Thursday, January 31, 2013

Job Talk: Best Advice Ever

Way back when I received this bit of advice, I thought it was a clear signal that the person who offered it had no real interest in helping me get a job.  But now I see that it's quite possibly the best advice it's possible to give about a job talk.  Here goes (verbatim):

Know your shit.  
Don't fuck up.  
One joke at most.
Don't go on for longer than they asked you to.  
Read at a reasonable pace.  
Answer the questions they ask.  
Bite the bullet if you have to.  
Make eye contact.  
Don't insult anyone.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Rare Serious Query

I had lunch today with a well-established academic philosopher who is seriously considering self-publishing his next academic book.  His reasoning runs roughly as follows: He doesn't need any further academic credentials ("I'm non-promotable"); his work has already appeared in / been published by the most prestigious journals and presses ("I've already proven myself"); and the crucial chapters of the book are based on recently presented material that has been criticized and commented on by other experts in his field ("The book has already been reviewed extensively by my peers").  From this, he concludes that there's no advantage to himself or his career from publishing with the big-time University Press that is ready to offer a contract.

But he also sees positive considerations against publishing with a UP.  He claims: The UP contracts short-change authors; the rights/control that Presses claim over authors' work (including their future work) are unreasonable; the marketing/sales operations at even the best Presses are inefficient, unreliable, and even under good circumstances often ineffective; the copy-editors have become unbearably ignorant yet increasingly interventionist; the quality the physical books has declined.

Finally, he claims the following as positive reasons in support of self-publishing: He retains ownership of his work; he controls the distribution, production, and promotion of the book; the Internet and various sites (Amazon included) make it relatively easy to produce and sell the book; and (maybe?) he gives some lesser-known philosopher a chance to get a book accepted at the big-time University Press (viz., by causing there to be one less ms in the system by a well-established person).

Is he wrong?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Conrad Bain Posse

Conrad Bain has a posse. 


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Worse than Rod Stewart?

Pop Quiz:

Is this worse than Rod Stewart? 

Defend you answer. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

New Year, New DOOM

There's a whole series like this.  Note that it "isn't for beginners."

Thursday, January 3, 2013