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Friday, 19 October 2007

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AMac
I think this speaks to a your vision of your blog as more than a platform from which you can declaim.
Well, that didn't come out quite right, Preview notwithstanding.

I was trying to say: I think that you envision blogging to be more conversation than bully pulpit.

Ah. Carry on, then.

John Emerson

I'm in blogging-as-therapy mode

I believe that it was Nabokov who referred to this as "Expressing yourself, like a pimple."

Mikhail Emelianov

i suddenly envision therapy-as-blogging - would that be different from blogging-as-therapy?

as per the wonderful discussion on "qualifying exams" - i am a strong believer that we need more exams but not in just an educational setting, but in life in general: say you are on the first date, and you're in the middle of a fascinating story (with great sound effects and dramaturgy) about you and your grandfather hunting wild animals in Siberia and your date is looking away, eyes clearly concentrating on something else, you snap your fingers and say - "hey! pay attention! this is going to be on the test!"

Adam Kotsko

If in this, your 20th year of graduate studies, you are feeling guilty about not giving enough time to blog comments, you may need to consider just shutting down the blog, lest you lose all you hold dear.

Sisyphus

No, no, Adam, he should shut down the grad school and blog 24-7.

Rich Puchalsky

I bet that the blog pays more than grad school does. Didn't Scott once get some cookies, delivered to his door, out of it? He could probably live off cookies.

Mikhail Emelianov

doesn't he blog 24-7 anyway? mother always said it is not polite to speak of someone present in the third person - would one assume, vis-a-vis the whole blog-as-conversation thing, that scott is "present"?

Rich Puchalsky

But, to address "more as conversation than bully pulpit" for a moment: by the end of the thread that that comment came from, the wingers had progressed to quote-mining for damaging points, and speculating that maybe a tenured professor really wrote something because she wanted to lead a lynch mob. That's just what they do; it's useless to try to get them to do anything else. You have a tendency to expect better of them, which I've never seen work out. KC Johnson, for instance, has since updated his blog post on the Piot article to read:

"The Transforming Anthropology editors appear to be distancing themselves from the article, admitting to one DIW reader that it was not peer-reviewed before publication."

(and note the "distancing" language, as if they had ever claimed that it was peer reviewed). But he still has:

"This article represents what passes for a scholarly publication in Piot’s field."

Conversation with people like that isn't possible.

But they do spark some good doggerel sometimes. I think that there are a few good reasons for pseudonymity -- if you're a woman, and don't want to get harassed online simply for being one, perhaps, or if you're pre-tenure and are super-sensitive about anything that might cause you not to get it -- but most of the exaggerated, unspecific fear about using one's name plays into the right's strategy for making people generally fearful all the time.

Rich Puchalsky

Oops, that previous KC Johnson quote was from the end of his blog post. It's beginning has: "In reading this post, keep in mind: above all else, the Piot article gives a sense of what is considered a scholarly publication in his field", which is even worse. I'd guess that that's your answer, Scott.

ProfD

"The Transforming Anthropology editors appear to be distancing themselves from the article, admitting to one DIW reader that it was not peer-reviewed before publication."

Wow. If this refers to Amac's inquiry, then it's about as disingenuous as it gets. An editor was asked about Piot's article and the review policy of the journal. He/she responded that it was a short commentary, and that these usually aren't peer reviewed. That's hardly "distancing".

Adam Kotsko

The "the exaggerated, unspecific fear about using one's name" is indeed pernicious.

With the academic job market being so tight and so apparently random, I have started to regard all advice about "how to position yourself on the job market" as more or less the equivalent of astrology -- entertaining in moderation, but indicative of neurosis if it noticeably affects your behavior.

Rich Puchalsky

Yeah, ProfD, and it's not an "admission" either.

AMac

I am the occasional commenter that Rich P. finds profit in insulting, as above (9:23 AM). He used to sometimes rebut actual arguments that I'd actually made at Acephalous. But I'm not counting on it any more. People disposed to take Rich's remarks at face value should follow the first link he provides:

the wingers had progressed to quote-mining for damaging points, and speculating that maybe a tenured professor really wrote something because she wanted to lead a lynch mob.
Read what I wrote (6:46 AM), then Rich's "fuck off" response (6:53 AM), then my discussion of the phrase "lynch mob" (8:34 AM). Rich knows what I think, but prefers to leave readers of this thread with a different impression. Classy.

To anticipate the inevitable acid rejoinder, filling this thread on Qualifying Exams with more fevered projections of what I surely must be secretly thinking: Rich, the Ahab roleplay has turned creepy.

Scott, this guy is diverting your comment threads with his obsession. Why not suggest that he find himself another whale?

ProfD

Amac, what do you think of KC's interpretation of your finding with respect to Piot's article? Do you think it's an accurate characterization to state that the editors appear to be distancing themselves? Or that this was an admission?

Rich Puchalsky

Amac, your defense was that it was only lynch mob *metaphor*, and not even that since you hadn't used the phrase "lynch mob" when you clearly used lynch mob metaphors, and that what you really thought was that the statement involved the "construction and then defense of the portraits of forty-six disfavored Duke students as exemplars of a kind of white-male folk-devil". I do not consider that to be a defense. And clearly I was saying that you were beyond the pale for using those metaphors in the first place, as if they seriously related to the motive for the statement -- I didn't think that you were literally saying that Lubiano would be first with a torch.

And why don't you stop being so whiny, Amac? Scott brought up a topic of commentary; I'm commenting.

AMac

> And why don't you stop being so whiny?

Rich, you are one of a kind.

Re: your new point that the use of the metaphor

the construction and then defense of the portraits of forty-six disfavored Duke students as exemplars of a kind of white-male folk-devil
puts me "beyond the pale" "in the first place": here is what JPool had written immediately prior, on 17 October 2007 at 10:29 AM (emphasis added):
Rather than painting the actions of the Duke faculty who signed the listening statement to be universally about the construction and defense of some kind of (white male) folk-devil, I wish that folks would recognize it as, at least in part, an act of sympathy; a sympathy that included, but also went beyond their students.

Some commenter immediately followed JPool by remarking that "Well, a lot of Jpool's comment is reasonable", followed by some lengthy Quote-Mining. (Hey, that guy can be your new Great White!) So JPool and I partly agree. We are each suggesting that the Listening Statement was not universally or exclusively about the construction and defense of some kind of (white male) folk-devil, because it was in part or mostly about something else.

Further complaints about the paleness of the metaphor, take it up with JPool.

AMac

ProfD at 10:31am --

what do you think of KC's interpretation of your finding with respect to Piot's article? Do you think it's an accurate characterization to state that the editors appear to be distancing themselves? Or that this was an admission?

No, I think it's inaccurate. I wrote an editor to ask whether all formats were peer reviewed and which format "KC's World" fit in; the brief response directly answered my questions. Nothing about 'distancing' or 'admission'.

AMac

I see that KC has modified the text quoted by ProfD above (20 October 2007 at 09:58 AM), presumably as a result of these concerns.

(Now I have to go do my wingnut laundry--bye.)

Nate

Scott, I realize as an only occasional commenter I may not qualify for full voting rights in the Acephalic polis, but I must object to your opening premises. Nothing must change. Nothing must be done. These are I think fully universalizable maxims.
Yours,
Nate

SEK

Before I begin: Apparently I upped my Alliterator from "stun" to "kill" last night. Sorry about that.

That said ...

Amac: I think that you envision blogging to be more conversation than bully pulpit.

I do, but of late, I haven't been treating it as such. You may not've meant to write that, but that doesn't mean it's not true.

Mikhail: i suddenly envision therapy-as-blogging - would that be different from blogging-as-therapy?

Only in location and expenditure. I could pay to sit in someone's office and blog ...

... your date is looking away, eyes clearly concentrating on something else, you snap your fingers and say - "hey! pay attention! this is going to be on the test!"

We already do this in so many subtle ways, I don't see why we shouldn't formalize it.

Adam: If in this, your 20th year of graduate studies, you are feeling guilty about not giving enough time to blog comments, you may need to consider just shutting down the blog, lest you lose all you hold dear.

Pffft. I've only been here seven years, and I'm dragging my feet on purpose a bit -- to keep health coverage and because my wife's only in her fourth year -- so I don't think I'll lose all I hold dear. My self-respect, maybe ...

Sisyphus: he should shut down the grad school and blog 24-7.

No. (vehemently) Then I'd have to spend an hour writing my dissertation to stay sane. I like the system I have thank-you-very-much.

Rich: I bet that the blog pays more than grad school does.

Given the fact that I'm living off my wife and odd tutoring assignments ... I'd say that yes, the blog certainly pays better then the university at this point. (And in cookies, which I appreciate more than money.)

Mikhail (again): doesn't he blog 24-7 anyway? mother always said it is not polite to speak of someone present in the third person - would one assume, vis-a-vis the whole blog-as-conversation thing, that scott is "present"?

That's a damn interesting question, and not one I'm sure I can answer. I always find comment sections somewhat ghoulish in the sense that the poster seems to inhabit every thread. (This happens most frequently on Unfogged, in which everyone seems cognizant of Ogged's presence even when he hasn't commented for hours. He's always there, lurking, waiting for the right moment to materialize ... or so it seems. There's an interesting dynamic there, something I ought to think about more before continuing.

Rich (again): You have a tendency to expect better of them, which I've never seen work out. KC Johnson

That wasn't me thinking better of KC, merely acknowledging his rhetorical savvy. He's quite good at forcing you to use his terms, and with looking like an unjustly punished puppy when you don't.

I noticed that he reposted his response with his sweeping dismissal of anthropology intact. I don't think there's any doubt he's impugning an entire discipline now.

More shortly. I just discovered why my nose was itching ...

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