I am working on an NSF proposal that will be my first grant proposal sent out from Northwestern with me as a listed (co-) Principal Investigator. Never mind what it’s about, for now. Part of the proposal right now is for an RA whose responsibilities will have a strong administrative component. I just got the numbers back from our grants person, and an 12-month half-time RA at Northwestern is more than $34,000 in direct costs–not counting fringe benefits–because it includes tuition as well as the stipend. You can hire a pretty competent staff person for the half-time equivalent of a $68,000 annual salary, especially given that there are still a lot of assistant professor positions in sociology that have a base starting salary lower than that. If I get the grant, I’m not sure what I will do. I’m not going to spend it on a graduate student who simply views working on the project as a job, that’s for sure, as that would make no economic sense. An advantage of my current employer is that my ability to recruit similarly-interested students to come here is not strongly tied to whether I can myself provide funding for them, as then I would probably feel compelled to use the money to invest in a student even if I didn’t feel the expenditure was in the best interest of the particular project.

another detractor!

We need a name for Our Detractors. My provisional nominee is “Scatterlings.” Anyway, we’ve got another skittish sociology Scatterling calling us out here. Skittish because this post first went up, then was taken down, and then was put back without links. Remember: “If the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit”? Not as catchy, but: “If you want to be pissy about other people online, you need to grow a freaking spine.” Especially if you are lobbing this stuff from behind a pseudonym to begin with. Come on!

Anyway, my favorite part of the new Scatterling’s post is this: Continue reading “another detractor!”

i’ll bite.

No one wants to be the poster who posts after a wildly successful (or controversial) blog entry because nothing seems like it could possibly compare to what came before it. But, eventually someone’s going to have to post again. Plus, I want to say something related to all of this, and I’d like to hear what other people think as well.

Of all the hype and comments about olderwoman’s post and related (or unrelated) matters, the one that struck the deepest chord in me was this one, on metafilter: Continue reading “i’ll bite.”

blog reflections

As Jeremy noted in a private communication, we got more traffic in the last couple days than a run of ASR. As my first experience in blogland, it was fascinating to see the attributions made off site. It is clear that most of the traffic was generated by Kieran Healy’s extract of the “angry” paragraph and that most of the commentators on other sites never read the whole post. You would think that “I chose to be angry rather than accept defeat and adapt to my constraints” would have been a tip-off, but apparently it was not. Continue reading “blog reflections”

choices, consequences, constraints

“While they are young, the children come first.” Last week, cleaning out old files, I found a stack of priority worksheets I’d written in 1989, in one of my bursts of self-improvement. (Ironically, my taste for self-improvement books and schemes is one of the things my children find embarrassing and annoying.) So I was already reflecting on choices and their consequences when Jeremy posted “someday” and Shamus posted “how do you say no?” With a little luck, Continue reading “choices, consequences, constraints”

sociology in the news!

From the Washington Post blog [HT: rdstevens]:

“A very attractive woman — looked like she just got finished teaching a sociology class at Bryn Mawr College, if you know what I mean — she said, ‘Senator Biden . . . I came fully prepared to be unimpressed with you.’ I said, ‘Well, thank you very much.’ “Joe Biden , telling a Concord, N.H., audience about a young woman who challenged him for wearing a flag pin (as reported by the Concord Monitor’s Ethan Wilensky-Lanford).

Insight into what he means welcome. (Also, here are the people who actually teach sociology at Bryn Mawr.)

sociologists to the rescue – stat!

Earlier this month, columnist Paul Krugman wrote about Giuliani’s misrepresentation of the differences in US and UK prostate cancer survival rates and  their role in his  misrepresentation of health care reforms proposed by Democrats.

A more extensive listing of Giuliani’s mis-stats appear on the front page of today’s NY Times.

Perhaps one of our home departments should offer up a first year quant/stats student to help candidates with their counting (I’d say “with their calculating” but I don’t think that’s the problem!)…

anomalies of rational choice

Why, rather than bringing myself short-term joy by looking at cheery photos on Cute Overload, or promoting my long-term well-being by being asleep, am I instead reading different accounts of this story over and over again, despite it being one of the more depressing and horrifying things I have read in some time? I mean, really, I feel like if I could, I would choose to take some magic pill and forget that the incident reported in the story ever happened, because it makes me feel so morose and angry. Yet, not only am I not forgetting it but I’m perseverating in reading source after source about it. Of course, given that I just identified the story as depressing and not something that would bring one any kind of happiness or obvious other form of utility, it’s unclear why you would click on any of the links to see what I was talking about. I hope you are more rational than I am–here, check out this adorable photo of a quokka instead.