Re: Various

1

That second link was really long, but I'm going to do what I have to do in order to get my job title switched to "Inter-universal Geometer."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 10:59 AM
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I habitually reference "you got your chocolate in my peanut butter!" but people are so young these days you get some looks of puzzlement. I found myself explaining it to the guy at the pickle stand (not euphemism) at the farmer's market and then having that "oh no, it's a dead end!" feeling as I realized I could not explain why someone was roller-skating with an open container of peanut butter.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 11:02 AM
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I realized I could not explain why someone was roller-skating with an open container of peanut butter.

Obviously, he was trying to prove the ABC conjecture.



Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 11:05 AM
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A= chocolate

B= peanut butter

C= marketable candy bar


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 11:07 AM
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Always Be Calculating.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 11:12 AM
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2 -- I was looking for the one where the skinny Italian guy say "Bravissimo" and the Brooklyn kid says 'Yeeaahh' but it seems to be too old for youtube. They have the opera one, though: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGsWqGX6bvA


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 11:15 AM
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I was looking for the one with a woman in a dirndl and Kate Beckinsale dressed like in Underworld but I think maybe that was just in my head.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 11:19 AM
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OH YEAH, WITH THE STROBE LIGHTS AND THE WHIPPED CREAM? LET ME FIND THAT.


Posted by: OPINIONATED MOBYHICK'SBRAINTUBE | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 11:28 AM
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To even begin to parse the four papers posted in August 2012, one would have to read through hundreds, maybe even thousands, of pages of previous work, none which had been vetted or peer-reviewed.
That's some galactic-class trolling.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 11:31 AM
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9: Well, I don't have any plans for the weekend. I'll let you all know on Monday whether it adds up.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 11:39 AM
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6: I think I had completely forgotten that. Certainly I didn't realize it was "Largo al factotum" or indeed any specific aria at the time.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 11:58 AM
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It is very sad to see things involving peanut butter when you have given up peanut butter.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 11:58 AM
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From the second link: It was totally novel, and totally mystifying.

I think we've discovered Urple's secret identity!


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 12:00 PM
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"Sir, when a man is tired a peanut butter, he is tired of life."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 12:01 PM
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Has anyone here used writeLaTeX for collaboration? I would adore to be able to work in LaTeX and just get inline comments from someone who doesn't want to (re)learn it.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 12:12 PM
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15: that looks really neat.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 12:24 PM
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Speaking of non-sequiturs, boy do I hate the organized publishers' community:

"We don't want this treaty to result in weaker copyright protection or strengthened copyright protection," he said. The blind community just wants easier access to books. US rightsholders have other ideas. In a Wednesday phone interview, a spokesman for the A[merican] A[ssociation of] P[ublishers] told us that any treaty that enhances access for blind people must be coupled with provisions that shore up the rights of copyright holders. His organization has also pushed for additional restrictions on when non-profit organizations would be allowed to produce accessible versions of books.

Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 12:27 PM
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So there's still no punchline on whether Mochizuki might be on the right track? Huh.

There's some guy in my field who's been posting a series of papers for about ten years claiming to be making progress on, and recently maybe solving, a theoretical problem that I think is of great significance. No one ever cites his papers except him, and he seems to use some weird techniques that might or might not make sense. Ordinarily this would set off my crackpot indicators like crazy and I would ignore the papers completely. But something about what this guy is doing kind of feels right to me in a way that makes me not totally want to dismiss it, although I'm not really likely to put in the time to figure out what he's up to either. So I'm left in this weird state of feeling kind of guilty for not paying more attention.

But unlike the Mochizuki case, in the case of the guy I'm thinking of I'm not sure there's any such general sense in the community, it's probably just me.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 3:09 PM
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Speaking of academia, I was on a PhD defense committee for the first time today and, um, it was much less pleasant than I thought it would be. The guy passed, but I'm not feeling very good about sending him out into the world.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 3:10 PM
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Also I had too much of the post-defense champagne.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 3:16 PM
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You blame his mother instead of yourself and the rest of the committee.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 3:16 PM
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After all, she will get flowers or lunch or something tomorrow.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 3:17 PM
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22: You mean Sunday?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 4:21 PM
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One of those days.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 4:38 PM
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when you're angry inside?

don't take it personal.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 5:02 PM
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Hey, one of the guys interviewed in the second link is my cousin!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 5:42 PM
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Variously: It turns out that a sous-chef is not the person who preps all the stuff for the chef to cook.

Apparently that is just the line cook or something. Pish.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 6:26 PM
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Parsimon! I have a not-necessarily-interesting coincidence to report!

On the very day that you mentioned your cat Monkey by name, my friend K. returned from lunch telling tales of dining with children whose cat is called the very same thing. Your Monkey is not alone (although the four-year-olds in question also couldn't explain why their cat had that name).


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 7:19 PM
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Hey, fellow Harvard alums: have you been following the Jason Richwine saga? Here's the latest I've seen. That post is a mess of complaint about various things.

If people don't know about this, Richwine is co-author of a recent Heritage Foundation study alleging that some version of the immigration reform bill before Congress will cost $6.3 trillion dollars (I think that was the figure). It turns out Richwine's dissertation -- earned at Harvard -- avers that hispanic persons are constitutionally, racially, of low IQ. The dissertation argues that immigration policy should take IQ into consideration.

It now develops that Richwine's dissertation was somehow supported by AEI. His acknowledgements, from the link above:

I am indebted to the American Enterprise Institute for the its generous support, without which this dissertation could not have been completed. In particular, I must thank Henry Olsen, vice president of AEI's National Research Initiative for bringing me to AEI and supporting my research. The substance of my work was positively influenced by many people, but no one was more influential than Charles Murray, whose detailed editing and relentless constructive criticism have made the final draft vastly superior to the first. I could not have asked for a better primary advisor.

It's not clear to me where that quotation comes from. Richwine has now resigned from the Heritage Foundation.

Aside from various things about the embarrassment Heritage has become (if it wasn't already), and thoughts about Jim DeMint's new leadership there, this is bothering me:

Harvard? I don't usually feel much alumna loyalty, but is it normal for a dissertation to be sponsored somehow in some way by a think tank?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 7:31 PM
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I'd heard about the racism but not that he wrote it at Harvard.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 7:34 PM
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Plus, you guys have a shitty football team. Should have gone to a Big Ten school.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 7:36 PM
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This article has been bugging me all day, because it sure *looks* to me like the statement of the ABC conjecture is totally wrong, but no one on the internet seems to be complaining about it even though every mathematician has linked to the article. So probably I'm just missing some reason why it's equivalent to ABC. But I just can't see how.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 7:39 PM
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Oh dear, I hadn't refreshed the thread.

28: joyslinger! I do actually kinda sorta know why Monkey is so named: my household had a cat who looked a lot like him, whose name was Boy. Sometimes we inadvertently called the new cat "Boy", which was wrong, because the new cat was not Boy, of course. There was a brief segue to "Monkey Boy" (cf. Buckaroo Banzai), which then became Monkey.

None of this was especially intentional or conscious or anything. You kind of blurt out names when you're talking to a cat.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 7:41 PM
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I vaguely recall that maybe some chemistry grad students were supported by pharma companies? Certainly some professors were but don't know if specific stipends attached to specific students. I guess that's not really the same as think tanks- this was basic research, not something like clinical trials where the results had an economic impact on the sponsor.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 7:43 PM
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have you been following the Jason Richwine saga?

The part where my mind boggles even more than all the craaaazy racism is the fact that "Hispanic" is a made-up category of people from dozens of cultures, with African, European, and indigenous heritage. Like, what does it even MEAN to say that "Hispanics are X"?

The social construction of ethnicity, I do not think he grasps it.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 7:45 PM
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The ABC Conjecture essentially says that when there are lots of prime factors on the left hand of the equation then, usually, there will be not very many on the right side of the equation.

This part? Yeah, that's wrong, I think. (1 + 31 = 2^5 has more primes on the right than on the left, but 1, 31, 32 is not an ABC triple.)


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 7:45 PM
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The social construction of ethnicity, I do not think he grasps it.

I'm pretty sure Richwine has an intuitive understanding of the "one drop" rule, though.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 7:46 PM
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||

Hooray! Unfoggedycon babysitting problem solved.

|>


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 7:52 PM
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They need to be whole numbers, and a and b cannot share any common factors, that is, they cannot be divisible by the same prime number.
I think that means you can't use 1s? I mean, you could put an infinite number of ones on either side.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 7:53 PM
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Even more problematically, if the RHS is something like the product of the first 10 primes, then the statement in the article has no resemblance whatsoever to the ABC conjecture. Any phrasing of the ABC conjecture has to mention *repeated prime factors* somewhere to make sense.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 7:53 PM
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Goddamn HTML tags on an iPad.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 7:53 PM
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39: 1 is not considered prime, for exactly that reason.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 7:54 PM
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Yes, so the example in 36 is invalid is what I'm saying.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 7:57 PM
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So make it 2 + 29.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 7:57 PM
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Er, 3 + 29.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 7:57 PM
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Or maybe 36 is already saying that.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 7:57 PM
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I'm assuming the author got the examples from a mathematician but then screwed up the explanation, because it really is true that third example illustrates the kind of thing that ABC says shouldn't happen much. But not for the reason given in the article. What's wrong with the 3rd example is that the big terms have the same prime factor repeated many times, which is much more special than just that there are a lot of primes.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 8:01 PM
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But maybe I'm missing something, like maybe there's some version of ABC that says something like this, because maybe being a product of lots of distinct small primes is rare for some other reason.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 8:02 PM
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Math is hard!


Posted by: Opinionated Barbie | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 8:03 PM
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Using a 1 doesn't matter, because the article is stating the problem incorrectly. An ABC triple is (a, b, c) such that a and b are coprime, a + b = c, and c > r(abc) where r is the radical function*. The ABC conjecture is about whether there is a maximum "gap" between r(abc) and c, not the number of distinct factors per se.

* The product of unique prime factors -- so r(7) is 7, r(4) is 2, and r(36) is 6.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 8:07 PM
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r is the radical function*.
* The product of unique prime factors -- so r(7) is 7, r(4) is 2, and r(36) is 6.

King Radical is going to be so pissed when he learns about this.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 8:10 PM
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I see you all are talking about something else entirely, but on the Jason Richwine front, the abstract for his dissertation, apparently done at the Kennedy School.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 8:12 PM
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King Radical is going to be so pissed when he learns about this.

In Radical Land, quality is unbounded.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 8:13 PM
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(I think the point of the 1 question was understanding what "relatively prime" means. 7 and 15=3*5 are relatively prime because there's no prime dividing both of them. Of course 1 does divide both of them, but that's ok because 1 isn't prime.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 8:13 PM
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51,3: hah!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 8:19 PM
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It's a good article, but there's really no excuse for not running the statement of ABC in the article by a mathematician. Somehow the conventions of journalistic ethics are totally screwed up on this kind of point (i.e. having an expert check the statement would be "giving sources too much control of the article").


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 8:22 PM
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Basically you want to compare C to the product of all the primes that you see anywhere. So 3+5^3 = 2^7 is bad because 2^7 is bigger than 2*3*5. Whereas the other examples aren't problems because the product of all the primes in sight is huge. ABC says that the product of all the primes in sight can't be too much smaller than C.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 8:27 PM
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An example in the other direction is 1+48 = 49, where the lefthand side has five primes according to the article and the right only two, but it is an ABC triple!


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 8:37 PM
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For the record, if anyone's interested in the Richwine thing Dave Weigel is on the job.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 8:51 PM
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59: In it, Richwine provided statistical evidence that Hispanic immigrants, even after several generations, had lower IQs than non-Hispanic whites.

I find Weigel's phrasing deeply objectionable. "Made statistical claims," maybe.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 9:04 PM
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And he's dead wrong, and ignorant, on this: Immigration reform's political enemies know--and can't stand--that racial theorists are cheering them on from the cheap seats.

Not so much cheering them on from the cheap seats as funding them from the luxury boxes.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 9:08 PM
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That was me, quoting Weigel again.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 9:08 PM
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I got too drunk to math, so I don't want to do statistics.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 9:20 PM
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60: True enough. Or "claimed statistical evidence", or variations thereon. I see I also linked to page 2 of the post -- sorry.

I don't think Weigel is being equivocal, though, for what it's worth. I favored the post for all the links to background information.

In any event, I admit I'd like to see some people and institutions taken to account for this chain of events. I admit that I'd like the Kennedy School of Government to have something to say for itself for approving this guy's work at all. Jesus christ. (I realize this is the smallest of concerns given the broader context, but it kind of pisses me off.)

More broadly, let's hope that the Heritage Foundation flounders; its new Heritage Action branch has been doing some damage.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 9:24 PM
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61: Oh. Yeah. Agreed on that, actually. I dunno why Weigel doesn't see that. Immigration reform's political enemies know -- and love -- that racial theorists are providing them support. BUT IT'S A SECRET.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 9:31 PM
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is it normal for a dissertation to be sponsored somehow in some way by a think tank?

Kennedy School dissertations Policy Analysis Exercises are always done for outside organizations.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 10:35 PM
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35

The part where my mind boggles even more than all the craaaazy racism is the fact that "Hispanic" is a made-up category of people from dozens of cultures, with African, European, and indigenous heritage. Like, what does it even MEAN to say that "Hispanics are X"?

According to this paper self-identified Hispanics are in fact a distinct population. The abstract:

We have analyzed genetic data for 326 microsatellite markers that were typed uniformly in a large multiethnic population-based sample of individuals as part of a study of the genetics of hypertension (Family Blood Pressure Program). Subjects identified themselves as belonging to one of four major racial/ethnic groups (white, African American, East Asian, and Hispanic) and were recruited from 15 different geographic locales within the United States and Taiwan. Genetic cluster analysis of the microsatellite markers produced four major clusters, which showed near-perfect correspondence with the four self-reported race/ethnicity categories. Of 3,636 subjects of varying race/ethnicity, only 5 (0.14%) showed genetic cluster membership different from their self-identified race/ethnicity. On the other hand, we detected only modest genetic differentiation between different current geographic locales within each race/ethnicity group. Thus, ancient geographic ancestry, which is highly correlated with self-identified race/ethnicity--as opposed to current residence--is the major determinant of genetic structure in the U.S. population. Implications of this genetic structure for case-control association studies are discussed.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 10:36 PM
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67: Fuck off, racist.

I don't comment super regularly, but I ought to make an effort to do this more often. The rest of you should really do this if I'm not around.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 10:46 PM
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Don't encourage him.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 10:58 PM
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66: Sounds like it's actually more like a practicum or studio project than a dissertation. Which makes sense for a program like that.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 10:59 PM
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69: If merely ignoring is what was collectively decided on, I can do that, but it doesn't appear to be having any kind of impact. Saying something probably won't either, but I still feel like regularly posted and unchallenged racism makes Unfogged look somewhat culpable.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 11:24 PM
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71: Fair enough, and this is something we've discussed a bit lately, but he's obviously saying stuff like this mostly to get a reaction and giving him that only incentivizes him to do it more.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 11:26 PM
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71

69: If merely ignoring is what was collectively decided on, I can do that, but it doesn't appear to be having any kind of impact. Saying something probably won't either, but I still feel like regularly posted and unchallenged racism makes Unfogged look somewhat culpable.

If 67 was racism the word has lost all meaning. And you aren't challenging it (by say finding papers that point out problems with the paper I linked) you are just ranting.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 11:37 PM
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32: I have to admit that when I read the article about the abc conjecture that I skipped the explanation of the conjecture itself. I imagine many people did likewise.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 12:01 AM
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Delurking, possibly unhelpfully, but that study does not make the claim the Shearer is representing it as making. Direct quote: "On the other hand, one prior study of Hispanics did not suggest a distinct cluster for this group, possibly because of the heterogeneous origins of that Hispanic sample (Stephens et al. 2001). From the genetic perspective, Hispanics generally represent a differential mixture of European, Native American, and African ancestry, with the proportionate mix typically depending on country of origin. Our sample was from a single location in Texas and was composed of Mexican Americans."


Posted by: Sarabeth | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 12:08 AM
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75: Thanks, that is helpful. My first thought on reading that excerpt was to wonder what their Hispanic sample was like.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 12:14 AM
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75

Delurking, possibly unhelpfully, but that study does not make the claim the Shearer is representing it as making. ...

I quoted the abstract in full. The abstract should be an accurate summary of the results of the paper. However I had not read the paper carefully and I must agree that the abstract overstates the paper's actual results with respect to Hispanics. In particular the abstract certainly doesn't make it clear that almost all the Hispanics in the study came from a single location. Which does make the clustering result less impressive. Oh well.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 1:04 AM
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68.1 to 77


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 6:15 AM
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66: Thanks, Mr. Blandings. Huh. I had no idea the MPP involved that sort of thing. Huh. "Client organizations", huh? I, uh, am a little surprised. More than a little. I didn't know the Kennedy School was in that business.

So it's like a direct pipeline to propaganda scholarship bearing the Harvard imprimatur. That's fucking bullshit.

So Richwine's was not a "dissertation", in any case.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 9:11 AM
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From this image that Brad DeLong has, it sure was called a dissertation and it was for a PHD.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 9:15 AM
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80: Well, I don't know, then. I give up. He got an AEI-sponsored Ph.D. with a 40-page paper, or he didn't. I dunno.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 9:23 AM
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Wait, being on a thesis committee means you're supposed to read the thesis?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 9:46 AM
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About the Richwine thing: I don't know how academic culture works in other fields, especially those that are more enmeshed in politics, but at least from what I've seen, there's very strong pressure to not fail someone at a thesis defense. A thesis defense means their advisor thinks they are ready to graduate. The champagne has already been bought, their friends are gathered nearby to celebrate, they have a job a lined up already that assumes they will receive the degree.

So I don't think the right question is "how did a committee let Richwine pass his PhD defense?" It's: at what stage did this go wrong? Was he obviously wanting to do racist research when he applied to grad school? Did his advisor just pay no attention to his work and rubber-stamp it, and the rest of the committee followed suit? Or is publishing racist research just something that happens in this field, and so the problem runs much deeper? It's hard not to think that the blame should fall mostly on his PhD advisor. But maybe advising doesn't work in the same way in his field?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 10:22 AM
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||

You know how we've talked sometimes about recording our voices so other members of the Unfoggedtariat can hear them? I spent half an hour or hour this morning narrating something for my housemate's public sculpture installation in Tennessee. It's only about 1 minute long, but I had to rewrite my housemate's draft script and clear my throat a lot and practice for a while.

His piece is part of a public art walk thingy in the town in question, and those walking around looking at the pieces can access explanations of each piece via cellphone. It's supposed to be the artist him- or herself talking about the piece, but my housemate didn't want to do it, doesn't like his own voice, and I owed him a favor.

So. You can hear me if you dial 423-200-3205, and punch in item (artwork) number 104 followed by the pound sign. The piece in question is pictured here, from a previous installation.

Crikey. What kind of gobbledygook am I even saying? Why do I sound like a newscaster or a PBS documentary narrator? (Because I was narrating.) Do I have a totally flat affect or sound like I have a sore throat or no sense of humor whatsoever? Oh, well.

I will say that I do not recognize my own voice at all in that, which is sort of weird.

|>


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 10:22 AM
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Wowsers, I read about Richwine without realizing this was a PHD defense. I thought it was one of those undergraduate theses that are basically term papers which get you an "Honors" stamp on your diploma.

Who was his adviser? J. Philippe Rushton?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 10:24 AM
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The questions asked in 83 should in no way be taken to reflect any thoughts that went through my head or were openly discussed at the defense I was involved in yesterday. Nope, no resemblance whatsoever.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 10:24 AM
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Hey! J. Philippe Rushton died last year! I missed the encomia and masturbation bans.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 10:29 AM
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It also seems possible that in some narrow, technical sense the research was correct-- given the data set he collected, he correctly computed some statistics-- and that the academic literature contains a vein of such narrow, technically correct literature, so his advisor judged him to be making a contribution to this literature and thus ready to receive a PhD. Of course, at the big-picture level, it's terrible and displays all sorts of wrongheaded thinking, the motivation is ambiguous at best, and anyone with any perspective should see that awarding a PhD for such work is a bad idea. But a lot of academics are narrow, technical people; asking them to put things in perspective just makes them squirmy and defensive.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 10:35 AM
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83: It's: at what stage did this go wrong?

Yeah, agreed. It looks like the advisors paid no attention, etc. I haven't read around much more about this, and probably many people on the interwebs have more things to report.

But, you know, you don't write a Ph.D. dissertation sponsored by an agenda-driven think tank. You just don't. Unless, apparently, you do.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 10:43 AM
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I went to grad school with at least one person who was getting funding from the Templeton Foundation. It made some people uncomfortable, but his work still fit in the mainstream of academic research, so it was hard to really say anything about it.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 10:57 AM
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There is all kinds of of agenda driven research, much of it funding students who thank their funders - conservation orgs, hunting orgs (Du/ks Unli.), defense, medical companies, logging companies, oil companies. Maybe not in the humanities; but definitely pretty common in the sciences. It's not supposed to affect your research but who knows.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 10:58 AM
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It's not supposed to affect your research but who knows of course it does, otherwise why would people pay for it?

FTFY


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 11:06 AM
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There's a Nation piece here that asks the right questions, but doesn't have any answers.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 11:20 AM
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||

OK, Ezra Klein may have insider infection, but he is still facilitating a bit of Neiwertian transmission for the left.

|>


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 11:55 AM
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On Richwine, it is increasingly common, I think, for professional degree final-projects to be on behalf of an outside organization (especially MPP). I wouldn't have thought this for PhDs in the same school, though.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 11:59 AM
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77: However I had not read the paper carefully and I must agree that the abstract overstates the paper's actual results with respect to Hispanics. In particular the abstract certainly doesn't make it clear that almost all the Hispanics in the study came from a single location. Which does make the clustering result less impressive. Oh well.

Oh well, indeed. Particularly in light of the fact that you quoted the same abstract almost exactly three years ago and that one JP Stormcrow countered by quoting the following from the article:

On the other hand, geographic matching of Hispanic subjects is likely to be of much greater importance, given the larger genetic differentiation between Hispanic groups on the basis of current geographic origins. In this study, we could not evaluate this question directly, since Hispanics were recruited only from a single site [emphasis added in the original comment].


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 12:40 PM
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The following might be judged to be mean and unfair given the manifest cognitive deficits that you exhibit here on a regular basis, but I think a man with an established academic publishing record as well as an acknowledged skill at puzzles might enjoy working through the following conundrum.

How is it that utterances that in themselves are not necessarily intrinsically racist, bigoted or offensive are very much so when they occur within the context of a repeated pattern of similarly selective utterances by a given interlocutor?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 12:49 PM
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In conclusion let me quote KR from that same thread:

Oddly, people who are weirdly obsessive about statistical differences among races tend to get defensive when others use heuristics like "just knowing that someone is weirdly obsessive about statistical differences among races allows a better than random prediction of whether that person is a racist."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 12:52 PM
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OT: Has there been an actor in a Shakespeare-to-screen adaptation more louche than James Mason? I would not buy a sandwich, much less a conspiracy to murder, from his Brutus.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 1:05 PM
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Why is it that every time I'm on a transAtlantic Lufthansa flight, they boot me out of the seat I select online at the last minute?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 1:14 PM
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Antisemitism? (Always a safe bet.)


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 1:20 PM
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If so, they're confused.

I thought I had snagged a place with an empty seat next to me. Ah well.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 1:23 PM
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Vould ze passenger who ordered ze kosher meal please come forvard, please?


Posted by: OPINIONATED LUFTHANSA FLIGHT ATTENDANT | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 1:29 PM
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96: I was sure somebody must have pointed it out the last time it came up, since 75 sounded immediately familiar.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 1:47 PM
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"The part where my mind boggles even more than all the craaaazy racism is the fact that "Hispanic" is a made-up category of people from dozens of cultures, with African, European, and indigenous heritage. Like, what does it even MEAN to say that "Hispanics are X"?

The social construction of ethnicity, I do not think he grasps it. "

If someone said Hispanic immigrants are short and their children and grandkids are also short, would it really be a criticism to say that "hispanic" is a socially constructed category and those with a lot of African and/or European heritage are not particularly short. Hispanic immigrants are still short and those with a lot of indigenous heritage are shorter than the data for the category "hispanic" would suggest.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 2:29 PM
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If someone said Hispanic immigrants are short and their children and grandkids are also short, would it really be a criticism to say that "hispanic" is a socially constructed category

Yes, it would. It's saying the correlation is spurious.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 2:44 PM
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About the Richwine thing: I don't know how academic culture works in other fields, especially those that are more enmeshed in politics, but at least from what I've seen, there's very strong pressure to not fail someone at a thesis defense.

This accords with my understanding in many fields. After all, if your advisor(s) think there's a chance you might not pass your defense, why would they let you schedule it? It reflects poorly on them, too.

There are places where whether or not you pass is determined by the entire department, not just your committee: the U of C philosophy department is apparently like that, and people have been failed by members of the department who weren't part of their committee, because said members didn't think the work was up to snuff. But where it's just your committee, there's no reason for them to let you get to the point of defending if they think you won't successfully defend it.

(At my own institution and department, there was a guy, in my year, who was passed even though his work was, in my opinion (and the opinion of his/my peers), really bad. It really upset me that he and I were hooded in the same ceremony.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 2:53 PM
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You had to apologize for his set diploma with your set diploma.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 3:11 PM
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There was a dude in my group who got passed in his quals, but on the condition that he change groups. He eventually changed schools entirely. I think he managed to even get through his doctorate. Crazy. He was scary bad in the lab.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 3:13 PM
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Seconding 91. Even if it doesn't cause anyone to lie about their results, it affects what gets funded, so only some questions get answered. Ber|


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 3:55 PM
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<eley had a vicious kerfuffle when BP offered the ecology departments a long ton of money with subtle strings, after the Deep Horizons spill.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 3:56 PM
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105: Anecdotally, if you look at the 2nd generation American teenagers here (and even the 1.5 generations who came when they were 8 or 10) it's pretty astonishing how tall they are compared to their parents. I think poor nutrition has a lot to do with supposed genetic shortness.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 3:58 PM
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I've always been a bit irked that my family has genes where everybody tops out at 5'8" despite good nutrition.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 4:08 PM
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96

Well that is a bit embarrassing. Apparently I forgot your comment in the intervening time. Confirmation bias at work.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 4:24 PM
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Apparently racism isn't embarrassing, just memory lapses.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 4:42 PM
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The student paper at the Kennedy School has this article on the Richwine matter.

Meanwhile, 23 student organizations at the Kennedy School have written a letter to the larger community condemning the dissertation, asking for a response from the administration for the paper's "disturbing claims": "In any healthy democracy there is always disagreement, but such plain racism cannot and must not be tolerated. Even if such claims had merit, the Kennedy School cannot ethically stand by this dissertation whose end result can only be furthering discrimination under the guise of academic discourse."

The letter.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 5:43 PM
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If it gets around that white people have bad memories...


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 5:43 PM
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Are we piling on? James: maybe you have the paper you linked in 67 (and also linked to 3 years ago) bookmarked. If so, I'd add a note to that bookmark, like so, to make it really clear: BAD ABSTRACT. PAPER DOES NOT SHOW ANYTHING.

Seriously, dude, what is your problem? Why do you want to convince yourself and others that racial/ethnic groups show genetically determined gradations of intelligence? What's at stake here? Why do you think this? Have you just read a bunch of bad studies, confirmation bias at work? Why do you think that in the first place? It's really bad science, if you think it's science.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 6:01 PM
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118

Are we piling on? James: maybe you have the paper you linked in 67 (and also linked to 3 years ago) bookmarked. If so, I'd add a note to that bookmark, like so, to make it really clear: BAD ABSTRACT. PAPER DOES NOT SHOW ANYTHING.

I don't have it bookmarked, I vaguely remembered it and had to search for it which took some time as I was under the misapprehension that Hsu was one of the authors. And it isn't really true that the paper doesn't show anything although it is true that the abstract overstates the results. Unfortunately this is not unheard of for academic papers (not to mention popular accounts thereof).


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 6:40 PM
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Alas, you have not responded to 118.2, James.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 7:06 PM
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Not only is this flight really cramped, the guy in front of me has basically reclined his seat into my sternum.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 7:27 PM
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In-flight wifi: no replacement for Economy Plus.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 7:31 PM
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But, you know, you don't write a Ph.D. dissertation sponsored by an agenda-driven think tank. You just don't.

I find this a bit overblown. In Germany, a large proportion of PhD students get funding from the foundations that are explicitly ideological, and explicitly connected to the main parties (eg: Greens, Liberals, the Left, Social Democrats, Conservatives.) The Institute for Humane Studies, Heritage, AEI, etc., are trying to duplicate this model, and it's not a bad model. The problem is that there isn't much of an organized counterweight on the left.

From my experience within the Vast Libertarian Conspiracy, what we're talking about is basically a scholarship application like any other, where they also know whether or not you're part of the general right-wing network, and if you are and they think you're promising, they give you some money to help make the PhD student life easier. Probably not that much--IHS grants were from 2k-12k, as I remember, though this was 8-9 years ago.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 7:36 PM
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Yeah. If some well-targeted fellowships could induce more people to work on, say, climate policy, I would find it hard to object.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 7:46 PM
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I should say that I'm actually not sure what proportion of doctoral students get political foundation money--a quick glance seems to indicate that it's actually a small minority, not "a large proportion", as I'd said, though I suspect the percentages are higher in the social sciences, law, & humanities.

More generally, though, I stand by the idea that it's not necessarily a bad thing to have a connection between organized ideological interests and the direction of (in particular) social science & humanities scholarship. We might imagine three ideal-type models: pure scholastic self-governance, where funding streams and relative importance of topics are decided purely by the current generation of academics, pure market-driven or corporate-sponsored, and purely driven by organized political interests. I don't think any of the extremes would be good, but I can see good arguments for allowing each to have some influence.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 7:49 PM
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Climate change is indeed one of the major themes of the Heinrich Böll Foundation's work, Essear, so I'm sure they're supporting a bunch of climatologists.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 7:51 PM
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120

Alas, you have not responded to 118.2, James.

I thought I would spare the blog a detailed defense of my views on the subject.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 8:01 PM
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127: Seems wise.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 11:18 PM
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128: Uncharacteristically so.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-11-13 11:19 PM
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In-flight wifi: no replacement for Economy Plus.

This reminds me that I realized yesterday on my flight back from Fairbanks that I was wrong when I said earlier that Alaska Airlines doesn't offer wifi on in-state flights; they actually do have it on flights between Anchorage and Fairbanks (probably Juneau too but I've never flown there). It's just on flights to the more rural parts of the state where they don't have it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-12-13 12:26 AM
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123 --CSU has one too. Hanns Seidel.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-12-13 12:36 AM
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There are McDonald's flags? Are those a thing in the US and I just never noticed?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-12-13 1:08 AM
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I've never noticed any, and my office is right across the street from a McDonald's.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-12-13 1:16 AM
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123: "Germany does it" is not much of an affirmative argument.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-12-13 1:34 AM
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133: Yeah, I don't remember them either. I spotted McDonald's flags flying over a gas station visible from the high-speed train from the airport to the city here in Scandinavian Socialist Utopialand. If I were saiselgY, I guess I would write a pithy blog post about it.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-12-13 4:25 AM
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There is a Roy Rogers off the turnpike, but I can't remember if they had a flag.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-12-13 6:34 AM
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There is a Roy Rogers off the turnpike, but I can't remember if they had a flag.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-12-13 6:34 AM
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There are definitely McDonalds flags in the US. My hometown McD's had one, twenty years ago or so.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 05-12-13 7:04 AM
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Does the man styling himself the Burger King have a flag or a coat of arms?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-12-13 7:37 AM
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||

Here is a very odd thing a FB friend of mine (HS classmate) posted on her wall. It is sort of like the kinds of things heebie and AWB have talked about people posting except that it makes no sense at all.

A very poor young man has been looking for a job for years. One day when he was walking on the street he picked up an old news paper. When he was reading it. He came across an AD. He needed that Job. The ad said, Please bring your CV. The man had no money to type a cv. He didn't have a suit to wear. He didn't have a car. But he said, with or without a suit I'm going. He picked up a dirty paper, he borrowed a pen , and he wrote his CV.The next day he woke up early because he had no money for transport , he put on his normal clothes, when he arrived there, 3 people were already there. They were wearing expensive suits and shoes. These 3 men asked , where are you going, can't you see that you are dirty and smelling. The man replied, I'm here for an interview. They laughed at him. They started with the first one, Manager: If you get the Job what are you going to do with your first pay. First Man: I will go overseas , I will go shopping. Manager: Ok. Manager: If you get the Job what are you going to do with your first pay. Second Man: I will take my wife to a honey moon. Third Man: I will buy a new car. Then the manager called this poor man and asked him, Why didn't you type your CV. Why are you not wearing a suit. The young man replied, I don't have money , I don't have a place to stay I came here on foot. The Manager stood up and said to the poor man, The job is yours Sir. You see that car parked out there, its yours, here is the Key to your house. We will pay for all your driving school expenses. For the time being , we will give a company driver, he will be taking you to and from home. Moral of the story: GOD can lift you up from zero to HERO.

|>


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 05-12-13 12:44 PM
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"except"?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-12-13 12:51 PM
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123: "Germany does it" is not much of an affirmative argument.

No, but it's a reasonable counter to Parsimon's "But, you know, you don't write a Ph.D. dissertation sponsored by an agenda-driven think tank. You just don't", which is what it was responding to. Her claim seemed to be that ideological funding of PhD students would be a radical and almost unthinkable shift in how things are done; she seemed to imply that this would lead to dire things for the integrity of research. Now obviously Germany has had more than its share of plagiarism scandals in recent years, but it's a fair rejoinder to this sort of claim to say, "Well, there's a large country that does do things this way, has for decades, and the sky hasn't obviously fallen."

I would have thought the affirmative arguments pretty obvious (which doesn't at all mean 'obviously right'!), and so didn't bother to sketch them out, and don't feel like doing so in any great detail right now, but I'll just gesture in the neighborhood of: having ideological parties exert some influence on what kinds of things get studied, through the mechanism of giving a financial boost to promising PhD students who're sympatico, helps exert some pressures towards keeping social scientific and humanities research socially relevant, which I think is important. Academic self-governance is an important thing, and it's important that academics not be afraid to study X for fear of getting fired, but complete autonomy can lead to disciplines becoming increasingly unmoored from what justifies having them institutionalized and supported in the first place.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 05-12-13 12:55 PM
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"The Manager" was God?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-12-13 12:57 PM
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142.2: Just saw this, sorry -- I was offline yesterday.

I don't feel the need to argue at length about this now, when the thread's been dead for at least a day, but I have to admit this has me scratching my head, trapnel.

complete autonomy can lead to disciplines becoming increasingly unmoored from what justifies having them institutionalized and supported in the first place

I gather that what justifies having them institutionalized and supported is, on this view, social relevance. Mm, for the sake of argument, okay.

I just don't see, though, how allowing doctoral work to be influenced by ideological parties particularly protects against the danger of social irrelevance. Witness Jason Richwine's dissertation.

Well, in any event, *if* agenda-driven research is allowable, I'd say we'd have to insist pretty damn strongly that advisors to the doctoral candidate in question apply the strictest of standards to the work. That should go without saying regardless. I guess I wonder whether the advisors' laxity was in part because the work was on behalf of an outside client. Maybe that's what's bothering me.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-13-13 10:35 AM
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I guess I wonder whether the advisors' laxity was in part because the work was on behalf of an outside client. Maybe that's what's bothering me.

I seriously doubt it was; why on earth would it? If anything, knowing he was getting AEI funding would probably make most advisors a bit more cautious. But I wouldn't be surprised if he wasn't particularly close with his advisors, and was just doing his own thing.

I don't doubt that they looked over his statistical results, and they held up; the problem is a deeper, more conceptual one with the very nature of what IQ is and why it might be lower or higher--stuff Cosma's done yeoman's work on--but it's easy to imagine advisors thinking they didn't really want to get into the weeds of that stuff. I suspect the professional norms of public policy PhD supervision involve a fair amount of leeway at this level--after all, you don't want a case where the conservative supervisor looks at the left-wing student's dissertation, says "Okay, you acknowledged the potential counterarguments and the methodology is sound, but in the end you argue in favor of Left Wing Policy A, when Right Wing Policy B is correct, so I'm not willing to sign off on this."


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 05-13-13 10:54 AM
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More broadly, I should be clear about what the mechanism of influence is, or ought to be, because characterizing it as "agenda-driven research" is a bit misleading. I think the closer it gets to "write a dissertation on Why X is Good", the more problematic it is. But I also don't think that's how most of these foundations operate, largely because it's self-defeating--what they're trying to do is get the right sort of people into the academy, but part of getting them into the academy means understanding that they'll largely internalize academic norms, part of which is a certain autonomy of inquiry, etc.

I think from the foundation's point of view, it's more like this: there's some set of undergrads who have the relevant academic qualifications to become (say) future PhD sociologists, call that P. Of those, there's some distribution of ideological views. Most of those won't go on to do PhDs, because there are lots of good reasons not to (job market, &c &c). If I'm a foundation officer for the Greens, my job is to try to bias that filter in the Green direction--to tell potential Green sociologists, "hey, look, we can cushion things a bit for you--a bit more money while you're in school, and a strong network of connections to help you, both in terms of academia and for success outside academia if it doesn't work out." So more Greens decide to opt for academia than otherwise would, in the absence of such support.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 05-13-13 11:00 AM
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I'm not arguing against scholarships/fellowships/support. Of course not.

knowing he was getting AEI funding

It sounded like more than funding, that's all. Richwine's dissertation acknowledgements read in part:

In the acknowledgement section of his dissertation, Richwine wrote, "I am indebted to the American Enterprise Institute for its generous support, without which this dissertation could not have been completed. In particular, I must thank Henry Olsen, vice president of AEI's National Research Initiative, for bringing me to AEI and supporting my research."

Fine. Funding.

Richwine also thanked AEI scholar Charles Murray for his input, writing that "I could not have asked for a better primary advisor."

(That's just the quickest link I could find - there are others more direct.)

It sounds like AEI wasn't just providing funding, but that he was working for them; I don't know what to make of his naming Charles Murray as his primary advisor. Combine that with Blandings' link in 66 referring to 'client organizations', and it just sounds like Richwine was working for AEI under the auspices of the Kennedy School. I believe I'm repeating myself now, but this is why I called it agenda-driven research.

I agree that that's not how most foundations work. I don't object to them in principle.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-13-13 11:19 AM
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I'm not sure how your "all the ideological diversity money can buy" model doesn't produce a lot more Mercatus Centers than anything else, x..


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-13-13 11:35 AM
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145.last: after all, you don't want a case where the conservative supervisor looks at the left-wing student's dissertation, says "Okay, you acknowledged the potential counterarguments and the methodology is sound, but in the end you argue in favor of Left Wing Policy A, when Right Wing Policy B is correct, so I'm not willing to sign off on this."

I do acknowledge this -- certainly climate change is an obvious case in which a right wing advisor (of a certain sort) might not want to grant the very existence of the phenomenon. Just as we left-wing types question the notion of IQ.

Are you sure there's not some false equivalence talk going on here, though?

(I don't know whether Richwine acknowledged or dealt with the potential counterarguments to the very notion of IQ, but that's another matter, and I'm not going to delve into his diss.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-13-13 12:04 PM
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Ta-Nehisi Coates has something to say.

It begins as a criticism of Weigel's take on the matter, and Witt was right to question my citation of that piece upthread. TNC develops so:

blockquote>It is almost as though the "dark arts of race and IQ" were an untapped field of potential knowledge, not one of the most discredited fields of study in modern history.

trapnel, that's what I meant about false equivalence.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-13-13 12:52 PM
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Oops, sorry for the failure of blockquote there.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-13-13 12:53 PM
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I'm not sure how your "all the ideological diversity money can buy" model doesn't produce a lot more Mercatus Centers than anything else, x..

Fair enough, at least in the American context. The German political foundations get most of their funding from the state, IIRC; the German system is much more comfortable thinking of parties as constitutional organs, essential components of democratic will-formation, in ways that don't easily square with either the dominant ideology of our age, or with our constitutional doctrines. So there was some unfair goalpost-moving going on there.

That said, what would the right institutional response be? Insist on department policies to reduce stipends by 100% of external grants, to destroy any advantage? Any grant that's not an NSF/NEH one? False equivalence is a real problem, but liberal proceduralism is hardwired into (at the very least) state universities, and is hard to separate from the liberalism of academic freedom in any case.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 05-13-13 1:31 PM
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It sounds like AEI wasn't just providing funding, but that he was working for them; I don't know what to make of his naming Charles Murray as his primary advisor. Combine that with Blandings' link in 66 referring to 'client organizations', and it just sounds like Richwine was working for AEI under the auspices of the Kennedy School.

The policy analysis exercises in 66 were masters' projects, which as Teo points out is similar to what a lot of professional masters' programs do. I hear a lot of MBA programs have similar things--a company gets an analysis, the students get experience and connections, everyone wins. I don't think there's any connection to the dissertation.

I don't care enough to look up the details, so it feels silly to speculate without doing so (but then, so's everyone here), but I'm pretty sure the AEI thing was simply that he was hired as a researcher before finishing the dissertation, and finished it, while getting advice from Murray & other AEI folks, while he was in-house at AEI. Again, from a procedural-liberal point of view, hard to differentiate from someone taking up a faculty/postdoc position before they finish their dissertation, or taking a normal job but continuing to work on the diss part-time until they finish.

I agree that false equivalence is a problem here, and agree with Coates's PoV, but I think it's a problem that's unsurprising, and that's to a large degree already baked into the cake of there being a policy analysis (which is to say: a field that by definition has no subject matter, only methods) PhD program.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 05-13-13 1:38 PM
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153.last: I don't know. If a field of policy analysis is so muddled that it can't ask itself what might be wrong with its methods -- when it comes up with "results" that are as bonkers as Richwine's -- then it has a problem.

I seem to have wanted to grant the field more credit than that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-13-13 1:50 PM
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I know of people (military) who have been paid by the US Army to get a PhD. Should they be?

I also know folks (civilians) who have gotten grants from the U.S. Army's Center of Military History. Where do they stand?


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 05-13-13 5:19 PM
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