In Season 2 of House of Cards, our Congressman and anti-hero Frank Underwood pulls into his office Jackie Sharp, an ambitious younger representative. On his computer, he pulls up the opposition research he has on every other member of Congress--including her. As I watched that episode of House of Cards, I knew in a flash what… Continue reading On Frank Underwood, Zen and philosophical pragmatism
Should an academic write non-academically? I’ve gotten both of these pieces of advice in my first semester of graduate school: Don’t have a blog. When you look for academic jobs, people will wonder why you wasted your time writing a blog instead of publishing papers. Have a blog. Writing publicly is the only way to sharpen… Continue reading Consciousness and Congress; Policy Networks and Entrepreneurship: January reading and reflections
(This is the third post in a three part series. For the curious, here are Parts I and II) If you're like most Americans, you have less than $1000 in savings and have a lot of debt. If you're one of the lucky few, you have some cash saved up somewhere: A six-month emergency fund, perhaps, or a growing retirement… Continue reading How to save and invest in line with your values (Or: Who Owns Private Prisons, Part III)
During my first semester of grad school, I sat in on a presentation at UT's psychology department. It was a "job talk," a part of the academic hiring process where an applicant gives a public presentation. Imagine a job interview, but with 40 people in the room, and no guiding questions. Just "show us you." In that presentation, Columbia professor and FiveThirtyEight author James Curley shared his work on… Continue reading Despite all our rage
Over the course of my first semester of grad school, I collected (/people sent to me) something like five dozen academic papers that I didn't have time to read during the semester. In pursuit of ultimately personifying the nerd emoji 🤓 , I spent the last two days reading the first two pages of each of those papers. The ones… Continue reading The 7 papers I’m most nerdily excited about right now
This summer I read a 2015 Mother Jones expose of privately run prisons in the United States. Three things I learned: 1. Private prisons may be the worst thing going in America. 2. Private prison stocks are probably included in your retirement fund, like they are in mine. 3. My IRA provider, Vanguard, doesn't care. I asked my Facebook friends for… Continue reading Who Owns Private Prisons? Part II: Learning about responsible investing
When I was a kid, I tried to like Choose Your Own Adventure Books, primarily because my brother had a bunch of them. I hated them. Every time I made a decision, I would stick a finger between the pages of the other choice so that I could go back and re-choose if I failed (which… Continue reading Today’s media environment is a Choose Your Own Adventure book, and not in a fun way.