The life of a (newspaper copy) editor.


It is the fate of those who toil at the lower employments of life, to be rather driven by the fear of evil, than attracted by the prospect of good; to be exposed to censure, without hope of praise; to be disgraced by miscarriage, or punished for neglect, where success would have been without applause, and diligence without reward.

via » Preface – A Dictionary of the English Language – Samuel Johnson – 1755.



Is that the good news or the bad news?


…even with the two-quarter slowdown is still adding digital subscribers at a rate of about 100,000 a year.

via The NYTs $150 million-a-year paywall : Columbia Journalism Review.


First, do no harm.


This man had abused the most basic premises of what it means to be a doctor. But he was a good doctor to us, helping my friend. We thanked him.

via Understanding Evil – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education.


That guy on the bus? He’s not talking to you.


A questionnaire posed to 375 college students found that 71 percent reported vocal hallucinations of some kind, according to a study published in 1984 a finding consistent with my own research.

via Is That God Talking? –


Barbed wire, not books.


Schools, in fact, don’t really need its advice on bulletproof windows, better locks, or armed security guards. Tens of thousands of American school buildings are in such bad physical shape that expensive security amenities are unimaginable. Those that have the need or the resources do what they deem necessary to keep students safe.

via N.R.A. Report on School Safety –


What Copy Editors Dream About

Out of it a new lexicon was born: the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, published in 1969. The A.H.D. was a retort to Web. III. It was unashamedly prescriptive and also, strictly speaking, élitist.

via Henry Hitchings on Proper English : The New Yorker.

Here Is to Being Thankful That the 11-Year-Old Had a Hard Time, Too

And franky, by the time he got to Perfect Bayesian Equilibrium, he was struggling to understand it deeply. Of course, he should join the club.

via What My 11 Year Olds Stanford Course Taught Me About Online Education – Forbes.

He apparently scored better than I did, though.

Jabbing a Stick at the Higher Mind

And, apparently, Kuhn grew to hate being challenged about it, at least according to a story told by the documentarian Errol Morris, who as a graduate student at Princeton studied under Kuhn:

“I asked him, If paradigms are really incommensurable, how is history of science possible? … Wouldnt the past be inaccessible to us? Wouldnt it be “incommensurable?”

He started moaning. He put his head in his hands and was muttering, Hes trying to kill me. Hes trying to kill me.

And then I added, … except for someone who imagines himself to be God. It was at this point that Kuhn threw the ashtray at me.”

via Shift Happens – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The Unreliability of Research

If it turns out that a sizable percentage a quarter? half? of the results published in these three top psychology journals can’t be replicated, it’s not going to reflect well on the field or on the researchers whose papers didn’t pass the test.

via Is Psychology About to Come Undone? – Percolator – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

I’m Not as Think as You Drunk I Am

While the latest study found that alcohol may enhance creative problem solving, previous research found that increased working memory capacity actually led to better analytical problem-solving performance.

via Medical Daily: Drinking Alcohol May Significantly Enhance Problem Solving Skills.