Andrew Gelman

Why the Democratic Party Needs ‘Very Serious People’

Ashok Rao writes: Paul Krugman’s pet insult – “Very Serious Person” – is more important to understanding America’s policy failures than most people realize, and goes well beyond economic illiteracy. More than anything, without understanding VSPness (henceforth “vispy”) – one can never comprehend how the Democratic Party screwed up so much in the past five… Read more »

Are the Social Sciences in Trouble?

Nicholas Christakis, a medical scientist perhaps best known for his controversial claim (see also here), based on joint work with James Fowler, that obesity is contagious, writes: The social sciences have stagnated. They offer essentially the same set of academic departments and disciplines that they have for nearly 100 years: sociology, economics, anthropology, psychology and… Read more »

Also, Richard Cohen Got the Research Wrong

Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen brings up one of my research topics in his recent controversial column about race: In New York City, blacks make up a quarter of the population, yet they represent 78 percent of all shooting suspects — almost all of them young men. We know them from the nightly news. Those… Read more »

“Meritocracy” Is Not What You Think

This has come up before and before, but I think it’s worth explaining again. In the context of a dispute with transit unions, public relations person Sarah Lacy writes: People in the tech industry feel like life is a meritocracy. You work really hard, you build something and you create something . . . Tell… Read more »