Tag Archives | academia

The Clash of the Shakespeareans

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I tried to think of a fitting Shakespearean insult that would suit this, but I came up short. I did, however, find this fun Shakespeare Insulter.

via The Guardian:

Shakespeare wasn’t immune to throwing around the odd insult, penning some of the greatest put-downs in the history of the English language.

“Thine face is not worth sunburning”; “Thou art as fat as butter”; “You are as a candle, the better part burnt out”.

But now the Bard himself is at the centre of some distinctly colourful language after academics traded blows over the publication of a Shakespearean journal.

The row erupted when one professor submitted a paper in which he cited evidence that poems and plays attributed to the “man from Stratford” were in fact written by Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford.

The essay – intended for the Italian journal, Memoria di Shakespeare – was said to examine the case for the theory as well as “the conscious and unconscious psychological factors behind the taboo against openly discussing the authorship question”.

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What Do Philosophers Do?

An inside look into the life of the modern day philosopher.

The School of Athens, by Raphael, depicting the central figures of Plato and Aristotle, and other ancient philosophers exchanging knowledge.

The School of Athens, by Raphael, depicting the central figures of Plato and Aristotle, and other ancient philosophers exchanging knowledge.

via The Atlantic:

The romanticized version of what it’s like to be a philosopher must be one of the most appealing careers possible: read great thinkers, think deep thoughts, and while away the days in a beautiful office, surrounded by books, an Emeralite lamp, a hot mug of coffee, and perhaps a cat curled up by your feet. For the very few, your profound thoughts could revolutionize whole fields, herald new political ages, and inspire generations.

Of course, for many, academic philosophy proves a disappointment—an endless slog to publish, the tedium and heartache of departmental politics, and a dismal job market that tends to  people to far-flung college towns, far away from family and friends.

So what is a budding philosopher to do?

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How To Read And Comprehend A Scientific Paper

scientific paperFind primary research literature baffling? Violent Metaphors has step-by-step instructions on how to cut through the jargon and interpret experimental scientific findings for yourself:

Before you begin reading, take note of the authors and their institutional affiliations. Some institutions (e.g. University of Texas) are well-respected; others (e.g. the “Discovery Institute”) are actually agenda-driven.

As you read, write down every single word that you don’t understand. You’re going to have to look them all up.

Begin by reading the introduction, not the abstract.

Identify the BIG QUESTION. Not “What is this paper about”, but “What problem is this entire field trying to solve?”

Identify the SPECIFIC QUESTION(S) What exactly are the authors trying to answer with their research? What are the authors going to do to answer the SPECIFIC QUESTION(S)?

Now read the methods section. Draw a diagram for each experiment, showing exactly what the authors did. Include as much detail as you need to fully understand the work.

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Turning Back the Timeline: Human Growth Boom Started Before Agriculture

Picture: Margaret A. McIntyre (PD)

Researchers who dare to propose that the development of human civilization started well before the established timeline of approximately 4,000 BC are used to the scorn of mainstream academics. However, as historical anomalies too big to ignore or cover up continue to surface some academics are learning that they don’t like the taste of their own medicine.

Mainstream academia teaches that proper civilizations and its associated sciences, like architecture, began with the birth of agriculture. Crops offered a sustainable source of food, hence ending the need to wander in search for sustenance. Population growth followed, and along with it specialized social strata and trades: artisans, farmers, soldiers and priests. Walls, temples and towers grew to dominate the landscape. Or at least, that’s what generations of students have been taught.

The so-called “Neolithic Revolution” – one part of which was the birth of agriculture – began sometime between 10 and 5,000 years ago.… Read the rest

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Is Tony Kushner The New Helen Thomas?

Playwright Tony Kushner. Photos: Timothy Herrigan/Courtney Hamilton (CC)

Playwright Tony Kushner. Photos: Timothy Herrigan/Courtney Hamilton (CC)

Jewish Playwright has honorary degree restored by City University of New York after it had been stripped because he was labeled too critical of Israel.

First, it was Helen Thomas.

After the veteran White House correspondent spoke inelegantly once about her feelings about Israel—and apologized, but to no effect—she was blackballed at the instigation of strident Israeli supporters and her career achievement-standing journalism awards were stripped. She became persona non-grate with many media outlets joining in the denunciations of a colleague they honored for decades.

Many at the time suspected the wrath was especially severe because she is an Arab-American. Right-wing provocateur Ann Coulter even asked if “that Arab” should be allowed near the President.

Now a new flap driven by some of the same issues involves a Jewish Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and a leading academic institution in New York.

His name, Tony Kushner, best known for the brilliant Angels in America plays that bravely took on AIDS and the hypocrisy, if not criminality, of a the prominent Jewish lawyer Roy Cohen who was an aide to the late fanatically anti-communist symbol, Senator Joseph McCarthy.… Read the rest

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The Journal Of Universal Rejection

JofURBannerRarely do ideas-put-into-action as brilliant as the Journal of Universal Rejection come along. The JofUR is a scholarly publication with an editorial board comprised of dozens of accomplished academics from across several continents. Subscriptions are available for £120 per year. The website explains every aspect of the journal in hilarious detail, but the guiding principle is as follows:

The founding principle of the Journal of Universal Rejection (JofUR) is rejection. Universal rejection. That is to say, all submissions, regardless of quality, will be rejected. Despite that apparent drawback, here are a number of reasons you may choose to submit to the JofUR:

  • You can send your manuscript here without suffering waves of anxiety regarding the eventual fate of your submission. You know with 100% certainty that it will not be accepted for publication.
  • There are no page-fees.
  • You may claim to have submitted to the most prestigious journal (judged by acceptance rate).
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