What to a Blogger Is the 5th of July?
* Next up in the “definitive takedown” series that has made An und für sich so rightly famous and so terribly feared: the ontology of Aaron Sorkin.
One could criticize Sorkin’s ontology for lacking depth and nuance and view the family structure as artificial and forced, but that is not a flaw so much as the entire point. Every Aaron Sorkin show starts from the same radical subtraction and carries the same basic axioms to the same absolutely rigorous conclusion. Sorkin’s universe is one in which a repeated reassertion of a rudimentary structure is the sole alternative to absolute chaos. Given the absolute lack of inherent “character traits” or “motivations,” their stereotyped relationships are the only thing keeping the “characters” from descending into a total — albeit clever — glossolalia.
* Pennsylvania looks to disfranchise 10% of its population to prevent voting fraud it can’t prove has ever happened. Why not just have the military install Romney as king and get this over with? It’d be quicker and more honest.
* I’m an academic, I don’t do it for the money: In Defence of Unpaid Academic Positions. Note: not actually a defense!
* What this means is that in graduate school we get used to working for nothing, even as we’re expected to invest heavily in expensive professional development activities. By attending conferences, we pay for the opportunity to present our work to our (future) peers, who are the primary “gatekeepers” to academe. This system helps to perpetuate privilege because only “those who have afforded to work for free will get jobs. The vicious circle is maddening” (Ernesto Priego, July 2, 2011, Twitter).
* Of course, there are perks: Drunk professor forces students to sit through 23-hour-long science exam.
* This time our New Four Horsemen–who claim to be market-oriented Republican justices–struck at an approach supported by the market-oriented Republican presidents who appointed them, thought up by market-oriented Republican ideologues to be the market-oriented Republican approach to keeping the market-oriented health insurance system from collapse. Fred Rodell understood that supreme court justices are for the most part moral and political actors first and text- and precedent-oriented legal technicians second.
* And on the actually-existing-media-bias beat: just don’t mention the science.