Poli Sci's Limitations:

Daniel Drezner has an interesting post on "The Limits of Political Science."

msmith (mail):
Well, at least they aren't economists. Something in their favor.

Latest Wisdom of the Crowd wisdom. Somewhat gimmicky, or completely 100% gimmicky?

Time Magazine crowns YOU as Person of the Year 2006
Netribution, UK - 3 hours ago
In a somewhat gimmicky yet touching move, Time Magazine's famous (and sometimes infamous - see Hitler in 1938) Person of the Year awards has named us, ...

'It's about the many wresting power from the few.'
-Lev Grossman, Time's technology writer

Utter schlock.
12.17.2006 12:46pm

Well, at least they aren't economists.

Now, now. To see two economists arguing on "Nightline" about whether the Sun rises in the North or sets in the South is to witness perfection, of a sort.
12.17.2006 4:43pm
Hm. "...rises in the north or sets in the south...." 'Preview' is our friend.
12.17.2006 4:46pm
Avatar (mail):
You know, as a poli sci student, I actually have a lot more respect for economists than most of the other liberal-arts degree areas. Generally, every economist I run into knows that he's working with best-approximation data and simplified models and that reality isn't necessarily going to conform to either one. They have been, as a whole, much more aware of their boundaries of uncertainty and less likely to take strong predictive stances precisely because of that.

This is in marked contrast to those in the psychology and sociology departments, which have (again, in my experience, and generalizing here) much less awareness of the weaknesses of their methodology and much more willingness to go further out on the rhetorical limb than their data strictly permits.

My political science professors are concentrated somewhat in the middle here. I remember one legislative studies course where the professor put up a complicated formula to determine a congressman's likelihood of running for re-election, which is silly, since none of the factors were quantifiable in the first place; however, when confronted with that objection, he readily admitted its validity and told people not to take it seriously. Good example of someone who has a bit of egghead dysfunction but can still recognize reality, I thought.

Mind you, coming from a chemistry background, the things that get away with the label "science" in the liberal arts are shameful, just shameful. Art, maybe...
12.17.2006 5:55pm