Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mathematicians Gone Wild

A California university professor has been charged with peeing on a colleague's campus office door.

Prosecutors charged 43-year-old Tihomir Petrov, a math professor at California State University, North-ridge, with two misdemeanor counts of urinating in a public place.

Story here.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Worst Experience with an On Campus

An anonymous commenter writes:
Anonymous said...

Worst experience with a job candidate during an in-campus interview? We had one poor job candidate cry on the final goodbye as she basically begged us for the job

That's pretty bad. I'll have to think a bit to see if I know of anything in this league...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"already the most-discussed work in moral philosophy"

Just so you know (from the publisher)....
On What Matters is a major work in moral philosophy. It is the long-awaited follow-up to Derek Parfit's 1984 book Reasons and Persons, one of the landmarks of twentieth-century philosophy. Parfit now presents a powerful new treatment of reasons, rationality, and normativity, and a critical examination of three systematic moral theories - Kant's ethics, contractualism, and consequentialism - leading to his own ground-breaking synthetic conclusion. Along the way he discusses a wide range of moral issues, such as the significance of consent, treating people as a means rather than an end, and free will and responsibility. On What Matters is already the most-discussed work in moral philosophy: its publication is likely to establish it as a modern classic which everyone working on moral philosophy will have to read, and which many others will turn to for stimulation and illumination.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Enrollment-lowering strategies....

Urgh... I just checked into the enrollment for my course this semester. I definitely need to shave it down by at least 10. I fear that my usual first-day strategies for encouraging people to drop are now well-worn, run-of-the-mill, and hence far less effective.

A colleague tells me that banning laptops from class is by itself a good way to get a handful to seek another course. I'll do that. But I'm seeking some new ideas for enrollment-reduction. Any suggestions?

Friday, January 14, 2011

A Catch Phrase is Born

Me, to a punk-as-fuck colleague : "Rock like the first Replacements album."

My colleague: "Rock like stink"


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Talking Heads Box Set

Ok. I just got around to listening to the Talking Heads box set, Once in a Lifetime. Yes, it was released in 2003 or some such. Yes, I bought it shortly after its release. The only explanation for the fact that it sat unopened on a bookshelf for so many years is that shortly after buying it, they released a CD version of The Name of this Band Is... and that long-awaited release occupied my Talking Heads studies for a few years.

Anyway, the remastered versions of the original mixes sound great. They're well worth the price of the collection. But the remixed and alternate versions are nothing to write home about. I even have to skip over a few.

David Byrne should be required by law to reunite them....

Monday, January 10, 2011

Gerry Rafferty Posse

Gerry Rafferty has a posse. First posse of 2011.

Destroy all nearby radios or else risk having to hear those awful opening bars of "Baker Street" (to say nothing of the horrendous sax riff...).

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Odd Student Request

I know that the medium of email has introduced a lot of informality into the relationship between undergraduate students and their professors. There's a lot that's worth complaining about in that, but mostly I just try to ignore it. But recently I received an email from an undergraduate that's exceptional in a way that is hard to describe. A student wrote me the following (almost verbatim):
Hi Prof,
I'm interested in your [course] next term and I'm told you've published a lot on [the topic of the course]. On the basis of the syllabus [the course] looks interesting. Could I get a copy of your CV? Emailing it is fine.
I must be getting soft, because I simply didn't respond. What to make of this? What interest can an undergraduate have in a faculty member's CV? I suppose there's a chance that the student is mistaken about what a CV is. A colleague is convinced that certain students try to collect CVs for purposes of identifying "Leftists" and this is what is happening. Has anyone else received this kind of request?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Deep Questions....

How often do you use as a research tool?

I find myself using it frequently to search the texts of books I've read for key phrases that I used to have to spend lots of time thumbing through a physical book in order to find. A colleague revealed to me this evening that she uses it to keep track of what books in her areas are coming out.

Just askin'

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Last Stone

Looks like The Stone is going on hiatus. Hopefully a long one. Excepting today's boilerplate sign-off post by the current editor, the new year is already off to a good start...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010: Philosophers Who I Hoped Would Die

Just kidding....

Instead of wishing everyone a Happy New Year, like our friend Dr. Brooks, I'll wish everyone the kind of year they deserve.