Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Monday Morning Links!

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* I have an essay in Oil Culture, out this week, on “Retrofutures and Petrofutures.” It’s about science fiction framings of fossil fuel use and its eventual supersession. Amazon link!

* Fascinating survey of budget cuts in academia even at colleges that are making more money than ever before.

In other words, these universities unnecessarily reduced the pay of hard-working professionals, and for no other purpose than to say that they did so. The motto of so many university administrators was “leave no crisis behind,” as these administrators used the national economic situation as justification for unnecessary reductions in the compensation of the people who educate our students.

* In academia, conferences matter.

This paper provides evidence for the role of conferences in generating visibility for academic work, using a ‘natural experiment’: the last-minute cancellation — due to ‘Hurricane Isaac’ — of the 2012 American Political Science Association (APSA) Annual Meeting. We assembled a dataset containing outcomes of 15,624 articles scheduled to be presented between 2009 and 2012 at the APSA meetings or at a comparator annual conference (that of the Midwest Political Science Association). Our estimates are quantified in difference-in-differences analyses: first using the comparator meetings as a control, then exploiting heterogeneity in a measure of session attendance, within the APSA meetings. We observe significant ‘conference effects’: on average, articles gain 17-26 downloads in the 15 months after being presented in a conference. The effects are larger for papers authored by scholars affiliated to lower tier universities and scholars in the early stages of their career. Our findings are robust to several tests.

With Voter ID On Hold, Here’s What Wisconsin Republicans Have Planned For Election Day.

* New York as I remember it from day trips growing up: A City Covered in Graffiti.

Ursula K. Le Guin on Being a Man.

* Reduce the deficit, use only female astronauts.

* Maps of the end of the world.

* Ebola in Perspective. Also at Cultural Anthropology: “Ecologies of Empire: On the New Uses of the Honeybee.”

* Pentagon gearing up to bring their famous competence to the war on Ebola (in the US).

* Paul Farmer’s Ebola diary.

* That Time The Reagan White House Press Briefing Erupted With Laughter Over AIDS 13 Times.

* The Dark Market for Personal Data. An interview with Frank Pasquale on his book The Black Box Society.

* Headlines from the apocalypse: NASA Confirms A 2,500-Square-Mile Cloud Of Methane Floating Over US Southwest.

* Something’s gone wrong in America: Police are looking for a group of men who opened fire after losing a game of beer pong.

* Biocapital watch: How a doctor, a trader, and the billionaire Steven A. Cohen got entangled in a vast financial scandal.

* Why we can’t have nice things: a nice demonstration of how 12% of the U.S. population controls 60% of the Senate.

* And science has finally proved I’m not a baby: men really do have weaker immune systems. If anyone needs me I’ll be in bed…

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