Powerful Committees Aphorism

Someone asked me why a particular committee had not done a task that impeded the progress of a mutual friend.

I said:

“Because powerful committees grow thick skins.”

 

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Filed under Orgs Stuff (theory, science, studies), pithy expressions, writing

Data Collection Aphorism

An anthropology colleague asked me to do a brief explanation of network analysis and theory for a field research class (Thanks Ned Searles!).

One part of teaching I love is when the process of vocalizing ideas leads me to say something I never heard but sounds good.

Today, in discussing the options for types of data, and thinking about survey versus participant observation, I said:

“Data that is easy to collect is not always the data most worth collecting.”

I was thinking about how much of the research grind, especially in an ever bigger and more status-conscious world of publishing we live in, is driven not by good questions, but by available data.

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Filed under pithy expressions, Research, social theory, sociology, words

Society for Creative Maladustment

Pacifica Radio and DemocracyNow aired today a recently re-discovered speech that MLK gave in London in 1964 on his trip to accept Nobel peace prize.

I only heard second half or so in car. But this part struck me as humorous and still timely. I want to see if we can recreate the society of creatively maladjusted people.

http://www.democracynow.org/2015/1/19/exclusive_newly_discovered_1964_mlk_speech

“Every academic discipline has its technical vocabulary. Modern psychology has a word that is probably used more than any other word in modern psychology. It is the word “maladjusted.” You’ve heard that word. This is the ringing cry of modern child psychology. And certainly we all want to live well-adjusted lives in order to avoid neurotic and schizophrenic personalities. But I must say to you this evening, my friends, as I come to a close, that there are some things in my own nation, and there are some things in the world, to which I am proud to be maladjusted and to which I call upon all men of goodwill to be maladjusted until the good society is realized. I must honestly say to you that I never intend to become adjusted to segregation, discrimination, colonialism and these particular forces. I must honestly say to you that I never intend to adjust myself to religious bigotry. I must honestly say to you that I never intend to adjust myself to economic conditions that will take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few. I must say to you tonight that I never intend to become adjusted to the madness of militarism and the self-defeating effects of physical violence, for in a day when Sputniks and explorers are dashing through outer space and guided ballistic missiles are carving highways of death through the stratosphere, no nation can win a war. It is no longer the choice between violence and nonviolence; it is either nonviolence or non-existence… And I assure you that I will never adjust to the madness of militarism.

You see, it may well be that our whole world is in need at this time for a new organization—the International Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment—men and women—…”
He goes on to list prophets of justice and figures from US history who were maladjusted…

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The Monster: the fraud and depraved indifference that caused the subprime meltdown – Boing Boing

http://boingboing.net/2011/03/07/the-monster-the-frau.html

Looks like a book I should read.  I wonder how it differs from others?   Use in stakeholder class?

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Credit Rater S&P to Be Banned for a Year From Biggest Part of Commercial-Bond Market – Bloomberg

I wonder why they waited to deal with ratings from after the subprime period.

Will S&P crumble?  Are there other models of ratings production in other countries?  Does anyone have a more autonomous system (instead of fee for ratings)?

 

Standard & Poor’s will be suspended for a year from rating bonds in one of its most lucrative businesses in a $60 million settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

The deal, which the person said may be announced as soon as tomorrow, is the agency’s toughest action yet in an industry blamed for fueling the 2008 financial crisis by assigning inflated grades to risky mortgage debt.

via Credit Rater S&P to Be Banned for a Year From Biggest Part of Commercial-Bond Market – Bloomberg.

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Filed under Banking, Great Recession

Rivera, Lauren A. “Hiring as cultural matching the case of elite professional service firms.” American Sociological Review 77.6 (2012): 999-1022.

This was on list of”hot” articles.  Looks interesting.

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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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Filed under economic sociology, economics, sociology

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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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Filed under Books, Networks, Social Networks

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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Filed under Books, social theory, sociology