Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Flowchart of the Day: The McDonnell-Douglas Burden-Shifting Framework for Individual Disparate Treatment Cases after Desert Palace v. Costa

Click to enlarge.


PFC = prima facie case

LNR = legitimate, non-discriminatory reason

Price-Waterhouse = Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, a mixed-motive discrimination case--if discrimination is reason among other "legitimate" reasons, then Plaintiff can still win.

So much of what we discussed in Empirical Perspectives on Gender Discrimination Law this semester tracked employment discrimination law paradigms: individual disparate treatment, systemic disparate treatment, disparate impact, sexual harassment hostile work environment. I suggested to the Prof that next semester, for the benefit of the non-lawyers (or really, anyone who did not take employment discrimination), to distribute little primers on basic concepts of ED. They're important to keep distinct, because they're different complaints with different evidentiary burdens.

Unfortunately, or rather fortunately for me, she does not know that I blog. I don't advertise this hobby at any of my home institutions. I will probably send this via email along with my final paper.

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weird and wacky

Really, Bryan? You did entire radio show of covers of "Louie Louie"?

I think you have officially endeared yourself to the more fringe elements of the L&L audience, although you have possibly alienated most of us.

I think that's awesome!

I went on a date once with a guy who got fired from his college radio station for playing 4 hours of Gordon Lightfoot. I really wanted it to work out with him just for that reason (what a great way to describe a guy! Better than "I once went out with a guy who was obsessed with World of Warcraft"). Alas, he did not call me back and we never went out again, although clearly I am cooler. I have no idea why, to this day. Amber: "he was an ass."

TD did call me back, but he has what I consider to be appalling taste in music. Although he thinks all of my music is "emo" and "schmaltzy." We both have violated the number one dealbreakers in our Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He likes reggae (him and every other 30 year old white dude trying to create an ambient beachy vibe at a house party), certain periods of '90s rock (that I am down with), (awful) punk, and something called "psy trance" (WTF?!). I like old school and '90s R&B (he calls it "Peabo Bryson music"), country (that is on his blacklist for road trips), indie bands with clever lyrics (he calls that "way too emo") and female pop singers with pretty voices (I think he would, if I didn't look at him with such loving eyes, call that "sentimental tacky crap").

We have clearly did not call our own bluffs. There is no such thing, I argue, when there are other amiable qualities to compensate. I bet you Paul Gowder will disagree, or at least say that one must then change the one bad quality into the good.

If we don't work out though, I will say "I once went out with a guy who liked something called "psy trance." Perhaps not as good as the Lightfoot line, but it's not for nothin'. Musical weirdness I can handle, musical high falutinness I couldn't. I have been listening to the same happy-making music for days on repeat (Wilco - Feist -Regina Spektor - Lizzie West -Call and Response - rinse, repeat). Yes, I am That Girl.

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write like a college freshman majoring in English literature day

Well, if I were Scott Eric Kaufman, I would actually do that and produce something hilarious. But I am not he. One can only dream, and I dream about playing with puppies.

But if I did, I would probably choose some theme that is relatively obvious and yet ambitious (like the "concept of time") and choose some incredibly difficult and abstruse author (like T.S. Eliot) and state some sort of sophomoric argument, such as this:

The concept of time is central to Eliot's poetry, suffusing its structure and operating as one of its principal themes. Like time in real life (it hurts me to write that), the concept of time shifts in Eliot's work. In Eliot's earlier poetry, time is elastic, future-oriented and forgiving, as it comes from a perspective of youth that indulges in blithe wastefulness. In Eliot's later poetry, time is regarded more nostalgically, as from the point of view of a life wasted: time is everywhere, and the most important time is the present. This dichotomy is most salient in the comparison of "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" and "Burnt Norton."

See, the awesome badness of the above is that it ignores how Prufrock comes to regret his waffly indecisiveness and dilly-dallying; and by focusing on Burnt Norton, the essay would miss a bunch of complexity of the other parts of the Four Quartets that might contradict this poorly articulated thesis. It is a pretty ambitious endeavor to tackle two big poems from a difficult author in a 10-12 page paper.

And that is what I did for four years in college. I kind of miss those days. I got the best grades in college focusing on just a few lines from one work, not gigantic tracts from multiple works. Focused analysis! It's something I'm finding now: focus is good, taking on an entire literature is dumb. Which is why I have decided to focus on culture in my agency vs. culture vs. structure dilemma. Still, oh to be 19 and writing bad papers. I miss those days, and hanging out in cafes and watching people play ultimate frisbee on the grassy knolls. I miss this particularly as I am holed up in my apartment, writing a damned long article on organizational culture and family-friendly policies.

In any case, for your pleasure as deadlines approach, two passages on time:

Prufrock:

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, "Do I dare?" and, "Do I dare?"
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair--
[They will say: "How his hair is growing thin!"]
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin--
[They will say: "But how his arms and legs are thin!"]
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.


Burnt Norton:

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
But to what purpose
Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
I do not know.

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Wednesday Love Poetry, Just Because

Lots going on. Exam tomorrow to advance to candidacy. Paper writing. Other stuff.

So I'm reading poetry instead of doing work. And then I'm going to go for a long run and eat some ice cream. Yes, I think that this is productive and a good plan for the day.


"I loved you first: but afterwards your love"

by Christina Rossetti

Poca favilla gran fiamma seconda. – Dante
Ogni altra cosa, ogni pensier va fore,
E sol ivi con voi rimansi amore.
– Petrarca


I loved you first: but afterwards your love
Outsoaring mine, sang such a loftier song
As drowned the friendly cooings of my dove.
Which owes the other most? my love was long,
And yours one moment seemed to wax more strong;
I loved and guessed at you, you construed me
And loved me for what might or might not be –
Nay, weights and measures do us both a wrong.
For verily love knows not ‘mine’ or ‘thine;’
With separate ‘I’ and ‘thou’ free love has done,
For one is both and both are one in love:
Rich love knows nought of ‘thine that is not mine;’
Both have the strength and both the length thereof,
Both of us, of the love which makes us one.


Sometimes with One I Love

by Walt Whitman

Sometimes with one I love I fill myself with rage for fear I effuse unreturn’d love,
But now I think there is no unreturn’d love, the pay is certain one way or another
(I loved a certain person ardently and my love was not return’d,
Yet out of that I have written these songs).


I Love to Do My Homework

by Anonymous

I love to do my homework,
It makes me feel so good.
I love to do exactly
As my teacher says I should.

I love to do my homework,
I never miss a day.
I even love the men in white
Who are taking me away.


Juan’s Song

by Louise Bogan

When beauty breaks and falls asunder
I feel no grief for it, but wonder.
When love, like a frail shell, lies broken,
I keep no chip of it for token.
I never had a man for friend
Who did not know that love must end.
I never had a girl for lover
Who could discern when love was over.
What the wise doubt, the fool believes—
Who is it, then, that love deceives?



Unromantic Love
by J. V. Cunningham

There is no stillness in this wood.
The quiet of this clearing
Is the denial of my hearing
The sounds I should.

There is no vision in this glade.
This tower of sun revealing
The timbered scaffoldage is stealing
Essence from shade.

Only my love is love’s ideal.
The love I could discover
In these recesses knows no lover,
Is the unreal,

The undefined, unanalysed,
Unabsolute many;
It is antithesis of any,
In none comprised.


Mediocrity in Love Rejected
by Thomas Carew

Give me more love or more disdain;
The torrid, or the frozen zone,
Bring equal ease unto my pain;
The temperate affords me none;
Either extreme, of love, or hate,
Is sweeter than a calm estate.

Give me a storm; if it be love,
Like Danae in that golden show'r
I swim in pleasure; if it prove
Disdain, that torrent will devour
My vulture-hopes; and he's possess'd
Of heaven, that's but from hell releas'd.

Then crown my joys, or cure my pain;
Give me more love, or more disdain.


Love's Growth
by John Donne

I scarce believe my love to be so pure
As I had thought it was,
Because it doth endure
Vicissitude, and season, as the grass;
Methinks I lied all winter, when I swore
My love was infinite, if spring make’ it more.

But if medicine, love, which cures all sorrow
With more, not only be no quintessence,
But mixed of all stuffs paining soul or sense,
And of the sun his working vigor borrow,
Love’s not so pure, and abstract, as they use
To say, which have no mistress but their muse,
But as all else, being elemented too,
Love sometimes would contemplate, sometimes do.

And yet no greater, but more eminent,
Love by the spring is grown;
As, in the firmament,
Stars by the sun are not enlarged, but shown,
Gentle love deeds, as blossoms on a bough,
From love’s awakened root do bud out now.

If, as water stirred more circles be
Produced by one, love such additions take,
Those, like so many spheres, but one heaven make,
For they are all concentric unto thee;
And though each spring do add to love new heat,
As princes do in time of action get
New taxes, and remit them not in peace,
No winter shall abate the spring’s increase.


Leave-Taking
by Louise Bogan

I do not know where either of us can turn
Just at first, waking from the sleep of each other.
I do not know how we can bear
The river struck by the gold plummet of the moon,
Or many trees shaken together in the darkness.
We shall wish not to be alone
And that love were not dispersed and set free—
Though you defeat me,
And I be heavy upon you.

But like earth heaped over the heart
Is love grown perfect.
Like a shell over the beat of life
Is love perfect to the last.
So let it be the same
Whether we turn to the dark or to the kiss of another;
Let us know this for leavetaking,
That I may not be heavy upon you,
That you may blind me no more.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Intro to Introductory Introductions.

So after Belle's introduction, I am left trying to figure out an "introductory" post.

I would by lying if I were to say that contributing to Law & Letters hasn't left me feeling a bit intimidated. I mean, it's one thing to imagine blogging about neo-liberalism's impact on post-structuralist cultural relativism, but it's an entirely different thing to actually do it. Does this mean I have to read books? Again? I mean, the sole reason I went to graduate school was to avoid reading books - and I've certainly held my own at other graduate functions with people who were "smarter than me". But lawyers read this blog. And books. And lawyers scare me.

My other concern, of course, is that by including an opinionated, pretentious, and bald contributor, Belle is, effectively, alienating her core audience.

And let's face it - how can I compete with Paul Gowder? If he's even half as pretty as Byron - I'm in serious trouble. And if Jennifer finishes her dissertation and starts contributing here as well, then I will not just be the least educated of the four contributors at Law & Letters, but also the ugliest. Not good...

Seriously, Belle - if I am going to hang around here, then at least recruit from the field of computer science. You know, someone who blogs on their Dorito-stained keyboard between sipping a Big-Gulp of Dr. Pepper and 12 hour World of Warcraft sessions - and who smells like a gym sock.

Still, I can't help but think I might have something to add to a conversation about orthodontic existentialism and its relation to gastrointestinal subjectivity. Even if I have nothing significant to contribute, I promise to use words consisting of no less than four syllables, ending in -al, -ic, or -ism. And occasionally -ious... but only occasionally.

If, by now, Belle has not concluded that she has made a HUGE mistake, well... then let the proverbial (see... four syllables ending in -al) chips fall where they may. At least I promise to give it the old post-doctoral try.


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This is it. I think.

There is still time for you to advise me.

I have been getting lots of different advice, and I am taking most of it into account. Seems that 2.1 GHz is sufficient, while 3 GB RAM is definitely advisable. I am getting a higher rpm hard drive (160 GB at 7200rpm rather than 5400rpm), and a wireless-N card. That cost a bit more. A 3 year warranty should be sufficient, however. Also, since I'm often stuck at airports and on planes, yeah, an extra 8 cell battery is worth it.

ThinkPad X61

  • Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T8100 (2.1GHz, 3MB L2, 800MHz FSB)
  • Operating System: Genuine Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Display: 12.1" XGA TFT, 2x3 Ultraconnect II antenna
  • Total memory: 3 GB PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz SODIMM Memory (2 DIMM)
  • Hard Drive: 160GB Hard Disk Drive, 7200rpm
  • Mobile media base: ThinkPad X6 UltraBase
  • Media base bay devices: DVD Recordable 8x Max Dual Layer, Ultrabay Slim
  • Wireless card: Intel Wireless WiFi Link 4965AGN (supporting Centrino Pro)
  • Battery: ThinkPad X61 4 Cell Enhanced Capacity Battery
  • Warranty: 3 year depot 9x5 Next Business Day
  • ThinkPad X60 Series 8 Cell High Capacity Battery

Total cost due to secret sweet deal: $1,464.45 (savings of $768!)


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I am FURIOUS

I am so mad, that I can't even think straight. I don't have anything productive to say other than a string of expletives. But really, what can you say, or what needs to be said, against such utterly contemptible falsehoods?

Why am I mad?

Scalia says "Get over it. It's so old by now" regarding Bush v. Gore. I am utterly speechless.



The Wall Street Journal endorses Scalia's old school breadwinner/distant father/supportive homemaker mother model of a family. Thank you, oh prestigious paper covering our nation's politics and economy, for saying something that is so clearly progressive, modern, and reflective of today's economic and social realities.

I need to throw something or break something right now.

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Laptop Shopping Advice Stat!!

Within the next 2-3 days I am going to purchase this Thinkpad X61 Laptop.

Due to some sweet deal, I am going to be able to get a souped up rice rocket of a laptop for 30% less. So, I have more freedom with add-ons now. I have a budget of $1500. So far, I have just been adding the extra stuff and finding that wow, I can still afford this. But do I need this? That's for you to advise me.

Questions to you. Choose between:

1. Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T8100 (2.1GHz, 3MB L2, 800MHz FSB)
2. Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T8300 (2.4GHz, 3MB L2, 800MHz FSB)

1 or 2? Add $32 for #2.


1. 2 GB PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz SODIMM Memory (1 DIMM)
2. 3 GB PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz SODIMM Memory (2 DIMM)

1 or 2? Add $25 for #2.

1. 3 year mail-in warranty/service $95
2. 4 year mail in warranty/service $183
3. 5 year mail in warranty/service $247

What do you think is sufficient? I want to keep this for a few years at least. Is 5 years overshooting the time one might want to have the same laptop? Is 3 or 4 years sufficient? Should I just go with 4 years as the compromise for what I might need?

1. Currently has:
ThinkPad X61 4 Cell Enhanced Capacity Battery
2. Optional purchase:
ThinkPad X60 Series 8 Cell High Capacity Battery [add $143.20]

Should I get this? It's more worth it than one extra GB of RAM, right?

I have determined that I don't need Bluetooth, and I don't need to buy Microsoft Office, because my brothers should have it. Also, I am resigned to Vista Basic, since Vista Business doesn't seem that much better, that is to say, just as bad.


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OrgTheory's Grad Skool Rulz for Women

Over at OrgTheory, my other favorite non-law blog, Fabio Rojas has compiled some great advice from women in the academy for other female scholars and graduate students:

    • Spouses: A common theme was that women have to really work extra hard to manage their partner’s expectations. Sadly, a lot of men seem not to support their spouses in the academic track: “My talks with others and my own experience suggests that, in general, male non-academic partners are somewhat less supportive of grad school than female non-academic partners. For everyone, being partnered to someone who is not in grad school is difficult but women grad students seem to struggle more with this.” I think this really underscores what I wrote here about family before. Women have to go the extra mile to make sure that their partner knows what an academic career is about and they have to be willing to stand by you 100%. If they don’t “get it,” then you have to sit down with the partner and have a serious talk.
    • Family Planning: The unfortunate truth right now is that having children is a career penalty (see this ASA report). So when should someone have children? The ASA report says there is no “right time,” though multiple people have suggested to me that the time is between course work and the job market. I’ll leave it to the readers to assess this claim for themselves. However, what can be agreed upon is that the career hit can be lessened with the use of institutional, social, or financial resources. So seek out your university’s policies regarding funding and children, look for inexpensive quality child care, import relatives for help. Maybe your country, state, or city(e.g., Europe) has child care resources. Resource planning seems to be the issue here.
    • Confidence: Numerous respondents addressed this issue. Academia is often a game of seminar room aggression. Many scholars said that women graduate students need to learn that they are not “impostors” and that you have to assert yourself in class and at conferences. Good words: “Women often walk a fine line between being considered too nice or sweet and being pushy, arrogant or bitchy when giving critiques. Graduate school can be an excellent laboratory for figuring out how to be assertive yet constructive. Use seminars and talks as a chance to watch how others give constructive feedback and express their opinions. Figure out how to assert yourself without being arrogant/condescending or without backing down when someone disagrees with you. This is not an easy thing to do - but it’s worth spending some time on.”
    • The Old Boys Network: Another issue that men are much more common in many in subfields and it can lead women students to feel out of the loop, even if it is unintentional. Sometimes, women will be excluded from social activities because it might seem inappropriate (e.g., going drinking after seminar). First, as one respondent wrote, it doesn’t mean that you’ll be left out of everything. UItimately, you are judged on your research and teaching. The person who raised this issue even commented that she has succeeded quite well, but it was extremely awkward for her. Second, you can actually show up to these events most of the time. Unless it’s a personal 1 on 1, you can crash most quasi-academic events (snacks, drinks, etc).
    • Being the Listener: Students treat their female instructors like their moms or like a free therapist. One correspondent wrote: “Female teachers are more likely to get students who tell them very personal stories about themselves and, in general, look to the female faculty member (or TA) for nurturing. This is really strange if you’re not expecting it and difficult even if you are..” I’ll actually add my own strong opinion here. You don’t have to become the department therapist. Many campuses actually have paid therapists students can go to. It’s not your job. I’d suggest that you kindly listen to the student’s issue, wish them the best, and if they need more help, ship them to the right office.
    • Harassment: I’ll add my own view here because it’s actually pretty cut and dry. The university department is like any other workplace. Co-workers and bosses should talk respectfully to each other and keep their hands to themselves. If a student is harassed (rude talk, quid pro quo for sexual favors, a nasty work environment), document it immediately and talk to a knowledgeable third person who can help you. Do not tolerate boorishness and, if possible, truncate relationships where one person is clearly expecting something other than academic work. Also, do this in a respectful way so that you can continue and complete your degree. You’ll learn by consulting with other trustworthy people. Finally, exercise some judgment - sometimes it’s best just to ignore the person if the behavior is harmless.
    • Paternalism: A number of people mentioned the fact that many older men will still call their adult female students things like “honey,” “sweety,” etc. I really don’t know what else to add, other than to say that you should beware. If that’s all, maybe you can let it slide. But if it’s coupled with other behavior, you should avoid them.
    • Your team, network and Mentors: Many people emphasized the need to build networks and find a mentor. Get more than one friend or mentor to give you a variety of opinions. One person emphasized that it’s important not to insulate yourself with your network. A cohort of supportive female doctoral students can help each other deal with the program, not become a substitute for the program. Help and support are what’s needed, not isolation.

    I’ll end with these insightful words: “You didn’t get to where you are because you played according to gender stereotypes, which, as you know, are socially constructed and wrong even if they have a pervasive, pernicious lingering effect. Read bell hooks and Paolo Freire (critical pedagogy), and Power, Race, and Gender in the Academe by Shirley Geok-Lim. Feel empowered. Feel (some) responsibility. Be a good student and institutional citizen by speaking up in class, going to office hours, going to paper talks, presenting your own work, forming the networking connections you know you’ll need now and later, and competing for those plum teaching assignments and fellowships and post-docs. Try to ignore the imposter syndrome. You deserve it, and you owe it to yourself to believe in yourself. That said, recognize that you are human, that sometimes institutional factors and lingering stereotypes and subtle discrimination can hamper even the best of our efforts. So, don’t blame yourself if you can’t get everything, can’t get everything done, and can’t do everything. You don’t have to be a super human, much less Superwoman. You don’t have to believe yourself responsible for all of womankind in ___ discipline.”



    All great advice!

    Click here for all of OrgTheory's great grad skool rulz on writing/finishing that damned dissertation; maintaining your support network and relationships, and negotiating with your professors and advisors.

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    Monday, April 28, 2008

    Org Theory Smackdown: Culture v. Structure v. Agency

    It is a mark of a highly ambitious, and possibly deluded graduate student to try to say anything about that neverending debate full of fine but possibly false distinctions. Which is more powerful than the other? Which has the greatest potential for harm? Which comes first? Is everything culture? If everything is, what isn't? Is culture embedded in structure, or does structure determine culture? Can agency do anything to affect culture or structure? Is there any agency at all? What explains employment discrimination better: a bad work culture or institutional/structural barriers? Both? What is the more pernicious mechanism that operates to discriminate or prevents the mobilization of rights? What can the employee do about it, and can anything be done at all?

    For context, it is like pondering the eternal Roshambo of rock, paper, scissors. Which is more dominant? What if you had like big ol' garden shears and a brittle type of rock? What if the paper is rigid and unyielding and could not cover the rock? Damn it, this is a stupid example.

    I was also contemplating some eternally opposed triumvirate example from history or literature, but I can't think of any. Hmm.

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    "No man can resist evil! The bet is on!"

    In celebration of the fact that I'm still here, here's one of the coolest things I've ever seen.



    This is a chunk of F.W. Murnau's silent film "Faust," with a new and unbelievably awesome score by Phillip Johnston.

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    changes in the lineup

    Thanks to my illustrious guest bloggers for their interesting and insightful posts. For the illustrious guest bloggers who never blogged, I am sure that your posts would have been just as interesting and insightful. Fortunately, they are all friends, and know I love them.

    I'd like to welcome Bryan D. Brown, a good friend and a cool blogger. I am looking forward to having a non-law, non-academic person shake things up a bit here at L&L. You professors are always looking for cool music suggestions. You profs are always blogging about politics and civic engagement but not really getting involved (and indeed, I am guilty of that myself). Well, we here at L&L like to keep it real, and part of that is making sure that there's a multiplicity of voices on this blog that don't all say the same thing in the same way. Okay, actually that wasn't the blog's original mission, since it started out as my vanity project. But now that people are actually reading my blog, I've found that I really enjoy the discussions generated in the comments and in the guest posts. So I'm willing to take a backseat. My ego is large enough as it is. Also, I'm glad to make sure this blog is still as varied as it used to be, and not just a law blog. I'm looking forward to Bryan's posts on politics, music, and whatever!

    From his official bio:

    Bryan graduated with a B.A in music composition from the College of Creative Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received his M.A. in Media Arts and Technology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with an emphasis in Electronic Music and Sound Design, where he studied with Professor Curtis Roads and Stephen Travis Pope.

    He works as the chief engineer at 91.9 KCSB-FM in Santa Barbara, and hosts a music show on Tuesday at 9am called NonDescript.

    From January 2003 to August 2006, he served as a Director for the Isla Vista Recreation and Parks District, and has served as the President and Treasurer of the Board of Directors of the Santa Barbara Student Housing Co-op. He represented the co-op on the Isla Vista Project Area Committee.


    I am looking forward to inviting future eminent sociologist Jennifer Rogers onto Law and Letters eventually, but first she must finish her dissertation. No pressure there, Jennifer.

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    choose your own adventure

    (The best way to ensure that I'll blog is for me to declare that I won't blog. But don't get too used to this until after 5/15).

    Over at Scatterplot, Jeremy has an interesting mental exercise for you, albeit potentially depressing.

    "Does anybody else have a counterfactual career they wonder about?"

    Some of the answers are surprisingly within the realm of possibility, like "children's book librarian", "veterinarian," or Jeremy's "computer programmer." I love realistic alternate universes. People always say "if you dream, dream big." Those people don't last long in this world. Sometimes the little fantasies are enough to keep us going, and they feel don't suffer from the twin burdens of impossibility and impracticality. TD asked why, when I said I would love to have been a backup singer for a '70s funk band because it seemed so fun, "why not be the funk singer? Why not be George Clinton?" I don't know. I don't think I would be good at being the star of the show, but I could totally rock out in gold lame' and fringe and be happy as a part of the show. Except for certain instances in my chosen profession (at the lectern I am comfortable), I don't like being in the spotlight. Part of fantasy is breaking out of your mold, yes, but you can't radically change who you are to suit your dreams. It's better if your dreams are modified to suit you.

    Other answers are charmingly of the "this would have been my life if I had not..." variety, which is always tinged with rue and yet relief, like what would have happened if you had not gone to school and if you had married that guy. I have a story like that. In theory, I could have married young, have had an unhappy marriage, and divorced early. This is why even the most mundane day these days feels like a daily adventure. I have seen what my life could be, and my life now is of my own choosing, and there is adventure in choice--and the happiness that has come with that is a surprise benefit.

    Other answers tread the familiar fantasy line of "if I wasn't such a risk-averse tool, I'd be some kind of artist." I fall into this last category, of course. In my stupid teenage years, I dreamed of becoming a novelist who did poetry on the side. However, if I wrote crappy, self-indulgent thinly veiled autobiographies that highlight the delicate epiphanies of the bourgeoisie, I would shoot myself. And since that was a distinct possibility, I guess I'll stick to being a legal academic.

    Really though, I can't imagine not doing what I do. I can imagine being an academic in another discipline--English literature or political science were certainly choices. I can't say I'd have been as happy with either though, and that realization surprises me. I like studying the law. However, I am one of the few, and I do not mean to say that I liked law school or would enjoy being a lawyer, and those are the main reasons you should go to law school. Me becoming a legal academic was something that is surprisingly working out, but I could have totally failed downwards rather than upwards.

    There was a time in 2001 when I sent off apps to PhD programs in English and poli sci, and almost assembled a package for MFA programs. I ended up going to law school. That was probably the least likely choice, but I made a life of it for myself, and where I am going now I'm happy with. Part of choosing your own adventure is realizing which counterfactual would have worked in real life, but for whatever reason, the life you have is a good one. Sure, I could be a '70s funk band backup singer. But I'd rather be a law professor.

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    poetry for tired people

    Maturity

    by Philip Larkin

    A stationary sense ... as, I suppose,
    I shall have, till my single body grows
    Inaccurate, tired;
    Then I shall start to feel the backward pull
    Take over, sickening and masterful—
    Some say, desired.

    And this must be the prime of life ... I blink,
    As if at pain; for it is pain, to think
    This pantomime
    Of compensating act and counter-act,
    Defeat and counterfeit, makes up, in fact,
    My ablest time.

    If  See No End In Is

    by Frank Bidart

    What none knows is when, not if.
    Now that your life nears its end
    when you turn back what you see
    is ruin. You think, It is a prison. No,
    it is a vast resonating chamber in
    which each thing you say or do is

    new, but the same. What none knows is
    how to change. Each plateau you reach, if
    single, limited, only itself, in-
    cludes traces of  all the others, so that in the end
    limitation frees you, there is no
    end, if   you once see what is there to see.

    You cannot see what is there to see —
    not when she whose love you failed is
    standing next to you. Then, as if refusing the know-
    ledge that life unseparated from her is death, as if
    again scorning your refusals, she turns away. The end
    achieved by the unappeased is burial within.

    Familiar spirit, within whose care I grew, within
    whose disappointment I twist, may we at last see
    by what necessity the double-bind is in the end
    the  figure  for human life, why what we love is
    precluded always by something else we love, as if
    each no we speak is yes, each yes no.

    The prospect is mixed but elsewhere the forecast is no
    better. The eyrie where you perch in
    exhaustion has food and is out of  the wind, if
    cold. You feel old, young, old, young: you scan the sea
    for movement, though the promise of  sex or food is
    the prospect that bewildered  you to this end.

    Something in you believes that it is not the end.
    When you wake, sixth grade will start. The finite you know
    you fear is infinite: even at eleven, what you love is
    what you should not love, which endless bullies in-
    tuit unerringly. The future will be different: you cannot see
    the end. What none knows is when, not if.

    The Dictionary of Silence

    by Debora Greger

    And in that city the houses of the dead
    are left empty, if the dead are famous enough;
    by day the living pay to see if dust is all
    that befalls the lives they left behind.

    Coating even the glassed-in waistcoat in time,
    coloring the air of the room stripped bare,
    down four stories of twisted stair it falls,
    down on the dictionary no longer there.

    Empty your pockets,
    empty your hearts, that empty upper room exhorts.
    Forget the scrap of paper with the missing word
    for what’s missing—

    go home to your rented room.
    Go on. Six cramped quills, one elbow chair, missing a leg,
    held up all those years by Johnson’s willing it to hold
    his bulk—now even the “soul hath elbowroom

    in that room where scribes scribbled out that quote.
    In that city the dead never want to get up,
    just as in life. What can we offer them?
    Just this dust to cover them deeper,

    kin to the soot that shadowed their days.
    Kiss from a wife who no longer wanted to be touched—
    love, he held, regarded with passionate affection,
    like one sex to the other, first; or, second,

    made do with the affection of a friend; or
    managed merely parental tenderness, third; or, fourth,
    no more than pleasure with, delighting in; or, fifth,
    no less than the reverent unwillingness to offend.

    O had a long sound, as in alone. Her opium.
    On clean-shirt day he would pay a visit to his wife.
    Pack meant large bundle of any thing—“on your head
    a pack of sorrows.”

    Quiet. The square just off Fleet Street
    so quiet Carlyle got lost on his way there.
    Remember the garret floorboards’ complaint, the muffled
    ruffling of pigeons just overhead?

    Such silence we fell into
    stair by stair, the house to ourselves.
    Tired of London, he claimed, and one was
    tired of life. Were we just tired?

    Under the low ceiling as below deck,
    up where no angle was true, we sank in deeper silence,
    valedictory, the way it took us in.
    Volumes of ancient air closed around us, blank,

    weighted by the latest dust.
    What had we come to the house of the dead to see? Something
    exotic? The zebra presented to the queen in 1726? Something
    exactly as it might have been? Did you

    yawn first, back among the living?
    You pulled me from traffic rushing downstream instead of up,
    that Zambezi best forded from stripe to painted stripe,
    a “zebra crossing.” I’d looked the wrong way.

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    Exhaustion

    There's lots to blog about on the failure of the Ledbetter Amendment and the idea of equal pay. Also, I could go over the (false?) dichotomy of organizational culture vs. organizational structure.

    But I'm too tired and busy. This blog will be bad for a few weeks.

    So I am going to take to posting up other people's stuff in lieu of original, long-essay posts from me.

    I am actually too tired to even post stuff on equal pay/employment discrimination/wacky org theory, so initially I think I'll just keep posting poems until someone asks me "hey, I thought you had a law blog." And then I'll just post other people's legal analysis, until someone asks me, "hey, I thought this was a personal blog!" And then I'll probably tell them that I'm taking a break from being too personal, for various reasons.

    In periods of great time compression, I could either not blog, or blog badly. The last time I went on a blog hiatus, it lasted for months and I had to take a year to rebuild my readership. Don't let that happen again.

    Another option would be to engage in blog performance art, like my equally time-pressed, also dissertating buddy Scott Eric Kaufman, who is blogging like G/enn Reyno/ds today. Genius. I would blog like La A/thouse, but that would be painful.

    It Is Later Than You Think

    by Robert W. Service

    Lone amid the café’s cheer,
    Sad of heart am I to-night;
    Dolefully I drink my beer,
    But no single line I write.
    There’s the wretched rent to pay,
    Yet I glower at pen and ink:
    Oh, inspire me, Muse, I pray,
    It is later than you think!

    Hello! there’s a pregnant phrase.
    Bravo! let me write it down;
    Hold it with a hopeful gaze,
    Gauge it with a fretful frown;
    Tune it to my lyric lyre ...
    Ah! upon starvation’s brink,
    How the words are dark and dire:
    It is later than you think.

    Weigh them well .... Behold yon band,
    Students drinking by the door,
    Madly merry, bock in hand,
    Saucers stacked to mark their score.
    Get you gone, you jolly scamps;
    Let your parting glasses clink;
    Seek your long neglected lamps:
    It is later than you think.

    Look again: yon dainty blonde,
    All allure and golden grace,
    Oh so willing to respond
    Should you turn a smiling face.
    Play your part, poor pretty doll;
    Feast and frolic, pose and prink;
    There’s the Morgue to end it all,
    And it’s later than you think.

    Yon’s a playwright—mark his face,
    Puffed and purple, tense and tired;
    Pasha-like he holds his place,
    Hated, envied and admired.
    How you gobble life, my friend;
    Wine, and woman soft and pink!
    Well, each tether has its end:
    Sir, it’s later than you think.

    See yon living scarecrow pass
    With a wild and wolfish stare
    At each empty absinthe glass,
    As if he saw Heaven there.
    Poor damned wretch, to end your pain
    There is still the Greater Drink.
    Yonder waits the sanguine Seine ...
    It is later than you think.

    Lastly, you who read; aye, you
    Who this very line may scan:
    Think of all you planned to do ...
    Have you done the best you can?
    See! the tavern lights are low;
    Black’s the night, and how you shrink!
    God! and is it time to go?
    Ah! the clock is always slow;
    It is later than you think;
    Sadly later than you think;
    Far, far later than you think.

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    Friday, April 25, 2008

    Linux Geek Bleg...

    So I'm trying to free myself from the clutches of microsoft, and I'm almost there, but the display on my laptop is not playing nice with ubuntu... can anyone who knows how to fix this stuff pleeeaaaassseeee go here for the details and tell me what to do to make life better? Thank you!

    Edit: FIXED! And it only took an hour and a half of searching by a really really good hacker. Oh X....

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    It's 9:55 PM on a Friday Night. Do you know where you are?

    I'm at home, but working. You?

    I have no kids to wonder where they are. But I suspect that one day, I will be home and working and my kids will be out having fun. That will bother me. Either because I was raised to not have fun by psycho strict Asian parents and work all the time (And thus feel guilt every time I have fun rather than work. This is must how raised-really-Catholics feel when they have sex), or because I will envy them their blithe youth.

    Except that youth is never so blithe. Dude, I was always studying, and always going to summer school and taking extra college classes. My nephew seems to be working all the time too.

    Anyway, to everyone working on a Friday night, I salute you, and give you a high five.

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    Wednesday, April 23, 2008

    two views of the same river

    The last class of the seminar on foundations of L&S today. It wasn't a terrible class, at all, but the class was strained to the hilt by the laboriousness of the readings, the occasionally stilted nature of the discussion, and the weird dynamics that pitted political scientist against economist against sociologist. It was hardly anyone's favorite class ever.

    Still, as we partook (is that a word?) of my favorite ritual, the end-of-class-clap, the prof thanked us for our spirited engagement and said that we were her best class on the subject.

    Huh?! Are we talking about the same class?!

    It is nice to know this, of course. I just am never sure whether to believe professors when they say these things. Either we were better than we perceived (and we perceived ourselves to be lacking in interest and patience), or man, the other classes before us must have sucked hard.

    Perhaps one day, I too will say this to my classes, that they were the best class ever. Perhaps, one day, I too will engage in institutionally lubricating little white lies that make everyone special in that post-Objectivist way. That happened a lot in law school. Profs would say "I know you might hear that I tell my 1L class this every year, but you are truly the best, friendliest, warmest bunch I've ever had." Framed like that, it's hard not to go "whatev."

    Still, it is nice to hear these things, especially if sincerely meant. And I really think she meant it. Maybe we weren't as bad as we thought we were. I mean, we, as a class, did read carefully, participate fully, have discussions (aka arguments) and turn in all the critiques and go to every class. So I guess, in terms of participation and engagement, we were there. We were awkward, yes, but we were all awkward together and to equal degrees. It is ironic that the last two classes have been so good, and the discussoin so lively and interesting. It almost made me sad to see the class end. Almost.

    I will, however, be sad when my class on gender discrimination ends. Now that was an awesome class. It reminds me of my other favorite class ever, employment discrimination law--my 3L spring semester, the course that changed my life and scholarship. I am telling you, law professor folks: you can make a difference in your students' lives.

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    Noodle Kugel

    I'm inviting people over on Sunday to do a dry run of my dissertation oral defense. That is very nice of everyone during finals/paper writing hell to come to my aid. I have to feed them. I have to feed them well. On the menu is spinach mushroom quiche, blueberry coffee cake, and noodle kugel. TD likes noodle kugel, and has a weird aversion to potatoes. No, I don't know why we're still together.

    This Vietnamese-American girl is confident about her quiche making skills (it's the French colonialism thing, bien sur) and coffee cake (Despite TD saying that he has a particular idea of coffee-cake, that is, his grandmother's and anything else is merely a passable attempt, I am usually a pretty awesome baker and will try to beat his grandma. Wait, that didn't come out right).

    Help me make Noodle Kugel.

    I have looked at 20 recipes, all different, some heart-attack inducing (Balducci's has 8 eggs, 1 stick of butter and 2 packages of cream cheese! Eww!). I have sour cream and ricotta cheese on hand. But more ricotta than sour, which I will use for coffee cake. I don't want to keep buying cheese when the price of milk is more than my t-shirt from Old Navy. What's your suggestion of which heart attack inducing white substance I go with?

    Also, I am using dried cranberries instead of raisins. I hate raisins. Like, I really hate them. Almost as much as I hate my university library system that doesn't let me renew books online.

    Options: This recipe. Or this recipe. Seems as though ricotta and sour cream are fungible, and I like the creamy non-tangyness of ricotta.

    Thoughts?

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    Where in the world is Belle Lettre?

    When I'm not here, I'm at Scatterplot.

    Otherwise, until I get my new laptop and only have Firefox and install Leechblock to prevent myself from surfing, I'm leaving behind the laptop and spending the day at the library surrounded by stacks of articles and books. Like in the good ol' days, before I was an alcoholic working at a bar, er, an academic with a permanently connected laptop.

    Yes, this self-policing is weird and sad. Also sad is that my laptop is 7-8 lbs, and because I am too busy to go to the gym these days or run for more than 20 minutes, I am taking to walking the 3 miles to school (and 3 miles back) in an effort to combine cardio + commute. So leaving behind the laptop = an uncompressed spine.

    Also, I have an oral defense to prepare for, which is next week. TD is helping by leaving me alone for a few days, and helping me prepare the brunch/dry run with a bunch of classmates on Sunday. It is good to have a supportive partner.

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    A Possibly-Serious, Possibly-Not Last Word on Law Journals, OR Belated Mobblogging, OR a Case Study in Perverse Incentives.

    A few facts about publications, and tenure.

    Probability of faculty members getting tenure (plus status, good lateral transfers, jobs in the first place, etc.) increases in number of publications.

    Expected number of publications increases in a) number of ideas cognitively available, and b) probability of acceptance from journals.

    Number of ideas cognitively available increases in crappiness of other publications out there, to refute.

    Probability of acceptance from journals increases in a) number of journals, and b) journal acceptance rate.

    Crappiness of other publications out there, to refute, also increases in a) number of journals, and b) journal acceptance rate.

    Ergo, modulo other factors, tenure probability increases in number of journals and journal acceptance rate.

    Law faculties tend to grant a lot of tenure and have a lot of really crappy journals.

    Moreover, the factor permitting the large number of journals (student editing) is also the factor permitting the crappiness.

    Coincidence? Sinister conspiracy? Or the natural result of individual utility-maximizing behavior en masse?

    Cross-references: [1] [2] [3] [4]

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    Tuesday, April 22, 2008

    a seat at the (conference) table

    Part of being a good institutional citizen of your school/university is attending paper talks. No, not just those free food ones sponsored by this and that student org or law firm. Go to those too, although you will get sick of pizza. If you are the type that goes just to get food but not from interest, well, that's a little mercenary of you, but who am I to parse and judge motives?

    No, I am talking about the true test of intellectual interest and commitment: the brown bag paper talk. Like, you bring your own lunch and listen to people talk about their work, and ask questions.

    I like brown bags. I don't go to nearly enough of them, mainly because they're all on Monday, when I don't have class and prefer to camp out at home with my stuff all around me. But again, I advise you (and myself): be a good citizen of your school. If you are not otherwise occupied, take two hours out of your day/week to go to a paper talk. Trust me, I am scolding myself. They are usually scheduled around the lunch hour, and so they don't even violate my annoyance at scheduling things in the late evenings, when people would rather be with their families (if they have them, and yes, they have them, even in "school").

    But it's always interesting to me to go to a roundtable brown bag, because I never know where to sit in the room. I feel bad, as a still-student, sitting at the table. I feel like the kid who is sitting with the grownups, although some of these people are not that much older than I am (I am 27; to me, <+15 years = you are not that old). Do I consign myself to my second class citizen status and sit in the back, in the chairs that circle the table? Or do I sit boldly at the table, and feel weird about all the crusty old academics sitting in the chairs in the back? Does it matter where you sit?

    What say you, crusty old academics and young academics? Do students belong at the same table as the faculty? Is it first come, first sit? Is it appropriate, nay, encouraged, for students to come to paper talks, sit at the table as "equals" (at least, as an audience to the talk) and ask questions?

    Your answers shed light on institutional norms and culture. My Organizations prof last semester was abrasive and weird, but she sat at the table with us and frequently changed her position at the table, so that she was never at the head of the table or in the same position. She said that an easy to think about indicia of org culture was where people sat in the room, and how. In the sociology department, students and faculty shared the table, and everyone participated in the Q&A. In the business school, things were more stratified by implied hierarchy. Interesting, is it not?

    Also, do you want comments from students when you present your papers to your colleagues? Who do you consider a colleague? Who is co-equal to you in the intellectual enterprise of workshopping a paper? What you respond will be indicative of your conception of hierarchy and the intellectual life of a school. Do you learn as much from your students as from your colleagues? Do you want to learn anything at all?

    Sometimes, students need a little encouragement to feel welcome at the table, and welcome to comment and question. I am more shy than you might suspect in real life, and occasionally intimidated. Only when I am very consciously the student in the faculty/student interactions am I like this. When I myself go on the conference circuit, I think "hell, I have a JD too" and go with my "Aspiring Law Prof" persona. You would think that I could retain this identity in other interactions, but alas, no. Only when I'm presenting a work, or attending a conference as a nearly co-equal member. I should really stop thinking like this. I give tons of comments at colloquiums and conferences that I attend, why not the faculty brown bags?


    Probably because these are my professors, from whom I take classes. It is hard to shake myself of that relationship, even though by now I've studied law and organizations enough that I might be able to give actually valuable comments. I have started to attend the same conferences as my former employment discrimination prof, and that was a little weird. We're almost colleagues! But not in my head. My head is stupid. So, props to TM for raising her hand and asking interesting questions, because it inspired me to do the same. Unfortunately, by the time I got the chutzpah, the session was over. Alas. Next time I'll summon up the chutzpah.

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    Sunday, April 20, 2008

    I don't do it all, so I don't have it all. Oh well.



    Alternate title: public shaming, home office edition.

    This is more like the secret shames that occur in the privacy of one's home office/living room. I really wish I had an office at school. This was one of my recommendations to Legal Theory Prof for making his school's VAP more attractive. And yet, can I just say, I'm glad that I don't have a job that requires immense amounts of face time, as if logging hours were the best measure of productivity. I am glad to be in a field where you can work from home, and have a flexible schedule.

    But that's not to say I work from home particularly well (or at least, with dignity), or that I cope with the two worker-partnership thing all that well. I get exasperated during the crunch time, and no less exasperated when he has to work late too. When we are both working late, it's a lot of take out, which bugs me--although I don't know why. Damned persistence of gender stereotypes.

    I'll start. Then it's your turn.

    • My socks are mismatched (one bright blue, one green with pink stripes) and I'm wearing men's pajama bottoms with my law school t-shirt, and it's 2:30 in the afternoon. I don't care. I'm reading about the second shift of work. Working on a Sunday makes you want to redefine what work means, or at least its uniform. Right now, I think that this is pretty awesome.
    • I eat ice cream straight out of the carton, and usually one of two flavors: Cherry Garcia and Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch.
    • I do maudlin things like make his picture my cellphone/desktop wallpaper when we're apart, and then change it back when I see him again so that he doesn't notice me being this schmaltzy. You know, after a whole week apart. I hate being "That Girl", but yet I am. But it does make my work a little happier to have a happy memory for my wallpaper.
    • I currently have four novels that I'm reading in various stages of completion. I do not anticipate finishing them any time soon.



    • I eat cold pasta. Also, pizza. Reheating is for soup and Chinese food. This is very weird, yes.
    • At this point, I have knitted a potholder, and I cannot give you a projected completion date for what will be a scarflet.
    • My bed has been unmade for five days, an all time record. I kind of hate this.



    • I cooked for the first time in half a week on Saturday (cumin-coriander encrusted pork chops and mashed yukon gold potatoes), and only because I was out of leftovers and getting sick of cereal. This is why I like to have people to cook for. Although I don't know why I am so lazy when cooking just for myself, when I know plenty of others who go all out to give themselves gourmet experiences. Somehow, in my head, dinner is something that's best shared with a loved one.
    Clearly, the paper writing period/exam period does not suit my normally fastidious, stylish, foodieish, house holdiness part of myself. But eh, after reading so many books on gender divisions of housework and the time bind that is particularly virulent with female professionals, I am totally cool with relaxing some of my standards for trying to "do it all" and being the one about whom one would say "I don't know how she does it."

    Well, obviously, left to my own devices, and in particularly time compressed periods of life, I don't do it all. No perfect house, career, family, consumerist habits. I should mention that the pajamas are from Old Navy and the socks are from Costco, and I have totally lost their partners in the Great Laundry Accident of 2007. TD has been away for a week, we don't have kids, and so right now, I don't have to have it all, and I don't want it all.

    I'm pretty happy working on my own thing, and having a supportive (but also time crunched) partner, and being a schlubby grad student. I imagine, when I am in a position of some professional significance, I will want to strive for perfection in all areas of my life. Or maybe, I will just cut myself a break, and realize that working on a sunny Sunday is an achievement in itself, and so who cares that there's dishes in the sink or mismatched socks on my feet. And I would hope that I would value spending time with my partner and children more than I value the perfect Pottery Barned-out, immaculately kept home.

    You can't have it all. But why would you want it all? That's a lot of stuff, man. Not only does my work argue for a different conception of "work," but I hope to one day write an article about how we should restructure our idea of family and household obligations--at least, to be less gendered. I have a hard time getting out of that (I feel bad when dinner is late or "off" because I was so busy trying to do work and cook at the same time the potatoes were undercooked), but I am starting to cut myself a break.

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    Blog Spotlight #2: Wicked Anomie

    I am quickly getting sucked into the world of sociology blogs. Fear not, legal scholars--I have not abandoned you yet. In fact, I often say to myself in my pup tent on the cold mountains of Wyoming, "I wish I could quit you, Law."

    But anyway, through my marauding travels in Scatterplot, I have been discovering awesome sociology blogs. Including, WickedAnomie, who is working on her PhD in sociology, and who, like me, aspires to finish by 2010. Her blog is "sociology run amok," or "armchair adventures from the ivory tower." F'ing awesome descriptive phrases, are they not? Mine's "the chronicles of academia," but I should so steal her "armchair adventures."

    For a sample of one of Wicked A's awesome posts, here is her "examining a social issue with SCIENTIFIC methods", or "do you save a cherry by popping a collar" [ed: God, I hate Abercrombie and Fitch]?:

    I assert that the t-shirt manufacturers are confusing correlation with causation. They are advocating doing one action instead of the other. However, I hypothesize that doing one (popping a collar) will be causally related to a person's inability to achieve the other (popping a cherry; i.e., deflowering a virgin).

    But how can I find out if this is true?

    STATISTICS TO THE RESCUE!!!

    Well, first we have to decide what we are predicting. This could go two ways: are we predicting the likelihood a date will end in a popped cherry, or the number of cherries popped over some period of time? I think the number of cherries popped is a better indicator of the viability of the Popped Collar Hypothesis. This way, we can examine cross-partner (or potential partner) effects.

    This means that the dependent variable is a count of the number of cherries the subject has popped...[go there for actual sophisticated statistical analysis]...

    It is highly unlikely that the average number of cherries popped within the general population follows a normal distribution. Hence, we cannot use ordinary least squares regression. It is far more likely that the number of cherries popped will follow the standard Poisson distribution, with a mean of about 1 (girls can only be virgins once, and I am guessing that most people only sleep with one virgin or less in their lifetime). Poisson analyses assume that the incidents (cherry pops) are completely uncorrelated, so that one cherry-popping incident has no bearing on the likelihood of future poppings. I doubt this is true. These models can't account for such an effect because there is no error term in the formula.

    We can fix this with a negative binomial model, which adds an error term (dispersion parameter) with a gamma distribution. This allows the variance to exceed the mean. The negative binomial model has the same mean structure, but it now corrects for variance. The standard errors will no longer be biased downwards, hence no more inflated z-scores, and now we won't have false positives (Type I errors, where you reject a null hypothesis that happens to be true). Recall, the null hypothesis here would be that there is NO correlation between popped collars and popped cherries. This is what we are trying to REJECT.

    But there's another potential problem: Poisson distributions also tend to underpredict the number of zeros. Now, if we're including boys and girls in the analysis, this is a HUGE problem. Not very many girls have popped cherries. And even fewer sport popped collars.

    If we are only looking at boys, however, this may still be true because some of the zeros (boys who have never popped a cherry) are being determined by a different process than the remaining count. Some boys are being hindered by their popped collars; some are not just not going to get laid whatever they try, bless their little hearts. In this case, we can use a zero-inflated negative binomial model to test our hypothesis. What this does is (sort of) run a binary logistic regression AND a negative binomial regression on the data. So now we are kind of predicting two outcomes: who is deflowering virgins, and among those virgin deflowerers, how many virgins have they deflowered?

    Then we can see if popped collars are influencing the count.

    Now I just need some data.


    Come on, people. Everyday sociology, studying humans with scientific methods, evaluating the sexworthiness of preppies. You must agree, the most awesome gift the the blogworld has ever given you.

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