Monday, December 31, 2007

Cut that shit out.

Okay kids, I didn't get the chance to say this when it first came up a few days ago, but now that I've got time to breathe, I want to nip something in the bud before it gets out of hand.

We get that it's natural to speculate about who we are. But we've got to ask that you not do it in our fucking comment threads. We sincerely hope these threads are useful places for people to vent or read stuff about what other people are going through. So we really, really don't want to get rid of the threads. But since neither PGS nor I has the time to moderate comments, if speculation about who we are keeps going, that's what we're going to have to do. It'll suck, and I'd really rather not. But we've just got no incentive to provide a forum for people to try to fuck us over.

21 comments:

a speculator said...

University of Phoenix.

Anonymous said...

I think the University of Phoenix is accredited now. What makes you think PGOAT isn't from one of those prestigious non-accredited universities? They're private, right?

Anonymous said...

Lighten up, Francis. As you said, it's only natural to wonder who's posting their nervous breakdowns online. Just like celebrities and their paparazzi, it's the cost of doing business. If you can't handle it, then maybe you shouldn't be airing out your (our!) dirty laundry for all to see.

Oral Roberts University.

Anonymous said...

"Lighten up, Francis" -- that's from the movie _Stripes_, which came out in 1981, which probably means that Anon 6:10 was born in the 60s or 70s and hence that it's unlikely that Anon 6:10 is actually Oral Roberts himself. That narrows it down a bit.

P.G.O.A.T. said...

As I said, it's natural for people to speculate. I'd do it too. But these comment threads are a forum we provide. You can't seriously expect us to be okay with providing a forum for talk that could harm our career prospects, in this very very conservative discipline.

So, you're right. At some point, if we can't handle it, we won't air our views anymore. And this blog will go away. If you don't want that to happen, you know what not to do.

Okay, I appreciate the jokes in this thread, but this has got to stop.

Anonymous said...

I think ORU was meant to be a guess.

But PGOAT's point is well taken. I don't think anyone here is trying to "out" our gracious and entertaining hosts. However, it may be a more effective strategy to flood these threads with token or red-herring guesses, rather than to fight what's natural.

Stanford U.

Anonymous said...

It's hard to believe that someone who thinks they'll be "fucked over" by being outed wouldn't have had the foresight not to start such a blog in the first place. Is it arrogance or simple naivete to think that the outing isn't inevitable, whether it comes sooner or later, whether it's here or in another blog - maybe in one with the address theidofpgoat.blogspot.com? Let me say I would never undertake such a thing myself. I personally wouldn't waste my time trying to guess who these people are. But one might wonder why one would believe - or expect others to believe - that such gossip, once started, can be silenced simply by disabling comments on this blog... Again, arrogance or naivete? One wonders whether it would have been better simply to ignore the gossip and speculation than to draw attention to it. It seems that the most sensible thing is to blog more carefully or not at all. Too many young folks treat the internet like a playground.

cranky old man said...

Hear, hear. Too many dad-gum young folk treating the "Internet" like it was a tingly body part. Durn whippersnappers.

This reminds me of the time when ex-President Nixon said "I am not a crook" on the moving-pictures box. Repeating the message you don't want repeated is a good way to keep the rumor mill going. Or maybe that's what they want. Crazy like a fox.

And that's a fact, Jack.

Butthead said...

Hey 6:10, you said "oral." Uh-huh-huh.

Anonymous said...

I think the expectation that a request to stop such gossip/speculation would actually stop it is neither naive nor arrogant, but perfectly reasonable.

What motive other than malice can there be for disrespecting such a request? Is it unreasonable to expect philosophers reading this blog not to be motivated by malice?

It seems that only leaves third parties (e.g. 12-year olds who enjoy leaving inflammatory comments everywhere) as likely to disrespect it, but their posts would probably be recognizable, since they wouldn't know much about the various philosophy grad schools.

Anonymous said...

Hey jerk @ 6:48pm,

Is it too much to expect that philosophers would act with more civility on the internet than the average Joe? Apparently it is--grown-ups with 20+ years of education acting like those kids in Lord of the Flies.

For my part I appreciate the job our blog authors are doing, it's almost selfless, and it's fun to read up on the almost daily updates while taking a break from my paper and drinking my coffee.

Except to all the brave, anonymous jerks on the internet, happy new year's!

Anonymous said...

I'm confused: Why would or should we expect philosophers to show more civility online than the average bear, especially after all the posts here about how clueless philosophers are in the social sphere?

Does the "Ring of Gyges" story mean anything to anyone here? The veil of online anonymity makes slander or immature posts irresistible. I like to poo.

Anonymous said...

Hey P.G.O.A.T., et al. We love your blog, so don't let a few ass-clowns ruin it for everyone (or they win), though I really haven't seen any obviously-malicious posts here.

Happy New Year, and best of luck on your job searches.

Liberal Arts Prof said...

Quack, quack, quack... whistle... quack, quack, quack...

OK, c'mon folks. Guess where I teach? I've left a big enough trail in the comments section it should be a simple matter.

I'd have much more fun trying to figure out where some of the bozo commenters are from rather than blow the cover of our intrepid hosts.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, liver alone!

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

Why does it matter who our blog hosts are? It seems to me that using the comments thread here to figure it out is really, really rude....

To be honest, the only reason I'd like to know is that I'd love to buy them a drink or four.... because they deserve it!

Please don't let some asshats ruin the pseudononymous blog thing for the rest of us -- we enjoy your perspective and I think we've given you some good or at least useful information and perspectives. Why eliminate that exchange of ideas?

Anonymous said...

all this is starting to bore me. what happened to the humor and insight?

James said...

I'd just like to say that "James" is not my real name, and all the stories I tell in this blog are traceable to a fake identity that I've taken months to elaborately concoct when I probably should have been proofreading my writing sample to find those 12 obvious typos that I found once I started preparing an interview spiel.

Oh, and it looks like I got the first post of 2008!!! Wow, what does it say about how my year will go that the very first thing I did upon waking up in the new year was rush to this blog to see how I could co-commiserate with all others who are wondering why we haven't heard about fly-outs within 48 hours of the end of the apa... What are people taking new years eve and new years off like they are holidays????

mistersquid said...

Pseudonymous authorship is interesting for many reasons, including the discovery of an author's real identity. Reprimanding and threatening a blog audience is next to useless and almost certain to backfire.

My advice is that you moderate your comments or close the comments thread. Either one will diminish the amount speculation on-site which undoubtedly fuels the desire-to-know/impulse-to-out.

If you are unwilling or unable to moderate your comments, you might consider altering the register of your comments. To think through your posts with greater care and stop using anonymity as a haven from which to snipe at potential colleagues, deride professional practices, and spout inflammatory vulgarities.

If you throw garbage on the heads of passersby, people are going to try to find where you are. If you put effort into generating conversation that were your identities revealed your reputation would be enhanced rather than finding you "fucked over," you wouldn't be so terrified of having your identifies revealed.

jerk @ 6:48pm said...

RE: mistersquid

My point exactly.

Anonymous said...

Mistersquid:

So, you think it would be more interesting to read the blog of named, unemployed philosophers who write so carefully as to offend no one rather than that of anonymous, unemployed philosophers who say whatever is on their minds? If so, I'm sure there are blogs out there to cater to your taste, but I'm sure most of us would find that fare a bit meek, unless the named philosophers in question were OK with being permanently unemployed.

Your insinuation that the authors of this blog are inappropriately "hiding" behind their anonymity so that they can make nasty comments indicates a lack of understanding of how precarious their position is. Either that, or you just don't think there should be any forum in which people can vent these sorts of frustrations without suffering disproportionately severe consequences.

Overall, your comments inspire the following "inflammatory vulgarities": Tenured much, asshole? Why don't you fuck off back to the Leiter blog?