Monthly Archives: December 2007


For what it’s worth, one of my resolutions for 2008 is to be a nicer person. To those who I was a total jerk to over this past year, I guess I still own that. But I’m going to try to be more gracious in the coming year.

January Effect

One of the better anomalies is about to occur, the so-called January Effect in financial markets. Back in the day, stocks would jump in the first 3-4 days of January as the depressed prices from the end-of-year selloff would rebound. Of course, as people became savvy about it, the effect shifted a bit to December (the so-called Santa Claus rally), but still, it’s one of those funny plate tectonics where institutional effects (US tax law) meets individual psychology (optimistic January) meets collective social practice (being on vacation for the New Year holiday).

Happy January Effect.

Inter-disciplinary vs. Multi-disciplinary

This post riffs on a long-time discussion in my field of sociology, namely, How much should our disciplinary roots matter? It came up most recently as a side-light to a completely thoughtful, really interesting discussion of comments and research notes in journals. The issue of inter-disciplinarity is not new, or news, but I’d like to make my case for sociological chauvinism more explicitly.


I sometimes wonder what the role of blogs in academic life should be, as it seems to work really well for some people and not so much for others. In particular, I think the bleg should have some rules about it. At the obvious risk of picking a fight with a more senior colleague whom […]

ye. gods.


How do you know what stuff to get?

I’m always struck by the extent to which marketers have internalized the assumption that my preferences are stable, and static. Discussing next-generation mobile phone software in Technology Review, Kate Greene writes: The software, called Magitti, uses a combination of cues–including the time of day, a person’s location, her past behaviors, and even her text messages–to […]

How to price cultural stuff

Tricky tricky Dr. Lena. In her discussion of the great Canadian post-Woodstock, train-tour extravaganza, she asks the question: how should we price cultural stuff?