Wednesday, 30 November 2005

This Story Has Legs; or, Implications In Flagrante I could've titled this entry "I am become meme." Maybe I should've. "I am become urban legend" would've worked too. Point is I didn't realize the response to this tale would be so overwhelming. An amusing anecdote but little more. Now I want to say things like "No more linking! Do you want to break the Internet?" If my logs are any indication, the previous post spoke to vampires, goths, Canadians, bikers, Georgia Tech fans, athletic frogs, feminists and denizens of the reality based community. The transformation of my morning into an urban legend has already begun. Yesterday about seventy people from Cornell hit this site from their email server. The way my morning's been passed around I suspect that in a few months I'll get an email from a friend outside the academy with the contents of my post and a subject line like "You HAVE to read this." Speaking of emails: Hundreds of people want to know whether I'm an actual academic who teaches at UCI. Snopes can wipe its brow. Google my name. Ask yourself whether the Scott Eric Kaufman at UCI who wrote Wednesday's post may be the same Scott Eric Kaufman at UCI whose (admittedly obsolete) homepage pops up fourth and blurbs "Scott Eric Kaufman is in his 4th year in the Ph.D. program in English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine." Now look at the next hit from and ask yourself whether the Scott Eric Kaufman at UCI who wrote Wednesday's post may be the same Scott Eric Kaufman at UCI a former student once wrote "rewards you with incredibly detailed feedback on articles and will help you work through your paper during office hours." See! Now you know that not only am an instructor at UCI but that I have office hours. Only one question remains: Is the Scott Eric Kaufman who teaches at UCI a liar? Some have suggested I am. (That's most recent, not necessarily the most representative example of this charge.) I don't know how to respond other than to point to examples of begrudging honesty on my part. Or you could verify other outlandish claims I've made . . . like time I said the Louisiana School for the Deaf is unfortunately acronymed. You could see whether Southern California experienced a minor earthquake on Sunday, October 16th. (It did.) You could snopes this site top to bottom and you'll see that I'm a responsible scholar already jeopardizing his career by blogging under his own name. Why would I want to further smudge my resume by lying? Short of wheeling out my student; linking to my course roster, scanning the article she came to office hours to discuss; posting a handwriting sample to compare to my scrawlings on her article and the Albert Lyter's densinometric analysis of the ink's age and composition . . . short of all that I think the odds of definitively proving that this happened slim. Because I can't stomach writing a...

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