The OAH and Speech Codes ...
In a comment posted here at Cliopatria, Michael Burger asks the interesting question about whether the Organization of American Historians' newly constituted ad hoc committee chaired by David Montgomery will examine campus speech codes as threats to freedom of inquiry and speech in the current academic climate. I suspect that a) that wasn't what they originally had in mind and b) that is all the more reason to do so.
Memo to David Montgomery: Contact FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. E-mail: email@example.com; telephone: (215)-717-3473 -- that's 717-FIRE. I know they'll be glad to hear from you, David, and will cooperate in every possible way.
A Big Zombie Error ... The Cranky Cliopatriarch needed to bring me up to speed from way back. His post here assumed that I knew what the heck a"vampire error" was. So, I googled it, which was of no help, because his reference to it here was #1 on google's hit parade. But I can determine his meaning from the context:"Feel free to leave your favorite 'zombie error' in the comments. I always call them 'zombie errors,' by the way," he wrote,"because if you put a stake in the heart of a 'vampire error' it stays dead." A vampire error, then, is one that can be corrected. (I'm glad he's not grading my papers. There's just no comfortable way to put a stake in a student's heart.) Anyway, Crooked Timber's John Quiggin left a favorite one I hadn't known about:
My favourite is the"tragedy of the commons" popularized by Garrett Hardin. Partha Dasgupta once quoted his opening para[graph] and said"there can scarcely exist a passage as widely quoted as this containing so many errors in such a short space."I googled those things, too, and sure enough: Hardin's argument here is ellipsed, summarized, and dismantled by Dasgupta here. Very interesting stuff, with far reaching implications.
The basic error underlying all the others was the idea that" common" pastures were open to all comers.