Giggling Uncontrollably

By Sean Carroll | June 13, 2008 4:03 pm

Paul Krugman puts into anecdote form what many of us frequently feel:

So, you get through grad school. You do research that gets lot of citations. You get tenure. You branch out into policy work, and into writing for a broader audience. You try to play a role in the important economic debates. And finally, you really hit the big time — you’re debating the economy on Larry King, with who knows how many people watching.

And then Larry King wraps it up: “Tomorrow, we’ll talk about psychic kids.”

I was still giggling uncontrollably ten minutes after I left the studio.

(Via Dynamics of Cats. We also serve who link and laugh.)

  • MonkeyFeet

    Tim Russert died today…very sad

  • change

    RIP Tim Russert.

    The comment up top about Larry King and “psychic kids” caught my eye because I noticed the promo on CNN and thought “what the fuck.” Have CNN gone tabloid?

    I think the Fox effect has been forcing them to reinvent. It’s just that they don’t know exactly how to pull that off. CNN “with attitude” still hasn’t really taken hold, even with Anderson Cooper doing his coolest best.

  • effay

    But you left out the best part: he got to debate the economy with the esteemed Ben Stein! Did you hear his comment about there not being a licensing requirement for people to call themselves economists, so you could always find someone who would disagree with you even though you are so obviously right (you=Krugman)? I’m not sure if that was a wry swipe at Stein or not, but I got a crack out of it anyhow.

  • JCF

    Isn’t this what’s called cultural relativism?

  • luc

    Sean, is that how you felt after you did Coast to Coast AM? :)

  • Lawrence B. Crowell

    This is in line with the media in general. The controversy over the “evolution wars” is presented as some sort of real scientific debate. As Ben Stein was mentioned, he promotes the idea there is a conspiracy to keep creation out of biology departments. If the media is not doing this then it focuses in on the foibles of celebrities or the latest winner of “American Idol.”

    Lawrence B. Crowell

  • Sean

    I don’t mind Coast to Coast AM — it’s mostly harmless, and explictly serves conspiracy theorists and UFOlogists, so if I can bring a little hard science to that crowd, I’m happy. (Although when my wife Jennifer appeared on the show, who is a female science journalist rather than a male scientist, she was treated with a lot less respect, which tells you something.)

    What I mind is when we can’t tell the difference between Coast to Coast AM and CNN.

  • anonymous

    #7/Sean – You did Coast to Coast AM?? There’s a badge of … something. 😉

    (You should provide a link when you say something like that. We who serve deserve immediate gratification of our morbid curiosity.)

  • Ray Saunders

    No, this is cultural relativism. And that’s using the term ‘culture’ loosely.

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Cosmic Variance

Random samplings from a universe of ideas.

About Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include theoretical aspects of cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. His most recent book is The Particle at the End of the Universe, about the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the Higgs boson. Here are some of his favorite blog posts, home page, and email: carroll [at] .


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