Thursday, April 13, 2006

Why Warnicks Fail

I'm always on the look out for excuses to explain my future flop. Here is a good one, via Kevin Drum:
ALPHABETICAL TYRANNY....Alex Tabarrok reports that alphabetical privilege is real — in the world of economics, anyway:
A new paper (free, working version, Winter 06, JEP) demonstrates that...faculty members in top departments with surnames beginning with letters earlier in the alphabet are substantially more likely to be tenured, be fellows of the Econometrics Society, and even win Nobel prizes (let's see, Arrow, Buchanan Coase...hmmm). No such effects are found in psychology where the alphabetical norm is not followed.

The "alphabetical norm" is the rule that coauthors on a paper are listed alphabetically, which results in only alphabetically privileged authors getting citation credits (everyone else is "et al"). The paper demonstrating the effect was written by Liran Einav and some other guy.



The recent controversy about Tiger Wood's use of the word "spaz" has been interesting to me. I have always loved the word spaz. For one thing, most words with the letter z are cool. For another, it transports me back to the early days of my youth -- the 80s. Happy times, simple times, crazy times. Alas, I didn't know that, since its popularity in the 80s, it has become a word of disrepute. As a good liberal, I suppose I must surrender.


Random News from the Warnicks

I realize that we haven't used this blog to keep people informed much with our lives. I suppose that is largely because our lives are fairly banal and we, furthermore, are not much good at making the banal seem exciting. That is a deadly combination for personal blogging. (The dictionary definition of banal, I found, is "so lacking in originality as to be obvious and boring"; it is said to come from the French root meaning "compulsory," that is, "common to all" -- that about sums us up).

For what its worth here are some things we have been doing:

(1) We recently redecorated our kitchen. We repainted in a color called Snake River, which a light green, almost a mint blue. The kitchen, of course, is the worst room in a house to paint. We are fairly unskilled painters, too, so the kitchen now comes with various drops and splotches. It looks fairly good, though, especially after we finished it off with a nice Cezanne still life. Nothing like distorted fruit to spice up a kitchen.

(2) Our yard is actually starting to become a true back yard. We recently dug out a vegetable garden and purchased a swing set. Five minutes after Nora starting using the swing set, she had her first swing set accident. Lovely.

(3) Andrew recently rolled over! Or so Ellie claims, I have yet to verify. Andrew was also recently diagnosed with two ear infections. Hasn't hurt his weight, though. He recently weighed in at whopping 15 lbs. He is one of the biggest three-month-old babies I've ever seen.