Oh noes! Teh Internets makes u gulible

by John Q on September 27, 2009

Another “Internets makes you stupid story” from the Brisbane Courier-Mail (irony detector overload alert !!).

The original source is something called the Levitt Institute and the Courier-Mail story is a pretty fair summary of the Levitt Institute report, which is here (PDF). I’ll leave the deconstruction as an exercise for readers, with a bonus mark for the question “Which basic concept of classical hypothesis testing is ignored in this study of ‘ability to detect erroneous information'”

Here’s a post with a couple of links arguing the opposite.

UpdateSucked in! It turns out the whole thing is in fact a hoax by Andrew Denton’s new show.. Sad to say, with the irony detector already blown, it’s hard to tell the difference between genuine and fake stupid.

Best sentence I’ve read today

by Henry Farrell on September 27, 2009

bq. Taxonomy was once a sedate occupation; now it’s like staging triage in a big city hospital.

“Context”:http://unlikelyworlds.blogspot.com/2009/09/random-linkage-260909.html. Also check out the Cocoon concept cooker.

A bubble in the humanities?

by Chris Bertram on September 27, 2009

Philip Gerrans argues that there is a bubble in the humanities, and that all kinds of people are holding stock at an artificially inflated value, often on the advice of people who have a vested interested. (h/t Darius Jedburgh)

Sunday Picture: St Vincent’s Works

by Chris Bertram on September 27, 2009

St Vincent’s Works

Originally uploaded by Chris Bertram

Various Timberites had a discussion some time ago about having a semi-regular Sunday photo on the blog. I think I probably take more pictures than the others, both digital and film, but, looking through my Flickr stream, I don’t tend to take pictures that illustrate grand social or political themes. Still, this one might be of interest. It is the interior of St Vincent’s works in Bristol, now the headquarters of a sustainable development consultancy, but once the offices of a Victorian factory. The building dates from the 1890s and the decoration, mainly ceramic, is extraordinarily ornate. Like many British cities, Bristol has an “open doors” day once a year, when buildings that are normally closed to the public are open to visit. Is this just a British thing, or do other countries do the same? This was taken on one of those days.

One doesn’t fire a professor like this

by Ingrid Robeyns on September 27, 2009

In August, the Erasmus University Rotterdam fired Professor Tariq Ramadan. Well, strictly speaking, they didn’t fire him, but rater withdrew the invitation to be a guest professor. Since December 2006 Ramadan had a contract with the City Council of Rotterdam to advise the City Council on civic integration & multicultural policies (about half of the population in Rotterdam is not from Dutch origin and the city has enormous socio-economic-cultural problems). At the same time he was invited as a guestprofessor at the Erasmus University for the same period (allegedly he had asked for this affiliation himself when he was asked to work for the City Council). So legally speaking in August the City Council fired him, and at the very same moment the University withdrew its invitation to be affiliated as a guest professor. Yet for what follows, I don’t think this legal quibble is very relevant. From an ethical-political point of view it remains a dismissal. The question is: was this dismissal justified?
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Rotten Borough

by Kieran Healy on September 27, 2009

Via a FB friend:

As of April 1, 2006, out of a 2004 Census estimated population of 18 in Teterboro, there were 39 registered voters (216.7% of the population, vs. 55.4% in all of Bergen County).

Sadly, the answer may be prosaic. From earlier in the same Wikipedia entry:

The 2000 census failed to count any of the residents of the Vincent Place housing units who had moved into the newly built homes in 1999. The uncounted residents, including the Mayor and all four Council members, would help make up a projected tripling of the population enumerated by the census.