Monday, July 7, 2008

Sunday Comics


Anon. 5:58 from the July the 4th thread asks:
"i can has sunday robot cartoon???"
Yes, true believer, you can. Additionally, I would like to take this opportunity to hereby suspend my extended hiatus from the Sunday Comics (or, to state that, at the least, I have the best intentions to return to our regularly scheduled programming).

Besides, PGOAT already ruined my vacation anyway. Overachievers, pfft!

(For those who forgot how to make the comic BBBIIIIIGGGG!!!!, just click it.)

--STBJD

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Goddamn, this piece of shit dissertation...I'm the monkey on your back...Fuck off...etc. etc."

Just get 'er off your back. You're good enough, you're smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like you.

Anonymous said...

Yay, thanks, I like. You're steadily developing some sort of animal/robot philosophy grad program mythology.

Anonymous said...

hey,
why is the picture called "Chongo"? at first, i thought you were referencing "johnny chimpo" from "super troopers" (aside from the "dissertation monkey on my back" reference), but then i realized that the cartoon character in super troopers was chimpo, not chongo.

nice picture by the way. love the comics!

Soon-to-be Jaded Dissertator said...

I don't know what you're talking about Anon. 10:59. That pic was never called 'chongo'. It's obviously labeled 'chango' which is Spanish (in Mexico) for 'monkey'.

(Seriously, though, thanks for bringing my attention to the misspelling; it made me feel like a failure, but then your kind words made me feel less so. What a roller coaster of emotion!)

Anonymous said...

Doom!!!!!!!!!!

Leiter foretells job market crash

Anonymous said...

"I'd like a grande iced macchiato with a shot of... oh, what... sorry, you don't work here? Well, you will soon."

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Leiter-forecasting, wasn't the military draft supposed to have returned by now?

Anonymous said...

"I'd like a grande iced macchiato with a shot of... oh, what... sorry, you don't work here? Well, you will soon."

Sorry, you're not getting that job either. Starbucks is closing 600 stores and cutting 12,000 jobs.

mr. zero said...

Leiter advises us to prepare for the coming crash by applying for less jobs in the fall than we normally would. But how could that possibly help me find a job? Particularly if there are fewer jobs available? Shouldn't I make the most of a weak market by applying for every job I can? Shouldn't I apply selectively only if I can afford to be selective?

I know this isn't news, but I don't think Leiter knows what he's talking about.

Anonymous said...

Is 2:22 making fun of Philosophy Ph.D.s who work at Starbucks? I am one of them. They call me Dr. Socratcino. My shift manager (who just finished high school) will not let me talk about philosophy with the customers. So I mumble to myself while foaming the milk. That way no one can hear me. I call myself an 'independent scholar' but I am really a washed up young academic with no future except maybe (dreaming) as a Starbucks store manager. I like to wait on old professors. I fantasize about doing something nasty to their drinks, but I never do. I keep repeating the line in that old Beck song, "I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me?"

Brian Leiter said...

We have had a hufw back-door draft, theough the conscription into combat duty of state national guard personnel and the over-extension of tours of service for enlisted personnel. I sincerely hope I'm far more mistaken about the job market.

M.A. program faculty member said...

Leiter may be right on the job market. Who knows, although I'd be surprised if the supply of TT jobs responds to the overall economic downturn as quickly as he thinks it will. (I'd be curious to see if there is any data available on the correlation between the overall economy and phil TT jobs.)

But I disagree with his advice. Pushing back the completion of one's dissertation simply to try to time the swings in the job market is a bad idea. Remaining ABD in 2008 will hurt your prospects this Fall. I can see some situations where delaying makes sense--let's say you could push to finish up quickly, but by taking the extra year, you'll be able to have a stronger diss. and letters, maybe along with a publication or two--but the blanket advice "[not to] defend your dissertation until a job offer is in hand" is (IMHO) misguided. People already dawdle too much at ABD stage.

Mark my words said...

Lieter is wrong: this will be as strong a year as last year. Mark my word.

Anonymous said...

"Leiter advises us to prepare for the coming crash by applying for less jobs in the fall than we normally would. But how could that possibly help me find a job? Particularly if there are fewer jobs available?

i think that Leiter, as usual, is writing with ranked programs in mind. Such programs tend to conduct searches often (even if they do not hire often) and many programs simply will not take a serious look at a candidate they've rejected in the past (or those they know to have been active on the market through the old boy gossip network among top programs). Given this, it may pay to hold off applying to such programs until your dossier is as strong as possible and the competition (hopefully) has eased somewhat.

I think you're right, however, about LACs and smaller universities. If they list this fall and you don't apply, you'll never get a chance with them again.

Anonymous said...

whatever "crash" there might be in the short term, there's still a huge crop of retirements coming in the next 5 years, no?

mr. zero said...

i think that Leiter, as usual, is writing with ranked programs in mind. Such programs tend to conduct searches often (even if they do not hire often) and many programs simply will not take a serious look at a candidate they've rejected in the past

Of course, that has nothing whatsoever to do with the economy. And advising ABDs to spin their wheels in grad school until they're ready to apply to Princeton is unspeakably stupid. As is advising people in their late 20s or early 30s to weather an economic downturn by consciously trying not to advance their careers.

Anonymous said...

Leiter's instincts about the academic job market seem amazingly bad to me. Education is a counter-cyclical industry. When the economy gets bad, more people go back to school in an effort to get better jobs or get into different sectors of the job market. Federal money for schooling is just as available in a bad economy as a in a good economy while the alternatives to schooling are smaller and less attractive. A bad economy is unlikely to harm the education sector.

I agree with the previous advice on this blog that if you can substantially improve your CV by waiting a year before attacking the job market, then do it. But otherwise, staying ABD for extra years in the hope the market will improve will not help you.

Anonymous said...

Let me try an alternative to Leiter's forecast, call it either the Philosopher's Full Employment scenario or the Philosopher's Wet-dream scenario. The new G.I. Bill will basically give returning vets from Afghanistan and Iraq free tuition at state universities and colleges. They come home and are filled with existential angst (What is the meaning of life? Do I have free will? What is terrorism? Was I duped or self-deluded when I signed up to fight this war on terror?). They become declared philosophy majors, hoping to find answers to these questions and hopefully to relieve the angst. Demand for full-time Philosophy faculty skyrockets. It is an employee's market, so all these institutions must offer tenure-track positions. Full-time temporary contracts become a thing of the past. Most if not all Ph.D.s who want tenure-track positions are employed. And all the new Philosophy students will probably not go on to grad school to become Philosophy professors (thereby creating another glut of Ph.D.s and a poor job market). Why? They will realize (like we all do) that Philosophy rarely provides the answers to the above questions. Voila!

Anonymous said...

I was going to say something about the philosophy job market and the economy, but then I realized that it probably doesn't matter. As others have already said, you should apply to jobs it makes sense for you to apply to, when it makes sense for you to apply to them. This is largely independent of what the economy is doing, and even of whether there are more job openings this year than last.

Maybe it makes sense to try to weigh the odds of getting continued grad school funding versus the odds of getting a job, as influenced by the overall economy... or to try to "time the market" if you expect a big upswing in the job market the following year... but I suspect we usually don't have enough good information to make sound decisions on that basis of considerations like these.

Anonymous said...

Federal money for schooling is just as available in a bad economy as a in a good economy while the alternatives to schooling are smaller and less attractive. A bad economy is unlikely to harm the education sector.

Okay, but what percentage of budgets come from federal funding? What impact does the poor economy have on retirement? I think these are important factors to consider. I've seen a few folks reporting that their schools are having hiring freezes and I'm guessing that there is an economic cause for this.

Anonymous said...

Brian,

Re your 7/10 5:56 am posts: as Judge Judy would say, don't pee on me leg and tell me that it's raining.

Getting back to reality now, I'd point out that the job market at is lowest point (in terms of job seeker to position ratio) represented the cumulative effect of a string of years. Unsuccessful job seekers were likely to returned the following year, after all. Since we've have couple of decent years now, the market should have cleared a bit. Things would have to be truly cataclysmic for the ratio to jump a whole unit in a single year.

Brian Leiter said...

I'm not entirely certain which of the preceding comments are serious but ignorant, and which are just being funny.

Mr. Zero: the key point is that PhDs go "stale," as I pointed out in the original posting. That militates against a full-scale search because it's usually, not always, best to do such a search when you're set to finish and can put your best foot forward. But if it's a bad market, and you do finish, but come up with nothing, you risk the "staleness" problem. Of course, one could do a full-scale search without being almost done, but that has its own obvious risks. (Selective searches are different, since you expose your unfinished dossiers to fewer departments, but at the same time you are being looked at by departments interested precisely in your kind of work.)

Anonymous, 7/11 at 7:08 am: I most certainly was not writing with only ranked programs in mind.

Anonymous, 7/11 at 9:29 am: education is counter-cyclical with respect to enrollments, not hiring. If the economy is bad or disastrous, state universities in particular won't be hiring, or will be hiring in much smaller numbers, and that will change the entire dynamics of the job market. If the economy is bad or disastrous, senior faculty can't afford to retire, and so do not free up positions. (I've heard from several faculty on this point since posting about this, all concurring with the basic worry.)

Anonymous, 7/12 at 4 pm may be right that we "usually don't have enough good information to make sound decisions on that basis of considerations like" those I've raised. We'll know more when the October JFP comes out.

Anonymous, 7/14 at 6:54 am: I don't quite follow the Judge Judy reference. A back-door draft has accompplished what a conventional draft would have done, without the political costs. Perhaps because philosophers don't interact very often with the kind of people conscripted this way, it seems unreal to you.

Your other point is a sound one--the back-log of candidates is *probably* not as bad as it was a few years ago, which means even if there is a downturn in the number of jobs advertised that may be offset by less competition.

As I said, I'd be happy to be wrong about what's coming. But I've heard from a lot of faculty who shared the worry expressed in my original posting on the subject.

Anonymous said...

I predict that within the next two years Leiter will be out of a job as the prognosticator of all budding philosophers' good/bad fortunes, and Nostradamus will become the new maker of all predictions "serious but ignorant".

Anonymous said...

"...the kind of people conscripted this way..."

I think that "kind of person" would take exception to the assumption that they are not enlisted or commissioned in the military. National Guard personnel deserve more respect than that. If that assumption is not made, then they are enlisted or commissioned, and I would love to know how such a person can be "drafted."

I'm no military expert, but I think calling the sort of deployment you're referring "conscription" is really stretching it. Honestly, did you really have anything like that in mind when you foretold the return of the draft?

Anonymous said...

Ok, simma down everyone on Leiter. He does good work, and if it weren't for him, the phil. job market wouldn't be organized enough to allow a blog such as this to exist.

Unrelated question about CVs: Do "invited lectures" imply that the lectures were unsolicited, i.e., not lectures proposed by the lecturer and accepted by the conference or school? Or may conference talks (proposed and accepted, not unsolicited) be considered as an "invited lecture" (since they ultimately did invite you to give a talk)?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'd say that an invited lecture is one where the host initiates direct contact regarding your visit. That rules our conferences to which you submit work, but not job talks. Even though you initiated contact to apply for the job, you didn't apply to speak on campus; they invited you for that.

Come to think of it, it could misleading to document a job talk as anything but an invited lecture. You wouldn't suggest that that they work you presented was refereed blindly.

Prof. J. said...

5:08,

Did you write 'unsolicited' when you meant 'solicited'? (Twice?) Otherwise I can't figure out what you're asking.

The answer to what I think your question is, is: if you submitted the paper uninvited, then it's not an invited lecture, even though they did ultimately invite you.
Invited lectures are supposed to be better to have on your cv, but some of us think the other kind should count for more. They're refereed (and in my experience, they are on average at least as good, too).

Anonymous said...

He meant unsolicited by you, i.e. you were invited without soliciting them for an invitation.

Jack said...

Regarding job talks, I am under the impression that one should not list them on the CV. Yes, job talks are "invited," but they are invited because the school is evaluating you as a colleague and researcher, not because they are necessarily interested in the content of your talk. Those are two very different things, even though they both deal with the content of the talk.

Also, I think that most search committee members are smart enough to know when a job talk is being listed as an invited paper. Of course, one does not say that the talk is a "job talk," but if there is no obvious reason why a school would have invited a person to give that talk at their school, then it stands to reason that it was a job talk. The unfortunate result is informing the search committee that you had a failed campus visit (i.e., there was something about you that was not as attractive as someone else for their position). The other unfortunate result is showing the search committee that you are trying to pad your CV.

Anonymous said...

I say make the shortest CV possible. Keep 'em guessing.