Blogging article in the Chronicle

by Henry Farrell on October 3, 2005

I’ve written an article on the academic promise of blogging which is up on the Chronicle of Higher Education‘s website ( free, permanent link is “here”: It should be appearing in print in their Oct 7 edition. In addition to the people at the _Chronicle_, and those mentioned in the piece, I owe serious thanks to Scott McLemee (many of my arguments riff on ideas tossed back and forth in our lunchtime conversations), and to Tim Burke, Alex Halavais, John McGowan, Laura McKenna and my fellow CT-ites for comments that fed into various iterations on the piece. Further comments welcome below, as usual.


by John Q on October 3, 2005

Congratulations to Barry Marshall and Robin Warren, winners of the 2005 Nobel Prize for Medicine for the discovery that stomach ulcers are caused, not by stress as was formerly believed, but by a bacterium, Helicobacter pylori. This is a classic Nobel-type discovery beginning with Warren’s acute observation, and continuing with Marshall’s work in culturing and identifying the bacterium.

It’s a striking observation that, thirty years ago, nearly everybody “knew” two things about stress: it was the primary cause of ulcers and it was particularly common among people men in executive jobs. Although widely held, these beliefs had never been properly tested by research and both turned out to be false. Surprising as it may seem, it’s more stressful to be ordered about than to order other people about. More precisely, the prevalence of stress-related diseases increases as you go down hierarchies of authority, status and so on.

The Nobel Prize for Economics[1] must be coming up soon. I have some ideas as to who should win, but as I’m very peripherally involved in the selection process, I’ll keep them to myself.

fn1. Strictly speaking, the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel

Shofar Idol

by Eszter Hargittai on October 3, 2005

Shana Tova!

Harriet the Justice

by Kieran Healy on October 3, 2005

I know absolutely nothing about “Harriet Miers”:, the new nominee to the Supreme Court, beyond the fact that she’s from Texas and is White House Counsel. But I think those two facts suggest we can be fairly confident in the following: (1) She’ll be a strong Bush loyalist. That follows just from the way this administration works in everything it does. (2) However, the fact that she’s a woman leads me to think that, unlike the likes of Michael Brown, she’s also competent and probably a pretty tough person. It’s hard to get to this point in U.S. politics without having those qualities if you’re a woman. I don’t expect to like many of her legal views, and I’m sure there are better candidates. But I’d be surprised if her confirmation hearings showed her to be clueless or a pushover.