Category Archives: society

Further thoughts on replication and continuity in science

By | October 20, 2017

I’d like to follow up a little further on the issues I raised regarding the replication movement in science, particularly psychology, in my last post. A lot of this bears on the issues about the nature of science and the degree to which behavioral sciences in general and psychology in particular qualify as sciences. I’ve discussed this fairly… Read More »

The latest victim of the replicant police

By | October 19, 2017

There’s a very interesting article in the New York Times describing the troubles attracted by a social psychologist named Amv Cuddy who has become the latest target of the social psychology replication police. The article discusses her research and the questions raised about it, as well as the social dynamics in the field in response to this confrontation.… Read More »

YouTube and me (and maybe you)

By | September 15, 2017

I’ve had my own personal YouTube channel for a good many years now. I’ve used it to post primarily videos dealing with course material at the various universities I’ve taught at, plus a few other things. Most of it has been private. But like all of us, I’ve spent a great deal of time looking at YouTube, and… Read More »

Google, affirmative action, and society

By | August 13, 2017

No one can have missed the current flap about Google’s hiring practices, surfaced by James Damone in his recent memo that went viral, leading to his firing and a modest media firestorm cultivated by forces on both sides of the current culture wars. The original ostensible issue – affirmative action – has been pretty much eclipsed by all… Read More »

Research funding, revisited

By | July 20, 2017

The latest issue of Science contains an article entitled “Another tenure-track scientist bites the dust”, by Adam Ruben  ( It chronicles the presumed end of the academic career of a biological scientist named “Matthew” following his failure to secure funding for his research projects from the National Institutes of Health. It’s a sad story, without much in terms… Read More »

Fun with genealogy – another Family tale

By | July 5, 2017

Genealogy is a fun exercise. It’s fascinating to try to understand one’s family background – or backgrounds, to be more precise, since most of us come from a lot of pretty diverse origins. It’s also frustrating, because often there is little to know except someone’s critical dates. The more people you can identify, the more people you want… Read More »

Categorizing people

By | December 21, 2016

An interesting discussion on Facebook with a former college classmate of mine from 50 years ago, Graham Seibert. Graham now lives in Ukraine, and takes a dim view of Muslim refugees overrunning Western Europe. He referred me to his review of a recent book called IQ and the Wealth of Nations, by Lynn and Vanhahen. The book features… Read More »

Judging perfection (Part 2)

By | September 28, 2016

(Continued from Part 1) Let’s return to the grading standards used in the Olympics and their application to educational assessment. As I suggested, the upstanding students – those who will become the elite of the students in the program – quickly become subject to a different set of grading criteria from those who don’t stand out. Assignments from… Read More »

Judging Perfection (Part 1)

By | September 25, 2016

Women’s gymnastics is one of the most popular Olympic events, and with good reason. It’s truly amazing the kinds of things that people can do with their bodies, twisting, rolling, hanging in the air. But the essence of the Olympics these days isn’t really in watching the sport; it’s watching the scores. Although you’re watching the top fifty… Read More »

“Sociotechtonics” as multiply invented?

By | August 29, 2016

I recently came across an interesting website operated by Dr. Win Wenger , called “Project Renaissance” ( He’s clearly a man of many parts, with fingers in lots of intellectual pies. Among other things, he includes a page called “About SocioTectonics”, detailing his concept of the term that I’ve been sure was entirely my own. Apparently he formulated… Read More »