bloggerly beverage at asa nyc ftw

The ASA is catching up with the times. There is WiFi in all the meeting rooms. They are webcasting the plenaries. The organization even announced the twitter hashtag for the meetings (#asa13 – four digit years are so Y2K). It might seem like things are changing too fast for you (if so, you can take a course from The HUB). But there is one thing you can always count on to remain steadfast in these tumultuous times: the bloggers will drink together at the ASA.

Please join us at

5pm on Sunday, August 11

for a bloggerly beverage at

Lillie’s Victorian Establishment

249 W 49th St

It will be so wonderful to see you there. As always, all blog participants-writers and readers, commenters and lurkers-are most welcome. Rumors to the contrary aside, we also like twitterers and tumblrrs. Come on by!

We encourage faculty to buy at least one drink for a thirsty student, who will someday impress her future colleagues: “I recommend Citizen Speak for your work on democratic participation.” “Oh, yes, Andy bought me an appletini in New York that time. What a nice guy.”

I hope you all can make it.

The 2013/14 US News Rankings

This morning, US News and World Reports published their graduate school rankings. However, rather than report rankings based on the data they collected last fall, they decided (for the first time in history) to average data collected in 2008 and 2012 to generate many of the lists, including sociology.

Continue reading “The 2013/14 US News Rankings”

asa baseball is back

You might think that we have abandoned the scatterplot tradition of organizing a trip to a baseball game during the ASA, but no! The ASA’s move to Las Vegas foiled our plans last year, but we are back on track in 2012, and I am especially excited because I have never, ever been to Coors Field. Ohmigodimgonnadieofexcitement!

I am tempted to suggest the Sunday afternoon game (a day game? in a new stadium? *breathe, breathe*), even though we would need to buy the tickets before the ASA program comes out, as we always do. However, I am willing to be talked down from that plan–here is the schedule. So, who is joining me?

Continue reading “asa baseball is back”

what happens at the blog party…

Excited for the ASA in Las Vegas? Not so much? Perhaps planning the bloggerly get-together will get us in the mood. Let’s check the possible bars for a meet-up:  a poolside lounge? too hot for conference wear vs. too much skin for pale academics. The Numb Bar on the casino floor? perhaps I will want to feel numb by then, but right now it just looks sad. The Pussycat Dolls Lounge? ugh, now I have mixed fanny packs with lap dances in my mind, and I need a shower. It looks like we must lower our standards for decor while raising our tolerance for cheesiness. And so, I am happy to announce:

Bloggettogether 2011: Vegas!

Sunday, August 21, 4:30pm at the Seahorse Lounge at Caesar’s Palace. Drink, chat, laugh, and look at Australian Pot Belly Seahorses with some two dozen of your closest bloggerly pals, real and pseudonymous. Join in the contest to guess the identity of the Disgruntled Sociologist! Discuss the merits of organizational transparency and amicus briefs, or sneak in a quick game of monopoly with Dan Myers.  Despite rumours to the contrary, we here at scatterplot are for progressive fee structures of all kinds, and so we encourage faculty to buy a beverage for a thirsty graduate student.

As ever, lurkers are as welcome as bloggers. You can find us by looking for the redhead who laughs too loudly and resembles her cartoon too closely.

trends in anonymous blogging.

Somehow – and much to my dismay, now that most of the day is behind me – I ended up tumbling down an internet rabbit hole today and venturing through blogs (and blog entries on still flourishing existing blogs) from yesteryear.*

When I looked back at those blogs (and early entries here), there were so many more anonymous/pseudonymous posts and bloggers than today. Is it just my imagination, or maybe the circles that I read in? If not, what accounts for these differences?

Have those same bloggers become more comfortable with the venue, and so switched to their given names? Has that cadre of bloggers become tenured or more comfortable with their prospects of being so in the near future, and so less worried about being visible on blogs? Is it a shift in topics (perhaps less complaining about colleagues, more exchanges of lofty ideas)? Is it the legitimacy of blogging that came with increasing numbers of high-status academics engaging in it? Is it that bloggers who sign their names to their ideas are more likely to continue blogging, as there’s more of a reputation – even if just as someone who sticks with things – to uphold? Is it a Facebook foot-in-the-door effect, where  having our given names such a central part of so many people’s online lives makes us more comfortable using them elsewhere, including on blogs?  My own guess is that it’s some combination of the above (and likely factors I didn’t think to include), but I’d like to hear what others think. Do those same people roam these blogs, just less disguised, or are participants in the academic blogosphere significantly different in the age of declining anonymity? 


*To provide some context, I started reading blogs in the summer of 2006.

data visualization

Yesterday, Kid came home from school with this graph that he made, displaying the results of his poll of the favorite drinks of the elementary class:

Note that the color of the graph bar (sort of) matches the beverage color. No, I don’t usually serve him lemon lime juice, but maybe I’ll start now. For the record, this was a fixed-response survey of the entire lower-elementary classroom. I guess sample design will be next week’s lesson.

best of alternative 2009

It’s time again for the year-in-review lists, and here is my fave of faves, Husband’s 2009 Best of Alternative Music list (iTunes link–should take you to the Canadian store*). I’ve mentioned before that Husband is a long-time list maker, and this was a good year for this genre.

I was also going to point out how much more awesometastic the Canadian list is than the American one (which is usually more boringly mainstream), but then I found out that the US store doesn’t even have a Best of Alternative list! It’s a tragedy for all the Rob Gordons of the world, who would be dying to spend 100+ hours to make such a list and donate it to Apple just for the love of music. And lists.

*To get to the Canadian store, click the little flag circle at the bottomest right on your iTunes main page.

mom, who were the first people in the world?

And thus began Kid’s immersion into evolution, a couple months ago in the car on the way to swim class. And I knew I’d love teaching Kid about evolution–it’s possible that Husband thinks I am too excited about it–but what I didn’t see coming is how much Kid loves it, too. Why? First, because there are dinosaurs. Kid loves dinosaurs. And second, because it’s about him. Kid loves stories about him. And a story that puts him and T-Rex into the same family tree? That is golden.

I’m no evolutionary biologist, though, so I knew I needed some help. Continue reading “mom, who were the first people in the world?”

drek, this contest is for you

Poor Drek, besotted with argumentative conspiracy theorists and burdened by his duties as one of only a handful of sociology royalty. He is surely on the path to madness as he struggles against Conservapedians. But, alas, a contest worthy of Drek’s passion and matched to his artistic skills. I give you, Drek, the Stick Figure Science Contest:

Your job is to create a cartoon that can be used to educate the general public and especially decision makers (state legislators, school board members) about the truth behind one false argument. Choose an argument …and create a cartoon that corrects the record.

Go, Drek, Go! Take your sharpened pencil and sketch up some science! We await your xkcd-like masterpiece.

baseball at the asa

Going to a baseball game at the ASA with people you’ve never met in person is a longstanding bloggerly tradition, almost as longstanding as drinking together, but not quite. This year, as the ASA is in San Francisco, Brayden and I are particularly excited to see our beloved Giants in our beloved Pac Bell AT&T Park. Because tickets go fast, and because the ASA website isn’t coughing up the details of our presentation times, we have to get tickets before we know our schedules. So, we’ve decided to catch a game on the evening of the last day of the conference, August 11, after things are all over. Continue reading “baseball at the asa”

mario kart party this friday!

wii-mario-kart-toad1Don’t forget that Friday, 8pm EST is the 2nd Occasional Mario Kart Wii Scatterplot Extravaganza. It will have all the pomp and circumstance of the inauguration, but without any of the metal detectors and frostbite. Our last party was really fun, and all of you (yes, even you) should feel warmly invited.

What, no Wii? Well, consider our special limited-time offer. For every Wii-owning friend you invite to the Mario Kart Party, we’ll give you a free invitation to go over to that friend’s house to play with us! Just leave a comment or send me an email and you are in.