by Chris Bertram on September 23, 2004

My head is clearly stuck some time in the 1970s, because “I just can’t understand this story”: :

bq. The Amateur Boxing Association is set to offer Amir Khan £70,000 a year, tax free, to stay in the amateur ranks. Khan has said he wants to remain an amateur with the ABA planning to make a formal offer to the Olympic silver medallist on Friday. …. [Lennox] Lewis said he did not subscribe to the view that Khan needed to turn pro to make the most of the commercial opportunities available. “There is a lot of amateur money out there,” said Lewis.


What do IEM prices actually mean?

by Daniel on September 23, 2004

Via the Marginal Revolution lads, here’s a working paper by Charles Manski, an economist at Northwestern who’s interested in a question that we’ve often returned to at CT; what are the prices in markets like the Iowa Electronic Markets (***MARKET UPDATE*** Kerry still “dying on arse”) actually measuring? Can we really take a market price of 0.70 and unproblematically read off it that “the market thinks there is a 70% chance”?

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Media Fairness As Justice

by John Holbo on September 23, 2004

I’ve been holding off posting about memogate out of respect for the worm’s rotational speed. Where we stop, nobody knows. Here I go.

First, a bit of prophecy. No, prophecy’s a fool’s game. On to philosophy (ba-dum, crash, thanks for coming out tonight.)

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Academic blogging

by Chris Bertram on September 23, 2004

Today’s Guardian Online has “a piece by Jim McClellan about academic blogging”:,3605,1310111,00.html . I get quoted quite a bit and accurately too. But, as always, I’m not sure that what comes across is exactly what I meant to say. So I guess I wanted to make two points: (1) that blogs can be used as an interactive teaching tool but that rival courseware technologies which lock out “outsiders” pose a threat to that expansion of the medium (a point that “Eszter makes more eloquently here”: ); and (2) that concerns over intellectual property and corporate liability on the part of universities are in tension with academics increasing use of the blog medium. Those points get rather run together in the piece (that’s probably my fault, not Jim’s). As for my own experiment to use a blog in teaching — it wasn’t a great success, as the article says. But others have done better, and I’ll have another go this year.


by Belle Waring on September 23, 2004

Jacob Levy, whose absence is deeply felt in the blogosphere, sent me an email containing the following, totally correct rebuke:

Libertarianism is incompatible with invading other countries and overthrowing their governments iff:

1) States are fundamental rights-bearers who cannot be aggressed against — which is a really weird thing for libertarians to think.
2) Libertarianism is incompatible with *any* use of force, e.g. it is a variant of pacifism. Some people think this, but I deny that only they count as libertarians.
3) Libertarianism is incompatible with *any* state action, e.g. it is a variant of anarchism. Lots of libertarians think this, but I also deny that only they count as libertarians.

I hang my flippant, snarky head in shame. Clearly, libertarians can support or not support foreign wars of choice depending on the ostensible goals of the war, empirical questions about the various options available, differing beliefs about international law, etc. etc. My vague sense that there is something…odd…about libertarians who are full-throated supporters of wars to export democratic government by force doesn’t amount to a reasoned critique of libertarianism. Nonetheless, I stand firm on my original “those Samizdatistas are kinda nuts” claim.

Abu Ghraib

by Henry Farrell on September 23, 2004

Extracts from Mark Danner’s article on “Abu Ghraib”: in the NYRB.

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Business Opportunity

by Kieran Healy on September 23, 2004

For various reasons we needed to locate some Kosher dairy products today, which proved to be more difficult on short notice than I imagined. However, if anyone wants to set up a shop selling such things, it’s obvious that it should be called “Jews for Cheeses.”

Vengeance is Mine, Sayeth the Lord

by Kieran Healy on September 23, 2004

Bob Morris points out that Florida counties which voted for Bush in 2000 seem to have been “visited with calamities”: in the past few weeks. I think He is trying to send a message. (Hat tip: “Erin Kelly”: