My college is floating the idea of investing in GPT-type technology to help researchers code text data. This reminds me of my longtime belief that the distinction between “qual” and “quant” is often less important than the distinction between different research paradigms.

high school class rankings and the value-laden non-objectivity of quantitative measures

At the beginning of my senior year of high school, Tyler and I were neck and neck in class rankings—if memory serves, he was slightly ahead. This never got in the way of our friendship. We had spent too much time playing the Wizards of the Coast Star Wars Roleplaying Game together, and a few years earlier, we’d even spent one memorable night with our mutual friend Chris hiking repeatedly back and forth between Tyler’s house and mine so that we could find the right hardware for hooking up someone’s GameCube to my family’s venerable TV so that we could play TimeSplitters 2.

One of my academic pet peeves is when people use the word rigor as a validating synonym for something else, like “quantitative” or “giving out lots of Cs.” Rigor is important, but narrow definitions aren’t useful.