Intellectual Labor: Adjunct Hulk

A twitter feed about life as an adjunct, ADJUNCT HULK:


This is a good one:


Read more here and a good interview with Mark Bousquet, “Higher Exploitation,” in the Minnesota Review, here

Shhhh…It’s just me, the Prof Whisperer

I’ve been too busy to weigh in seriously on the recent debates over speculative realism, weird realism, who’s reading Kant fairly, and object-oriented philosophy this week, but I think that I’m going to make a “Kant police”  badge for Mikhail.  Regardless, I did want to call attention a post written by  the always delightful Carl Dyke over at Dead Voles:  “Shhhhhh….it’s just me, the Prof Whisperer!”  Carl’s title is “Tell me I’m beautiful,” but I like mine better.

By the way, am I the only one who hates those toilets that have sensors and automatically flush at the most inappropriate moments?  Annoying.

Learning Cultural Sensitivity.

So by now the shoe-throwing incident must have made it even into the most unlikely sources of news like reginal news broadcasts and maybe even a blog or two. My favorite part of the story, besides the obvious hilarity of it all, is the fact that every single news source takes it upon itself to explain to the dumb readers that it is apparently a very insulting thing to do in the respective culture. Really? I almost mistook this particular cultural gesture for another one where throwing a shoe at a person’s head is considered a sign of loyalty and appreciation. So not only did the American public learn the exact geographical location of Iraq, but it also acquired some valuable knowledge of their cultural abuses – aces!

Drugs That Make You Smart (Cont.)

Another story related to our interests in “drugs that make you smart”: 

Society must respond to the growing demand for cognitive enhancement. That response must start by rejecting the idea that ‘enhancement’ is a dirty word, argue Henry Greely and colleagues.

Today, on university campuses around the world, students are striking deals to buy and sell prescription drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin — not to get high, but to get higher grades, to provide an edge over their fellow students or to increase in some measurable way their capacity for learning. These transactions are crimes in the United States, punishable by prison.

Read the whole story here.

American Experience: Context, Context, Context.

One of my recent favorite blogs – Don’s Life (by Mary Beard) – has an interesting discussion of the cultural differences between Americans and Brits. However, I found this comment to the post to be most enlightening:

I lived in the UK for 11 years and especially enjoy helping Americans understand Brits and vice versa. To me, the most complicated aspect of the communication styles of our two cultures is what is called “low context/high context” – Americans are very low context, meaning they spell everything out, speak directly, say exactly what they mean, don’t imply much, don’t take clues from the environment/context (clues such as accent, dress, situation, utterances that carry a lot of meaning in one sound; that kind of thing). Brits are more high context (although nowhere near level of Asian cultures). This means that there is a lot of information conveyed in British communication beyond the actual words that are spoken or written. You have to read between the lines, interpret what is actually meant, evaluate everything based on a very fine and complex gradation of unspoken information (such as the examples I listed above – accent, etc.) Therefore, Americans seem to be a bit thick and clueless to Brits, and Brits seem to be really indirect and hard to figure out to Americans, and it’s not because either side is stupid or deliberately trying to lead the other astray. (Well, maybe the Brits are trying that a little bit… but that’s one of the “benefits” of being high context!)

Low context vs. high context then. It seems to be a real theory in studying culture, not just a nifty metaphor, apparently popularized by Edward Hall. I really need to read up on this, as I suspect many of my gauffes and faux-pas are caused by my “high context” culture…

CFP: Holy Urbanism

Here is an interesting CFP from MONU

The one thing that all religions on our planet have in common is their distinction between the holy and the profane. All religions appear to be organized as systems of beliefs with distinctive practices and all have built structures in relation to things holy. And those distinctive practices and structures have always shaped our cities in a profound way. But apart from those obvious and well-documented relations between religions and cities, our urban life is probably even more deeply penetrated by all kinds of rather unknown and hidden religious moral codes, sacred values, faith traditions, holy communal organisations, supernatural spiritualities, devine beliefs, or superstitious institutions that pervade and shape our urban realm continuously. Continue reading