Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Too Old School?

I had a meeting with a graduate student today about preparing for the job market. It was illuminating in the usual way: students often go very far in their graduate education before considering the realities concerning employment, salary, teaching loads, geography, and such.

Anyway, I think this issue has come up before, but I'm curious about whether others would agree with a bit of advice I gave. The student has been invited to contribute an essay to an edited collection and she asked whether she should accept the invitation. I told her no.

Now, let me make clear that although the edited collection is not coming out with Oxford, and it not being edited by some world famous philosopher, it is not a Pop Culture and Philosophy volume, either. I take it that an invitation to contribute to a collection edited by a leader in one's field for a major university press is a no-brainer: accept. I also take it that a fluff piece edited by a marginal scholar in a silly and embarrassing series for a vanity press is also a no-brainer: pass.

But what about an invitation from a decently recognized scholar for a volume of with a decent line-up for a decent press? I still say no. Any paper that would be good enough for such a project would be better placed in a peer-reviewed journal. Views? Too old school?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

No Job Interviews at the APA Central!

Dates for the 2010 Central APA: February 17-20

Publication Date for volume 185 of Jobs for Philosophers: February 19th.

Still no statement from the APA about this.

Iran: Jon and Richie on the case

TV Guide reports:

Earlier this week, [Jon] Bon Jovi and bandmate Richie Sambora recorded a version of Ben E. King's classic "Stand by Me" with Iranian superstar Andy Madadian. Their mission: to send a message of global solidarity to the people of Iran who are caught in the midst of debate and protest over the country's recent election.

Thank heavens! There's nothing more politically potent than know-nothing pop star millionaires taking up the role of self-appointed messengers of global political sentiment. Now if only we could get Bono and The Edge to do their part... Never fear: Sammy Hagar is releasing a new video of "Right Now," dedicated to the Iranian people.

I miss the Dead Kennedys.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Saturday Morning Poem


I froze your tears, and made a dagger
and stabbed it in my cock, forever
it stays there like Excalibur
Are you my Arthur?
Say you are.

Take this cool dark steeled blade
steal it, sheathe it in your lake
I'd drown with you to be together
Must you breath?
'Cause I need heaven.

--David Brent

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday Doom, Danzig Edition

I totally dare you to follow this link. It will no doubt make your weekend.

Do you think that volume is part of his book collection?

And while you're at it, witness some JUSTICE, especially in light of this.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Department of Overstatement

"Thriller was almost certainly the greatest accomplishment in music, and probably in all of art history." --Ryan Seacrest

"The most tragic day in American music history." --E! reporter

Michael Jackson has a Posse...

Michael Jackson has a posse. Don't believe the coma story.

(Farrah Fawcett has a posse too.)

Justice Thomas Grammar Question

Clarence Thomas dissenting from the Supreme Court's ruling in the Arizona teen strip-search case writes:

"Redding would not have been the first person to conceal pills in her undergarments [....] Nor will she be the last after today's decision, which announces the safest place to secrete contraband in school."

Forget for a moment about the dubious merits of CT's dissent. Am I right in thinking that the "would not have been" in the first sentence and the "will she be" in the second implies a contradiction?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Send me books, articles

I assume that others who read this blog occasionally get unsolicited emails from people claiming to be philosophy students living in Asia or Africa, asking for copies of books they've published. The email usually beings with some complimentary remark about the importance of one's work, then is followed by an account of how poor the Philosophy collection is at the student's University, and concludes with a request to send to the student copies of one's recently published books .

Has anyone responded to these requests? Are they legitimate?

I ask because today I received by ground mail a strange note of this kind from someone in Asia. The note instantiates the usual form described above. But then it includes a photocopied bibliography from one of my recent publications, with roughly half of the entries circled in red. The student asks me to send her everything that's circled. The circled materials include Word and Object, several famous journal articles, one of the recent Oxford Handbooks, and my most recent book. The letter closes with the sentence, "Please send me books, articles."

Of course, I'm going to ignore this request. Has anyone else gotten something this strange recently?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ed McMahon has a posse

Ed McMahon has a posse.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Midsummer Night's APA Fuckedupness

I note that the APA website (which still fucking sucks, and now uses an old version of Java) indicates that the 2009 Pacific Division meeting will be held in December in New York.

That might explain why the site claims there's still time to submit papers for the Eastern Division meeting.

They nicely fucked up the Central ballots, too.

Can't wait to see the JFP/meeting coordination for next year. Oh wait, the "2000-2010" publication schedule conveniently ends in 2009!

Time to boycott?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
UPDATE (6/22, 1:10pm): The first two items linked to above have been corrected! How about a partial refund of my dues, since I'm now helping you to do your job?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Em Dash to the Rescue

Huffington Posts's transcription of G.W.'s June 17 swipe at Obama:

I told you I'm not going to criticize my successor . . . . I'll just tell you that there are people at Gitmo that will kill American people at a drop of a hat and I don't believe that persuasion isn't going to work. Therapy isn't going to cause terrorists to change their mind.

The Washintgon Times's transcription of G. W.'s June 17 swipe at Obama:

I told you I'm not going to criticize my successor . . . . I'll just tell you that there are people at Gitmo that will kill American people at a drop of a hat and I don't believe that-- persuasion isn't going to work. Therapy isn't going to cause terrorists to change their mind.

Principle of Charity?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rare Serious Query

Here's a serious query:

I've now gotten (in real life) dozens of invitations and requests to join various social networking sites: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others with names I cannot remember. The number of such requests has me wondering whether it might not be good to do this kind of thing. Could someone weigh in on this? Are any such sites worth joining? Which ones? Why? What are the benefits? And so on.

I'm inclined to think that all such sites are just time-wasters or instruments of ersatz stalking. Am I wrong? Thanks.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Taxicab Anarchy

I was riding in a cab this weekend and the cabdriver asked me what my "line of work" is. Forgetting that I should always reply "logic," I said, "I'm a philosopher." The driver immediately replied, "I've been an anarchist all my life." I asked what he meant by "anarchist," and I got the expected reply: the guy's against "government regulation." (So he's closer to libertarianism.)

But then he spent the rest of the ride complaining about how the new cabdrivers are ruining the taxi business-- they're not good drivers, they don't know the roads, they don't know the charges, they don't keep their cabs in good repair, etc., etc., etc.

I said, "It sounds like they need tighter regulation."

The driver replied, "Exactly."

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

DOOM all around

A reader sends this along....

NAPLES, Fla. -- Forget about your sleep number. What could be more comforting than the memories of your late pet laid to rest beneath your sleeping head? If a cherished pet's death leaves you sleepless and missing that warm, furry embrace, then Patricia Moore of Naples, Fla., may have the answer: pillows stuffed with your pet's ashes.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What is a Juggalo?

A major philosophical breakthrough! The vexed question finally settled here.

Further analysis here.

Doom, celebrity edition

"I practice transcendental meditation and there is a phase where you're meant to lift off the ground. It hasn't happened yet. I'll manage it one day. In fact, I'm aiming beyond levitation. I want to be able to fly like a superhero. I won't be happy until I can fly across oceans and cities, saving people from being murdered." --Heather Graham

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Moral Question for Untenured Faculty

The tortured souls over at The Philosophy Smoker have posted some crushing news about the economic condition of some institutions of higher learning. It's clear that this year's job market is going to be horrific. Maybe we'll even get another "Dear John, You'll never get a job" letter from the APA?

Anyway, here's a question:

Might there be a moral obligation for those who have jobs, are untenured, feel underplaced, and want to upgrade to not go on the job market this year? Vacated untenured lines are likely to simply dissolve (viz., untenured prof goes, the tt line goes as well), and the number of open untenured positions is already very low. So those who vacate untenured positions for untenured positions elsewhere are helping to shrink the overall number of jobs in philosophy.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

David Carradine

David Carradine has a posse.


How Much Logic?

In keeping with the recent posts about graduate programs and their requirements, here are a few further questions:

How much logic should graduate students in Philosophy have to learn? Why? Is there more than the (I'm guessing typical) prudential reason about needing to be able to teach basic logic? Is the logic requirement like the language requirement (arguably not necessary for all)? Or is the logic requirement more like an area requirement in, say, Metaphysics? And so on.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Public Philosophy

[Scene: A smoky dive bar filled with hipsters. A young woman asks the young man next to her for a quarter....]

Young Man (anxiously searching his hipster bag): I know I have a bunch of quarters... I think have a quarter...

Young Woman (annoyed): C'mon.... Jeez....

Drunk Philosopher (to Young Man): If you know that you have a bunch of quarters, it follows that you have a quarter.

Young Man: Huh?

Young Woman (to Young Man): What did that guy say to you? Whatever. Let's go....

[The couple leaves together.]

The one thing "public philosophy" is good for: getting other people laid.