The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

Tuesday Morning Linkage Club


February 12, 2013


  • Tim Burke suggests ways to fix the dissertation, but I’m skeptical that the way to reduce the overproduction of Ph.D.s is to lower the costs of earning a Ph.D. [Easily Distracted]
  • Will Moore wonders what the standard for presenting results as a consensus is; a response to Voeten and Nexon.
  • Via Anton Strezhnev, a critique of Pad Thai. [The Morning News]

    Yet it’s not entirely fair to complain about the authenticity of Pad Thai. It’s the noodle that’s the most Thai, and at the same time, the least. Before the 1940s, Pad Thai didn’t exist as a common dish. Its birth and popularity came out of the nationalist campaign of Field Marshal Plaek Pibulsongkram, one of the revolutionary figures who in 1932 pushed Thailand out of an absolute monarchy and into a Game of Thrones-style democracy, where coups and counter-coups have become the norm.

  • “Did an Excel error bring down the London Whale?” [Revolutions]

    J.P. Mogan Chase’s … Value at Risk model that underpinned the hedging strategy “’operated through a series of Excel spreadsheets, which had to be completed manually, by a process of copying and pasting data from one spreadsheet to another’, and ‘that it should be automated’ but never was.

And some Pope-purri:

  • David Buckley recommends Whispers in the Loggia.
  • David Silbey recounts the history of outrages and antipopes that you’ll find interesting:

    In the end, the whole fine mess was resolved by the Council of Constance, in 1414, which managed to get both the Pisan Pope and the Roman Pope to resign, and then chose a single successor to unify the two lines. … The Avignon line (no longer in Avignon but in Aragon) lasted for several more decades in increasingly weird ways (check out the note about the “hidden pope.”) and then faded away. The Roman line is, of course, still going, and they have a successor to choose.

    [The Edge of the American West]

  • Forrest Maltzman and Melissa Schwartzberg update their analysis of the papacy and agenda control:

    s it possible that the timing of Benedict’s departure was affected by concerns about the distribution of votes were he to linger? Again, we do not have sufficient knowledge to make such a claim unequivocally, but it is surely possible that the choice of a successor may have been a factor in his decision-making. And it is possible that either divine insight or strategic thinking may have led the Pope to believe in 2007 that changing the rules was crucial to ensure that the Roman Curia could still call the shots.

    [The Monkey Cage]

  • Erik Voeten has a different theory.
  • Via AKD “Resigning Pope No Longer Has Strength To Lead Church Backward [The Onion]


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