You’ll probably have to wade through comments 49-69 in this weekend’s thread in order to get this joke, and the game might not be worth the candle.* But here goes, anyway.
T/T position for Marxist-feminist mathematician. Analytic number theorist with training in the works of Angela Davis preferred, but search will remain open until a suitable candidate is found. Applicants should be able to design introductory courses in integral and differential calculus in such a way as to lead students to an understanding of conjunctural systems of oppression and exploitation, and will be expected to teach the undergraduate general education requirement in Gender, Class, and Trigonometry. C/V, dossier, and letter of approval from Michael Bérubé required by July 1. AA/EEO.
* While I’ve been traveling from State College to Dulles to Toronto to Halifax for the Canadian Down Syndrome Society conference (which was great!) and then back from Halifax through Toronto to Boston thence to Marlboro College (by car, courtesy of Thomas Transportation—and hey, my driver in Halifax, one Mr. MacLeod, actually Googled me between the time he picked me up Friday night and the time he picked me up again on Saturday. Thanks for showing me the Halifax citadel, Mr. MacLeod!), and then from Marlboro (which was great!) to Bradley, where I’ll be leaving for Dulles and State College, I’ve also been looking over the copyedited version of The Left at War. The copyeditor did a fine fine job with a difficult manuscript full of “citations” and circumlocutions, but did question my use of the phrase “the game is not worth the candle” and asked me to rewrite it.** I’m gonna say no, that game isn’t worth the candle. I mean, it’s a perfectly cromulent phrase, isn’t it?
** I have to return the copyedited ms by Wednesday. But I promise not to try to enthrall you all with dangeral copyediting stories, the way I did with Rhetorical Occasions and What’s Liberal.***
*** Multiple-asterisking Internet tradition founded and perfected by the mysterious mds.
I was about to inquire about the release date for the new book. I’m reading George Scialabba’s great new collection, and it actually is a good book to read before your new one. The phrase, “the game is not worth the candle,” sadly reminds me of my (first) honeymoon. Thanks for bringing that up.Posted by on 05/18 at 09:59 AM
The phrase “the game isn’t worth the candle” embiggens the smallest man.Posted by on 05/18 at 10:07 AM
Dear Professor Bérubé:
I write in
applicationsupplication for the position recently advertised in Jobs for Academicians for a Marxist-feminist mathematician. I recently completed my dissertation under the joint supervision of Gayle Rubin and Sean Carroll (no, not him, the other one) on “Traffic Jams in the Circulation of Women: A Fracturatedical Analysis, with Pictures.” My article, “Hey Joe, what you doin’ with that random number generator in your hand?” will soon be published, as soon as I find a venue for it.
Emma Goldman-Hilbert, ABDPosted by John Protevi on 05/18 at 10:16 AM
The multiple asterisks are inelegant. Can’t you use the asterisk, dagger, double dagger progression we all know and love?
Damn, no dangeral copyediting stories? But I live for that stuff, and I need ways to procrastinate on my own editorial work. Will no one think of my needs?? When someone decides I’m not worth the candle, I pout. My candleosity ought not be called into question like that.Posted by Orange on 05/18 at 10:19 AM
So, if it isn’t worth the candle, is it then better to curse the darkness? Goddamn darkness!Posted by on 05/18 at 10:32 AM
Dear Prof. B.,
I feel I am uniquely qualified to fill your advertised position in Marxist-feminist mathematics. Not only have I recently published the paper “L-theory: algebraic surgery and patriarchy” (in Social Text (46-47)), my life story also is the subject of the upcoming riveting Lifetime movie event Pissed off: a blog commenters story.
I remain, as always, etc.Posted by on 05/18 at 11:21 AM
(Missing apostrophe intended for overall blog balance.)Posted by on 05/18 at 11:40 AM
** Usually “candlepower” in reference to arc lights, except that Canadians used candles to light hockey rinks until 1985.
*** My Erdös number is 4, thank you very much.
***** G. McColm and S. Dorn, “Foucauldian elucidations in postgalvinic flux capacitor models: The Althusserian antiretroreversal and Sami Al-Arian.” Journal of Preantepostist Category Theory (2010).
******* Sadly, no one has yet proved Emmy Neuther’s non-Euclidian theobromine existence conjecture.
*********** An alternative system would be to use relative primes, but that would be bourgeois.Posted by Sherman Dorn on 05/18 at 11:51 AM
Angie Davis/UCSC Praxis would seemingly imply some cutting-edge anti-assessment modality, man. Grades are part of the Oppressor! So like the job description might ask for a Candidate who has experience with holistic or perhaps bayesian-cluster sampling approaches to, like, Partial Derivatives for Revolutionaries or whatever (that said, even Einstein fudged his integrals, supposedly--or was tutored by Bertie Russell, like on minkowskian space and other schtuff)Posted by Ezra Hound on 05/18 at 12:04 PM
As several others, I have the requisite academic skills for this position. My Dissertation “A Conformal Mapping of Gender Diffeomorphisms under E8 Analogues in Dreyfus-Klein Subspaces” encapsulates the entire issue of bias/oppression in simple 13 dimensional hyper-ring structure that can be color-coded for easy visual representation.
Just one question. Do I need one or more “non-mathematical” operations to qualify?
captcha “went” as in “I went down to the crossroads...”Posted by on 05/18 at 12:07 PM
I mean, it’s a perfectly cromulent phrase, isn’t it?
Other than it’s origin being French². But apparently that’s the the way you swing.
2) Essays of Michel de Montaigne
By Michel de Montaigne
Translated by Charles Cotton
Published by NuVision Publications, LLC, 2007
ISBN 1595479384, 9781595479389
3) Why no footnote note 1? See <sup>, list of HTML tags not supported in comments.Posted by on 05/18 at 12:23 PM
After speeding through this post, I have to say that Bennie’s impression of this blog and its acolytes was correct. So, Mike, I have to ask, what do you have against tenure?Posted by on 05/18 at 12:23 PM
I’m curious as to your impression of Marlboro. From the little I know (a classmate of one of my children enrolled there and we talked with a rep at a college fair and looked over information about it during our own college search) it seems an interesting place*.
*I included it (The College of the Atlantic in Maine, Marlboro College in Vermont, Hampshire College in Massachusetts, Evergreen in Washington, New College of Florida and St. Johns College in Annapolis and Santa Fe are some that I am aware of) in a list of colleges that were trying to “follow their own course” in a piece I wrote on Antioch closing very shortly after it had been on my daughter’s short list.Posted by on 05/18 at 12:41 PM
Ben was full of mierda, and a humorless twit as well: sort of like you, Eddie. Why don’t the propeller heads take it to like propellerhead.com, maybe try the cliffsnotes to On the Road? Out here we izz stoned, immaculatePosted by Ezra Hound on 05/18 at 12:44 PM
bBut I promise not to try to enthrall you all with dangeral copyediting stories
Having wallowed this far into the Bérubian muds, let me say I’m disappointed there will be no insider’s look behind the curtain. Please reconsider.
PS. While inside this text boxI may as well apply for the open position. I’ve no relevant qualification or experience. In fact I have no idea WTF you’re talking about. This makes me uniquely qualified to carry out the prescribed duties. When do I start?Posted by on 05/18 at 12:54 PM
Ezra, no need to diss Ben like that. Once you look beyond his bizarre obsession with cutie-pie comments, he’s okay.Posted by on 05/18 at 01:37 PM
In my well-received article, “Sex ≠ 1: Deconstructing conditional gender,” I prove that there is no universalizing event underlying the uncertainty of our performance of gender identity.
R. Duncan Luce IrigarayPosted by on 05/18 at 01:39 PM
It don’t mean a thang if it ain’t got that schwang, daddy-o, as they say in Duke-logics, and Ben has ~(swing). Squareski. Dig? yass.Posted by Ezra Hound on 05/18 at 01:48 PM
Thank you, Mi
kchael, for the job lead. Will the search committee entertain apps from ambitious chiropracters?
I was previously unaware of the multiple-asterisk tradition here on the Internet, so thanks for that too. Our friend The Benmeister should probably be made aware of another: the always-devastating “tl;dr.”Posted by on 05/18 at 04:13 PM
What terrific applications! And in comment 74 of ye olde threade, Ezra H. suggested some Kaczynski guy for the post, too. I’m not sure what to make of Elliot’s application @ 10, though. He seems to be suggesting that he sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads in exchange for the ability to theorize a conformal mapping of gender diffeomorphisms under E8 analogues in Dreyfus-Klein subspaces. Well, we’ll see what the search committee thinks.
In the meantime, and in accordance with recent academic custom, we will appoint black dog buzzkill @ 15 to the position on an adjunct basis, at a salary of $45/ day plus expenses.
And I’m not very good at reading these things, but, um, wasn’t V. Ed @ 12 being, you know, ironical? Ezra, I do believe he was doing a “shorter” on Mr. Ben from the previous thread. That’s a concept invented by Montaigne and perfected by Elton Beard.
And the people! Named Orange! Will never be defeated! You have asked for dangeral copyediting stories, and I will give you dangeral copyediting stories. Let the curtain be thrown back! Sometime tomorrow morning, that is.Posted by Michael on 05/18 at 04:29 PM
And I’m not very good at reading these things, but, um, wasn’t V. Ed @ 12 being, you know, ironical?
I was trying, Michael. But the damned propeller on my head was acting up, so my comment probably wasn’t as clear as it should have been.Posted by on 05/18 at 05:01 PM
Ven Ed, when are you going to start marketing your headgear?Posted by John Protevi on 05/18 at 05:18 PM
Well, Ed, I always wondered what became of Karlsson after he was priced out of his penthouse. I guess now I know. Although I wonder when you had that propeller moved…Posted by on 05/18 at 05:21 PM
Oh, and as for my impression of Marlboro: the ceremony was really quite wonderful, and I was impressed with the students’ Plans of Concentration. The graduating class was small enough—75 students—that a description of each student’s Plan could be printed in the program and announced when degrees were awarded. (You’d expect that from a small college in Vermont, of course, but this one happens to have been founded by returning GIs in 1946, which is even cooler.) I noticed that a significant number of students did projects on literature and film, Dostoevsky and Joyce, Chinese politics (ancient and modern) and sustainability. I especially recall one graduate whose plan involved political theory and dance, and another whose plan involved theater and biochemistry. Now that’s interdisciplinarity for you. I noticed also that students accepted their degrees in a wide range of footwear—black formal dress shoes in the case of the political theory/dance student, and an array of Chocos, Uggs, flip-flops and boots for pretty much everybody else.Posted by Michael on 05/18 at 05:34 PM
Also, AKMA’s valediction was fabulous.Posted by Michael on 05/18 at 05:36 PM
Sounds like a place very different from the education factories we work at…Posted by on 05/18 at 05:37 PM
John, how did you get my picture? Has Michelle Malkin been staking out my ordinary house on my ordinary street again? I hate when she does that.Posted by on 05/18 at 05:50 PM
re 21. Perhaps. P-heads attempt a sort of Heinleinian irony at times, sort of Capn Kirk style wit. That generally adds to the nausea factor, MBster. Maybe some Lazarus Long bon mots, and set this place a rockin’, NASA style.
(btw, there have been marxist mathematicians: Bogdanov, I believe--tho’ he was suspected of “positivism”, and was a dead marxist mathematician by the time Stalin got rolling in ‘20s).Posted by Ezra Hound on 05/18 at 06:07 PM
I tried to sell my soul but the devil told me to just put it on E-bay.
e.Posted by on 05/18 at 06:13 PM
There are, and have been, lots of mathematicians who are Marxists, of course. But Marxist mathematics? Not sure what that would be.Posted by on 05/18 at 06:16 PM
@ 27: I suppose you’re going to deny that this is your kitchen counter?Posted by John Protevi on 05/18 at 06:19 PM
re 30: like applied as opposed to pure, or theoretical: how to best optimize the conversion of kulaks into fertilizer, or somethin.’ The mathematical comrade realizes integrals are tools to assist with building things, like bridges, or bombs, not really inherently valuable in themselves. Sort of a quotidian view, but many TI clicking geeks tend to forget that.
Ah enough with the marxo-metamathematical mush: I’m grokkin’ a way dread B-man Trekkie thread in the near future.Posted by Ezra Hound on 05/18 at 06:30 PM
Re games and candles:
A “back in the Old Country” story my dad (1903-1963) heard from Irish elders: the last inch of the candle was called “the Devil’s Bit” by way of reminder not to be about sinful business after midnight Saturday. But a relation, engrossed in a card game, ignored the candle marking; then by the grace of God he dropped a card and when he went to pick it up didn’t the fella across the table have a cloven hoof! Well, he up and outa there with him, etc.Posted by on 05/18 at 09:42 PM
we will appoint black dog buzzkill @ 15 to the position on an adjunct basis, at a salary of $45/ day plus expenses.
Yet another triumph for the soft bigotry of low expectations. The niche market fame attendant with this high posting is definitely worthy of the rest of these 15 minutes.
Here’s what I’ve got: The Calculus of Shoe Selection: A Revolutionary Tip-Toe Through The Pomo Muds. IMdb tells us there are 90 some episodes of Sex and the City. Sequentially screening the Sex ouevre plus taking attendance should cover class content. All students that suss out the Carrie usually manages to type the theme of each episode on her Mac get A’s, everyone else gets to try again—a win for accounting, n’est-ce pas?
captcha: couldnt (sic). Could so.Posted by on 05/18 at 09:46 PM
And Ezra, knobbed knees clackin’ behind the potted ficus, shoots another synthetic pyrethroid-tipped knitting needle, scat-daddy; a Kosinski character provokes through spittle-flecked cavities … a skidelly skidelly wah wah … knowat’msayin,’ hep cat?Posted by on 05/18 at 10:02 PM
The multiple asterisks are inelegant.
Yeah? Well, uh, the horse you rode in on, Orange!
Since as it happens I’ve been looking for another job, I happen to have a couple of drafts on my desk:
“Stereotypes and the Pigeonhole Principle.”
“Petri Nets and Collective Tokenism.”
“A Marxist Critique of Neoclassical Macromolecules.”
And remember, you owe me for that embarrasing portable telephone incident, Mike.
and another whose plan involved theater and biochemistry.
Yeah, that sounds like Marlboro.
and an array of Chocos, Uggs, flip-flops and boots for pretty much everybody else.
Yeah, that sounds like Marlboro.
But Marxist mathematics? Not sure what that would be.
All relationships can be reduced to power series.Posted by on 05/18 at 10:05 PM
Es verdad, Ed (you might note that the emphasis on applicability vs. pure mathematics a rather contemporary concern, somewhat Rorty-like. Or you might not). When do the quotes from Lazarus Long, or maybe Spock appear, ese? Or perhaps some TI primers. Yay.Posted by Ezra Hound on 05/18 at 10:25 PM
Oh yeah I almost forgot. When I was younger I had a wicked ‘fro. Angela would have been quite jealous. I’d grow it back if I got the job.
capcha “clear” as in “Larry isn’t white he’s clear.”Posted by on 05/18 at 10:42 PM
Research project: The commodification of numbers.Posted by on 05/18 at 11:05 PM
Commodification, a start.
The B-man at times appears to have an interest in books, including Pynchon books: how does Capn’ Pynchon generally depict his mathematical heroes? Consider Weed Atman in Vineland, math professor, sort of brilliant, a leader of the subversives, but.... a Thanatoid nonetheless (though Vineland does not lack for non-mathematical ‘toids). Who cares, say the p-heads, but TP does not present a very positive view of academics, mathematicians included. Maybe he’d second the nomination of Teddy KPosted by Ezra Hound on 05/18 at 11:56 PM
And then there’s Roger Mexico in Gravity’s Rainbow, who insists (against Pointsman) that probability is teh wave of teh future. And don’t get me started about Nefastis’s botched explanation of information entropy in Lot 49. No, really, don’t. I’ll have to unearth all my notes on cybernetics and The Human Use of Human Beings, and you don’t want that.
Instead, I just want to clarify something about Marxism and math: in what sense is “from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs” not a mathematical theorem?Posted by Michael on 05/19 at 12:09 AM
from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs
Hey, that’s a clever, if vague, explanation of why Maxwell’s Demon doesn’t “work”.Posted by on 05/19 at 01:59 AM
Does it count that I had a candlelit “Free Angela” poster on my wall as a girl, and helped everyone with their Calculus homework?Posted by 99 on 05/19 at 02:21 AM
Does it count? I think it positively differentiates you.Posted by on 05/19 at 02:31 AM
1.0.1 Job Posting
1.0.1a Announcement posted
1.0.1.a I hate work
1.0.1.b Work is bad for my health
1.0.1.c I don’t do work
1.2.a I am retired
1.2.1.a I no longer have an interest in work
3.2. Hampshire College
3.2.1a Freaks as graduates
3.2.1b A stunning collection of Hampshire graduates are Grateful Deadheads who have ‘real’ jobs in ‘reality’ doing serious fun stuff for ‘real.’
3.2.b.1 One received a BA in flying disc theory and application.
3.2.b.2 One is the major Western buyer of organic produce for the largest organic food distributor in the US
3.2.b.3 One is the manager of the bio/alternative energy consortium for a state west of the Rockies
3.2.b.4 One is a director of operations for a well respected university in Massachusetts.
3.3.a All of them own Jerry Garcia silk ties and wear them quite often.
5.1 Angela Davis
5.1.a Angela Davis served as an adjunct professor for a class i took
5.2.b Angela Davis has taught a number of students i mentor at UCSC
7.1.a Apparently not Asterix and ObeliskPosted by on 05/19 at 03:50 AM
Hey, that’s a clever, if vague, explanation of why Maxwell’s Demon doesn’t “work”.
But what if compartment B really needed to be at a higher temperature than compartment A? Or are you exploiting the openness inherent in the system? Anyway, under communism, it’s true that a boss demon couldn’t order the molecules to its will with no effort. Rather, the demon itself would be subject to the three laws of history.
And don’t get me started about Nefastis’s botched explanation of information entropy in Lot 49.
Which is a shame, given what a perfect fit Pynchon and information entropy are.Posted by on 05/19 at 08:43 AM
Anyway, under communism, it’s true that a boss demon couldn’t order the molecules to its will with no effort. Rather, the demon itself would be subject to the three laws of history.
And what kind of bonds would these molecules have, Herr mds? The shamefully soft covalent bonds, based on Bolshevik sharing? Or the bold, powerful, nay, predatory ionic bonds, in which electrons are captured. Seized! and held!
Inquiring minds (or at least the mind of Prof-Dr. Jamf) want to know.Posted by John Protevi on 05/19 at 09:15 AM
Nefastis another paranoid, fairly sinister techie, like Pointsman, and his info-entropy experiment doesn’t succeed (or at least Oedipa doesn’t), anyway. So the quantum mystic appears to be defeated, according to Pynchon--the 2nd Law holds, chaos increases --perhaps a problem, at least metaphorical, for the Hegelian-marxist model of progress to the workers’ paradise, man.Posted by Ezra Hound on 05/19 at 09:17 AM
"and what kind of bonds would these molecules have?”
how about Barry Bonds.Posted by on 05/19 at 10:26 AM
And what kind of bonds would these molecules have, Herr mds?
I’d have to go with hydrogen bonds, since modern Marxism seems dominated by wets.Posted by on 05/19 at 10:51 AM
Yeah, but dangeral copyediting stories would be awesome, especially if you claim to “discover” errors, and then patronize yourself by talking about them before you fix them. And then publish them in the New Yorker. With asterisks all throughout. And a cool nick-name byline, like “Michael ‘The Unvanquished’ Berube.” I’m just saying. You have to plan ahead for bemusement.
Can’t wait to read the new book, btw. Sabbatical awaits and many hours of reading reading reading.Posted by on 05/19 at 10:55 AM
Pointsman presents a slightly different variety of Pynchonian Moriarty, howevah: he’s sort of like a WVO Quine type of dude, or Richie Dawkins. Jus’ the facts--put that Periodic table to memory, Jr!. Nothin’ but .......Uncle Meat.Posted by Ezra Hound on 05/19 at 12:43 PM
The problem, though, is this passage:
she did gather that there were two distinct kinds of this entropy. One having to do with heat-engines, the other to do with communication. The equation for one, back in the ‘30’s, had looked very like the equation for the other. It was a coincidence. The two fields were entirely unconnected, except at one point: Maxwell’s Demon. As the Demon sat and sorted his molecules into hot and cold, the system was said to lose entropy. But somehow the loss was offset by the information gained about what molecules were where.
This makes hash of everything: the similarity between equations was not a coincidence, and Shannon’s deliberate patterning of the information-entropy equation on the thermodynamic-entropy equation (which basically winds up suggesting that the greater degree of randomness, the greater potential for information) dates from 1948. And the last sentence in the passage is WTF. One can only assume—that is, I assume—that the passage is free indirect discourse, that is, Oedipa’s understanding of Nefastis’s crazy-man explanation. Because Pynchon himself surely knows better. One would think.Posted by Michael on 05/19 at 12:57 PM
53: Szilard and Brillouin for the early win on that one. While we are on that topic, although a bit dated, John Pierce’s An Introduction to Information Theory: Symbols, Signals and Noise> is an estimable introduction to the basics of information theory for the layman. A nice Dover reprint.Posted by on 05/19 at 01:37 PM
I liked Pierce’s book. This one is a great group of essays on the topic:
e.Posted by on 05/19 at 02:02 PM
Or, Pynchon was merely suggesting the information theory/cybernetics thing was sort of, uh, folderol, and upholds the traditional view of 2nd Law (which Szilard also basically reiterates as well)--though he may have fibbed re the supposed “coincidence”. Like, Maxwell’s Demon never existed! (except as James Clerk’s thought experiment). Ye olde Emperor’s New Clothes memePosted by Ezra Hound on 05/19 at 02:21 PM
Maxwell’s Demon never existed!
Which is just what they want you to believe.Posted by on 05/19 at 02:34 PM
Which is just what they want you to believe.
Professor, I have Dan Brown on line 2.
Hmm, who would win in a fight between Maxwell’s Demon and Folger’s Angel?Posted by on 05/19 at 03:03 PM
TP may at times hint at something like mystery, sort of a anarchist-scientist calvary (the Tristero), but at heart a cold-eyed determinist, even fatalist, methinx, in terms of both his science and politics. Oedipa’s sort of lost, meandering in the labyrinthe, herself sort of a random variable. The Counterforce lost, or at best a pyrrhic victory (like that of the allies). The freaks lost in Vineland, though one might detect pomo ambiguities of a sort. Noir, with some weirdnesses.
Pynchon’s new manga I haven’t bothered with, though from reports, mostly loserness as well. It’s the frat boys’ insistence on optimism (especially of the space opera sort--though not unknown to marxistas either) that like phucks us all.Posted by Ezra Hound on 05/19 at 03:17 PM
Captcha: “maybe” as in “daughter of Tobias and Lindsay”Posted by John Protevi on 05/19 at 03:21 PM
Bang, bang! Maxwell’s Little Demon
Did molecules review.
Bang, bang! Maxwell’s Little Demon
Decided which got through.
(Apologies to me in the wrong thread, my sense of dignity and Screaming Jay Hawkins)Posted by on 05/19 at 05:46 PM