Back of the envelope math for internalizing costs.

Colleague sent me this article about renewable energy costs.

Check out this article from today’s New York Times, page B1!

Reminded me of this problem that has been bugging me for awhile…

It always bugs me how the entrenched interests hold up the cost piece when nuclear and oil have huge externalized costs.
For nuclear, the s government developed the technology (manhattan project) and GAVE it to the industry so they would produce plutonium as a by product of energy.  SOmethling 20+billion in today’s dollars.
Meanwhile, some portion of our US military budget is for protecting global oil supply.  It would be complicated, but imagine if some portion of it were factored into price at the pump.  US military budget was like $500 billion last year.  in 2013 we used 135 billion gallons of gasoline.  If 10% of us military is for oil supplies, then that is $50 billion, about $0.25 per gallon….
Ok, I am procrastinating…

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Mixed Methods Social Networks Research Design And Applications | Research methods in sociology and criminology | Cambridge University Press

Mixed Methods Social Networks Research Design And Applications | Research methods in sociology and criminology | Cambridge University Press.

 

Looks like the book I wish I had when I was doing my dissertation!

Out in July.  Looking forward to getting my hands on it.

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Summer Reading 2014

It’s that time of year… trying to decide the ONE thick, dense academic book I should take on vacation. The one I feel like I should have read, but never did. Is it finish Harrison White’s Identity and Control? Collins’ Sociology of Philosophies? Castells’ Communication Power or the Networks of hope and Outrage? Luhmann’s book on Systems Theory?

Should I scan office for other contenders?

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Death of a Movement? Not Sure

Krugman wants to paint Cantor’s loss as the death of “movement conservatism.”  The gist of movement conservatism, as he describes and I agree, is the interlocking of political strategy, bait-and-switch of cultural issues for working class with 1% priorities, with supportive media and think tank institutions.  

Part of movement conservatism’s longevity since the Reagan, I think, is the ability of the mainstream Republican party to absorb the cyclic waves of stoked anger and activists into their rhetoric and policies.  

Seems to me movement conservatism was already proclaimed dead several times, like 1998 midterms, Obama’s election, the “crazies” in primaries in 2010 and 2012 that sank some senate races… and probably others.  Maybe Cantor is cardiac arrest.  We’ll see if the corpus can recover.

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June 15, 2014 · 7:18 am

Network Data Collections

Thanks to a stocnet user, this list of useful network data repositories came along.

I added them to my Diigo list of sna and data.

http://moreno.ss.uci.edu/data.html
http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~snijders/siena/siena_datasets.htm
http://www.eelkeheemskerk.nl/networks/
http://konect.uni-koblenz.de/
http://snap.stanford.edu/data/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/25906481@N07/sets/72157604724106153/
http://www.pfeffer.at/data/cshiring
http://www.gdeltproject.org/
http://www.casos.cs.cmu.edu/tools/data.php

 

 

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What to make of these questions about teaching?

A survey (HERI) that Bucknell asked me to take included the following question: during the past year have I ever in class…

I can’t imagine a class at a liberal arts class that is not frequently in about all of these?  The fact that the question is asked is odd to me.  Am I that odd?  Are most faculty only lecturing and never asking students to write or do group projects or support arguments?  Who would say not at all to more than a few of these?

 

Frequently Occasionally Not at All
Ask questions in class
Support their opinions with a logical argument
Seek solutions to problems and explain them to others
Revise their papers to improve their writing
Evaluate the quality or reliability of information they receive
Take risks for potential gains
Seek alternative solutions to a problem
Look up scientific research articles and resources
Explore topics on their own, even though it was not required for a class
Accept mistakes as part of the learning process
Seek feedback on their academic work
Work with other students on group projects
Integrate skills and knowledge from different sources and experiences

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Bibliographic Software- what do you use?

I did this quick review for my Academic Ladder group.
I USED to use Endnote.  Got too cumbersome and tricky.  I stopped more than five years ago, so I can’t even recall details.

My U switched to refworks.  This was very nice at first.  It is an online database.  So, you have an account.  With most search databases and our catalog, it was one click importing.  It supports “descriptors” you edit, like tags.  Like, all known biblio outputs for every style.  Your database lives in the cloud, so you can be at ANY COMPUTER with internet and get to your library.  You can have folders, lists and stuff.  It ALSO has a plug-in for word that allows you to add citations as you write.  So you write, you think “oh, smith 1987 here.”  You then search in word your library, find smith,and stick it in.  It adds some code to your paper. At the end you push a button and all code becomes correct citation and a bibliography is made.

Issues.  1) My library has gotten so big, it is a bit sluggish at times.  2) It does not capture web-based metadata as nicely as Zotero.  3) The word plug in was buggy for awhile, like 2 years, which irked me.

I am romantically a sucker for open-source stuff.  I started using Zotero ALSO.  Very similar to refworks except it is free, designed by academics for academics.  Your library lives in a cloud.  You can sync it to a local program, zotero standalone, for when you are NOT on the web (I think refworks can too).

Pluses for zotero: it is VERY GOOD at getting metadata.  So, say I need a book that is not in my refworks library.  Rather than got to catalog, search, export, etc, I go to amazon, or catalog, and in firefox, there is an add-on such that with one click Zotero grabs the citation.  Also, it can make citations of webpages, blogposts and so on.  Plus in firefox, you can open a window and edit the citation or ADD NOTES easily.
2) It seems to support networks or communities of schoalrs more readily to share libraries.  I have not done this a lot, but could imagine so.

Me today: hybrid refworks and zotero user.  If I were starting over, I’d be all Zotero.  I haven’t switched all the way as it looks like a lot of work and so far my patchwork approach works.

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Desktop

Desktop by jordi sunshine comas
Desktop, a photo by jordi sunshine comas on Flickr.

Trying some new behavior modification…

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IS ADD medicine over-prescribed in adults?

Or kids?

That is the $20,000 question.

This sort-of article in the NY times (maybe a blog post) does not really answer it.

First, if adults are now taking ADD meds, it can be because there is a real population of the needy who were not diagnosed or medicated. Is that over-prescribing?  Well, only if we can find that the people taking it are not fitting the diagnosis of ADD.

That is a valid question, but as the article points out, this report does not really nor can it, really answer that question.  So, instead, we tend to look at the question and answer it based on our own ideas.  If you think ADD is not a real or wide-spread problem, then, yes, it is over-prescribed.  If you think meds are a valid part of treating problematic problems, then this is progress.  If you think that perhaps people exhibit ADD symptoms due to their context, such as more stimulus, too little exercise, too little positive work structure, too many boring jobs, and so on, then we can medicate people to help them conform to context, but we are avoiding a full-spectrum approach.

I tend to be in the latter two camps.  Meds can help.  But it is worth asking if we have the best contexts for learning (kids) or working (bigger kids) for ADD people to be productive and resilient.

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