My Response to Nietzsche

And when you gaze at a computer screen for two seconds, the screen will definitely gaze into you. So as long as I have my laptop, I’m not scared of your abyss.

Beware of a Phone Scam

Never ever dial back unless you recognize the number. Here is a scam  that is popular right now:

Someone receives a call, typically on a cell phone, from an international phone number that hangs up and leaves a “missed call” but no voicemail. If the receiver calls the number back, there will be an international connection fee plus a per minute rate. Some of these fees are $20 per call, plus $9 per minute. If you receive a call from a number that you do not recognize, do not call it back. The cellular carriers have advised us they are not waiving these fees as they view them as calls made by the customer.


Today, we are starting the second week of our SELF-CARE AND HAPPINESS challenge, and this is our new task for the week.


Every day this week, we will be going outside twice a day and staring at the sky for ten minutes at a time. If your neck hurts, do 10 1-minute stretches and recline against the door of the house or a wall.

The necessary conditions:

1. You have to be outside for this.

2. Look at the sky with the utmost attention. Concentrate on what you are seeing. Banish all thoughts of your problems and everything you need to do.

3. Most of the sessions have to occur in daytime. It’s OK to do one or two at night, but most have to be done when there is sunlight.

4. Breathe in the fresh air very deep and enjoy its taste, smell, and texture.

5. Ten minutes, twice a day, OK? You can set the alarm in your phone to alert you when 10 minutes are past.

Monday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

It’s really weird to see people discuss the reasons for why academics don’t retire the moment they turn 65 in purely financial terms. It seems to escape them that many people happen to love their jobs and possess the energy for important contributions to scholarship and teaching long past 65.

WHEN I TOLD FRIENDS back East about the craze for fancy toast that was sweeping across the Bay Area, they laughed and laughed. (How silly; how twee; how San Francisco.)” I have no idea what’s so funny about this. I probably didn’t live on the East Coast long enough. And I really want to try this artisanal toast.

Students in Kosovo are to be admired for the courage they exhibit in ousting corrupt profs.

So do you think this short clip about Russia is offensive? Let’s discuss.

Google is using nasty underhanded tricks to force people to download Chrome. This makes me want to resist Chrome. It’s stupid and limiting anyways. But the search box is fast and useful, so it’s a constant temptation.

This idea for full-time lecturers who assume teaching / administrative duties but do no research and are not on the tenure-track seems promising. What do you think? (Just know that if you follow this link and offend the blogger who wrote the post, I will unleash my fury upon you.)

Yet another form of horrible female mutilation. And now it’s coming to Spain. (The link is in Spanish).

This chart is so great, I could stare at it forever. If you don’t want to click, the chart shows that younger generations are abandoning organized religion in huge strides. The future is bright.

The idea of giving iPads to all students in LA was absolutely ridiculous. There is no educational value to this. The kids will learn how to be passive consumers of apps. How is that a good idea?

Research. . .  found that the share of employment in occupations in the middle of the skill distribution has declined rapidly in the US and Europe. At the same time the share of employment at the upper and lower ends of the occupational skill distribution has increased substantially. . . The position of the middle-skill occupations deteriorates substantially: the wage rates paid in the high-skill occupations increased by 20% compared to the middle while the wage rate in the low-skill occupations rose by 30%.”

Occupy Wall Street leader now works for Google, wants to crowdfund a private militia.” Who is feeling surprised by this development?

College enrollment may be plateauing, but that hasn’t stopped the growth in university administrative positions. They increased 28 percent between 2000 and 2012, according to a report released by the Delta Cost Project, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that conducts research on college finances. And they have been increasing for the past two decades.” Absolutely, completely and totally shameful.

Policemen in Russia beat gay activists and threaten them with rape. The case of an arrested man who was raped with a champagne bottle by Russian police officers and who died of the injuries is still fresh on everybody’s mind, so these are not empty threats.

While there may be places in the world where kids get a better hard-core math and science background, a US public school in a good district seems, at least for the moment, like it will do a pretty good job. I don’t know of other countries where the public school system offers so many choices.”

“Insane designers have apparently taken over the entire internet. There’s about 10 sites left now that I can read without having an aneurysm. How did that make it through any sort of usability review?” Hear, hear.

A hilarious post on the obsession with Freshly Pressed. I have to confess that I once harbored hopes in that area. Not any more, though.

I realize tenure is the holy grail of academia, and goodness knows I have struggled with what it would mean to give it up. I guess I just never considered that the decision might not be mine to make.”

I’m trying to eat more beans, and this recipe for a red kidney beans curry is amazing.

On one chilly Friday morning, I visited Madelyn Gould, an epidemiologist at Columbia University, one of the country’s largest suicide research centers. “Suicide contagion is real,” she said. “Social behavior is contagious and influential. We wouldn’t have a billion-dollar advertising market in this country if people didn’t think you could influence someone else’s behavior.”” Everybody I know who works at Columbia was hired there as a result of disgusting and blatant corruption. It seems like this is also the case of the quoted illiterate hack.

Quantified Self (QS) is a growing global movement selling a new form of wisdom, encapsulated in the slogan “self-knowledge through numbers”. Rooted in the American tech scene, it encourages people to monitor all aspects of their physical, emotional, cognitive, social, domestic and working lives.” As long as people do it for fun and not to self-flagellate, then why not?

“If you don’t know, by the age of 45, whether some characteristic is part of your inherent nature or just a piece of an ideology, you have failed in your life’s mission, which is, or ought to be self-determination through self-knowledge.” Absolutely true. Although I still have a few years to go until 45.

Median male compensation, adjusted for inflation, is lower today than it was in 1975, a full generation ago.” It’s very interesting why these weepy articles never say anything about median female compensation. I’m guessing that’s because they are written by weepy men.