On Nuance

I’ve been thinking a lot about nuance lately. I feel that it is the absence of care towards nuance that has fundamentally changed the nature of media circulation. Without nuance, there is little room for clarity or debate, and the absence of nuance results in over-inflated summaries that force people to make simplified claims about […]

Conducting Research With Congress

I wrote up my thoughts after a discussion with Kathy Goldschmidt at CMF about my experience conducting research with Congress. Our goal is to expand on this information with other academics to help the Congressional Management Foundation make recommendations to the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress. Researching with the U.S. Congress – Sam’s […]

A Quote On Technology

“When a company has a buggy release, the company is experimenting and learning. When the government has a buggy release, it is a sign of incompetence.” – Stephanie Rickler Schulte From United States Digital Service: How “Obama’s Startup” Harnesses Disruption and Productive Failure to Reboot Government

New Report Published

Just this week, I officially completed a white paper that details the findings from my research I did this summer on the Hill. Here are the main findings I discuss in the paper: 1. The primary uses of policy-related constituent correspondence are to formulate outgoing communication and to monitor constituent sentiment. This finding is reflected in […]

The Value of Observation

I have returned to Washington D.C. for the summer to continue my research on constituent communication technology in Congress. Since I’ve returned to listen to the stories of interns, LAs, Members, and other previous staffers, I’ve begun to value more qualitative methods in my research. During my comprehensive exam, I read numerous papers describing quantitative […]

Passed my Comprehensive Exam

I recently passed my comprehensive exams (woohoo!). In my department, the exam consists of writing a substantial literature review, which usually has 50-150 pieces of literature, and an in-person presentation and discussion of the literature with a committee of three persons. On my committee, I had Bonnie Nardi, Melissa Mazmanian, and Matt Beckmann. I enjoyed having an […]

AGS Symposium Talk

In late spring I gave a practice talk at the Associated Graduate Students Symposium (click picture to see video). The talk described the beginnings of my research into constituent communication in Congress. I decided to give this talk to practice my speaking skills and to articulate my research goals. More than six months later, AGS […]

The Democratic Interface

Last night I read: The democratic interface: technology, political organization, and diverging patterns of electoral representation by W. Lance Bennett, Alexandra Segerberg,  and Curd B. Knüpfer. The piece was recently published in the journal of Information, Communication, and Society. 

Tech Threats to Democracy

The New York Times just posted a chilling article titled “Silicon Valley Can’t Destroy Democracy Without Our Help”. In the very first line, Emily Parker says “Silicon Valley, once a force for good, is now a threat to democracy”. I haven’t read the entire article yet, but it probed my brain to ask if this is […]