Category Archives: Oath for Experts

Masking and the Self-Inflicted Wounds of Expertise

A broken clock tells the time accurately twice a day, but Donald Trump tells the truth even less often than that. Never on purpose and rarely even by accident. And yet he told an accidental truth recently, one that doesn’t … Continue reading

Posted in Oath for Experts, Oh Not Again He's Going to Tell Us It's a Complex System, Politics | 2 Comments

Helpful Hints for Skeptics

I suppose I knew in some way that there were people whose primary self-identification was “skeptic”, and even that there were people who saw themselves as part of the “skeptic community”. But it’s been interesting to encounter the kinds of … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Generalist's Work, Oath for Experts | 5 Comments

Some Work Is Hard

Dear friends, have you ever felt after reading an academic article that annoyed you, hearing a scholarly talk that seemed like nonsense to you, enduring a grant proposal that seemed like a waste of money to you, that you’d like … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Oath for Experts | 26 Comments

Trumpism and Expertise

The conventional wisdom was that the Cold War ended when the Soviet Union fell and its satellite states became independent once again. I think actually that the Cold War just ended right now in 2016. What is it that has … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Oath for Experts, Oh Not Again He's Going to Tell Us It's a Complex System, Politics | Comments Off on Trumpism and Expertise

The Vision Thing

We’re having a “visioning exercise” here at Swarthmore this fall. I couldn’t attend an early gathering for this purpose, and I’m teaching during the next one. This might be just as well, as I’m having to fight back a certain … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Oath for Experts, Swarthmore | 1 Comment

Experts Say

It’s a small thing, but for me it sums up why I find the mainstream press wearisome, why I find the circle jerk between the conventional wisdom of reporters and the infrastructure of expertise to be another wretched exhibit in … Continue reading

Posted in Oath for Experts, Politics | 1 Comment

On the Arrival of Rough Beasts

One of the things I find most interesting about the history of advertising is the long-running conflict between the “creatives” and their more quantitative, data-driven opponents within ad agencies. It’s a long-running, widespread opposition between a more humanistic, intuitive, interpretative … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Oath for Experts, Oh Not Again He's Going to Tell Us It's a Complex System, Politics | 1 Comment

Oath for Experts Revisited

I was just reminded by Maarja Krustein of a concept I was messing around a while back, of getting people together to draft a new “oath for experts”. I had great ambitions a few years back about this idea, about … Continue reading

Posted in Oath for Experts | 4 Comments

Yes, We Have “No Irish Need Apply”

Just came across news of the publication of Rebecca Fried’s excellent article “No Irish Need Deny: Evidence for the Historicity of NINA Restrictions in Advertisements and Signs”, Journal of Social History, 10:1093, 2015, from @seth_denbo on Twitter. First, the background … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Oath for Experts, Production of History | 14 Comments

The Potential Condescension of “Informed Consent”

Many years ago, I was involved in judging an interdisciplinary grant competition. At one point, there was an intense discussion about a proposal where part of the research involved ethnographic research that concerned illegal activity in a developing country. We … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Africa, Oath for Experts | 1 Comment