Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sunday Comics

So, it's been three weeks since the last comic and my promise to return us to our regularly scheduled programming. Yeah, yeah, I'm a liar and we're going to lose our readership cause we don't post enough. Sue me.

(Click on the picture to enlarge it.)


Monday, July 21, 2008

Easily the best philosophical exchange I've read in months.

This is a little behind the times, but I just got around to reading last week's thread from Leiter where folks were discussing whether the olds have an obligation to clear their deadwood asses out at some point.

Now, I believe I've already made my views on the matter quite clear. But check out this awesome exchange between Gil Harman and Tom Hurka:
Harman: "More ageism."

Hurka: "
Ageism? Balls. It's about reducing the huge inequality between an age-cohort that's had it extremely good (those hired in the 1960s) and an age-cohort that are going to find it very tough (those now coming onto the job market). Or do we just say the latter group can go to hell?"
Oh man. So awesome. Hurka--you interested in a little guest blogging? Call me.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Done is good, done well is so much fucking better

There's a bit of discussion going over yon on the Sunday Comics thread about Professor Leiter's advice concerning the upcoming job market. And I think lost in some of the comments regarding the good Professor's past prognostications, and those concerning whether or not the comments questioning the soundness of the advice are serious, is a really goddamn good reason to delay getting the Ph.D this year in the case that the job market is not raining jobs down upon our heads like manna from heaven, but instead burning our hopes and dreams like fire and brimstone rendering our flesh.

And that reason isn't simply the very good one that Ph.D's go stale as if we were crackers left forgotten and open on the shelves because we ran out of peanut butter. That reason (if your attention hasn't been lost in the above ham-fisted simile overload) is this: it's a lot easier to secure another year of funding as an ABD at your home institution (through teaching or dissertation writing fellowships) and wait out a bad market for one year than it is to secure a job at another institution as a newly minted Ph.D in the process running the risk of losing certain avenues of funding and fucking up your chances for earning a living in the future.

Make sense; or am I completely off-base here?


UPDATE: The problem with my initial post was reading too much into the Good Professor's advice. There are independent reasons for delaying the job market search (especially in my own case; hence the projection of my own situation onto everyone else) aside from whether the job market is shitty in the Fall. I'm guilty of conflating those reasons with the advice given by the Good Professor (while remaining neutral as to whether it was good or bad). And, in the comments, I think Mr Zero probably hit the nail on the head:
Your milage [sic] may vary, but your decision to hit the market should depend on your readiness and funding situation, and not on some armchair economist's prognostication about the number of available jobs.
To which I would add: it probably also depends more on completeness of the dissertation, whether or not one is teaching while contemplating the market, and whether completing the dissertation, teaching, or one's job prospects will suffer from reaching before they are ready. And if all these things add up in a certain way so as to impair your chances of getting a job (and the funding is in your favor), independent of the number of jobs in the fall, one should probably stick around their home institution, wait to defend, and suckle away.

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.)


Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

According to the Times, our happy days of being surrounded by like-minded lefties up here in our cozy Ivory Tower are numbered. This is because, unlike our radical Boomer predecessors, apparently we young 'uns are basically just a bunch of apathetic Republicans:
Baby boomers, hired in large numbers during a huge expansion in higher education that continued into the ’70s, are being replaced by younger professors who many of the nearly 50 academics interviewed by The New York Times believe are different from their predecessors — less ideologically polarized and more politically moderate.
Wow. Nearly 50 people, eh? That's like totally significant, Times interviewers. Truly a marvel of social scientific research you've given us here. Pft. Whatthefuckever. Kiss my progressive ass.

As PJMB friend RM pointed out to me this afternoon, buried in the article is this gem:
More than 54 percent of full-time faculty members in the United States were older than 50 in 2005, compared with 22.5 percent in 1969.
In other words, the majority of professors are OLDS. Olds who won't retire and give us their damn jobs. But what's more, they're olds who get more crusty and politically conservative with every passing year. And then turn around and blame us for being the reason academia is no longer sufficiently radical for their tastes.

You know what'd be guaranteed to make me radical as all hell? Tenure.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Haters Gon Hate

So, we've had a couple of posts lately that have been critical of Brian Leiter, and I expect we'll have more in the future. Just as we've had posts in the past that have given him props for what we think he's doing right, and just as we'll have more of those in the future too. That's all as it should be.

But in the last couple of weeks, comment threads are getting hijacked by some real haters. Let's call them the No Brians Club. They've obviously got beefs going back to I don't know what, and maybe they've got delusional fantasies about playing out the whole tragic Biggie/Tupac opera, or at least the Hillary Duff/Lindsay Lohan version of it.

Anyway, just a quick word to the No Brians Club: Enough. This blog's for bitching about being a grad student and getting fucked on the job market, not about Leiter. Take it somewhere else.

-- PGS