Hatchet in space. Lots of great math/science problem solving when our hero gets left behind on Mars. Riveting stuff: reenforces how much I want to givHatchet in space. Lots of great math/science problem solving when our hero gets left behind on Mars. Riveting stuff: reenforces how much I want to give all my money to Orion while simultaneously never, ever, ever, ever wanting to be an astronaut....more
Great research: combines insights from behavioral economics and psychology into, if not a theory of everything, a theory of not-enough. Key take awaysGreat research: combines insights from behavioral economics and psychology into, if not a theory of everything, a theory of not-enough. Key take aways: when we have to keep one eye on the budget (of time, or of calories or of money), we aren't able to focus on the big picture (tunneling) and we lose much of our mental aptitude (bandwidth tax). The most convincing study looks at sugarcane farmers before the harvest (poor) and after (rich).
Still, there are some concerns: for example, couldn't the same effects come not from scarcity, but from preoccupation? E.g., a patient with chronic pain isn't scarce something but probably suffers from tunneling and bandwidth tax (and pain for that matter). Also, not particularly, er, well written.
All the same, could be useful for time management research and why time-crunched procrastinators make bad decisions. (Like writing Goodreads reviews instead of conference proposals.)
One for the workshop, certainly, maybe a class if supplemented with other professionalization tasks. I like the weekly process, the systematic approacOne for the workshop, certainly, maybe a class if supplemented with other professionalization tasks. I like the weekly process, the systematic approach and the language that seems to work for graduate students. Daily logs are very important for setting good habits of any sort and writing is no exception. The only complaints I have are that the grammatical proofing section is a little static (myself, I like Sword's text for academic style revisions) and that 12 weeks may seem awfully slow for what is, in reality, a revision, rather than working from entirely scratch. Still, if one is willing to skim the workbook a little, only do the exercises which seem most useful and keep up on the regular writing tasks, this can be a very useful resource. Heck, I'd like to submit a journal article every 12 weeks!...more
I never really understand those mysterious love stories--how does someone honestly fall in love with a ghost? What is your end game with that? how doI never really understand those mysterious love stories--how does someone honestly fall in love with a ghost? What is your end game with that? how do you carrying on a prosaic life afterward but The Thing from the Lake is most lovely when the remarkable descends to the prosaic, especially in the case of Ethan, known as "Drawls" by his wife (a college dropout herself, happily descending from abstract erudition to housewifery), a ice-skating cabaret performer to turns out to be a steady, reliable husband and husbandman. Similarly, Desire, the ghostly woman who relates the dark tales of fate and doom of her family, is not all smoke and mirrors. The protagonist, Roger, is of strong will, naturally, but when he isn't battling unseen forces, he's a practical and kind writer of popular music--a fitting profession for someone with just one foot in the etheral world....more
This book kind of blows my mind. It's the ideal book for a graduate course in being an academic. Every intro to grad class should require it. I read tThis book kind of blows my mind. It's the ideal book for a graduate course in being an academic. Every intro to grad class should require it. I read the first chapter in a library book, but then immediately ordered it off Amazon.
The general gist--coming from a literary studies background--is that we should be as close readers of ourselves and our institutions as we are of our literary texts. The other key perspective is one of "collective self-help"--as Donald E Hall himself says "Collective success is always based on personal behaviors and decisions and on effective planning" (xx). Not a bad thesis to go on.
In rearranging ourselves, Hall recommends that we cease to see ourselves as fixed identities with fixed careers with careers that are "always 'in the making'" (10), not dependent on one milestone or one job. In a Jerry Maguire-esque move, Hall recommends that we "articulate, emphasize, and remember that our lives and careers can be enhanced by--and often even depend upon--our flexibility and equanimity when confronted with difficulties" (16).
Beyond improving ourselves, Hall recommends that we "acknowledge our own responsibility for constructing a career that satisfies us" (23). Further, he recommends that we stop seeing people who work in teaching or administrative positions as failed academics, and heirarching all of our affiliations. All with nary a reference to Bourdieu (plenty to Foucault!).
For teaching this book, you can require your students to produce a professional statement--rather like a personal statement--and also an institutional statement (like a less cheesy mission statement). There's an example....more
C- for being business-jargon self-help A+ for teaching the principle that PEOPLE AREN'T OBJECTS.
When we see people as objects, we assume thC- for being business-jargon self-help A+ for teaching the principle that PEOPLE AREN'T OBJECTS.
When we see people as objects, we assume that their needs are less important or vivid than ours (32). Instead see others "as people like me who have need as desires as legitimate" as my own (35).
You can get into this self-satisfying others-hating cycle. Eg: I am the good, patient mother and my son is the Troublemaker whom I must bear with. (95). "It's as if we said to each other, ' Look, I'll mistreat you so you can blame your bad behavior on me if you'll mistream me so I can blame my bad behavior on you'" (101). "we invite mutual mistreatment nd obtain mutual justification. We collude in giving each other reason to stay" as bad as you want to be (102).
You don't get out by trying to change others, or just gritting your teeth and trying to "cope" with them, or leaving or "communicating" (passive aggressive self-justifying) or even changing your behavior on the outside (136). What does work is to question your own self rightousness (143) What makes me think I'm better than I am? We need to honor them as peoplewith "needs hopes, and worries as real and legitimate as my own" (144).
"Don't focus on what others are doing wrong. Do focus on what you can do right to help. don't worry whether others are helping you. do worry whether you are helping others" (166) ...more
I probably shouldn't have read this in book-on-tape form. Yeah, it made me excited to get in the car and yeah it made traffic more bearable, but thereI probably shouldn't have read this in book-on-tape form. Yeah, it made me excited to get in the car and yeah it made traffic more bearable, but there were many places where I itched for a pencil to underline and take notes. This is a popular, accessible summary of much of the behavioral economics/cognitive psychology research of the past 30 years, including some very recent work about the role of framing and other heuristics. The balance of System 1 and 2, Econs and humans, the experiencing self and the remembering self all impact our everyday lives in innumerable facets and I didn't get to underline anything....more
An excellent little compilation, although one that I would assign to graduate students rather than undergrads--it seeks to complicate accepted writingAn excellent little compilation, although one that I would assign to graduate students rather than undergrads--it seeks to complicate accepted writing practices rather than introduce them. (For introductory classes, even into the masters, I'd still go with Johanek, I think.)
A few highlights I might include in various course packets, at least:
Doug Hesse's "Writing Program Research" which includes the great research into how many students, can, in fact, write a decent sentence at his institution as well as other useful bits for assessment.
Asao B. Inoue about including racial distinctions in research, because I think it's important (although I think the N is scandalously low)
Haswell on Quant Methods, because Haswell.
Christina Haas et al on combining methods of discourse analysis and literacy studies.
Heidi McKee and Porter on general principles of internet research.
I donno, as I'm making these highlights I also like Canagarajah's bit on autoethnography and its pitfalls and Nickoson's Teacher Research. The book veers heavily towards feminist ethnography, probably because of the interests of the editors, so there's a lot of blurring of lines that blur towards those methodologies, but a lack of balance doesn't mean that what is included isn't worthwhile. ...more
First off, a disclaimer: I am not planning on getting married any time soon. I just really like Bruce C Hafen books in the genre of churchy books, andFirst off, a disclaimer: I am not planning on getting married any time soon. I just really like Bruce C Hafen books in the genre of churchy books, and this is one he wrote. So.
There's some great wisdom here, especially I like the idea that relationships shouldn't be about dependence, or even independence, but should be about interdependence, really learning to trust and care for each other in a deep, loyal sense. I also kind of liked the chapter on the moral influence of women, which sounds so cliche, but biologically, as well as spiritually, women have the most investment in stability and so they often get to set the terms for what a relationship is. Over all, the theme is that love is a deep and crucial connection, one that by definition is going to include a lot of pain and work, but that pain is the inverse of the depths of joy attainable in a relationship.
(I was less wild about his wife's epilogue, which--is that okay to say? Is that mean? Gosh, I hope she doesn't read Goodreads reviews.)...more
Bourdieu can be nearly unreadable, between the allusions to obscure French writers, the neologisms and the nearly endless streams of prepositions, but
Bourdieu can be nearly unreadable, between the allusions to obscure French writers, the neologisms and the nearly endless streams of prepositions, but when you cut through it, you find an engaging argument. For my purposes, I'm most interested in the idea that artists have a different hierarchy of prestige than do the bourgeoisie, but I'm also interested in his habitus-based method of reading, which he gives us an example of in reading "A Rose for Emily" at the end, which is easier than the painful Sentimental Education reading to discuss the hierarchy bits.
“The sociologist [...] stand opposed to the ‘friend of beautiful spectacles and voices’ that the writer also is: the ‘reality’ that he tracks cannot be reduced to the immediate data of the sensory experiences in which it is revealed; he aims not to offer (in)sight, or feeling, but to construct systems of intelligible relations capable of making sense of sentient data” (xviii). “scientific analysis of the social conditions of the production and reception of a work of art, far from reducing it or destroying it, in fact intensifies the literary experience” (xix).
“There is no better testimoney of all that separates literary writing from scientific writing than this capacity [...] to concentrate and condense in the concrete singularity of a sensitive figure and an individual adventure, functioning both as metaphor and as metonymy, all the complexity of a structure and a history which scientific analysis must laboriously unfold and deploy” (24).
“The charm of the literary work lies largely in the way it speaks of the most serious things without insisting, unlike science writing according to Searle, on being taken completely seriously” (33).
“The relationship between cultural producers and the dominant class no longer retains what might have characterised it in previous centuries [...[ even allegiance to a patron or an official protector of the arts. Henceforward it will be a matter of a veritable structural subordination which acts very unequally on different authors according to their positions in the field. It is instituted through two principal mediations: on the one hand, the market, whose sanctions and constraints are exercised on literary enterprises either directly, by means of sales figures, numbers of tickets sold and so forth, or indirectly, through new positions offered in journalism, publishing [etc.]; and on the other hand, durable links, based on affinities of lifestyle and value systems,” (49).
“An ambiguous reality, bohemia inspired ambivalent feelings” because is closer to the people but also aristorcrats “no less true of its most destitue members who, strong in their cultural capital and the authority born of being tastemakers succeed in providing themselves at the least cost with audacities of dress, culinary fantasies, mercenary loves and refinded leisure, for all of which the ‘bourgeois’ pay dearly” (56-7)
Concern with the institution “those who claim to occupy the dominant positions in it will feel the need to manifest their independence with respect to power and honors” (61).
“in a field reaching a high degree of autonomy and self-awareness, it is the mechanisms of competition themselves which authorize and favour the ordinary production of out-of-the-ordinary acts, founded on the rejection of temporal satisfactions, worldy gratifications and the goals of ordinary action” (68).
“The progress of the literary field towards autonomy is marked by the fact that, at the end of the nineteenth centurey, the hierarchy among genres (and authors) accordingto specific criteria of peer judgement is almost exactly the inverse of the hierarchy according to commerical success” (114)
Painters and commissions “helped reveal to writers [...] the possiblity of a freedom henceforth offered to (and thereby imposed on) anyone wanting to enter into the role of painter or writer” (139).
“Thus the opposition is total between bestsellers with no tomorrow and the classics, lasting bestsellers whcih owe to the education system their consecration, hence their extended and durable market” (147).
“It is not enough to say that the history of the fields is the history of the struggle for a monopoly of the impositin of legitimate categories of perception and appreciation; it is in the very struggle that the history of the field is made” (157)
“cultivated people are in culture as in the air they breathe, and it takes a major crisis (and the criticism that accompanies it) for them to feel obliged to transform the doxa into orthodoxy or into dogma, and to justify the sacred and consecrated ways of cultivating it” (185).
(“in fact, it is probably in Michel Foucault that one finds the most rigorous formulation of the coundations of the scrusctural analysis of cultural works” (197))
National traditions create a hierarchy of arts (e.g. music or painting) or science. Relates to hierarchies of nations, too (200).
“traditionaly entrusted to university people, criticism is the indispensable accompaniment of that profound transformationof the structure of the dividual of intellectual work” (210).
“the literry or artistic fields are characterized, particuarly compared withthe university field, by a weak degree of codification, and, by the same token, by the extreme permeablity of their boundaries adn teh extreme diversity of the definition of the posts they offer and the principles of legitimacy which confront each other there” (226).
Definition of field of power: “the space of relations of force between agents or between institutions having in common the possession of the capital necessary to occupy the dominant positions in different fields” (215) the heteronomous hierarchy which is about economic and political clout and the autonomous which is focused on freedom lack of compromise (216). “it is in the name of this collective capital that cultural producers feel the right and the duty to ignore the demands or requirements of temporal powers” (221). and “defenders of teh most ‘pure’” can argue exclusion of “a certain number of artists (etc.) are not really artists, or that they are not true artists, they deny them existence as artists” (223). “One of the central stakes in literary (etc. ) rivalries is the monopoly of literary legitmacy, that is, among other things, the monopoly of the power to say with authority who is authorized to call himself writer” (224). “the posts of ‘pure’ writer and artist, like that of ‘intellectual,’ are instituions of freedom, whicha re constructed again teh ‘bourgeoisie’” (257). The formation of “anti-institutional institutions” like salons, avante-garde journals etc. (258).
According to the sybolic capital recognized in her as a functin of her position, each writer (etc.) sees herself accorded a determinate set of legitimate possibles meaning, in a determinate field, a determinate share of possibles objectively offered at each given moment in time” (260).
Wrtiers adn artists situated at the economically dominated (and symbolically dominant) pole of the literary field, itself temporally dominated, can doubtless feel a solidarity [...] with the occupants of economically and culturally dominated positions in social space” (251) “One [artistic aim] is in fact in an economic world inverted: the artist cannot triumph on the symbolic terrain except by losing on the economic terrain (at least in the short run), and vice versa (at least in the long run) (83). “Thus the invention of the pure aesthetic is inseparable from the invention of a new social personality, that of the great professional artist who combines, in a union as fragile as it is improbable, a sense of transgression and freedome from conformity with the rigour of an extremely strict discipline of living and of work, which presupposes bourgeois ease and celibacy and which is more characteristics of the scientist or the scholar” (111) -- “the producer of the value of the work of art is not the artist byt eh field of production as a universe of belief which produces the value of the work of art” (229) “The dominants have always found their best guard dogs, the fiercest anyway, among intellectuals disappointed and often scandalized by the casualness of those heirs who have the luxury of repudiating their hertitage” (280).
“the experience of the work of art as immediately endowed with meaning and value is an effect of the harmony between the two aspects of the same historical institution, the cultivated habitus and the artistic field, which mutually ground each other” (289).
“Production of the work bring into play all the producers of works classified as artistic, whether great or small” the whole artistic community and middlemen (295). “All position depend, in their very existence, and in the determinations they impose on their occupants, on their actual and potential situationin the structor of the field--that is to say, in the structure and distribution of those kind of capital (or of power) whose posession governs the obtaining of specific profits (such as literary prestige) put into play in the field” (231).
“the literary (etc.) field is a force-field acting on all those who enter it, and acting in a differential manner accordin to the position they occupy there” and also “it is a field of competative struggles which tend to conserve or transform this force-field” (232).
“two persons possessing each a different habitus, not being exposed to the same situation and to the same stimulations, do not hear the same music and do not see the same paintings since they construe them (289) differently” (299).
A double historicuzation of the tradition and the application of the tradition (309) because “to escape (however slightly) from histoyr, understsanding must know itself as historical and give itself the means to understand itself historically” (310).
“The habitus urges, interrogates, make the object speak, while for its part, the object seems to incite,call upon, provoke the habitus” (320). “In short, the habitus is the basis of the social structuration of temporal existence” (329).
“Intellections are two-dimensional figures who do not exist and subsist as such unless (and only unless) they are invested with a specific authority, conferred by the autonomous intellectual world [..] whose specific laws they respect” (340).
anxiety of influence: artists “reject what their most consecrated are and do” (240). ...more
Pretty fun, snickery, good times. Sometimes I do wonder how closely the author read the books--does Ortberg think Ishmael cared about the white whalPretty fun, snickery, good times. Sometimes I do wonder how closely the author read the books--does Ortberg think Ishmael cared about the white whale?--although the Halmet texts alone make it worth the read....more