Saturday’s Forum

Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Jax says:

    It’s -20 again. We haven’t lost any calves since we got the lanes plowed into our calving pasture, I hope that holds true this morning!

    Man, kinda slow around here without Ozark. 😛

  2. Mimai says:

    ChatGPT prompt: Write a comment in the style of OzarkHillbilly for Outside the Beltway blog.

    Well dang, I gotta tell ya, this here post sure stirred up a ruckus in my neck of the woods. Seems folks been gettin’ all fired up about what’s happenin’ in them big city slicker places. But let me tell ya somethin’, out here in the sticks, we just keep on keepin’ on, takin’ care of our own.

    Now I ain’t sayin’ we don’t care ’bout what’s goin’ on in the world. Shoot, we got TVs and radios just like everybody else. But we also got a different way of lookin’ at things. We don’t put much stock in them politicians and their fancy talkin’, ’cause they don’t really understand what it’s like to be out here in the real world.

    So while y’all city folk might be all up in arms about this and that, we’ll just be over here tendin’ to our crops and our livestock, and helpin’ out our neighbors when they need it. Ain’t no need to get all worked up when you got good country livin’ to keep you grounded.

    Take it from me, OzarkHillbilly, life is simple out here, and that’s the way we like it.

  3. CSK says:


    Ozark is considerably more literate than that.

  4. Sleeping Dog says:


    yeah, the bot went generic ozark hillbilly not our Ozarkjillbilly

  5. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Indeed! I’m not sure that academe needs to go into full panic mode about ChatGPT quite yet. (And if it does, that panic is more a comment of academe than about Chat GPT, which can’t even distinguish between a comment in the style of an Ozark hillbilly and OtB’s Ozark Hillbilly. Question: Does ChatGPT’s “mistake” represent a interpretation problem or a syntax problem?)

  6. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    The AI Ozark sounds like a bad parody of a hick.

  7. Kathy says:

    I think I’ve just discovered reverse time dilation.

    More details when I get home.

  8. dazedandconfused says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    It means it doesn’t do its homework. Considering the most likely users…deliciously ironic.

  9. Kathy says:

    So, I went to Costco to get a tire replaced. I got there at 10:25. I waited maybe ten minutes for the Costco employee to solve an issue with a customer, then ordered the new tire.

    He told me it would take between 4 and 5 hours. Or that I could set an appointment for tomorrow at 1 pm. Neither option worked for me. As I was already there, I decided to wait the inordinately long time estimated. I was assured it would take that long, as they are short-staffed and there were two cars ahead of mine. Four hours minimum.

    I had a coffee with me I picked up on the way, so I sat on a bench by the parking lot to drink it, and play games on my phone. By 11:05 I saw they were servicing my car. by 11:35, they were finished. By 11:40 I got it back, signed the paperwork, and was ready to go.

    As I’m sure the estimate was accurate, it must have taken 4 hours. But in my frame of reference, under a quarter of that time passed. Therefore, reverse time dilation.

    I’ll write it up with some phony graphs and a few equations, and await a Noble Prize 😀

  10. al Ameda says:


    As I’m sure the estimate was accurate, it must have taken 4 hours. But in my frame of reference, under a quarter of that time passed. Therefore, reverse time dilation.

    Please don’t take offense, but … you’re the man!
    I will write a letter on your behalf to the Nobel Committee.

  11. Modulo Myself says:

    Woah, the NY Times is running a story about Ben Barnes, who has decided to tell the truth about what happened with the Iranian hostages in 1980. Basically, the October Surprise happened. Reagan and Casey schemed to get the Iranians to hold the hostages’ until after the election, and Barnes was part of it. He’s telling the story because Jimmy Carter is dying.

  12. Kathy says:

    @al Ameda:

    Thank you. I appreciate it.

    But I doubt the Nobel committee has any say in the awarding of the Noble Prize for Phony Physics.

  13. CSK says:

    According to my local paper, Derry, NH is opening a “food panty.”

    It doesn’t get better than grocery-stuffed undies.

  14. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Sure, but that doesn’t answer the question of why it chooses that rather than to go to it’s “collected knowledge” (from the internet) of what Ozark’s writing is like.

  15. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @dazedandconfused: Ayup! Again explaining why academe doesn’t need to go into full panic mode quite yet. The number of sources for essays that read like somebody who didn’t do the homework is really large and probably not even worth checking for plagiarism over.

  16. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    In this case, it seems not to have bothered to tap its vein of collected knowledge.

  17. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy: You’ll have to go for an Ig Nobel.

  18. dazedandconfused says:


    “The Costco Tire Dept Paradox”

  19. Mister Bluster says:

    It’s like when I go to the China Wok and order the Roast Pork Fried Rice to go.
    They always say 10 minutes and it always takes 5.

  20. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    That’s a spin on under-promising and over-delivering.