As a follow up to the previous post, I suppose I should entice you to go check out Abstract Politics by telling you a little about what you’ll find there.
The most recent post reviews “Social Pressure and Voter Turnout: Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment ,” an article from APSR by Gerber, Green, and Larimer. I don’t know how they got this past their human subjects review, but somehow they got permission to send postcards to a bunch of Michigan voters listing the names of all their neighbors, as well as whether each neighbor had bothered to vote in the previous two elections. At the end, there was an ominous note that they’d be sending an updated after the upcoming election, so all the recipient’s neighbors would know whether the recipient had voted.
Turns out this sort of social shaming works. Read More
Check out Abstract Politics , a new site dedicated to reviewing the latest in political science research. Dozens of new articles are published in every issue of the top journals. It’s hard to keep up with them. The creators of Abstract Politics intend to write brief summaries (and critical reviews) of each new article.
This has the potential to be very cool. These summaries can help us decide whether reading a particular article in its entirety is worthwhile. They can also provide a forum to debate the merits of each article (via each summary’s comment form).
You may already be familiar with WikiSummary . WikiSummary is similar, but it is no longer accepting new submissions–these days, it’s merely an archive of old summaries. The creators of Abstract Politics are the same folks that were behind WikiSummary, but with a new approach and a new look.
Full disclosure: I happen to be a major player in running both WikiSummary and Abstract Politics. But that should only encourage your further to bother checking out (and contributing to) Abstract Politics .
I’ve been thinking lately about what thinking people know. After all, I regularly read comments on various websites to the effect that “thinking people know” this or that.
There’s a problem. I rarely agree with what the commenter claims “thinking people know.” I am forced to the only logical conclusion: I am not a thinking person.
To fill the gaps in my knowledge, I thought it might be worthwhile to scour the internet to learn what I would know if I were a thinking person. So I did a google search for the phrase “thinking people know.” Here’s a sampling of what I found in the first forty or fifty results. I’ve included all but a handful of uninteresting facts.
Okay boys and girls, the word of the day is conclusory. Say it together: conclusory.
Now, conclusory is a funny word. These days, most people use it when what they really mean is “conclusive.” That’s not the meaning I’m attaching to the word. I’m using the meaning given in Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law:
Conclusory: consisting of or relating to a conclusion or assertion for which no supporting evidence is offered.
Right now I’m grading a big stack of final exams. Many students do excellent work. These grade-A students know that merely asserting something does not make it true; they understand that they also need to argue the point. These students get good grades. But students who write conclusory answers do not.
Incidentally, Google returns no hits for “conclusoritis,” the title of this post. Remember that I coined it when it becomes the new trendy word of 2008.
Hmm, something isn’t quite right. I taped an interview with Hillary on CNN, and while watching a segment frame-by-frame, I noticed that Hillary’s face completely changed for 1/100 second, then it changed again, and again, for a total of four flash changes. These are the screen captures:
I thought that Gravatar was supposed to quit having outages now that it’s been acquired by automattic ? It’s spitting out 503 Service Unavailable messages today. Grrr.
This is what Wikipedia’s entry on the Internet looks like if you delete everything that isn’t a derivative of “net,” “web,” “www,” and “e-”:
I have been grading papers for a long time. In course after course, students repeat the same stupid mistakes. No more excuses, guys. I’ve written down what I wish every undergraduate knew about how to write a term paper. My tips are in two documents. One explains how to pick a good topic; the other lists mistakes to avoid. Enjoy.
Oh, and one final tip. Don’t plagiarize. It’s easier for me to detect than you might think.