March 30, 2011

Just Another Hangnail on the Hidden Hand

It has long been one of my ambitions to be denounced as a tentacle of a mysterious and shadowy conspiracy bent on global domination. Reading this therefore fills me with conflicting emotions. On the one hand, satisfaction of a cherished dream; on the other, is that all there is to a conspiracy? But predominating at the moment is regret — for I turned down my invitation to the conference at Bretton Woods because it conflicted with my teaching schedule. In retrospect, this was dumb. Surely the kids could have taken care of themselves for a week, while I joined the rest of the Immense Shadowy Global Conspiracy in hatching nefarious schemes? How could I have passed up an opportunity to commune with sinister intellects in the wild hills of New England in order to teach? How, when I spent days on end this month reviewing grant proposals for them, did I fail to spot the question on the evaluation forms about "Potential to advance the sinister designs of Mr. Soros and his associates who must not be named"? How could I have asked for so little in my grant application, when clearly any proper subversive conspiracy could have paid for so, so much more?

I take comfort only in the fact that I will, after all, be lecturing that week on how to detect the hidden common causes linking apparently disparate events — and there's always next year to go and explain how combining ergodic theory and statistical learning methods will let us take over the world.

Running Dogs of Reaction; Psychoceramica; The Dismal Science; Self-centered

Posted by crshalizi at March 30, 2011 22:30 | permanent link

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