Tuesday, April 15, 2014

PA in SD

Apparently a few PA surrogates have planned a jerkfest at the Pacific APA for Thursday night.  Further details are on a need-to-know bais, apparently.  If you know, you know you know.  Or so I'm told.  If not, not.  Keep an eye out and your pants on.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Note of Appreciation

I hereby express my appreciation for whoever saw fit anonymously to place at my office door a copy of a book titled Zizek's Jokes.  At 168 pages, the volume is mercifully slim, especially given that his jokes surely include all of his previous books, many of which I am to understand are comically long.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Mickey Rooney Posse

Mickey Rooney has a posse.


Justification for Destroying the World, #399412

I interrupt the experiment in free speech and anarchy to bring you some DOOM.  Here.

A preview:
And this will happen with Billy Joel. Teens always will define cool against what their elders like. Right now, there is a group of 14 year-olds listening to Piano Man who will write a world-beating record in five years. One of them gave it a spin expressly because their parents were mocking The Longest Time over chardonnays and fillet mignon, and decided it must be OK. They will admire his showmanship, his songwriting chops and his cheeky vaudeville stylings. They will embrace it, and they will make it cool.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Bob Dylan Wrote Propaganda Songs

Amazingly, I heard this being blasted out of some kid's car while walking outside of campus this morning. 

A small sign of marginal levels of anti-DOOM?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Nonsense Written by My Contemporaries

Hilarious.  And the pic is priceless. As is the gun.  Look here now.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Signs of Old Age

A few people have emailed about my not mentioning this blog's sixth birthday, which was back on February 11, 2014.  Nothing was intended by the omission-- it was just an oversight.  A sign of old age, perhaps? 

Anyway, I've been distracted by other nonsense for the past few weeks, so blogging has been light.  I'll be back to form soon. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

New Trend?

Is it me, or does the Leiter Job Thread suggest that a larger-than-usual proportion of the assistant professor positions are going to candidates who spent last year as a post-doc, or as an assistant professor elsewhere?  Bad news for those fresh to the market who work in areas where post-docs are scarce.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Red Box, Pink Envelope

You know it!  That pink envelope you've recently received with a return address to "Best World" should definitely be opened, and the materials therein should definitely be studied carefully.  It is yet another game-changing contribution from John F. Williams, author of Hating Perfection, and fan of teenage fantasy vampire drawings. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Believe it or not, there are some new philosophy PhDs who are presently considering their first full-time tenure-track job offer.  My advice to students negotiating terms used to be pretty simple:  Ask for (more of) anything that's of value: more money; more travel support; more "start up" funding; more money for a computer; reduced teaching load in your first year; a guaranteed pre-tenure full-year research leave; and so on.  Again, the idea is simple: It never hurts to ask; if you don't ask, you get nothing; and any decent Dean will be expecting to have to sweeten an initial offer in some way.

A few reports I've gotten in recent years from the front line, however, suggest that things have changed, in some cases dramatically.  I've heard of one Dean telling a would-be new faculty member that s/he must "not be so acquisitive" lest s/he "get off on the wrong foot" with new colleagues.  I've heard of another case in which a Dean began taking things away from an initial offer in exchange for meeting a new request (i.e., reclaiming an offered "start up" fund in exchange for supplemented travel support). In other cases, normal negotiating maneuvers on the part of the would-be new faculty were met with less overt indications of disapproval. 

I understand how growing scarcity in University resources and related factors should lead to greater restraint on the part of Deans in their recruitment/negotiating efforts.  But is there any reason why recruiting Universities should expect would-be new faculty to manifest that restraint themselves by simply not asking for the usual deal-sweeteners?  Could it be right to give would-be new faculty the sense that merely asking for more stuff serves to (lightly) strain the new faculty's relationship with the administration?  

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Monday, February 17, 2014


A former student wrote me to ask about the following.  The student has gotten a contract from a decent academic Press for an edited collection anthologizing several highly influential papers by a loosely connected group of contemporary philosophers on a pretty important topic.  For one reason or another, many of the to-be included papers are not widely available.  In any case, the Press offered a contract.  But now the Press is asking for a"subvention fee" to help cover "some of the costs" associated with producing and promoting the book. 

I'd never heard of such a thing from a mainstream academic Press, except in cases where the text in question contains complex notation, images, color graphs, and the like. But for a straightforward text-only Philosophy book?  Has this become common?  Does anyone know what's going on?

Monday, February 10, 2014


 A traffic circle in Poland has been named after Jeff Hanneman.  Important Details here.