Monday, 29 December 2014

My Top Blog Posts 2014

  But are these my best posts? Perhaps not given that 'the internet' (google, twitter etc) is hardly rational. Thus, let's add some links to further posts that I thought were 'good' (however it may be defined) but didn't really get a lot of attention. In terms of blue-sky thinking, I'd like to refer to my The "Imperial College School of Law"? (November 2014); Can the "deep state" analogy be applied to corporate governance? (June 2014); What explains the increase in religious extremism? (February 2014). And then my quasi-book reviews of Niall Ferguson's Civilization (January 2014) and Francis Fukuyama’s Political Order and Political Decay (November 2014).

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Wrongly predicting the REF results …

As Homer Simpson famously said 'trying is the first step towards failure'. So, I tried! 
  In 2012, I claimed to be able to predict the REF 2014 results (for law). Now, the results have been published (for law here on the official website and here ranked). I think it's fair to say that some of the law results are a bit of a surprise. Taking the top 20 from the RAE 2008 and correlating those with the 2014 ranks of those universities, the correlation is not that strong: 0.24.
  Now, taking this number as a benchmark, let's return to my predictions. I calculated the top 20 in different variants; in the following therefore the correlations of these respective top 20 ranks with the actual REF 2014 law ranks.
  • I started with a time-trend model (starting with the first RAE 1992 up to 2008) but here the correlation is very weak: 0.08.
  • Then, I took the average of the previous four RAEs. Here, the correlation is higher: 0.34.
  • Finally, my own model which was a mixed one with a weighted mean rank and a time trend: here we have 0.37.
So, at least my own model was a bit better than just taking the previous number(s). However, it's not great either: but I may try again for the REF 2020 (or so)...

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Lapland and Legal Pluralism (conference)

I’m about to go to a symposium on Legal Pluralism as Legal Culture at the University of Lapland. Very much looking forward to it – I may post a (winterly, I assume) picture on this blog next week.... My presentation is going to be on ‘Legal pluralism as a question of traditional, postmodern and/or socio-legal comparative law’ – the slides are available here

PS: now picture with me in sauna someone ice swimming.