image

The Uses of Being Wrong

Unlike that of most physical and natural scientists, the ability of social scientists to conduct experiments or rely on high-quality data is often limited. In my field, international relations, even the most robust econometric analyses often explain a pathetically small amount of the data’s statistical variance. Indeed, from my first exposure to the philosopher of mathematics Imre Lakatos, I was taught that the goal of social science is falsification. By…

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 9.01.36 AM
1

The New American Man Doesn’t Look Like His Father

NPR has a story that should probably have run last weekend, for Fathers’ Day. It’s still an interesting exploration of how the traditional definition of masculinity in culture has changed, as more men are not only studying and working alongside women (and seeing them as peers) but also playing a larger part in childcare. Noguera also has seen men become much more involved with raising their children and general housework. “But…

image
2

Millennials Shy Away from Voice Mail

I was happy a few years ago when Seton Hill got a new phone and email system that allowed me to get my voicemails directly via email, but I do so little work over the telephone that the feature is really not that useful. Having grown up in a texting-friendly culture, with unmediated cellphone access to their friends, they have had little formative experience leaving spoken or relayed messages over…

No Money, No Time

We tend to assume that pressure makes us more efficient. I work fastest when I’m on deadline. I stretch my grocery budget the most when my funds are running low. But in reality, it’s not that you’re working better when you’re stressed. It’s that the opposite situation, overabundance, often makes us less efficient. It’s a fine balancing act: Overabundance makes us less efficient, but we need to reach a certain…

rp_image2-300x187.jpg
1

Criminal Code: Procedural Logic and Rhetorical Excess in Videogames

Great example of the application of well-established humanities critical processes to the analysis of a technological artifact. Of all the possible options in the real world — increasing funding for education, reducing overcrowded housing, building mixed use developments, creating employment opportunities, and so on — it’s the presence of the police that lowers crime in SimCity. This is the argument that game makes, its procedural rhetoric. Naïve though it may…

rp_Screen-Shot-2014-05-28-at-4.44.50-AM-300x282.png

Is College Worth It? Clearly, New Data Say

Americans with four-year college degrees made 98 percent more an hour on average in 2013 than people without a degree. That’s up from 89 percent five years earlier, 85 percent a decade earlier and 64 percent in the early 1980s. […] If there were more college graduates than the economy needed, the pay gap would shrink. The gap’s recent growth is especially notable because it has come after a rise in…