State of the EJMR Union: November
China data fraud: The top EJMR thread in November was 24 pages of discussion about a fraudulent paper in the American Economic Review (AER), the top Econ journal in the world. The “mistake” was initially pointed out by Yale Law School professor Taisu Zhang, who has written multiple books on the Qing dynasty:This is an interesting paper, and the basic conclusion that Qing grain tribute trade routes had a large effect on regional socioeconomic stability is probably correct. However, … [Rebel on the Canal: Disrupted Trade Access and Social Conflict in China]
For details of this fraud, read the OP thread itself. In short: the authors lied about easily verifiable Chinese historical facts in an attempt to make their regressions significant. If you were being charitable you could interpret this as a genuine error rather than intentionally deceptive, but this wouldn’t really hold water because 1) it is such blatant misrepresentation of facts that any Chinese historian would catch, and 2) the authors already have a long track record of fraud. The authors have been silent; every day that passes they look more and more guilty.
So… the top thread on EJMR every month is a scandal/bombshell exposing blatant fraud and incompetence at top journals. Month after month after month of scandals/incompetence/fraud … repeating forever. Are you starting to understand why the elite gatekeepers of the profession want EJMR shut down and banned from the internet? Disregard all the threads about politics, wives, culture wars, racial grievances etc… these are all noise. An anonymous forum provides real value to the masses of a profession by reducing information asymmetry, and the elites hate this because it reduces the rents that they can extract. This is why the elites of the profession hate it: they want to build a moat around their own rent-seeking behaviours, and EJMR shines a light on that moat. They are grubby little authoritarians who can’t stand EJMR exposing their shitty, corrupt journals for what they truly are. This is exactly why EJMR must survive.
I took it upon myself to comment in this China thread:
Then I sent this email to the AER and RetractionWatch:
Is it cringe to email future Nobel Laureate Esther Duflo? Perhaps… but she was the editor who accepted this paper, so ultimately this imbroglio is her fault. She will try to sweep this under the rug since the fact that this even got past the editors in the first place is egg on the face of AER. Now that AER is aware of the fraud via my email, a retraction plus professional punishment should be in line. Maybe they will just ignore me, however, as these several comments point out:
Lol, does anyone believe that they will answer? AER is a mafia”
“This is an easy email to ignore. Who cares about some guy called Karl”
“This is a very easy email to ignore. You should have linked the tweets and copied Zhang on the email.”
These commenters make valid points, so I have therefore escalated this fraud to the mainstream media, who are currently inquiring and watching/waiting for a retraction. What is the media out there for, if not to shine a light on fraud at the highest level? People in this thread even said the editors would “easily ignore some guy named Karl”. So I sent it to people who they won’t ignore.
Imagine a medical doctor faked research in the lancet and the lancet editors tried to sweep it under the rug? Why hold economic history to a lower standard than medicine? Journalism is printing what someone else does not want published; everything else is public relations.
New list of racist and racism-supporting mathematicians just dropped. People not to work with or send your students to
Civil war in mathematics: 11 pages of math professors discussing this tweet:
If you click on that link to the AMR website, it seems completely harmless: generic/uncontroversial talking points about the importance of math education. If you aren’t actively immersed in the drama/infighting of the math world, you would be therefore be forgiven for being confused at calling it “a list of racist and racism-supporting mathematicians” who you should “not work with or send your students to.” There is literally nothing about race on that website. It blandly advocates for math education.
To understand the context, you need to know who the person sending this tweet is: while it may seem like just another nameless, low-IQ, brainwashed, shrill, teenaged SJW — in reality, it is someone called Piper Harron, a post-doc in the Math department at the University of Toronto. I had never heard of this person before, but upon digging (I quote some EJMR threads verbatim in my next few paragraphs because they know about her while I do not) it seems she is the loudest villain (or hero, depending on which side of the culture war you find yourself on) in the entire mathematics profession. She calls herself the liberated mathematician and her CV really says it all… just read the hilarious bullet points:
It is glaringly obvious she has ~100 IQ, yet is handed a Math PhD from Princeton. She is very stupid. For example, she clearly demonstrates that she doesn't know Galois Theory even though she supposedly has a PhD in algebraic number theory… here she is being confused by the basics of first-year linear algebra material.
This person got handed a post-doc in Toronto, that is why her colleagues resent her: tons of brilliant/hardworking/truth-seeking people routinely get rejected by Princeton and Toronto and yet she got here while massively underqualified, and now is trying to dismantle the field of mathematics from the inside.
I really can’t emphasize enough how stupid and bad at math she is. Here she is complaining about how she “hates reading math” and how “this chapter is hard for her because she doesn’t have an emotional connection to it”:
She has thousands of tweets like this, complaining about how much she hates math, how math sucks, how math needs to be dismantled. One wonders why she went into math in the first place… it is truly puzzling.
Perhaps this is why it took her 9+ years to finish her PhD — everyone knows they just gave it to her out of pity, to make her go away. She has one paper mediocre that is clearly spoonfed to her by her advisor. It is sad because she is doing a disservice to her gender by being so shitty. Majority of women in STEM who deserve their position are against AA. It's only the weaker ones that are stuck in the game who cry sexism/racism/whatever. Sorry, it's the truth. Piper Harron is a perfect example of this. She is cancer upon the profession, and letting her stick around is a mistake.
For fun/attention, she frivolously tries to #MeToo the best mathematician in the world (congrats on your 19 likes — hope it was worth it):
Quanta Magazine @QuantaMagazinePeter Scholze, one of the most respected mathematicians in the world, completed an important proof entirely in his head and hungover. A computerized proof assistant has now confirmed that his work is correct. https://t.co/C1ts464S2Y https://t.co/Izfbb6upaX
Honestly, she should be in jail for trying to slander Scholze as an abuser. Criminal. He is a great man and she is a piece of dirt; clearly, a lying snake who knows nothing about any “abuse” from Scholze. She is a total psychopath. She should be confronted about these accusations.
The existence of Piper Harron is a perfect reason why I am against affirmative action. Even the beneficiaries know deep down inside that they don’t deserve it and the sense of intense insecurity at getting exposed one day leads them to do toxic things to the community that supported them every step of the way. She obviously doesn't like her life. Enough is enough....these wokesters and wanna-be intellectuals need to be purged from the academy. The war of attrition being waged by the woke against the mainstream mathematical community shows what happens when, out of charity, you let these people gain a foothold.
I would not be able to sleep at night knowing I took somebody else's academic job while being utterly unqualified. This is a perfect example of mismatch theory in action. She could have been a happy and competent high school math teacher or data analyst, running SQL queries at an insurance company, but instead, she got sent to Princeton math PhD with a bunch of geniuses and now she is stuck in a world that she obviously hates.
Returning to the original thread — this new math society exists because many mathematicians feel that American Mathematical Society is currently being overtaken by the woke crowd, and needs a non-woke alternative. Who can forget this “Can mathematics be antiracist?” blogpost from the AMS:
Hence, sane mathematicians decided to create an alternative society, which is AMR. Now the wokes are calling the organization racist because it appears to be founded by "non-woke." What a sorry state of affairs that math has to be plagued by these uninvited and unwelcome problems nobody asked for, from "non-racist math" to being chased out of AMS which was once a place that had nothing to do with all this race, gender nonsense. And now when they've barely established a better place with the original working order in AMR, the wokes still want to demolish it. Enemies of civilization.
“If you wrote an over the top racist and sex1st caricature of an affirmative action mathematician, you still wouldn’t come up with a black woman who got a PhD from Princeton but “hates reading math”, can’t handle an undergrad topic because she “doesn’t have an emotional connection” to it, and somehow blames it all on white men.”
AFA interviews and flyouts: The AFA is the American Finance Association, and this thread is finance bros discussing the finance job market… which seems to be thriving. Good news! Rumours are swirling about which schools are calling and which candidates are strong. Nature is healing.
ECB: This screenshot about hiring practices at the European Central Bank really says it all, to the tune of 77 upvotes and 7 pages of discussion. Once again this really highlights the importance of EJMR IN reducing information asymmetry in the profession:
Darrell E. Brooks: I have a culture-wars article coming out soon called “Whitewashing Waukesha” where I cover this topic in depth. I will save my commentary for that. Subscribe now to get that in your inbox!
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Signs that someone is low class? This is a lighthearted thread — a nice break from the scandals and culture wars. Just stuffy economists doing what they do best: complaining about proles having tattoos and interracial relationships. Nature is healing.
Who don’t women want babies anymore? In which EJMR solves the feminism crisis once and for all.
What are some good ways to sabotage someone’s career: I would avoid clicking on this thread: it is boring and toxic. A bunch of Chinese sociopaths arguing with a bunch of autistic nerds about petty office politics.
Sociology & PoliSci Rumors
APSR Scandal: Just like the top November thread on EJMR was a fraudulent paper being retracted at the #1 Econ journal, the top post on PSR was a fraudulent paper being retracted at the #1 PoliSci journal. You might start to wonder if this is systemic rot within academia itself, rather than one or two bad apples in one or two fields. Just imagine what Covid research is like.
The specific case was hard for me to disentangle because the people bickering in the thread were obviously APSR insiders themselves, talking to each other about inside baseball. Much of it went over my head. I think what it boils down to is that this replication file utterly failed to replicate; meaning the author wrote a terrible/fraudulent/non-replicable paper with broken spaghetti code, incorrect methodology, and hidden data. Here is a highly-upvoted anonymous commenter pointing out some additional fatal flaws:
The APSR editors have known for months and refuse to do anything, apparently, they are also trying to sweep it under the rug. They know a paper they published in their journal is wrong but refuse to act because of the author's wokeness. This should be retracted, and as such, I have also taken it upon myself to email APSR/RetractionWatch and send it to the mainstream media.
Karlstack - Forecasting the Rittenhouse Verdict: Another Karlstack article makes it to the top! If you are curious, this is what the metrics typically look like on one of my long investigative articles:
Leaving academia: In which OP asks “If you were a mid-career academic who had the chance to leave and go to the private sector, would you do it? Salary around 250k.” followed by several pages of professionals lamenting the woes of tenure track slavery and comparing their salaries. It is actually a pretty interesting snapshot into the state of the PoliSci profession but at the same time, I find them insufferable to listen to. PoliSci academics tend to be verbose, inane, and insecure.
Sexual Attraction to children isn’t always immoral: Sociology truly is an unsalvageable cesspool***.
*** Disclaimer: I am dating/living with a sociologist and she is very smart.
Fascism on #EconTwitter
Reminder to follow the Twitter account @EJMR_News, if for no other reason than to piss off the brownshirts in the profession. Here is some of their latest kvetching:
I notice they are all European. Perhaps this reflects a broader trend of anti-free speech sentiment in Europe.
They truly believe they are the “good guys” here. How entitled do you have to be to think your views are so superior that you can demand accounts/websites you don't agree with to be deleted and banned? I'm embarrassed for them all. I am especially embarrassed for Monika, who thinks “EJMR is violence” — what a massive slap in the face to actual survivors of violence. These people are authoritarians living in their bubble, and EJMR breaks the bubble. They deserve to be mercilessly mocked.
Checking in with the Alisia Troll
Every month I feature a new EJMR troll. Last month it was the “Sniveling Fuckwit” and this month it is the “Alisia instagram troll.” This is a person (widely believed to be an Indian/Bangladeshi IT worker) living in Germany who is obsessed with white girls, feet (I suspect he is also the legendary Moroccan foot troll), and German Instagram models. He has been posting for the past year nonstop about his unrequited love for one such German Instagram star, Alisia Ludwig… who turns out to be just some random chick on Instagram.
He has written hundreds of threads dedicated to her beauty/perfection, which you can find on EJMR just by searching for the word “Alisia.” She posts “stories” on her Instagram every day about food, fashion, and nightlife in Dresden and then EJMR is subjected to an Indian guy re-telling her stories about which restaurants she visited. He will see that she is posting from a nightclub, and then he will post threads about how he is planning to go to that nightclub to talk to her. She will post workout videos, and he will start threads about her workouts. These are really the lowest quality threads you could possibly imagine, and they are made in earnest. That is, until a couple of days ago, when a cruel twist happened:
Truly an end of an era. ”All i did was send harmless DMs every once in a while” you lament after posting hundreds of threads about how she should belong to you... really pathetic. I know this isn’t a joke, I know you actually were blocked by her for sending creepy messages. I beg you, Alisia Troll, please refrain from making an alternate Instagram account to keep harassing her! Make this a clean break, and move on with your life. Forget her. It will be healthier. Find some connections in real life. This is a wakeup call. It is also scary and you should not be contacting her.
I know you are aware of how pointless this all is because you said it yourself 2 months ago:
Burgeoning Sex Scandal at MIT*** Math Camp?
*** Technically it's an MIT student who decided to cancel an MIT-affiliated counsellor at the math camp on an MIT mailing list. Technically not “MIT math camp,” but for all practical purposes, it is MIT Math Camp.
Here is an interesting new thread by a whistleblower: MIT student cancels on a public mailing list with thousands of people. Normally this seems like something I would cover — a whistleblower at an elite institution trying to expose sexual assault coverups. Honestly, I do not know what to make of it, maybe I will do a deep dive if I have time, maybe not. There are 55 pages of rambling screenshots in that thread that serve as “proof” of this sexual assault and coverup, but it seems like a convoluted “he said she said” situation with a heavy dose of mental illness thrown in (on all sides) just for good measure. I feel like I am getting half the story from OP. I would be interested in hearing the other half. Maybe this is a good story to keep an eye on. Someone really should get to the bottom of it because the victim really does seem genuinely hurt, abused, and silenced, I am just not sure how credible they are because I can’t really parse what happened.
Until next month!
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