Monday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

While I’m busy packing and grading (because the move to the new house and the end of the semester just had to coincide), so in the meanwhile, please enjoy this roundup of links.

AFTER spending two years studying services for domestic violence survivors, I was surprised to realize that one of the most common barriers to women’s safety was something I had never considered before: the high value our culture places on two-parent families.Seriously? Some people are like giraffes, every grain of the painfully obvious takes forever to reach their heads.

I therefore propose that a person who has served with tenure for 35 years, be eligible for reappointment, one year at a time. In that way, the person has the right to apply to stay longer and the department has the ability to agree or not agree.” Even just a few years ago, I’d disagree. But I have seen a lot since then and I’m thinking this is a very good idea.

If I end up alone I want to live a life so fabulous and lush that my attached friends would be envious of my freedom,somebody on Reddit is claimed to have said. Of course, the poor idiot doesn’t realize that there is no freedom without obsessing over what others think of your life.

First, I should say that a certain level of anxiety is healthy. There is our ‘flight or fight’ response that helps us sense danger. There is the nerves we feel when we do something new or challenging. It pushes us to step outside our comfort zones and try our best. Not all anxiety is bad. In fact, anxiety can be helpful.Or one could get treated and have no need to convince oneself that being crippled with anxiety is a good thing. But who needs that boring mental health anyways.

Country fans do more damage than troops in a war zone.

The ugliest dress known to humanity.

An extremely disturbing trend in some workplaces.

Chip cards finally come to the US. Magnetic strips are such a pain in the ass, so I’m happy.

Russian intelligence is working hard to destabilize Ukraine.

Sometimes, I’m beyond ecstatic to be from my culture and not, say, the one described in the linked post.

And I’m also ecstatic that I’m not from this culture either.

The basic idea of École 42 is to throw all the students — 800 to 1,000 per year — into a single building in the heart of Paris, give them Macs with big Cinema displays, and throw increasingly difficult programming challenges at them. The students are given little direction about how to solve the problems, so they have to turn to each other — and to the Internet — to figure out the solutions.” It is tragic that some poor losers are being offered this ridiculous way to waste time in lieu of education.

Feminism is in control of America’s colleges and universities, where its principles at least are held as dogmas unquestioned and unopposed.Can I get a list of these colleges and universities because I’d love to go there? Of course not because they only exist in this author’s diseased imagination.

Contrary to popular belief, taking the Harvard grad over the smaller community school grad isn’t only elitist–it may mean you’re not getting the best or smartest employee, either. In fact, you probably just shouldn’t hire someone from Harvard.Don’t you worry, dear author. Those of us who graduate from the Ivies and don’t have a Daddy eager to employ us find it hard to overcome these ridiculous prejudices as it is.

Finally, The Professor Is In blog is back to publishing good, useful posts. Here is one on how to plan one’s research strategy when getting on the tenure track.

The point is that you have to be meritorious, but you also have to have someone who will be happy to nominate you, proactive about doing it, and who knows how these nominations are written. And it needs to start early, as early as possible.Meaning that I’m screwed. Oh well.

Bars in Alaska have installed free pregnancy tests in their women’s bathrooms in an effort to curb drinking among pregnant women.Whatever the reasoning behind this, I think it’s a great idea because these tests are expensive and it would be helpful to get them for free at least someplace. 

When terrible things happen to other people in other countries, and the cries for humanitarian intervention mount, I feel an emotional tug: We should do something to stop those terrible things! But then I think about someone who lives somewhere that doesn’t house a planetary armory. Does my doppelganger in Costa Rica or Lichtenstein feel that same tug? I don’t mean the natural human empathy for people who suffer; I mean that combination of guilt and duty that makes one feel like a shit, a bad person, for not doing anything or for opposing those who want to do something.” No, your guilt is something you use to enjoy yourself. Other people have healthier ways of getting their kicks.

The “good” vs. “bad” migrant dichotomy was created so that those we construct as “other” can never have the capital, power, or security to fight back. This is a lie we are told in order to justify a system that creates economic conditions forcing black and brown people to migrate, then exploits them and criminalizes them.As an immigrant, I find it very offensive that anybody would suggest there is no difference between me and some free-loader who hates the country he emigrated to, refuses to learn the language or adapt, and spends all his time belly-aching about how all Americans or Canadians are stupid and gross.

A very good exercise in mental hygiene. I’m so doing it right after I move.

And the post of the week is a beautiful post on pleasure from Jonathan Mayhew.

27 thoughts on “Monday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

  1. As a professor who has had tenure for 40 years, this comment about renewing tenure at 35 years sounds a lot like a return to compulsory retirement. I only hope it does not catch on.

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    1. I know you are not like that but, sadly, many older academics just can’t be brought to care what happens to the department or program long-term. They don’t seem to have any motivation to do anything to ensure that the program continues to exist. Sometimes, they even actively sabotage it. The argument that “if you continue doing this, there will be no more department of Hispanic Studies” has zero impact. I’ve seen entire programs destroyed by this “I don’t really care what happens after I retire” attitude.

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      1. I’ve seen entire programs destroyed by this “I don’t really care what happens after I retire” attitude.

        This is what prompts so many to retire. If you feel that the program is going in a destructive direction, and that your power to help prevent this is largely gone, it is tempting to throw in the towel, so to speak.

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        1. I’m not talking about helping prevent the destruction. I’m talking about causing the destruction because the continued existence of the program is not a huge concern.

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      2. “I’m talking about causing the destruction because the continued existence of the program is not a huge concern”

        I’d say it is a huge concern for them but that they _hate_ the idea that the program can survive without them so they do whatever they can to make sure it won’t/can’t.

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  2. I thought you were exaggerating about the dress, but you’re right. It can’t get uglier than a plain off-white dress with a GIGANTIC FUR-LINED HOLE down the whole front of the skirt.

    On the give-students-Macs-thing: this actually wouldn’t work absolutely horrible for computer programming, considering that hands-on, student-directed experience like that is extremely useful there, and does-this-work right feedback for a lot of stuff is gotten simply by seeing whether the damn thing compiles and runs. You will, however, end up with students with a much narrower area of knowledge than they’d have otherwise, and I do hope they have at least some people looking over their code and suggesting changes for stuff that does compile and run, since otherwise you end up with programmers that have to reinvent stuff like design patterns or coding best practices by themselves or, what’s more likely, programmers that don’t.

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    1. I would just like to say that this is essentially how I learned to program as a physicist, and while I did figure out ways to get the job done, they were never elegant because I didn’t learn any of the tricks of the trade, or have any deeper understanding of what I was doing.

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      1. The problem is that we are going in the direction where the children of the rich will get real instruction while the children of the not-so-rich will become guinea pigs for these “experiments.” Of course, one can – kind of, somewhat – learn on one’s own. But that isn’t called education. It’s called making do because you don’t have a choice.

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      1. She’s a model, most likely, and therefore paid not to care. I nearly spritzed my drink all over my keyboard when I saw this, though. Most ugliest-dress-in-the-universe attempts are just moderately ugly, but this….this is really a thing of its own.

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  3. Thanks for the link!
    I’m doing it again today now that I have a cold and am staying at home. It’s become my go-to “feeling good for cheap” ritual for the past month.

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  4. ” As an immigrant, I find it very offensive that anybody would suggest there is no difference between me and some free-loader who hates the country he emigrated to, refuses to learn the language or adapt, and spends all his time belly-aching about how all Americans or Canadians are stupid and gross.” And as a comment on a piece on immigrant children from our effective colonies, this is highly offensive and more than gross.

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    1. We, the immigrants, will figure this out among ourselves without “effective colonizers” telling us how to talk about our experiences and effectively colonizing our vision of self.

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  5. As an immigrant, I find it very offensive that anybody would suggest there is no difference between me and some free-loader who hates the country he emigrated to, refuses to learn the language or adapt, and spends all his time belly-aching about how all Americans or Canadians are stupid and gross

    I did not read the original article Clarrisa linked to, but I am 100% with her statement above.

    I think many immigrants love this country and this probably includes nearly 100% of all immigrant children, for whom this is the only home they know. However, the problem that the US has with immigration from Mexico, and the horrible things that happen to Mexicans who come here in search of a better life is one thing, and it makes everyone have tunnel vision when the mention of immigrantion comes up. Immigrants in the US are not a monolithic cohort and, for better or worse, do not all face the same hardships or come for the same reasons as the people from Mexico. I wish people would understand that US immigrants come from all over the world, and their behavior when they do or don’t integrate in the society is not uniform, but that certain finer-level patterns do exist. For instance, I am an immigrant and have met enough immigrants who are just toxic to themselves and everyone around them (most of them white people from various parts of Europe, including my own country); they refuse to take part in this society, constantly reiterating how people from their home country (and by extension them) are smarter, better educated, or otherwise more superior than the supposedly inferior/stupid/ignorant/morally corrupt North Americans. I am sorry, but I love this country and really don’t want to be put in the same category as those people.
    (And this is no statement on the opportunities that I wish for all children of all immigrants to have in this country, which is their own.)

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    1. ” Immigrants in the US are not a monolithic cohort and, for better or worse, do not all face the same hardships or come for the same reasons as the people from Mexico. I wish people would understand that US immigrants come from all over the world, and their behavior when they do or don’t integrate in the society is not uniform, but that certain finer-level patterns do exist.”

      – Thank you for saying this! This is a very important point. It’s true that many people emigrate because of poverty. But there are also those who don’t. There are many immigrants who abandon a higher standard of living than they can ecer hope to have after emigration. And our stories are just as important to us.

      “For instance, I am an immigrant and have met enough immigrants who are just toxic to themselves and everyone around them (most of them white people from various parts of Europe, including my own country); they refuse to take part in this society, constantly reiterating how people from their home country (and by extension them) are smarter, better educated, or otherwise more superior than the supposedly inferior/stupid/ignorant/morally corrupt North Americans. I am sorry, but I love this country and really don’t want to be put in the same category as those people.”

      – That’s my whole point! This is a very wide-spread approach in my immigrant community. And it matters to me that I’m different because assimilating as I do is very hard work.

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  6. // An extremely disturbing trend in some workplaces.

    See more:

    in Belleville, a camera and microphone monitor every word uttered in the teachers break room … the movements of students and faculty are tracked at all times (via “RF-tags,”originally used to track cattle) … the price: $2 million dollars [while] the district was $3.6 million in the red for next year — and that’s after having used up all of its budget surplus. How in the world does the Belleville BOE justify spending all that money on this obnoxious surveillance system when they can’t even afford textbooks and computers for the schools?
    http://jerseyjazzman.blogspot.co.il/2014/06/why-do-we-need-tenure-ask-bellevilles.html

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    1. Yes, there are a few dinky little beheadings and some innocent local mass murder but it’s all just like a regular boardroom meeting.

      I wonder, do people ever notice when an analogy has gone too far?

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  7. Bodies of three kidnapped Israeli teens found in West Bank

    Security forces find bodies outside Hebron in Beit Kahil region on 18th day of search; Shin Bet believes boys were killed shortly after abduction.
    http://www.jpost.com/Operation-Brothers-Keeper/Large-number-of-IDF-forces-gather-north-of-Hebron-in-search-for-kidnapped-teens-361048

    US law requires the government to inform next of kin should an American citizen be killed. One of the dead teens, Naftali Frenkel, held US citizenship.

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  8. Went to Israeli news site and 😦 (I hope it was not “revenge” of some Jewish extremists):

    Prime minister warns against vigilantism amid Palestinian claims that murder of east Jerusalem youth (16-year-old) was a revenge attack for kidnap and murder of 3 Israeli teens; Abbas calls for PM to directly condemn murder.

    Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called for law enforcement to work as quickly as possible to find the perpetrators and motives of the “reprehensible” murder of an Arab youth whose body was found in Jerusalem on Wednesday.[…]
    Police said that they were yet to determine whether the boy’s killing was nationalistic or criminal in nature, while Palestinian rioters believe he was killed by Israelis as revenge for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens.

    http://www.jpost.com/National-News/Netanyahu-calls-on-police-to-quickly-find-culprits-motive-for-murder-of-Arab-youth-361251

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  9. Wanted to ask if you ever heard of “The Greenlanders” by Jane Smiley. It’s 608 pages and the style is unusual for me.

    Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling author Jane Smiley’s The Greenlanders is an enthralling novel in the epic tradition of the old Norse sagas.Set in the fourteenth century in Europe’s most farflung outpost, a land of glittering fjords, blasting winds, sun-warmed meadows, and high, dark mountains, The Greenlanders is the story of one family–proud landowner Asgeir Gunnarsson; his daughter Margret, whose willful independence leads her into passionate adultery and exile; and his son Gunnar, whose quest for knowledge is at the compelling center of this unforgettable book. Jane Smiley takes us into this world of farmers, priests, and lawspeakers, of hunts and feasts and long-standing feuds, and by an act of literary magic, makes a remote time, place, and people not only real but dear to us.

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