Last week I placed a new academic working paper on Academia.edu that roughly parallels Chapter 11 of my upcoming book. The version in the book will be written at a different reading level and without the math equations, but this is still a pretty good taste of what is coming.
Scholars like to post these preliminary drafts for several reasons. The most important one for an independent researcher like myself is to receive feedback and suggestions prior to submission. Another reason is to make findings available to the community sooner. The average turn-around time to publish a journal article is two or three years and the field may have moved on by the time the paper hits the presses.
I probably don’t need to worry about obsolescence with this particular article, since the events with which it deals happened back in the 1950’s and 1960’s. My book will be a study of the role of outside scholars in our society and, in particular, their ability to shape public policy. Outside Scholars, in my usage, are people who engage in research and knowledge creation without being formally affiliated with the dominant academic community. This particular article/chapter deals with an outside scholar named Victor Sharrow who devoted his life to arguing for what he saw as the “correct” interpretation on the Fourteenth Amendment. He was ultimately unsuccessful, but I feel his career provides several intriguing insights as a characteristic outside scholar narrative.
Sharrow saw the Fourteenth Amendment as the key to dismantling the Jim Crow system in the South. In the months prior to the 1958 election he mounted an intense one-man lobbying campaign to sway Dwight Eisenhower and other politicians to his views. In my article I examine several of his arguments from a standpoint of modern data science.
Those of you who read my posts on data science and Python programming might be interested in the simulation models I describe in the paper. I would be happy to send my spreadsheet and code to anyone who is interested. Just e-mail me or message my Facebook page.
If all goes well, the book should be released in late 2016 or early 2017.