The crises of a quantitative social scientist

  1. So I’ve always identified as an empirical-first person, and v. cagey about theory contributions in social thought. I need the world to tell me how it is, I don’t want to tell it.
  2. But I’ve been doing a lot of theory this last two years with theory people.
  3. But I’ve had to get over being self-conscious about it, since theory is so made up.
  4. But I’m starting to appreciate that made up isn’t so bad, because the name of the game is figuring stuff out together, and that applies as much to useful distinctions and language as to facts and data.
  5. But I think that data is ultimately the thing that sciences of sociality are short on
  6. But my theory pieces are quickly eclipsing my data pieces in terms of “what the people want”
  7. But data is still a strategic advantage of mine, and something I enjoy a ton.
  8. But it takes a lot more work for a lot less out.
  9. And I’m starting to question more whether science is really the appropriate tool for learning about society: whether science as method is even ready for humans as subject. If you think about it, from cell and mouse research through the Nobel prize for lobotomies even to Facebook’s “emotion manipulation” experiments, the only times that science is really “in its element” for building knowledge about living systems is when it’s murdery.

Therefore … I don’t know. I should keep doing both I guess. So everything is exactly as it should be


This entry was posted on Monday, December 6th, 2021 and is filed under nescience, science.