ICU beds in the city), and one healthy young boy died recently in a neighbouring town.

At the same time, the vaccine is tantalizingly close to being available. The vaccines just started being administered this week, but only for high-risk groups, and there are long line-ups of hundreds of people at each flu-shot clinic the province has put together. The rest of us will have to wait as this group gets priority–so far, this week and next have been dedicated to high-risk groups.

That means 10 more days at the earliest, and of course it will be more like 20 or so days to get everyone, and then you have to add in the 14 days it takes bodies to respond to the vaccine to develop immunity. A lot of people will suffer before the vaccines can be administered. Some MPPs are calling on the Ministry of Health to move to 24-hour vaccine delivery. That certainly would move things along and make it easier on working families, but no plans to move in that direction so far.

How are things going down in the States?

perils of astroturf

Earlier this week I (and, as it turns out, many other North Carolinians) received a postcard from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina:

bcbs1(The rest of the mailing is after the break.)

I, like many others, was infuriated that a nonprofit–which, apparently BCBSNC is–was using either my premium dollars or my tax dollars, or a combination thereof, to lobby against legislation that might threaten its business.

Continue reading “perils of astroturf”

they paid the whole bill

So, I got sick at the ASA this year. It was the worst timing possible. I started feeling sick on the airplane to San Francisco, a flight that carried about 12 sociologists on it, one of whom was seated right behind me across the aisle. I spent the 5-hour flight contemplating barfing in front of a colleague, but fortunately, I stopped short of losing my lunch. It only got worse from there, and though I tried to tough out attending one session and even making it to the bloggers’ party, I was mostly laid up in my hotel room. I found myself facing the Canadians’ worst nightmare: seeking medical care in the United States.

Continue reading “they paid the whole bill”

i’m in detroit!

On my way to Toledo, OH (presently writing from the Westin Hotel in the Detroit Airport — they have free wifi, fyi). The plane here was packed. I wondered, as I checked in, “why? We’re leaving at 9AM from NYC to Detroit. I can’t imagine it’s that busy a route…” My answer arrived as I sat on the plane and saw people pour in. They were all wearing Michigan gear, with a couple of folks in Penn State sweatshirts. College football! How could I forget? Then again, as I remember Wisconsin, folks would drive into town on game day. But I don’t recall flights being booked. Perhaps Michigan fans are richer? I should have realized something was up when I was sent my itinerary (I’m at a conference) and the ticket cost so much. There were no fights on the plane. But when we got up to disembark, the woman sitting next to me noticed another woman wearing Penn State gear ahead of us. She looked at me, incredulous, as if she had just seen someone do something truly abhorrent. When I failed to respond appropriately, she was equally disgusted with me. I miss college football.

economists’ free riding really is caused by treatment, not selection! [more apologies to marwell and ames]

I do mostly think about things besides Freakonomics (my first two posts notwithstanding). But since I got this bee in my bonnet about the climate chapter I’ve been watching their blog to how they would respond to the avalanche of criticism. And I came across a gem today that shows why you should never trust a freakonomist, or at least why you should worry about one who took Daniel Hamermesh‘s “500-student principles [of microeconomics, I hope] indoctrination class” at the U of Texas. Continue reading “economists’ free riding really is caused by treatment, not selection! [more apologies to marwell and ames]”