An academic mystery novel in which we learn that the culprit murdered the victim because they could not agree on which font to use for their very important committee memo.
The tension builds throughout the book as they exchange drafts of the memo, each time changing the font back to the "proper" font.
No one mentions the font changes, they just seethe.
Exasperated, one of them sets up a Qualtrics survey for the committee. It has only one question: "what is the correct font to use for this committee's correspondence?"
Qualtrics data is inconclusive.
It's about the font, but so much more. The subtle indignities, the history of undermining, the times when one of them sat on the grant review board and purposefully tanked the other's grant project, which meant they didn't get to hire grad assistants & had a double courseload.
Another time one of them sat on the college-wide course approval committee and rejected all of the proposed courses in the others' field as being "redundant" and "superfluous," leading to the courses being taken out of the university's core curriculum.
Somehow these two enemy-colleagues were selected to co-chair a committee that will propose the new 10-year plan for their college. The stakes are high, the enmity is long.
Had one of them had an affair with the other's grad student while they were at an academic conference? We don't know, but we suspect.
One of them had stolen/"refined" the other's idea and published it in the top field journal. The article became cannonic, won all of the disciplinary awards, and is the sole reason why they have a higher H-index than the other.
The murder happens on the day that the @MacArthur Foundation announces its new round of Genius grants.
One of them has been declared a Genius. One of them is embedding hyperlinks in the committee memo to surreptitiously direct committee members and administrators to links that prove that the "Genius" is a fraud.
Who murdered whom?

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More from @jenmercieca

6 Dec
I woke up this morning worried about what Trump could do when Congress counts the EC votes on January 6th, but now I'm not. He can get a Rep & Senator to contest, but that will only delay his loss by two hours. Both the House & Senate have to agree with the challenge, they won't.
Here's an explainer: Analysis | How Trump allies in Congress can launch one more challenge to Biden’s win in January washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/…
And check out page 12-13 of the NARA's explainer here: archives.gov/files/electora…
Read 5 tweets
5 Dec
Really useful article from @d_a_robson: It's only fake-believe: how to deal with a conspiracy theorist theguardian.com/society/2020/n…
This essay is grounded in psychological research, here is the translation for argumentation/informal logic/rhetoric terms:
1. "Hunting an invisible dragon" is a "self-sealing narrative" in which evidence isn't allowed to count against it.

2. "Fake authority" is an "appeal to misplaced authority," especially in an "argument by authority."
Read 5 tweets
5 Dec
I won! I won, I won, I won, I won!
He won that, it’s a major award!
“My father worked in profanity the way other artists might work in oils or clay. It was his true medium, a master.”
Read 6 tweets
4 Dec
So, I basically forgot to do this. I managed to send out three to folks who had requested them. IDK, does anyone want one? I can make a google form & you can send your information and I'll send it?

Makes a terrible holiday gift.
By popular demand! (or, one person--lol/cry). Demagogue For President Book Plate Request docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAI…
Thank you so much for the nice messages! 🥰
Read 4 tweets
4 Dec
Dangerously viral: How Trump, supporters spread false claims apnews.com/article/electi…
Formula:
1. Ambiguous/misrepresented video "evidence."
2. Massive circulation/amplification.

Why it works:
Hasty generalization: a misrepresentative example is believed to represent a whole

Motivated reasoning: want it to be true

Confirmation bias: believed fraud would occur
Factchecks might debunk the ambiguous/ misrepresented video "evidence," but they don't stop amplification or pierce the motivated reasoning or confirmation bias that makes people want to believe it's true.
Read 9 tweets
2 Dec
Why is the fear "people won't take the vaccine" and not "people will riot, demanding to receive the vaccine first?"
I'm just thinking that proof of vaccine status will be required for school, work, travel, dining out, etc. Won't everyone want it?

Why is the issue framed as if the challenge is in the other direction?
I've seen three main storylines about vaccines: the heroic process to develop them, the difficulties of distributing them; and the difficulties of getting folks to take them.

I just think that last framing is an odd assumption. Because sign me up. And everyone I know.
Read 13 tweets

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