Monday, October 31, 2011

Against Stupid SPEP Resolutions

There is an online petition for SPEP members who want to separate themselves from the hypocritical and stupid resolution adopted by the organization in support of ego-stroking and immoral nonsense parading as information.

Given the hierarchical order and conformist norms that prevail within the organization, I strongly suspect that very few of those who see the stupidity of the resolution will be able to muster the fortitude to resist the pressure from above to remain silent.

Anyway, it seems worth a plug.

Happy Mondays: Halloween Edition

Early snowstorm in the Northeast destroys trick-or-treating plans for masses of kids.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bad As Me

The new Tom Waits album just arrived.

Light blogging for the next few weeks.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Phony Searches

What percentage of open rank positions in a given JFP are phony searches (viz. searches in which the hiring department has already decided who to hire and is just going through the motions of a search for legal purposes)? We all know that this is common. Anyone care to speculate?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Schrader Retiring

News from the APA crap site:

APA Executive Director, David Schrader, has informed the Board of Officers that he will retire from the Executive Director position effective October 2, 2012, the day after his 65th birthday. He will give a more detailed statement in his “Letter from the Editor” in the November issue of the Proceedings. The Board of Officers will be developing a search process in the very near future. Thanks!
They have to "develop a search process"!

Friday, October 21, 2011

What Nietzsche was Saying

The closing line of a recent NDPR review:
Readers approaching Mellamphy's book from this [Anglo-American] tradition will find her style frustrating. What frustrated this reader the most, however, is that she doesn't appear to be interested in what Nietzsche was saying.
I like it! I've long wondered why certain philosophers who are in themselves pretty good tend to attract so much bad scholarship. Nietzsche is a good example; in my view, he's not half as bad as many of his more enthusiastic defenders make him out to be. The same goes, I'd say, for the later Wittgenstein. What gives? Is there something in the work of these philosophers that draws so many hacks to them?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Gaddafi has a posse

Muammar Gaddafi has a posse. Here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

News Flash: Lakoff is still a Dope

The Lakoff "framing" line is either trivial (don't let your opponents straw man you!) or self-undermining (it's all just a competition among frames-- a classic case of a thesis denying the conditions for its own truth). Either way, that anyone takes this guy seriously is amazing to me. And that some progressive circles see him as some kind of guru is enough to make me puke.

What could be more destructive than the views that no one really has any reason to defend progressive causes, and that the explanation of why people hold progressive views is simply that they find certain concepts attractive? In fact, its hard to imagine anything worse for progressive causes than the view that progressivism (like conservatism) is simply an affliction.

Anyway, the Lakoff view was discredited decades ago. But that doesn't stop him from simply repeating himself whenever anyone asks (or pays). In case you need to remind yourself of what a dope he is, check here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Kukla: Must Read

Rebecca Kukla just took a major step toward undoing the harm wrought by the fake pluralists to serious examination of issues concerning women in the profession.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


I was asked the other day whether a student who applied for University X's job last year (and did not get an APA interview) should apply this year for the identical job advertised this year by University X.

This struck me as an easy case: obviously no. But then I learned that a colleague encouraged the student who asked to re-apply, apparently on the principle of "you never know." I guess that it's harmless (minus the mailing expenses), but it still seems to me a clear-cut no.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Macy's Punk (DOOM #1977)

I was just walking through a Macy's, and the in-store music in the cosmetics department was The Buzzcocks, "Ever Fallen in Love?"

Related: Would the person who stole my CD copy of The Cramps' Bad Music for Bad People please give it back?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


By my quick count, the October JFP has a total of 82 ads for tenure-track assistant professor jobs in the US.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

JFP Eve Advice Sought

A reader writes:
I am a graduate student at a decent but not Leiterrific department. I am in the early stages of a dissertation on a topic that is really important to me, but the AOS that the dissertation places me in is not one of those popular ones that gets high representation among the job openings even under the best circumstances. Last year there were maybe five job ads that mentioned my area. I am worried that this year there will be fewer, maybe zero. I have ways of packaging myself which place me in a more popular AOS, but it's obvious that this is a slight stretch, and thus I take myself to be uncompetitive for the best jobs in that other AOS.

Here's my question. Is it wise to change my dissertation topic (and AOS) in light of what is in the JFP? I think I can formulate another dissertation project in one of the more popular AOS's. It would require me to assemble a new committee with a new director, and that would certainly be awkward but not impossible. The new project would be on something I'm far less invested in personally, and it would require me to start basically from scratch so far as research goes, but I am certain I could follow through with it.

Others I have discussed this with claimed that it's unwise to switch projects on the basis of JFP trends. They say that the job market changes from year to year, and that my current AOS could become more popular. (It would be great if it did, but I just don't see it happening.) Others tell me that my dissertation should represent what's most important to me, and that changing projects is some kind of "sell out" or failure of "integrity", but I don't know about this. Any advice?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Mondays

From the NYT:
In a grim sign of the enduring nature of the economic slump, household income declined more in the two years after the recession ended than it did during the recession itself...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Law of the Academy #23

The most hostile, incompetent, unfriendly, socially awkward, and dim staff at your university are employed in the Human Resources office.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

JFP 191 "Web Only" Ads are Down!

By design, or sign of impending webshite DOOM? Nobody knows.

Total APA website crash coming in 4 days...

Friday, October 7, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Steve Jobs has a posse

Steve Jobs has a posse.


Billy Joel is still alive.

Six Days Later

At least six days ago, the "pay my dues" function on the APA website went down. It's still down.

This should be no big deal, because I'd venture to guess that even the most out-of-touch philosophers would know enough to see that there's no way that website is secure enough to entrust with personal and credit card information. (If you've already used the function, beware and alert your credit card company.)

In any case, the October JFP is supposed to go online in one week. I have my doubts. Anyone care to venture a guess about the number of TT entry-level jobs in the US that will be advertised? Fewer than 80?

The one who comes closest without going over wins First Prize: a 90-minute guitar lesson with The Edge, and your name will be entered into a contest to select the assassin of Billy Joel.

The one who comes second-closest without going over wins Second Prize: two 90-minute guitar lessons with The Edge (face it: he really needs the lessons).

Monday, October 3, 2011

Happy Mondays

The October JFP is roughly a week away.