Chris Kennedy, no brainer

So Chris Kennedy, chair of the UIUC BoT, says the decision to fire Steven Salaita would be a “no braineroutside academia. But since Salaita was actually fired inside academia I find myself asking who would think “this is how it is done outside academia” ought to be a winning claim here.

Continue reading “Chris Kennedy, no brainer”

clownish conflation of ascription and achievement constitutes calumny

[There is a short update/response for readers coming from Tablet/Liebovitz at bottom; click here to jump]

It’s been, um, 3+ years since I last posted here but I’m gonna exploit my not yet lapsed login to follow up on Dan’s post on the Salaita/UIUC affair…. It’s not short though so tl;dr: pulling things out of context to wreck reputations is calumny; that has been happening to Steven Salaita; in a world in which we tweet and blog and some of our fearless leaders are spineless, we need to worry about bad faith academic vigilantism.

The reasons this post has to be long are, well, my point is that it’s easy to pull things from context especially when the context is twitter/bloggorrhea; I’m writing about something controversial and calling someone out (though in response to his own very public and dishonest defense of someone else unfairly being denied his frigging livelihood); and I’m gonna be damn sure to provide context (and links). I may have tenure and be governed by people other than Phyllis Wise and Chris Kennedy, but I don’t need that s**t.

If you want to get to my main value-add net of what’s out there, jump to my parlor; if you you’d like some entertaining but irrelevant linkbait about diarrheaous clowns click here; for the whole post:

Continue reading “clownish conflation of ascription and achievement constitutes calumny”

should yankee-haters vote republican?

Shakha posted the other day about how he hates the Yankees. I hate them too. And today I see Ari Fleischer’s op-ed in the NYT lamenting (since he’s a Republican) that the Yankees haven’t won under a Republican since Eisenhower. In fact, going back to the depression, they’ve got 3 “World” (aka the US) Series wins under Republicans, and 21 under Democrats. Fleischer concludes from this that Yankee-haters should vote Republican. So I was musing about this. What to do, what to do? I do hate the Yankees. And suddenly it dawned on me. I know why the Yankees win more when a Dem is in office.

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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]”

superfreakonomists don’t understand how to stop free riding. does anyone else? [apologies to marwell and ames]

Superfreakonomics is out. Well, one chapter of it is out because it sort of escaped. Levitt and Dubner have turned their professional contrarianism on climate change and — it seems — they were not so careful as they might have been with some of their facts and interpretations. Holy hell has broken loose in the blogosphere. People are not happy. Dubner has now responded to some of it. I can’t say I’m very convinced by what he has to say. I’ve read the chapter, and it seems to me that I’ve noticed a problem beyond the zillions that have already been identified. You see, Levitt and Dubner close with what has been described as a “silly analogy” but when you really look at it, it becomes clear that the problem isn’t that it’s silly. It’s that they don’t understand the implications of their own analogy. And they don’t understand them, I think, because they ignore basic sociology. Continue reading “superfreakonomists don’t understand how to stop free riding. does anyone else? [apologies to marwell and ames]”