1-17-15 Hodgepodge

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Legal Lacuna

A prominent legal scholar warns us that anyone could finds himself in the Kafkaesque situation of being publicly (but falsely) accused of numerous crimes and unable to do anything about it:

There is a gaping hole in our legal system that allows lawyers to bring irrelevant accusations against innocent nonparties in court papers that insulate them from any consequences, and to deny the falsely accused any opportunity to respond.
Fortunately, this has come to the attention of someone who has the ability and desire to start changing this state of affairs.

Weekend Reading

"[W]hat happens if you sincerely have a person's best interests in mind and somehow need to get a point across?" -- Michael Hurd, in "No Matter What You Think: Controlling Others Will Not Work" at The Delaware Wave

"The next time you find yourself wondering if you're normal, remind yourself that 'normal' is nothing more than a statistical average." -- Michael Hurd, in "So You Want to be 'Normal'" at The Delaware Coast Press

Your Firstborn, Please!

Someone in the academic science pipeline makes an interesting argument about the unseen costs of that career path:
The average PhD, who doesn't make Margaret's choice to "sell out" and attain a reasonable standard of living, does a postdoc for four years. If Margaret stayed that long, her postdoc would've cost her $220,000. Incidentally, raising a child costs about $200-250,000.

That's right: the price of your postdoc is your firstborn child.
Please do note that the government funds many, many people in this pipeline. Market distortion isn't the author's focus, although his data show that in spades. By apparently removing some of the up-front costs of such a career path, the government has induced a glut of scientists, who suffer financial losses later, not to mention other costs, such as lost time or skill sets that may not line up with what the non-academic market demands.

-- CAV

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