APSA’s Civic Engagement Section has a podcast, Civic Cafe, that’s organized and introduced by University of Virginia political scientist Carah Ong Whaley. Episode 2, “What Should We Do?”, is an interview of me by my friendDavid Campbell, the Packey J. Dee Professor of American Democracy at the University of Notre Dame. Dave’s most recent book (with Geoff Layman and John Green) isSecular Surge: A New Fault Line in American Politics, which received the Distinguished Book Award from the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.
I really enjoyed a conversation with Danielle Allen last week, which was organized by Facing History & Ourselves and very nicely moderated by Facing History’s Elizabeth Carroll. You can watch the video here. (You’ll have to create a free account, which is a good thing to do, since Facing History is a wonderful organization.)
Sometimes we don’t even know why, but we hold onto things. We’re not talking about bad relationships or lousy jobs, but the actual stuff that takes up space. How do you decide what’s worth keeping and what you would be happier getting out of your life?
In this episode, we get advice from a home organizer on how to pare down and from an archivist who knows something about what’s worth keeping for the next generation.
Even if you decide you want to donate your stuff, we learn that it’s not always easy to find the right home for it, especially if it’s a 30-ton book collection you inherited from your father.
That 30-ton book collection belonged to our family, and in the podcast, I share a few thoughts about giving and receiving.
Yesterday, I got to give an International Society for Quantitative Ethnography (ISQE) Webinar on “Moral and Political Discussion and Epistemic Networks.” I really enjoyed the questions and conversation. This is the video of the whole event:
Abstract: An individual holds linked beliefs about political or moral issues, which we can model as a network. How these ideas are linked together influences the person’s actions and opinions. When individuals discuss, they share some portions of their respective networks of which they are conscious at the time. Some network structures are better than others for discussion: overly centralized or scattered networks are problematic. Individuals tend to demonstrate similar network structures on different issues. Thus, relying on certain kinds of networks is a character trait. People, with their respective networks of ideas, are also embedded in social networks. An idea is more likely to spread depending on features of both the social network and the idea networks of the people who interact. As a whole, a population may develop a shared network structure. An idea that is widely shared and frequently central in individuals’ networks becomes a norm. Institutions are partly composed of such norms. A community or a culture is a single network with disagreement. Ultimately, all such networks interconnect. This theory has implications for politics, ethics, and research methodologies.