Friday, 3 September 2004

Panel thoughts

I enjoyed the bloggers’ panel. Andrew Sullivan was rightfully castigated for his absence, but the remainder of the panel managed admirably in his stead. Ana Marie Cox did ably incorporate repeated sexual references into her comments, but somehow managed to omit references to butt sex, which I suppose was admirable self-restraint on her part.

On a more personal note, I enjoyed meeting (in person) panelists Henry Farrell (who, as it turns out, really sounds Irish in person—try reading his posts sometime with an Irish accent in your head for some amusement) and Laura McKenna, as well as audience members Russell Arben Fox and Stephen Karlson.

One surreal note: an audience member asked Ana Marie about the importance of fact-checking and the blogger’s responsibility for following up on their mistakes as they are more widely disseminated; unfortunately, it appears at this point that the mass media do no better—and perhaps worse—than bloggers in this regard (þ InstaPundit).

Update: Steve the Llama Butcher has a hysterical rundown of the proceedings, wherein the ghost of Woodrow Wilson, esteemed racist bigot and past president of the APSA, makes an extended appearance, although I didn't notice him or INDC Bill in the room (þ PoliBlog and Rusty Shackleford).

The politics of “The Power and Politics of Blogs”

At lunch with Dirk today, I mentioned a minor dilemma I’m facing.

Dan’s thoroughly excellent bloggers pannel is organized, in part, by the New Political Science section, a section whose aims are squarely at odds with my personal conception of what the scientific study of politics is all about, but that’s neither here nor there.* This is all hunky-dory and wonderful—except, allocation of panels at APSA is a zero-sum game, and the sums are determined by panel attendance. Showing up at a NPS panel, rather than the competing methods panel, will help NPS get more panels at APSA in 2005, probably at the expense of political methodology (who have already been marginalized down to 7 panels—total).

So, my attendance will be under protest, with absolutely no slight intended to the wonderful panelists, audience members, or Dan’s work coordinating the panel.

Also, I’m taking wagers on which panelist will first mention anal sex. The smart money would be on Ana Marie Cox, but there are others who might be called on to speak first and who might be tempted to raise the issue for discussion.

* Incidentally, I would also find objectionable any organization whose hypothetical goal was the use (and abuse) of political science (and, perhaps more importantly, my APSA dues) to advance conservative, libertarian, or any other political causes, beyond the narrow remit of the APSA to defend academic freedom and provide an open forum for the exchange of ideas and research.