Queue & Misc.


Bureaucracy v common sense

How Not to Do It

Theodore Dalrymple

City Journal 2007

Classis debates
  • Methodenstreit
Controversy and Personal Debates (Some of these are in other fields, but have implications for the philosophy of the social sciences). 
  • Hartshorne-Schaefer debate
  • The Tierney Affair
  • Willson - Lewontin/Gould/Rose  
  • Dawkins - Gould
  • Dawkins - Wilson
  • Gould's mismeasures (Morton's Skulls)
Defenders of the Truth: The Sociobiology Debate. Oxford UP, 2000. Ullica Segerstråle  Amazon "Look Inside" and Reviews
Dawkins vs. Gould: Survival of the Fittest. Kim Sterelny. Wikipedia summary 

Other problems
  • Talking past each other 
  • Repetition (Disciplines cycling through what are really the same argument in different decades (Martin and Krugman, Geography and Economics)
The Tierney Affair

Jungle Fever: Did two U.S. scientists start a genocidal epidemic in the Amazon, or was The New Yorker duped? By John Tooby|Posted Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2000. Slate.com Link

Gregor, T. A., & Gross, D. R. (2004). Guilt by association: the culture of accusation and the American Anthropological Association’s investigation of Darkness in El Dorado. American Anthropologist, 106(4), 687–698. Link

Dreger, Alice. 2011. Darkness’s Descent on the American Anthropological Association: A Cautionary Tale. Human Nature, 22: 225–246. Link

Statement on the Publication of Alice Dreger’s Investigation, Darkness’s Descent on the American Anthropological Association: A Cautionary Tale. Jane B. Lancaster & Raymond Hames. Human Nature, 2011. Link

Gould’s mismeasures

Gould's skulls: Is bias inevitable in science?

25 July 2011 by David DeGusta and Jason E. Lewis


Scientists Measure the Accuracy of a Racism Claim

Published: June 13, 2011

Study Debunks Stephen Jay Gould's Claim of Racism on Morton

Lewis JE, DeGusta D, Meyer MR, Monge JM, Mann AE, et al. (2011) The Mismeasure of Science: Stephen Jay Gould versus Samuel George Morton on Skulls and Bias. PLoS Biol 9(6): e1001071. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001071
Published: June 7, 2011


Why we need social science. Australian Policy Online Raewyn Connell. 16 September 2011 Link


UCDP/PRIO Armed Conflict Dataset
Six provocations for big data
danah boyd, Kate Crawford. 2011.  Link

White paper: evaluating big data analytical capabilities for Government use. Link

Can nations measure well-being? Peter Shergold. 2011.  Link

Big questions and big numbers: We cannot live without big and ambitious economic models. But neither can we entirely trust them. Jul 13th 2006. The Economist. Link

February 2, 2012 9:50 pm
Entering the sense-making era of big social data
By Eric Openshaw and J.R. Reagan Link

March 2, 2012 9:50 pm
School for quants
By Sam Knight. Financial Times. Link

The Global Reach of American Social Science. The Chronicle Review. Lisa Anderson. Sept. 26, 2003. Link

An insider view on the relevance of political scientists to government. Link

Impact of Social Sciences: Maximizing the impact of academic research (A London School of Economics Blog) Link

Attack on science, or a wakeup call? FY 2013 NSF Political Science Research Funding Eliminated by House. Link

The Campaign to re-brand the social scientist - The public re-construction of a diverse discipline . (Academy of Social Sciences, UK) Link

Universities Reshaping Education on the Web. Tamar Lewin. July 17, 2012. New York Times.
Online courses have been around for years, but now big-name colleges and competing software platforms have entered the field, which is evolving with astonishing speed.

How To Deconstruct Almost Anything: My Postmodern Adventure
by Chip Morningstar
June 1993 Link

Student debt
(This ties into the interests of this blog from two different sides – problems with academia on the one hand, and the myopia of the cause of the current financial crisis (debt) in economics on the other

U.S. Student Debt on Scary Trajectory
By Daniel Indiviglio | Posted Wednesday, July 18, 2012. Slate.com

The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning.  Henry Mintzberg. Free Press and Prentice-Hall International, 1994.  Harvard Business Review version (PDF) ("The Fall and Rise...")

Future Babble: Why Expert Predictions Fail - and Why We Believe Them Anyway. 2010. Dan Gardner. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart. Link
"In 2008, as the price of oil surged above $140 a barrel, experts said it would soon hit $200; a few months later it plunged to $30. In 1967, they said the USSR would have one of the fastest-growing economies in the year 2000; in 2000, the USSR did not exist. In 1911, it was pronounced that there would be no more wars in Europe; we all know how that turned out. Face it, experts are about as accurate as dart-throwing monkeys. 

Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know? Philip E. Tetlock. Princeton Univeristy Press. 2005. Amazon “Look inside” and reviews


July 11th, 2011

Why Do Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism? Cato Policy Report, January/February 1998
by Robert Nozick
Robert Nozick is Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University and the author of Anarchy, State, and Utopia and other books. This article is excerpted from his essay "Why Do Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism?" which originally appeared in The Future of Private Enterprise, ed. Craig Aronoff et al. (Georgia State University Business Press, 1986) and is reprinted in Robert Nozick, Socratic Puzzles (Harvard University Press, 1997).
Our explanation of the disproportionate anti-capitalism of intellectuals is based upon a very plausible sociological generalization.
In a society where one extra-familial system or institution, the first young people enter, distributes rewards, those who do the very best therein will tend to internalize the norms of this institution and expect the wider society to operate in accordance with these norms; they will feel entitled to distributive shares in accordance with these norms or (at least) to a relative position equal to the one these norms would yield. Moreover, those constituting the upper class within the hierarchy of this first extra-familial institution who then experience (or foresee experiencing) movement to a lower relative position in the wider society will, because of their feeling of frustrated entitlement, tend to oppose the wider social system and feel animus toward its norms.

The Tyranny of Numbers: Why Counting Can't Make Us Happy 
David Boyle
Harper Collins 2001.  Amazon

Madmen, Intellectuals, and Academic Scribblers: The Economic Engine of Political Change. Stanford University Press. Forthcoming (2012). Wayne A. Leighton and Edward J. López. 

Debt: The First 5,000 Years. David Graeber. Melville House, 2011. 

The Truth Wears Off
Is there something wrong with the scientific method?
by Jonah Lehrer. The New Yorker.
DECEMBER 13, 2010. Link

Blog devoted to retractions

Edufactory: Conflicts and Transformation of the University

Determinism and the antiquated deontology of the social sciences Ballinger, Clint 2008

The University in Ruins
Bill Readings  Harvard University Press (October 30, 1997)

University, Inc.: The Corporate Corruption of Higher Education
Jennifer Washburn  Basic 2005

Thomas Sowell, The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy. New York: Basic, 1995.

Academic Scribblers on Facebook  I use this to list and store links to related articles and websites, so there are some different and interesting links on the Facebook page.  

King, Gary. 1991. “How Not to Lie With Statistics: Avoiding Common Mistakes in Quantitative 
Political Science.” American Journal of Political Science 35 (November): 1047-53. 
King, Gary, 1995, “Replication, Replication.” PS: Political Science and Politics 28 (September): 
King, Gary, Robert D. Keohane, and Sidney Verba. 1994. Designing Social Inquiry: Scientific 
Inference in Qualitative Research. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 
Laitin, David D., James A. Caporaso, David Collier, Ronald Rogowski, Sidney Tarrow, Gary King, 
Robert D. Keohane, and Sidney Verba. 1995. “Review Symposium: The Qualitative Quantitative Disputation: Gary King, Robert O. Keohane, and Sidney Verba’s Designing Social  Inquiry: Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research.” American Political Science Review 89  (June): 454-81.
Critical views of the practice of statistical inference
This page lists the following works 

  • McCloskey, Deirdre Nansen, and Steve Ziliak. 2008. The Cult of Statistical Significance: How the Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives. University of Michigan Press.
  • Ziliak, Stephen T., and Deirdre N. McCloskey. 2004. “Size matters: the standard error of regressions in the American Economic Review.” Journal of Socio-Economics 33(5): 527-546. [ Science Direct].
  • Cohen, Jacob. 1994. “The Earth is Round (p < .05).” American Psychologist 49(12), 997-1003.
  • Wang, C. 1993. Sense and Nonsense of Statistical Inference. Dekker: New York.
  • Armstrong, J. Scott. 2007. “Significance tests harm progress in forecasting.” International Journal of Forecasting 23(2): 321-327. [Science Direct]
  • Goldstein, Joshua S. 2010. "On Asterisk Inflation." PS: Political Science & Politics 43(01): 59-61. [Cambridge Journals]
  • Rozeboom, William W. 1960. "The Fallacy of the Null-Hypoteshis Significance Test." Psychological Bulletin. Vol. 57, 5,416-428
  • McCloskey DN. 1995. The insignificance of statistical significance. Am Sci 272:32–33
  • Johnson, Douglas H. , "The Insignificance of Statistical Significance Testing". The Journal of Wildlife Management, Vol. 63, No. 3. (Jul., 1999), pp. 763-772. [JSTOR]
  • Newman, Michael c. 2008. What Exactly are you Inferring? A Closer Look at Hypothesis Testing.", Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Vol. 27, 5,1013–1019.
  • Special Issue of the Journal of Socio-Economics, 2004 33(5)
    • Altman, Morris. 2004. “Statistical significance, path dependency, and the culture of journal publication.” pp. 651-663.
    • Berg, Nathan. 2004. “No-decision classification: an alternative to testing for statistical significance.” pp. 631-650.
    • Elliott, Graham, and Clive W.J. Granger. 2004. “Evaluating significance: comments on 'Size Matters'.” pp. 547-550.
    • Fidler, Fiona et al. 2004. “Statistical reform in medicine, psychology and ecology.” pp. 615-630.
    • Gigerenzer, Gerd. 2004. “Mindless statistics.” pp. 587-606.
    • Horowitz, Joel L. 2004. “Comments on "Size Matters". pp. 551-554.
    • Leamer, Edward E. 2004. “Are the roads red? Comments on "Size Matters". pp. 555-557.
    • Lunt, Peter. 2004. “The significance of the significance test controversy: comments on 'Size Matters'.” pp. 559-564.
    • O'Brien, Anthony Patrick. 2004. “Why is the standard error of regression so low using historical data?: Comments on 'size matters'.” pp. 565-570.
    • Thompson, Bruce. 2004. “The "significance" crisis in psychology and education.” pp. 607-613.
    • Thorbecke, Erik. 2004. “Economic and statistical significance: comments on 'Size Matters'.” pp. 571-575.
    • Wooldridge, Jeffrey M. 2004. “Statistical significance is okay, too: comment on 'Size Matters'.” pp. 577-579.
    • Zellner, Arnold. 2004. “To test or not to test and if so, how?: Comments on 'Size Matters'.” pp. 581-586.
    • Ziliak, Stephen T., and Deirdre N. McCloskey. 2004a. “Significance redux.” pp. 665-675.
    • Ziliak, Stephen T., and Deirdre N. McCloskey. 2004b. “Size matters: the standard error of regressions in the American Economic Review.” pp. 527-546.
  • Morrison, D.E., Henkel, R.E., 1970. The Significance Test Controversy: A Reader. Aldine, Chicago.
  • Goodman, S N. 1999. “Toward evidence-based medical statistics. 1: The P value fallacy.” Annals of Internal Medicine 130(12): 995-1004.
  • Koehnle, Thomas, Douglas Curran-Everett, and Dale J. Benos. 2005. “The proof is not in the P value.” Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 288(3): R777-778. [AJPREGU]
Advice, alternatives, publication policies
  • Cumming, Geoff. 2011. Understanding the New Statistics: Effect Sizes, Confidence Intervals, and Meta-analysis. 1st ed. Routledge Academic. [Book website]
  • Harlow. 1997. What If There Were No Significance Tests? Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc Inc.
  • Wilkinson, Leland and Task Force on Statistical Inference (APA Board of Scientific Affairs).1999. “Statistical methods in psychology journals: Guidelines and explanations.” American Psychologist. Vol. 54(8): 594-604. [ Ebsco Host]
  • Fidler, Fiona, Cumming Geoff, Burgman Mark, and Thomason Neil. 2004. “Statistical reform in medicine, psychology and ecology.” pp. 615-630. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6W5H-4DW2T26-3/2/bccd93df196d8e12cae6c5e983ba8c67.
  • Thompson, Bruce. 1996. “Research news and Comment: AERA Editorial Policies Regarding Statistical Significance Testing: Three Suggested Reforms.” Educational Researcher 25(2): 26-30. http://edr.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/25/2/26 (Accessed April 6, 2010).
  • Fidler, Fiona. 2012. From Statistical Significance to Effect Estimation. Methodological Change in Psychology, Medecine and Ecology. Psychology Pr.
To classify
  • Oakes MW. Statistical Inference: A commentary for the Social and Behavioural Sciences. New York: Wiley, 1986.
  • Schmidt FL. Statistical significance testing and cumulative knowledge in psychology: implications for training of researchers. Psych Methods 1: 115–29, 1996.
  • Curran-Everett D and Benos DJ. Guidelines for reporting statistics in journals published by the American Physiological Society. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 287: R247–R249, 2004. [AJPREGU]
  • Curran-Everett D, Taylor S, and Kafadar K. Fundamental concepts in statistics: elucidation and illustration. J Appl Physiol 85: 775–786, 1998. [AJPREGU]
  • Gigerenzer G. The Empire of Chance: How Probability Changed Science and Everyday Life. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1989.
The Earth Is Round (p < .05). Jacob Cohen Link
Comment by Mark Reid Link
What Cohen meant
Where good old-fashioned proof beats probability Link

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