Tagged: parenthood

Mathis Lohaus

Links: Taking Kids on Field Trips; Forecasting; Cyber Security; Syria’s Future; Football and Violence; New UN Blog; Honest Acknowledgments

Temperatures in Berlin are falling. Let’s wait and see what this means for the blog…

A great match to our little series on parenting:  Kim Yi Dionne writes about “taking children to an African country while you conduct research” (via the Duck)

Jay Ulfelder has two great posts on forecasting. One deals with common “screw-ups” in predictive models. The other is about the ethics of statistical forecasting, and the responsibility of researchers to be honest about their limits:

The fact that we use mathematical equations to generate our forecasts and we can quantify our uncertainty doesn’t always mean that our forecasts are more accurate or more precise than what pundits offer, and it’s incumbent on us to convey those limitations. It’s easy to model things. It’s hard to model them well, and sometimes hard to spot the difference.

Brandon Valeriano offers a comprehensive reading list on cyber security, nicely balancing intro stuff and very specialized articles.

Jeffrey Stacey writes about Syria’s future (“intervening not now but later”), with a big potential role for the EU:

It is difficult to predict which way the current conflict in Syria will end up, as even some sort of stalemate could be the result.  But if opposition forces were ultimately successful in defeating Assad’s forces then it would be difficult for Western governments to ignore their shared security interests in the assurance of post-conflict stability in Syria.

Andrew Bertoli has a paper about nationalism and aggression, arguing that countries that qualify for the football/soccer World Cup behave more aggressively. German weekly Zeit has an interview with him (h/t Tobias Bunde).

Instead of lamenting the state of the German twitter- and blogosphere, let’s try and improve networking! So far, I had completely overlooked the blog “Junge UN Forschung”, written by members of the German junior researcher’s working group for UN studies (h/t Christian Kreuder-Sonnen).

Finally, Dan Drezner offers 15 examples of a world where book acknowledgments are really honest, such as:

I’m grateful to Peter Klugman, a Big Shot in my field who made a useful offhand comment to me once. People reading this will hopefully think I really know him and therefore be impressed.

Mathis Lohaus

Links: NSA, Brazil, Tenure, MOOCs

Plötzensee, Berlin (Wikipedia)
Plötzensee, Berlin (Public Domain, Wikipedia)

Over at Bretterblog, a colleague has noted (in German) that many IR blogs seem to take a summer break. Might that have been directed at us? Well, here are some links to prove that not all of us are swimming in a lake right now… (I wish!)

PRISM / NSA surveillance, even though you’re sick and tired of it:

In other news:

  • Nauro F. Campos analyzes why people are protesting in Brazil, using a dataset from 1870 to 2003. The list of factors he and his colleagues have identified for the current wave of protest doesn’t sound too surprising: “corruption and inefficiency in public services delivery, political ineptitude and the electoral cycle.” Another interesting finding: The number of riots is decreasing over time, but there are more peaceful protests.
  • There’s a great post at Scientific American by computer scientist Radhika Nagpal, who decided not to stress too much about tenure and instead treat her job as a “seven-year postdoc”. This means: don’t spend all your energy networking and sucking up to important people, but rather enjoy life and get good work done. Probably works best if you’re very smart and hard-working anyway; she’s now a professor at Harvard. Steven Saideman offers his comments at the Duck of Minerva.
  • Are MOOCs (massive open online courses) a game-changer, or are we just being fooled by the “hype cycle”? Dan Drezner contrasts the two perspectives and ends up in the skeptical camp [Foreign Policy account needed].
Mathis Lohaus

Links: Parenting, R&R, horrible neighbors

Back from California, back to serious work … I mean, blogging. Here we go:

  • Over at the Duck, Amanda Murdie has a great post on doing a PhD as a parent, similar to ours in its positive conclusion
  • A widely cited working paper on public debt and growth by Reinhart & Rogoff is under fire for weird omissions and the weighting of cases as well as mistakes made in MS Excel (R&R paper & the critique by Herndon, Ash and Pollin / coverage on Marginal Revolution & FT Alphaville). Worrying, given how influential R & R are regarding austerity policies!
  • It’s unclear, however, to what degree their findings hold despite the errors — and what their policy advice was in the first place. Which is even more worrying, right? (And maybe I should finally read that book.)
  • The Duck, again: Brian Rathbun’s “enduring rivalry” with his neighbors is a great case of applying IR concepts in real life, and his response (take a look at the pictures!) seems like “naming and shaming” to me.
Maurits Meijers

The Toddler-Thesis Nexus

Often when people hear I am father of a three-year-old and doing my PhD they seem very surprised.  It’s true, I was very young when our son was born (21 years old) – very out of the ordinary to today’s standards. A common question I get is, ‘Isn’t it hard to combine a PhD with being a father?’ The truth is, not really, and here’s why.


First of all, as a parent you follow the rhythm of your child. My son wakes up every morning around 7.30 a.m.  By 9.00 a.m. he has to be at his nursery. This cancels all possibility of sleeping late. By 9.15 I am on my way to the university.
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