Blogs > Cliopatria > Things Noted Here and There

Feb 24, 2006 7:38 am

Things Noted Here and There

Radley Balko,"Railroaded Onto Death Row,", 15 February, is the latest report on the case of Cory Maye, who sits on death row in Mississippi.

Brandon Watson recommends Douglas Allchin's paper,"Pseudohistory and Pseudoscience," on the use and misuse of history of science in science education.

My colleagues on students and e-mail: TimBurke, Miriam Elizabeth Burstein, Rebecca Goetz, and Hugo Schwyzer. See also: Daniel Drezner, Scott Eric Kaufman, David Noon, and Brian Ulrich.

An editor tells me that Judith Klinghoffer's post,"Buy Danish," now holds the record for most comments on HNN's comment boards – over 2200 of them! [ed: That includes some multiples by people who feared they might not be heard the first time. I'm tempted to mutter something here about the rewards of pandering and wingnut demagoguery, but I try to be nice.] Er, congratulations.

In a fair fight, would Michael Bérubé be chosen the most dangerous professor in America? I don't think so, but Kaufman is managing his campaign and even has Burma Shave placards out:

Never Mind
The Horror Wits
Michael Gives
Them Wingnuts

And it's working. With over 110,000 votes, Bérubé trumps the three leading historians -- Eric Foner, Juan Cole, and Howard Zinn -- 4 to 1! Of course, his supporters admit to taking advantage of D Ho's cheap software to stuff the ballot box. Except for Miriam Burstein, lit profs are tammany Democrats and banana Republicans at heart. Anyway, you can vote here.

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Jonathan Dresner - 2/24/2006

Allchin's paper is great stuff. I particularly like the application of "Whiggism" to history of science, and it will affect my lectures later this semester.

It's actually a point I made in lecture today: what looks like a good idea to us in hindsight, often failed to rally people at the time, as they experimented (to use the term loosely) with other concepts and behaviors. And I've spent quite a bit of time in past semesters talking about the unscientific context of people's thought at various times in history, so I'm covered on that score, too.

I'm not sure, though, that his attempt to divide "pseudohistory" into that plus "false history" is going to stick...

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