What if Sociologists Had as Much Influence as Economists? | The Upshot | Neil Irwin [See also: Is ethnography the most policy-relevant sociology? | Fabio Rojas]
‘Copy and paste’ content spotted in IISER Thiruvananthapuram director’s papers | Journo's Diary | R. Prasad
Monday, March 20, 2017
Very little has been written on jealousy in academic life, and yet, anecdotal evidence suggests that it is prevalent in our profession. This is unsurprising. As Chronicle readers are well aware, academe today is a place of increasingly precarious employment conditions — where the "publish or perish" mantra is more relevant than ever and the pressure to win grant money has reached fever pitch.
In such an environment, it’s little wonder that jealousy can take hold. I’ve certainly felt my share (and I herewith apologize for privately cursing those of you who got positions and/or book contracts that I wanted). Jealousy may come with the academic turf but that’s rarely a good thing. So what can we do to better manage our envy at all stages of the academic career?
That's from Jay Daniel Thompson in The Chronicle of Higher Educationn: Maybe You’re Just a Jealous Academic. Can you spot the understatement of 2017? Hint: it's in bold.
This article eventually gets to "self-help" domain of how to deal with jealousy of the academic kind, and has an advice-list that might help you cope. The last piece of advice? "Develop interests outside the academy." In other words, "Get a Life".
Monday, December 05, 2016
From The Guardian:
Graduate sues Oxford University for £1m over his failure to get a first
Faiz Siddiqui claims ‘appallingly bad’ teaching during degree course prevented him from having a successful career
An Oxford graduate is suing the university for £1m claiming the “appallingly bad” and “boring” teaching cost him a first-class degree and prevented him from having a successful career.
Faiz Siddiqui, who studied modern history at Brasenose College, told the high court he believes he would have had a career as an international commercial lawyer if he had been awarded a first rather than the 2:1 he achieved 16 years ago.
Friday, December 02, 2016
I am not a fan [of flag burning]. I agree that the American flag should not be disrespected. It's a sacred symbol that should be honored, whether it be on paper plates, or napkins, or banana hammocks.
-- Stephen Colbert [The Late Show (30 November 2016); the clip is also embedded below -- the relevant part starts at the 7th minute.]
Monday, November 28, 2016
Just drop everything and read this absolutely gripping WSJ story on Tyler Shultz, the Theranos whistleblower (who also happens to be the grandson of former Secretary of State George Shultz, who was -- and continues to be -- associated with Theranos).
This snippet is from the section where the lawyers appear:
A few weeks later, Mr. [Tyler] Shultz was confronted by his father after arriving for dinner with his parents at their home in Los Gatos, Calif. His grandfather had called to say Theranos suspected he had talked to the Journal reporter. Theranos’s lawyers wanted to meet with him the next day.
He says he called his grandfather and asked if they could meet without lawyers. The elder Mr. Shultz agreed and invited his grandson to his house. The mood was tense but cordial, Tyler Shultz recalls, and he denied talking to any reporters. He says his step-grandmother was present during the conversation.
His grandfather asked if he would sign a one-page confidentiality agreement to give Theranos peace of mind. According to Tyler Shultz, when he said yes, his grandfather revealed that two lawyers were waiting upstairs with the agreement.
Saturday, November 26, 2016
- Avery Thompson in Popular Mechanics: 5 Simple Math Problems No One Can Solve. "Easy to understand, supremely difficult to prove."
- Jordana Cepelewicz in Nautilus: The Social Physics of Trump Tactics. [Published a couple of weeks before the US elections, its title could very well have been "Phase Diagram of Bad Ideas"].
- Joanna Rothkopf in Jezebel: Here's What Happens to Your Body When You Die [video; 10 minutes].
Thursday, November 24, 2016
Christian Catalini, Christian Fons-Rosen, and Patrick Gaulé in Vox.eu: Cheaper flights and scientific collaboration
Noah Smith in Noahpinion: Do economists have physics envy? (Part 2).
Maria Konnikova in New Yorker: Practice Doesn't Make Perfect.
Rhaina Cohen in The Atlantic: What Programming's Past Reveals About Today's Gender Pay Gap.
Gina Kolata in NY Times: Lost in Academia: So Many Research Scientists, So Few Openings as Professors.
Wednesday, November 09, 2016
Turbulent events demand an origin story. To make sense of "Just What Happened?"
Here's one from the land of Stephen Colbert [Update (24 November 2016): It looks like the embed doesn't work, but this link works, at least for now: The Dawn of the Donald].
Thursday, October 20, 2016
In these grim times, there's nothing better as a cheerer upper than Laura Benanti's impersonation of Melania Trump. Here are the three "Late Night with Stephen Colbert" shows she has appeared in so far:
Saturday, October 01, 2016
If you are going to use mice in your research, there are all these federal requirements that have to be complied with. [...] And yet, when it comes to your teaching assistant, [there is] no such requirement that you treat them in a humane way. [...] If someone has engaged in sexual harassment, or if someone has discriminated, or if someone is a sexual predator, they should not have access to federal dollars.
-- Congresswoman Jackie Speier.
... Institutions are incentivised to protect their faculty.
-- Jessica Kirkpatrick, Astrophysicist.
Monday, September 26, 2016
Friday, August 26, 2016
As always, we go the extra mile to get you the juiciest of excerpts from the actual story:
Although the bank’s headquarters remained in Germany, power migrated from conservative Frankfurt to London, the investment-banking hub where the most lavish profits were generated. The assimilation of different banking cultures was not always successful. In the nineties, when hundreds of Americans went to work for Deutsche Bank in London, German managers had to place a sign in the entrance hall spelling out “Deutsche” phonetically, because many Americans called their employer “Douche Bank.”
[Bold emphasis added, in case any nanopolitan reader needed a confirmation].
Tuesday, May 03, 2016
I am grateful for this break -- just because it allows me to say a silent "thank you" to my dear friend who is no more. I have lost count of the things he opened my mind to, my eyes to, my ears to. Here's one of them, in a different avatar. He would have enjoyed it too.
Sci-Hub has been making waves. Such huge waves that the AAAS flagship, Science has taken note, with not just one, but three pieces devoted to the website, and its founder, Alexandra Elbakyan. This profile of Elbakyan is quite balanced; it might be because a lot of downloads are by researchers in the rich countries. The third article is an editorial by Marcia McNutt: My love-hate of Sci-Hub.
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Friday, March 11, 2016
Ramesh Mahadevan, a close friend from my grad school days, passed away last night. I'm posting a quick note here to alert some of his friends who are also among this blog's readers.
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His hilarious take on the curious subculture of desi grad students in the US in the 1980s (originally posted at the soc.culture.indian group) earned him a huge fan following. Those of us who had the great fortune to interact with him personally also got to experience his sensitive and compassionate side. Personally, he has been a source of strength ever since we met way back in 1985. I'll miss him a lot.
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Ramesh has been mentioned in several posts here. Right at this moment, his website -- mahadevanramesh.net is not working, which is a pity; however, his blog has some of his writing since his return to India.