Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Educated Guesses

In a couple of weeks, I'll be attending the American Political Science Association's annual meeting. My friends and I will be doing our best to amuse ourselves.

In addition to getting loaded with Toni and Maggie, I have a few hypotheses that I'll be testing. A hypothesis is an educated guess, ex. More Democrats in Congress will mean higher taxes. It is one way that political scientists imitate the hard sciences.

Here are a few of my hypotheses for APSA:
1. Even though this is a political science conference, I will hear no one discuss the war in Iraq, the coming election in CA, or gay marriages.
2. The handful of women at the conference will be wearing baggy suits with elastic waists and large ethnic jewelry.
3. None of the women with tenure track jobs will have children.
4. I will meet more people without jobs than with jobs.
5. Most will be too fearful to leave the convention center to hang out in Philadelphia.
6. More than 50% of participants will have a prescription to Paxil.
7. 99% of the men will be wearing wrinkled beige Dockers.
8. 80% of graduate students will exclaim at least once, "Look, he's famous!!"
9. Number of men with pony tails = 0. (Thankfully. For men with pony tails, go to the annual sociology conference.)

I've gotten some suggestions from readers.

From Toni: 1. There will be more unfashionable academics than fashionable ones. 2. There will be loads of idle banter, meant to impress, that will in fact impress no one.

From the Invisible Adjunct:
The desperate jobseekers will be readily identifiable: they are the ones who are noticeably, if uncomfortably, better (or least more formally) dressed.

(Feel free to suggest some additional hypotheses.)

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