Category Archives: The New Project

Apologies for the New Look

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It’s like New Coke. You take something everybody loves, and mess with it for no reason. So when I opened Wordpress a couple of days ago, it asked to update the theme I’d been running—the sort of visual template package that organizes site elements. And I didn’t pay close enough attention…. Read more »

Mission Creep

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I once knew an architecture professor who studied shopping malls. He studied them not because they were especially interesting, not because he himself loved to spend time at some random SouthPointe Galleria or Olde Towne Centre. He studied them because they had one single variable for success: dollars of sales per square foot. Widen… Read more »

Adjunct Bait

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We have some Hav-a-Hart traps that we use around our garden. We throw groundhog-favored foodstuffs into the back of the screened pen (apples and melon rinds work well), and when the unsuspecting whistlepig wanders in, he has to step on a plate on his way to the fruit, and the… Read more »

Okay, It’s On.

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Ahem. Let me step back for a moment. Use my indoor voice, as Mrs. Winteringham reminded us in kindergarten. Some number of years ago, a friend of mine sent a copy of her completed dissertation to one of her committee members, a year or so after its completion. This was… Read more »

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 »

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 »

Ecological Storytelling

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The death of one is a tragedy. The death of a million is a statistic. —Joseph Stalin Nobody knows how many adjuncts there are. But it seems to be at the very least between half a million and a million. And people’s brains just aren’t wired to know what to… Read more »

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 »