Posts Tagged ‘Collective Fixations’

What would I do differently ?

April 7, 2010

If I had to go back to being a postdoc, knowing what I know now as a PI, would I do anything differently ? Would it change my work, my attitude towards my PI, my understanding of all the crap that annoyed me while I was a postdoc?

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Course web page

January 17, 2010

Of course it is useful, why would people do it otherwise ?

Since 1996, when I taught my first course at the college level, I have always set up a web page for the courses I taught. It has never really been an issue to me, whether I should do it or not — it seemed like a no-brainer. I mean, really, why would anyone not take advantage of a technology that allows a teacher to provide quickly and efficiently updated course information to all enrolled student ?

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Internet and the demise of academe

September 18, 2009

A recent article in The Big Money (from Slate) rehashes a prediction that many have been making over the past decade.
The growth of online universities, offering courses that can be taken where and when it is convenient, leading toward accredited degrees, at a fraction of the price for the same degree at a conventional university, will soon lead to the disappearance of the traditional college experience. Universities, with their campuses, highly paid deadwood, er, professors, dormitories, schedules, classrooms, fraternities, sororities, partying and football teams, may soon become a relic of a time past.

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Interdisciplinarity

August 9, 2009

It is difficult these days to go through calls for research proposals from government agencies, and not see at least some emphasis on “interdisciplinary research” (IR), i.e., research centered on a project or theme involving a collaboration among scientists of different backgrounds. IR is the focus of a growing number of scientific journals (see, here, for instance), including some with a clearly stated intellectual affiliation to one specific discipline (see, for instance, this one).
Interdisciplinarity is also the darling of university administrations, eager to establish new curricula of studies, aimed at imparting broad (if perhaps less in-depth) knowledge of science, spread across several of the traditional fields as opposed to focused on one of them.

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Just toss it, Sir

June 16, 2009

It’s 11 am on Tuesday, and I am at the Piccadilly train station in Manchester (UK), headed toward London and about to board the train to Reading. Train leaves at 11:27 so I think, oh, what the hell, I shall have something to eat. I purchase a hot cocoa with a croissant, sit on a bench and consume the food — hey, it is not even that bad, by British standards — but, I digress.
I stand up and look for a trash bin, to dispose of my paper cup and bag. Hmm…. funny, I do not see any. I figure, there must be one somewhere, I shall look for it — after all, the train station is spotless clean.

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Leave me alone, for the love of God

April 25, 2009

In a recent post, with the caustic style which makes her one of our favorite reads, Professor in Training (PiT) describes a taxi ride from hell (no pun intended) that she had in New Orleans. In a temporary lapse of judgment, PiT confessed to the driver that she has no religious faith. In response, the driver lashed out at her for the entire duration of the ride, deploring her lack of moral values, warning her of dire consequences and foretelling her eternal damnation, should she fail to repent and embrace God’s message immediately — pretty standard stuff, I would say.

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