Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Hey, Who Said That JONES is not Peer Reviewed?

There has been much discussion over whether Steven Jones' Journal of 9/11 Studies was in fact "peer-reviewed". This month another paper was posted in said journal, from an international studies professor (a PhD, although I am not sure from where) which doesn't even allege a government 9/11 conspiracy, but appears intended to bolster their rather weak academic standing. It starts with the following disclaimer:

Original Submission: June 12, 2007
(Revision#3: March 3, 2008, based upon reviewer’s critique received Feb. 15)

Well from this then, one would assume that after 3 revisions this paper meets the highest of academic standards. Or... well at least they corrected the most obvious errors and typos, right?

Well.... no. These are the errors that I discovered from a SINGLE reading of the paper. I don't feel like reading it again just to find more. If someone wishes my opinion on the actual argument of the paper, I will do so in the comments, but right now the quality is so low that I do not feel it worth my time.

Page 6:

In fact, the longest closure during WWII was for only one week in September when Germany attacked Poland on [sic] September 1939, with the NYSE rising following that event.

The New York Stock Exchange rose? What, like on stilts?

It seems that 450,000 shares of American Airlines stock involved ‘puts.’ Still, “…what raised the red flag is more than 80 percent of the orders were ‘puts,’ far outnumbering ‘call’ options, those betting the stock would rise.”

OK, there were 450,000 shares of stock that were involved, except they weren't involved because they were put options, and 80% of those "orders" (for put options presumably) were put options which outnumbered the call options. Yeah, OK, that sentence makes sense.

Page 9:

However, by 2004, the US economy grew by 4 percent in real dollars, the highest growth rate to occur since 1989’s similar 4 percent growth.

The only problem is, if you flip forward to page 24, where the good professor lists the US economic growth rate in a table, you will see that the US grew by 4 percent every year from 1996 to 2000. Apparently the author could not bear to read this paper any more than the "peer-reviewers".

Page 12:

As such, Federal Reserve Chairman at that time Alan Greenspan projected, based upon this consensus report of federal Reserve Board governors and bank presidents, that real GDP growth was expected between 2 and 2.5 percent in 2001.23

E.E. Cummings does economics, and who needs commas anyway?

Furthermore, according to Johannes Lapre, President of the northern European area for economic consulting Data Resources, Inc.-Wharton Econometric Forecasting Associates (DRI WEFA, now known as Global Insights, Inc.),

Could someone please diagram that sentence for me?

Page 18:

Keep in mind that such reductions were eminent in the wake of the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall and the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.

I do not think that word means what she thinks it does...

Yet, expenditures climbed due to the fighting of two wars as part of the government’s War on Terror policy, going from $301,697 billion in 2000 to $546,018 billion in 2006.

Wow, that is a lot of money!

Note, however, that deficits existed from 1992 (-$365.6 trillion) to 1997 (-$66.1 trillion). Only during the 1998-2000 period was there a surplus ranging from $37.9 trillion in 1998 to $159 trillion in 2000. While the 2001 deficit following the attacks ballooned from -$39.3 trillion in 2001 to -$529.7 trillion by 2003, the deficit appears to be on the decline, and by 2006 (-$344.8), shows it falling below 1992 levels (-365.6).

I had no idea it was so bad. The Leo Wanta thing is starting to make more and more sense...

Page 22:

Cuban Missile Crisis, 1958-1962

Odd, I seem to recall it being limited to October 1962. Perhaps someone should let Kevin Costner know...

Page 24:

Clinton Administration, 1992-2000

Clinton was president in 1992? Who knew?

Well, I am glad they have preserved their academic standards, at least.