Friday recommended reads #22


For links, thanks to Rebecca Weinberg and Trevor Branch, and also thanks to my departmentmate HK Choi, who got me to start using Markdown. Next, I’m going to get all github and figshare on you, shave down to a handlebar mustache, and pop open a can of PBR.

8 thoughts on “Friday recommended reads #22

  1. That link to awful library books reminds me of an old New Yorker essay of Anthony Lane’s, in which he went back and read the top 10 books on the NYTimes fiction bestseller list from a week in 1944. In at least one case he was the first person in decades to check the book out (in no small part because the book was terrible).

    • That is hilarious. I can only imagine in a few decades, the current NYT bestseller list will read just as hideously. (It does now, but that’s a minority opinion.)

      • “I can only imagine in a few decades, the current NYT bestseller list will read just as hideously.”

        Anthony Lane was way ahead of you on that. The essay I referred to in my previous comment was a follow-up to a previous essay he wrote in 1994. In that 1994 essay, he read the top 10 books on the current NYT bestseller list. He finds that it’s mostly rubbish, but with a few gold nuggets:

        The one about the WW II bestsellers is good, but that 1994 essay is *fabulous*, you should totally check it out.

      • So here’s an idea for a fun blog post: go back and read the “top 10 ecology papers of 1950” or something, and write a post about them.

        Only challenge would be identifying the top 10. If you go by total # citations, you might end up reading 10 enduring classics. What you want is more like “the top 10 papers, as perceived by ecologists in 1950”. Not sure how you do that. Maybe you could approximate it by reading the 10 most-cited ecology papers published in 1950, but only counting citations accumulated through 1955 or something? Or maybe just read the lead articles in every 1950 issue of Ecology, Am Nat, JEcol, and JAE?

  2. Thanks for the link to the diet article, which is excellent. Still, most of the evidence is correlational, which has a notorious record in medicine.

  3. Should have prefaced the article. Its entitled “Teaching is Powerful credential” and it dabbles in many topics that are discussed here about teaching and landing a job.

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