Monthly Archives: February 2017

Okay, It’s On.

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Knowledge, and the Life of Knowledge, Are Not The Same

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I started re-reading an old book from grad school: Order and Skepticism: Human Geography and the Dialectic of Science, by Richard Szymanski and John Agnew. It’s essentially a complaint that human geography at the time (1981) was too easily swayed by interesting models that don’t actually have fully explanatory power…. Read more »

Sterile Hybrids

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Mules and hinnies. Ligers and tigons. Zonkeys and zorses. The tiger muskie and the bloodball python. The animal world is filled with inter-species and occasionally inter-genera crossbreeds known as hybrids, from the Latin ibrida or mongrel. A lot of them have come specifically from human intervention, the work of farmers… Read more »

Moneysynthesis and the Changing Ecosystem of Higher Ed

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Where I live in Vermont, there’s been a big move to control farmland runoff into streams. The issue is that all of the fertilizers and nutrients in the soil wind up in the lakes (especially Lake Champlain), creating an imbalance in the plant population that privileges some kinds of growth… Read more »

Inside Higher Ed

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I read Inside Higher Ed quite a lot, get their daily e-mail update. It’s a great headline-level news aggregation tool, not unlike Daily Kos or Truthout. And they do investigative work of their own, as well as posting opinion and career advice. You’ll hear more honesty about the adjunct world… Read more »

Ecological Storytelling

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A Crisis of Definition

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Throughout this blog and the books it relates to, I’m oversimplifying a bit when I refer to PhDs as the degree that qualifies one for college teaching. There are others. A lot of them pertain to professions that normally don’t have a research component, like architecture. When I finished my… Read more »

Purging What Seemed Essential

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My wife and I are both kind of weary of the things we’ve accumulated over the decades, mostly independently before we were married. We may be the only couple you know with two overstuffed bookcases and six file cabinets in the garage. Anyway, she started a couple of days ago going through things… Read more »

The Causes and Impacts of Overpopulation

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Let’s start with a raw number. The annual production of new PhDs is occurring at about 250% the annual hiring rate, maybe a little more. So the aquarium is getting pretty overstocked. How do you make yourself noticed among all the pretty fish? (It’s not unlike bachelor’s degrees; now that so… Read more »

The Education of Fear

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I just finished reading Natalia Ginzburg’s book of essays, The Little Virtues. The title essay is her meditation on education and parenthood, both of which she believes are far too focused on instilling small virtues such as thrift, caution, prudence, tact and success. Better, she believes, to attend to the larger virtues… Read more »