Friday, June 26, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
how can we make the journal wiki not suck?
I don't know. One thing that would be nice is if there were a grid. That way it would be easy to tell how long this R&R took, and this A, etc. Wouldn't it be easy to make some kind of an HTML grid for each journal, and then add a column whenever you update it? And it would be nice if there were some sort of "average" function, that would tell you how long, on average, an initial decision takes. I know you can kind of eyeball it, but real math is better. I know I could do it myself, but it has always been my view that real math is best done by others.
What else would make the journal wiki not suck? And Chrono, if you wanted to make some specific remarks about what you think sucks about it, that would be cool, too.
Monday, June 22, 2009
I mean this in all seriousness. How can we make the APA not suck?
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Leiter continues to defend Whelan's outing of publius, on the grounds that publius had attacked Whelan several times. But it seems to me that whether the attacks were fair and whether the perpetrator can be held accountable for them, are far more important than whether the attacks were perpetrated under a pseudonym. And I think it's clear that publius's attack on Whelan was fair, and that publius himself can be held accountable in spite of the pseudonym. And what seems to be falling through the cracks in this discussion is that publius's attack on Whelan was not publius's. Publius quotes and provides links to two other critical posts, one from Volokh and one from The Anonymous Liberal. It was Volokh who criticized Whelan's point, and The Anonymous Liberal who called Whelan a hack; publius merely acknowledged that Volokh and A.L. were right. So, why out publius, and not The Anonymous Liberal? (Volokh, of course, blogs under his own name.)
In comments here, Jamie rightly points out that anonymity and pseudonymity often cloak abuse, and Leiter complains that such abuse is so common that it contravenes any proposed norm in favor of cloaked speech. I don't see it. I think we can maintain a nuanced view according to which there is no protection for cloaked speech that is also abusive, while simultaneously recognizing the right to privacy and autonomy for non-abusive anonymous and pseudonymous bloggers.
*Part of that is, I think, his own doing. He does not tend to take criticism well, even when it isn't especially vicious. I suspect this, in conjunction with his position as editor of the PGR, makes him an attractive and amusing target for bullies. When I was a kid, I got some good advice about how to deal with bullies: don't be a fun target for bullies. If you're not fun to pick on, bullies won't pick on you.
Monday, June 8, 2009
1. Miuccia Prada. This is the academic-leaver that can make us all proud. As the head of the Prada fashion house, Dr. Prada has a Ph.D. in political science.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Anonymity and pseudonymity - I take it the two are distinct - are important to this blog and to many of its readers. Most of us here want to protect our true identities for various reasons, but (probably) mostly to do with lack of job security and the critical (or revealing) nature of many of our posts. The pseudonyms many of us adopt allow us to speak more freely and truthfully than we otherwise would were we afraid that doing so would damage our (low) standing in the profession, would incur retribution from those we criticize, or would reveal something to our colleagues or family we wouldn't want to otherwise reveal. And, I take it this is part of the point Publius makes in response to his outing.
Now, as Hilzoy hints at in her outstanding post addressing Publius' outing, there's no reason to think that simply adopting a pseudonym or remaining anonymous is itself an expression of a desire to remain unaccountable for what one says or provides a license to act irresponsibly. And though many do want to be unaccountable for what they say on the internet so they can act irresponsibly, I think that so long as the reasons for blogging pseudonymously are those in the above paragraph, I'm with Hilzoy when she says, "I think there is a presumption that people should be able to decide for themselves what facts about themselves to reveal; and that decent people should respect this, absent some compelling reason not to."
Brian Leiter, one of the more ardent critics in the philosophy blogosphere of anonymity and its abuse on the internet, has tackled this general issue before and more recently has updated an old post in response to the outing of Publius. In the former, he remarks, "That someone chooses to blog anonymously creates no moral or legal obligation for anyone else to honor that choice." In the latter, Leiter states (while also acknowledging how reprehensible he finds Publius' outer intellectually), "[He] can certainly understand why he would identify a blogger who repeatedly attacked him."
I think the first comment - in relation to the generation of moral obligation - is wrongheaded for reasons similar to those Hilzoy gives above and for others. She states, "By outing someone, you are deciding, on that person's behalf, to incur whatever consequences outing that person might have. If you don't know whether or not the [circumstances generating the reasons for someone's blogging pseudonymously] obtain, you ought to err on the side of caution, absent a strong reason for outing the person in question." In other words, the reasons for outing someone's identity (taking into account the consequences of such an outing) should outweigh the reasons to not reveal their identity - reasons I take to be tied up with a more general respect for the wishes and projects of others.
And, I think, ceteris paribus one should respect the wishes and projects of others, and to allow them 'to decide for themselves what facts about themselves to reveal' to others. Of course, the scales can tip in favor of revealing someone's identity, but, along with Hilzoy, I think there should at least be a presumption in favor of not doing so since, generally, the reasons for respecting the wishes, projects, and decisions of others will outweigh the reasons for outing that person. You may not want to call this an obligation, but I think it's close enough.
This is why I find Leiter's second comment, in effect sympathizing with Publius' outer, disheartening. Of course - as we all know - Leiter is often the target of unfair, irresponsible, and vicious attacks from anonymous (and otherwise) sources on the internet (I even, regrettably, linked to what may have been perceived to be such an attack on Leiter in the form of a survey; that was a mistake on my part). Maybe this is why he says he can understand why this person outed Publius' identity. But, the outing in this case was especially egregious as it was not prompted by a vicious, unfair, or irresponsible attack (read here). The outing was done with the intent of damaging Publius, not in response to anything of substance in the original criticism. It was internet bullying, nothing more, nothing less, and there is no reason to sympathize with the outer whose ideas were the brunt of the original criticism.
More generally (and separate from anything Leiter says), I think that outing someone's identity who chooses to remain anonymous or pseudonymous - and who behaves responsibly - is not something to be cheered, or to be shrugged off even if there is no damage incurred by the outing. There are many reasons to blog under a pseudonym and they are important to those of us who do so. And so long as those reasons have nothing to do with being unaccountable for or irresponsible in what we post, I think these reasons should place strong considerations in favor of respecting the desires of certain bloggers to remain pseudonymous.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
In a span of a few days last week, UCSD's share of budget reductions proposed for University of California mushroomed to approximately $90 million from $30 million, Spector said. UCSD's budget is $2.3 billion.
Florida Atlantic University will lay off 30 workers... leave 140 jobs vacant, and drop 45 majors as it attempts to slash $16.7 million from its budget
The University of North Carolina System is bracing for additional layoffs as a proposed 11% budget cut goes before the state legislature.
But that's all general stuff... We knew schools were hurting... None of this is philosophy specific so...
Friday, June 5, 2009
But--and I mean this in sympathetic, unchallenging way--I don't see what choice we have. If every journal is terrible, what alternative to tolerating their behavior do we have? Short of not publishing at all, I mean.
I guess the journals wiki is a start, but is it having an impact? Are journals allowing the wiki to affect their editorial procedures?
P.S. It was also suggested that journals should charge authors for submitting articles. I think this would be a terrible idea. I agree that such a plan would definitely cut down on the number of submissions. However, I don't see why it would cut down on bad submissions; it would cut down on submissions from the non-wealthy.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
In comments to this post, anon 5:56 raises an objection, writing,
Oh good god.Frankly, I completely agree. I know we've been over this stuff a million times (though I thought the particular issue of narrow v. broad in research interests was a new angle on an old problem). I'm sick of it, too, and this whole thing makes me want to throw up.
We have had this same discussion re every piece of the application: cv, writing sample, teaching statement, etc., and we have had it ad nauseum...
I'm just so fucking sick of tinkering with the various parts of my application that just thinking about it makes me want to vomit, and then drink until I vomit again, and then gag myself until I vomit one more time, just for good measure.
However, I know I'm not alone in preparing to go through this nauseating process again in the fall, and although I don't want to stifle expressions of frustration, I also want to figure out how to make myself appealing to search committees. Because as of right now, I seem to be unappealing to them.
In closing, I am also in wholehearted agreement with this, from the same comment:
I'm sure some dipshit will tell me that my attitude is the reason I haven't landed and probably won't land a job. Ever. In this field or any other. In this or any other possible world. So I think I'll just preemptively tell that dipshit to kiss my ass.;-)