Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pacific APA

I'd be pleased to receive reports from those at the Pacific APA. Gloomy? OK? How many academic publishers are at the Book Display? Is there any interviewing going on? How's the situation with the conference hotel? And so on.

Feel free to share.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Plato was right, #349,022.987

A caller to C-SPAN's Washington Journal this morning:
"You have black folks calling in on the Republican line, independents. And you have so many of 'em I can't believe this is just an accident. If you keep on with the way you've been programming, you should change your name from C-Span to black-span. I know they have an opinion but I wish that they would be honest and call in on the right line. Everyone one of 'em thinks that Obama is Jesus Christ and they don't like when anybody criticizes him."
The host's response is of course completely fucked up.

We're doomed.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Declining Your Offer

If this didn't come from a trusted source, I would not believe it, let alone post it. But a friend at another department just sent me a note telling me that her entire department received an email this afternoon from one of the students who had been offered admission to their graduate program. The subject line was simply "Declining Your Offer." The body simply said, "I'm not coming." And that's it!

Congratulations to the department who succeeded in recruiting this student!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Big Fucking Deal

Thank goodness for the Internet and all the people out to make a quick buck.

Here.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Philosophers and Money

Professor Leiter's latest post about salaries for philosophers is well worth close study. I suspect that many of you should march on up to your Dean and demand a raise immediately. Others should try to keep these data quiet.

In any case, it provides another occasion to consider the odd fact that, despite the considerable institutional benefits which attach to having a stable and continuous faculty within a philosophy department, the only way to get paid what you're worth is to regularly prove your low-level of loyalty to your current institution. College administrators proceed as if your worth is inversely proportionate to your personal investment in your college.

As Professor Leiter notes, this creates strong incentives for disingenuous job seeking-- good people seeking out job offers from other departments for the sole purpose of sweetening the pot at home. It's a costly (for the institution being taken for a ride) practice; and it, in my view, morally icky.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Alex Chilton has a posse

Sorry for the delayed report of the formation of this posse...

Here.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Incoming Student visit Don'ts

We just had a cadre of students who have been accepted to our graduate program visit our department; it's a way for us to try to recruit them, and a way for them to try to decide where to go for graduate school. The power relations are unusual: the visitors are treated like royalty, and, moreover, the offer of admission has already been extended, so there's no way to screw that up. However, there are many ways one can make a bad impression on these visits. To wit:

1. Do not tell the chair of the department right off the bat that you've come just for the free trip and food. (A student in recent memory did this, but wound up accepting our offer in the end... That was fun.)

2. Do not say a faculty member anything resembling the following, "You work [in area x]? Why? Don't you know that philosohy has moved beyond that?"

3. Do not say to a faculty member, "I read your book on [x]. It was good introductory material."

4. Do not say to the Director of Graduate Studies anything resembling the following, "I'll never take any courses with you, and have no interest in [your area of research], so is there any way we can arrange for someone else to be my DGS?" (I heard this one third-hand; on only a highly charitable interpretation was the student mistaken about what a DGS is....)

5. Do not boast over dinner that you have "already written" your dissertation, and are simply "going through the motions" until it's time to submit it.

It should be emphasized that once you accept an offer and enter a program, the power shifts back to its more usual dynamic, to the great advantage of the faculty. When goodies are being doled out, or when special opportunities arise, the ones who made a bad impression are often off the radar.

Good luck to all in choosing a program.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Bibliographies on Word 2007

A propos of our earlier discussion of bibliographic software:

I've been told that MS Word 2007 has a "reference" function that operates like EndNote, et al.: one creates a reference library, and Word can handle the references in a variety of styles (chicago, APA, MLA, Turabian, etc.).

Has anyone used this function? Verdicts? I'm due for a computer update....

Sunday, March 14, 2010

"even aristotle doesn't have a theory for this one"

From Texts from Last Night:

just wokeup with my ethics textbook on my chest, animal crackers in my mouth and my dick in my hand. even aristotle doesn't have a theory for this one
I'm pretty sure Aristotle does indeed have a theory for that one....

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Corey Haim Posse

Corey Haim has a posse.

Details here.

Now would someone do what's necessary to the other Corey?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Law & Order: Juggalos and Jack

Good to see that Law & Order is keeping it real real. Last week, they did an episode about a crime committed by a juggalo. Last night, the episode was not particularly great, but it did include a stake-out scene in which Detective Lupo is reading his copy of A Theory of Justice.

That's the third time by my count that Rawls's book has appeared on the show. Lupo reads the 2005 "original edition," rather than an old copy of the original or the 1999 "revised edition."

Any members of the Rawls priesthood care to comment on that?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Some Rules of Philosophy Q&A

The later contributions to the "Absent Keynoters" thread get my gears going... Why is there so much bad conference behavior, especially during the q&a period? It seems that at almost every session I've been to of late, there's some jackass who didn't listen to the paper or didn't understand it, but nevertheless wants to 'make a comment' or 'share an observation' about it. These "comments" and "observations" are rarely to the point, and the pointlessness is most often directly proportionate to the length of time the questioner takes to articulate them.

First Rule of Philosophy Q&A: ASK A FUCKING QUESTION AND BE CONCISE.

And then there's the widespread attitude according to which follow ups are always permissible, as long as you preface it with an assurance that it will be quick. Is it me, or do most "quick follow ups" simply restate the original question?

Second Rule of Philosophy Q&A: DO NOT FOLLOW UP UNLESS (1) YOUR FOLLOW UP REALLY IS QUICK, (2) YOU HAVE SOMETHING NEW TO ADD, AND (3) THERE'S LIKELY TO BE SUFFICIENT TIME FOR ALL QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR .

Others?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Boycott APA Hotel, and more

Here's a petition calling philosophers who will be attending the Pacific APA meetings to boycott the hotel.

But why not boycott the APA while we're at it? They've proved their uselessness again and again.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Absent Keynoters

I'm off to a small conference on a pretty narrow topic in a few days. The keynote speaker is a well-liked and accomplished chap among those who work on this particular topic. I just found out that the keynote speaker is flying in for the keynote, and then leaving the conference.

This seems to me rude, or at least in poor taste. Anyway, someone should coin a clever term for such persons. "Absent Keynoter" is not good enough....