I’ve just read a recent article in the Economic View section of the New York Times. The article asks What if Sociologists Had as Much Influence as Economists?. I liked the quotation from Michèle Lamont, a Harvard sociologist and president of the American Sociological Association: “Once economists have the ears of people in Washington, they convince them that the only questions worth asking are the questions that economists are equipped to answer.
An article about my local council’s worsening recycling rate sent me on a quick investigation of the data and to reflect on the context. “Cllr Jan Warwick, portfolio holder for environment, blamed a fall in the amount of newspapers being recycled.” Hum, what does that mean? I presume it means fewer newspapers in volume are being recycled - rather than the proportion of newspapers being recycled has fallen.
What I do using the 1000 most used words Cambridge based geneticist, Theo Sanderson has built a great tool, THE UP-GOER FIVE TEXT EDITOR. You’re asked to explain a hard idea using only the ten hundred most used words. There’s been a bit of a Twitter meme to try to explain your job within the same parameters. Here’s my go: I help people who build stuff with computers think about what good looks like