Thursday, August 30, 2012

Jumping the Shark... Twice

Can one person jump the shark twice?  Arguably yes, given the latest from Thomas Nagel....


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

APSA Canceled

Wow.  The annual gigantic meeting of the American Political Science Association, which was scheduled to be held in New Orleans this weekend, has been canceled.   Here.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


The new book by Larry Temkin on Rethinking the Good looks great.  Except for one thing.  It's 616 pages.  Seriously.  Who has time for that?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Almost Forgot...

Phyllis Diller has a posse.


A Follow-Up

Call me old-fashioned, but when I get a rejection with a referee report or two, I try to revise in light of the comments.  I do this even when I think the reports are useless, off-base, or even just plain dumb.  My thought is that the places in the paper that give occasion for dumb reviewers to say dumb things are places that probably could use some polishing/clarifying.  So I never simply turn a paper around after getting even a dumb rejection.  But the case described in the previous post goes beyond dumb; it is, it seem to me, a definite exception.  The author should just cut his losses and send the paper to another journal immediately.  Right?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Adventures in Journal Publishing

This just came in from an old friend.  I wish I could say I'm surprised, but we all know how debased the whole process is these days.  Nonetheless, this seems a new low.
I submitted my paper to [big time journal].  Eight months later, I get a rejection plus a single short referee report.  Par for the course, but still frustrating.  Then I notice an additional humiliation: I take great pains in the opening section of my paper to clearly state that although people who hold [view A] also often endorse something like [thesis B], those who wholeheartedly promote [thesis B] often take their view to entail the rejection of [view A].  As I put it, my paper is about the conflict between the stark proponents of [thesis B], who see their view as opposed to [view A], and those who endorse [view A] and some version of [thesis B].  At the end of a paragraph, I express this not-so-complicated thought in a way that I believe is not only maximally clear, but catchy and concise.

Now here's the unbelievable part: My reviewer mainly criticizes my paper's set-up on precisely the point about [view A] and [thesis B].  That is, I am criticized for not seeing that whereas those who hold [view A] often endorse some version of [thesis B], those who are first and foremost advocates of [thesis B] often oppose [view A]!  This suggests that the reviewer did not read the opening pages of my paper.  However... in the course of (mistakenly) criticizing me for mucking up the A/B issue, the reviewer plagiarizes my maximally clear, catchy and concise statement of the matter, as if it were his/her own!!! 

Remind me: Why do we bother with this, again?
Good question.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Bentham in the SEP

Someone just wrote to report that some wrote him to report that there is no entry for Jeremy Bentham in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.  I couldn't believe it!  Check it and see.  Furthermore, I looked into the "projected" entries, and there's no mention of Bentham there either.  However, a search of the Encyclopedia for Bentham's name reveals more than 100 mentions.  And there are entries for far less influential figures.  Would someone please fix this?  What other glaring omissions are there in SEP?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

More Good News...

Horshack has a posse.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Won't Get Fooled Again?

I've not paid any attention to the Olympics.  But I was surprised to hear that The Who lip-synced their performance in the closing ceremonies.  What the fuck is the world coming to?  We still have The Kinks, I suppose....

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Marvin Hamlisch Posse

Marvin Hamlisch has a posse. 


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Odd, I know...

This struck me as odd, but I was contacted by a Dean at another institution and asked what my views are about Skype-only faculty searches (and what I take the general views within the profession to be).  I suppose the question is about Skype-only up until the on campus. 

I really have no idea what to say.  The APA website of course is useless.  Are there any better-than-anecdotal data about this?  For example, how common are Skype-only searches?  What percentage of them in the past few years resulted in an actual hire?  Are there any generally agreed-upon pros and cons?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I Breathe Better Underwater

You heard it here first:

My sources confirm that Tom Waits will announce dates for a small US tour on August 7.

Mysterious messages from Waits here.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chris Marker Posse

Chris Marker has a posse.


Gore Vidal Posse

Gore Vidal has a posse.