Monthly Archives: November, 2010


Recently I’ve had the experience of being subjected to what I’m terming jargonstorming. Jargonstorming is like brain-storming, except the brain has been replaced by jargon. The jargonstormer (i.e., the speaker or writer leveling the jargonstorm at listeners or readers) frequently is unaware that they are not actually saying anything due to a lack of understanding of the underlying meanings of the jargon they employ as they fail to make any point; cynically, the jargonstormer is sometimes aware of this, and is leveraging the jargonstorm strategically to preempt meaningful contributions from others, by overwhelming those unfamiliar with the jargon and alternatively disgusting those who “see” through the jargonstorm to the point that the jargonstormer is not called  to task for their transgression.

I wish everyone the best in their attempts to avoid jargonstorms.



Remembering Tyler Dodge

After days of being concerned over his disappearance, today the IUPD were convinced to enter Tyler’s home where they found him deceased.

Tyler Dodge looking very proper and professional, perhaps the best image I've found of him.

Tyler was a wonderful person, and a central part of my life for the last 5 years. We had worked together first with him as reluctant-mentor and me as newbie, then as more or less equal partners in research on a paper that never was sent out but was enlightening and fun collaboration. And in the last two years I spent more time arguing with Tyler over details of theory and methods than anything else, but it was also my great pleasure to push and support him in finishing his dissertation with programming and conceptualization…it is heart-breaking that after all his efforts he won’t be here to see the pay-off as I finish, one of the mutual goals we’d set in late 2007. I guess I took too long.

Finally, in this last year he had become an emotional support to both Sinem and I as we finish our work on the same project that consumed the better part his last decade. He had just moved on to other work and was relaxing and enjoying life in a way that the PhD process had muted in him. The last time we met for breakfast was pure joy, and a great memory to have as some of my final interaction with him.

Michael Tomas and Tyler Dodge. Taken during AERA 2010 Denver. Two of my favorite, most considerate mentors.

He was an extremely gentle man that was too often misunderstood. Something about him was displaced in time, his mannerisms reflecting an era of respect that has passed. I very much doubt I will ever meet my own Mr. Rogers again, but that man might resemble Tyler for those of you that don’t know him. Part of his character was to always gift the most delicate yet appropriate, and respectfully targeted to the recipient gifts: High-quality writing pens were a long time favorite, but more recently he had switched to simple yet powerful reading lamps in addition to music he would spend weeks composing in his basement.

Some of these gifts will make it into this posting as I digitize and add them. I hope that this will allow those who are interested to experience and remember some of what Tyler offered the world.

He was resolutely moral in a challenging world and never wavered in his commitment to making things better, regardless of the challenge. He deserved more than he received from world.

I will miss him greatly.

We are preserving Tyler’s website,, and
Tyler’s friends from his IST community have started sharing their recollections of Tyler at For a broader sense of who he was, please visit both of these sites.]