Job Interviews in the Bedroom (Awkward, at best)


Good discussion at The Philosopher Smoker about conducting interviews in hotel bedrooms/suites and sexism:

Over at Leiter, there’s been some interesting discussion about interviewing in bedrooms. Robert Allen says,

I should have thought that we philosophers were a little more relaxed in our dealings with each other than to fuss over interview settings (or even “stares and worse,” i.e., boys being boys). Whatever happened to being of good cheer and leaving the professionalism to the attorneys and politicians?

It has been my experience that “boys will be boys” is shorthand for “men are assholes, and you should put up with it, because they’re men and they like having fun at your expense.” This is one of the things I hate about being a man.

And I hate this “good cheer” argument more than anything. Why does everyone else have to have good cheer in the face of what an asshole you are? What happened to “good cheer yourself, and don’t be an asshole”? You can start by conducting your interviews sitting up, with shoes on like a civilized person, and not in a room dedicated to sleeping and/or fucking.

There’s much to agree with here. By the way, why is it every time I turn around somebody is complaining about Brian Leiter? Just saying.  Read the rest if the post and ensuing discussion over here

The Two Great Movement Founders Meet Again!


Wait, they don’t. What is going on? Graham Harman, the great wizard of speculative realism, is in Beirut, but there’s no mention of him meeting his fellow speculative realist Ray Brassier. What gives? Harman would never pass up an opportunity to build up the movement by describing a fateful reunion. Is it possible none of the other “founders” care for him anymore? Aren’t they thankful for all the promotion and hoopla? Sadness.

New Agamben translation (and annoying ploys to sell books)


I noticed the other week that Stanford UP is publishing a translation of some of Giorgio Agamben’s essays, entitled Nudities, next month. Here’s the blurb:

Encompassing a wide range of subjects, the ten masterful essays gathered here may at first appear unrelated to one another. In truth, Giorgio Agamben’s latest book is a mosaic of his most pressing concerns. Take a step backward after reading it from cover to cover, and a world of secret affinities between the chapters slowly comes into focus. Take another step back, and it becomes another indispensable piece of the finely nuanced philosophy that Agamben has been patiently constructing over four decades of sustained research.

Perhaps I’m being cynical, but this seems like a mere ploy to sell books, and frankly, it’s annoying.  That is to say, I think the text in bold needs to be translated: “The essays are admittedly loosely related non-sequiters, in fact, the only connection is that they are written by the same personThat said, suckers like Ozeri and Emelianov will purchase the book, nonetheless due to the cult of personality, or popularity of Agamben.  Readers will have to make all the connections on their own, we basically threw together these essays.”

Maybe that’s too harsh, but really, what’s wrong with saying we liked these essays and we’re publishing them all together?  Read the rest of the blurb here

This Is What A Decent Analysis of “Tea Party” Looks Like


Agree or disagree, but this is how you make your points, I think:

Whatever the outcome of the Nov. 2 elections, you can be certain that commentators around the country will be fixated on the impact of the Tea Party movement. If Republican candidates do well on Election Day –- and particularly if Tea Party-backed candidates like Rand Paul of Kentucky and Sharron Angle of Nevada win their races -– the Tea Party will be credited with having revived a moribund Republican Party. But if the Republicans fail to live up to expectations — and expectations are exceedingly high –- the Tea Party will be blamed for curbing the Republicans’ ability to capitalize on historic levels of voter dissatisfaction.

Science Confirms It: Narcissism Is All You Need


Great news from science: if you have a mediocre idea but pitch it with narcissistic enthusiasm, it works! No more wasting time on figuring things out and trying to put together a solid argument. Now you can spend more time on polishing your self-descriptive metaphors. You idea is dull and unoriginal? It’s your own fault, because you don’t love and admire yourself enough:

Narcissists, new experiments show, are great at convincing others that their ideas are creative even though they’re just average. Still, groups with a handful of narcissists come up with better ideas than those with none, suggesting that self-love contributes to real-world success.

Narcissism and creativity seem to go hand in hand. Creative people often appear self-important, hungry for attention, and unconcerned with others’ ideas and opinions— all traits narcissists share. Think of Pablo Picasso, famous for his iconoclastic paintings but infamous for declaring, “I am God.” Like Picasso, narcissists often rise to positions of importance in art, business, and other endeavors, suggesting that they have ability and ideas that others do not.

The world is yours for taking!

Phenomenology and Naturalism


With regards to the business of naturalizing phenomenology, or more minimally, the relation between naturalism and phenomenology, I think the  stakes are highest when the status of the transcendental is broached.  That is to say, without the transcendental phenomenology becomes sort of like beer without alcohol.  I don’t have any answers to such questions, but for some reason I’ve been thinking (obsessing or maybe fretting) about such things all day.  Anyway, it’s well known that Husserl was somewhat hostile to naturalism.  Here’s a well known passage from Ideas I: Continue reading

Dissertations! Printed and Bound (for revenge)


I came across this amusing post by Elif Batuman about having your dissertation printed and bound:

I ‘ll tell you what’s wrong with academia.  I just got a letter from ProQuest, trying to sell me three copies of my own dissertation for $125.  Their PR people, no dummies, easily anticipated my first question, viz. what on earth would I do with three bound copies of my own dissertation.  Turns out, I could keep one copy for “my own use” (viz., doorstop), and give the other two as gifts to “colleagues” or “my family.” An interesting idea: vingt ans après, I could finally get my revenge on the great-aunts who knitted me all those peculiar sweaters when I was small.

Anyway, this amazing 40% discount off of ”regular academic pricing” was apparently already offered to me at the time of filing, but I didn’t take advantage of it—either out of sheer pigheadedness or, as ProQuest charitably suggests, because I was distracted by “the final rush of paperwork and completion of other degree requirements.”  Lucky for me, ”opportunity knocks again.”

Read the rest here.  I had my dissertations printed and bound out of some misguided feeling of spite, if memory serves.