Sunday, 23 April 2006

MPSA joy

Last day at the Midwestern Political Science Association conference. This is the first time I've been to one of these big ones - more than 4000 presenters. It's like a polisci geek Glastonbury: you can run around trying to see all the cool bands, or you can sit in your tent smoking dope and occasionally wandering down to the stage to see what's on. I'm here with Laurence, another Essex PhD student. I have taken the blue-arsed fly approach, while he's been more on the spliff-rolling side of things, metaphorically. I've missed two sessions out of the 14 - 8.30 today and yesterday - and seen some really great papers. Highlights: John [?] Londregan, v interesting sort of leftfield paper about voting as a signal of willingness to fight in wars; Ethan Bueno de Mesquita, presenting a formal model of bureaucratic oversight with great clarity; James Fowler talking about how mono- and dizygotic twins vote - this man is obviously very smart; wandering into a more-or-less random session and getting, quite by chance and from a completely different field, a potential method for my next paper; and (heh) watching Vera Troeger discuss some papers. (Surgical.)

Hopefully will meet up with Robert Klemmensen today (w00t! I have another reader!) and try to come up with something clever for this amusing diversion, listed on POLMETH. (Everyone has a pet "really simple guaranteed winner" for this.) I see James Fowler is also behind this. Yikes.