Archive for the ‘fun’ Category
attention stratification researchers: we now have seven social classes, i repeat: we now have seven social classes
From the UK, a new survey, conducted by the BBC and six universities, asserts that there are now seven social classes in Britain. The Guardian has a humorous take, using example from UK sitcoms:
Elite: General Melchett from Blackadder Goes Fourth. Braying, bellowing, incompetent and utterly contemptuous of the lower orders, Melchett would naturally expect to find himself at the top of the pecking order.
Established middle class: Margot and Jerry Leadbetter from The Good Life. As the establishment pillars of comfortable and conservative 1970s suburban society, the couple existed in pointed contrast to their more free-thinking neighbours Tom and Barbara Good.
Technical middle class: David Brent from The Office. Despite his supposedly rock’n'roll past, Ricky Gervais’s fist-gnawingly embarrassing general manager was resolutely middle class.
New affluent workers: Miranda from Miranda. Miranda Hart herself may be established middle class, but the heroine of her eponymous sitcom sits comfortably in a slightly lower category.
Traditional working class: Jim Royle from The Royle Family. Could Ricky Tomlinson’s armchair-bound, TV-addicted patriarch be anything other than proudly working class? My arse!
Emergent service workers: Maurice Moss from the IT Crowd. Young, nerdish and living at home with his mum, Moss could fit the emergent service worker class but probably needs a little work to increase his social and cultural capital levels.
Precariat: Rab C Nesbitt. Gregor Fisher’s much-loved and enduring sitcom creation has assumed the status of folk hero despite his resolutely unglamorous life.
A very learned commentary on the first edition of Dungeons and Dragons. For example, where “alignments” come from:
First of all, the paper explores crucial editorial mistakes in the production of the earliest version of original Dungeons & Dragons (OD&D). These are cases where some passages in OD&D are inconsistent with the remainder of the text in a way that hints at what early drafts of OD&D must have looked like. Previously, these have been curiosities to scholars of OD&D. Why does the elemental monster text refer to elemental controlling devices as “medallions, gems, stones or bracelets” instead of the names in the magical item list? Why does the languages passage refer to alignment languages as “divisional” languages? How did the percentage range for the “Ring of Delusion” end up broken? With the Dalluhn Manuscript in hand, we can find answers to all of these questions: each inconsistency points to the content of an earlier draft, a pre-publication system which is preserved in the Dalluhn Manuscript. For “divisional languages,” for example, we learn that “dvision” was the name for “alignment” in Dalluhn.
Required for nerds.
Posting will be light until January 2, 2013. If you want to write a post or two, send me an email with a short description. Long as it is is academic and fun, I’ll seriously consider it. In the Winter, we’ll have posts on the following:
- a new book forum will be annnounced
- digital natives vs. computer literacy
- my endless anxiety about neo-institutionalism
- progress in network analysis
- The Hobbit was no Phantom Menace, but I’m still disappointed
- a possibly cool research result
- historians and the antiwar movement
- the tragedy of the Fabios
Have a happy Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa/Festivus/Winter Solstice/Hibernation.
- ASA: Your legal name
- GenCon: Your character name
Figuring out your registration fee:
- ASA: Use your income
- GenCon: Roll on table F2
- ASA: A world where power and justice don’t depend on income inequalities
- GenCon: A world where LARPers and table top gamers are treated as equals
When someone walks by you in the convention hall:
- ASA: You check out their name tag
- GenCon: You check out their name tag and then get an attack of opportunity
The book sale area:
- ASA: A bunch of dorks trying to get their fantasies published
- GenCon: A bunch of dorks trying to get their fantasies published
- ASA: A place to match schools with recent PhD graduates
- GenCon: Um… jobs?
A few days ago, the New Yorker asked people to summarize Star Wars in 1 tweet. The best tweet gets bragging rights. Given my obsession, I gave it a shot. I didn’t win, but I did get mentioned in the New Yorker:
We tried to notice trends in the mass of entries. Many participants knocked Luke Skywalker as whiny (@fabiorojas: “Whiny, but gifted, teenager trashes spiffy new military base”). Many expressed their belief that the film’s success came from its essential simplicity (@SnapShotPoet’s “How to throw an Emperor into a Deathstar for Dummies”). Many focussed not on Luke or Leia, but on the droids (@samanthaglavin’s “In a galaxy far far away, witty robots save stupid humans from trouble over and over again, set to a dramatic musical score”). Few, strangely, mentioned Chewbacca.
But now, to the runners-up…. the first, @mattyshaz, let the movie’s title do the work for him: “‘Star Wars’ pretty much sums it up.” We were also attracted to the clumsy poetry of @JosaYoung’s summary (“When arm edited in bizarre light fitting accident, tall man attempts to conquer universe while breathing through coal scuttle”) and the stichomythia of @Matt_Kinson’s (“PLACE? Space WHEN? Then BOTS? Lots WHO? Leia Luke 3PO & R2. &? Han & Obiwan. WARS? Star. VS? Vader. END? Nada. WHY? SAGA”).The winner this week was selected in a special process, by a jury composed of two adults and two children. (“Star Wars” is, after all, a movie that appeals to us all.) After much consideration and some candy, the prize went to @MikeRudy’s summary, which had as much comic accuracy as a proton torpedo heading for an exhaust port: “‘He killed your dad!’ ‘But he is my dad!’ ‘And you’re my sister!’ Beep beep bloop.”
May the Schwartz be with you.
Performing at Euclid Records in Chicago this April.
A few years ago, we discussed Chicago alt-marching/punk band Mucca Pazza. They continue to make music and were recently featured on NPR’s blog “All Songs Considered.” Congratulations!
Due to a personal issue, I must travel to California next week, right before I hit the annual Notre Dame young scholars in social movements conference/Pam Oliver award ceremony (congrats!). My schedule is weird, but there are some empty chunks:
- May 3 – Late Afternoon: I will travel from Martinez to San Francisco, for a late night flight. If my business wraps up by 4pm or so, I will drop by Berkeley for a stop at Moe’s Books and Amoeba Records. Time can be spent in a pretentious coffee house talking about Foucault.
- May 3 – Dinner: The Attic in San Mateo, the leading modern Filipino restaurant in the United States. Trust me. I’ll schedule a 7:45 pm dinner time.
- May 4: Arrive at South Bend. The Young Scholars conference is all day. Other than attending panels, I’ve nothing else scheduled.
- May 5: The McCarthy lecture/award ceremony is in the later afternoon/evening. That leaves the morning/early afternoon open. Field trip, anyone?
Send me an email, and we’ll hang out.
I’ve recently enjoyed Thought Catalog, a website that runs short pieces on various topics. Run by young Brooklynites, the focus is definitely sex and dating, but there’s lot of good stuff in other genres:
- A nice feature on digital artist Jon Rafman, who Teppo mentioned.
- Breaking up with your Blackberry.
- The Chuck Klosterman Fan Club.
- Classical music conundrum.
- Two North Korea documentaries.
- On being a trombone player: ” Pulling out a trombone at a social gathering generates zero enthusiasm.”
Pieces range from introverted to funny to angry to horny to clever. Recommended!
If you’ve been following the blog recently, I’ve decided to self-publish the Grad Skool Rulz as an e-book (click here to get a free sample). I wanted to briefly address self-publishing.
First, despite my calls for online access, I do believe in traditional publishing. My decision to self-publish the Grad Skool Rulz does not reflect a view that traditional publishers are useless. Publishers do important work that deserves to be rewarded. They sort through tons of garbage to find decent materials, they edit, they market, and they make nice packages. My beef with journal publishers, for example, has to do with the value. Professors edit and review materials for free. It is now possible to distribute the work at very low price, much lower than what publishers charge libraries. But that leaves a lot of other publishing that can be done by for profit firms.
Second, self-publishing the Rulz does not indicate a rejection of peer review. The Rulz are informal advice columns, not scientific research. As imperfect as it may be, peer review is valuable. You’ll rarely find feedback as useful in blind review. The Rulz are opinions and not really the sort of material that merits the judgment of experts. I’ll continue to submit my academic research to regular journals and presses.
Let me discuss the positive reasons for self-publication. The main one is access. I wrote the Rulz because I really feel that people are getting lost in academia. So I didn’t want the book to be hard to find, buried inside a publisher website or waiting for years while the publication process finishes. Also, I didn’t want price to be a barrier. With self-publishing, the price can be low. Few in the intended audience would be unable afford the book. I have always been suspicious of textbooks that cost hundreds of dollars. If you have Internet access and $2, you can get this book. Finally, e-publishing embodies the spirit of the new media. The e-book is flexible and direct. It’s easily updated and modified, it can be kept current.
A little while back, Andrew Sullivan posted on some of the most important research one can imagine. Bronnie Ware, a palliative care provider, interviewed terminal patients. She asked people what they regret. The most common answers:
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I didn’t work so hard.
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish that I had let myself be happier.
Very wise. A few comments: Ware notes that all men wanted to work less. People wonder why I keep a goofy schedule, teaching once a week all day. Simple answer: more time for baby! I can always write another grant or article, but once my baby grows up – poof!
Some commenters had problems with #5 – how could you not let yourself be happy? I think people build up emotions that prevent happiness. For example, when I was in graduate school, I often obsessed about work even when I was on vacation. But over the years, I learned to do what I want with whom I want and not to care about what people think. Not caring about what other people think is an important life skill. Just relax as much as you can and enjoy life.
A new chart by Omar.
Like many of our readers who belong to the Academy of Management, I’m headed to San Antonio tomorrow for the annual meetings. Tex-Mex awaits, yum.
Here is a list of events sponsored by the Organization and Management Theory division. It looks like we’ll have at least two chances to socialize – tomorrow at the OMT reception and Monday evening at the OMT social hour. If you see me at the reception be sure to say hello.
We can always count on Sekou to tell us where the parties are. If you’re looking for a soundtrack for your San Antonio experience, I’ve put together a Spotify playlist just for you. All of the songs are about Texas or by an artist from Texas.
Feel free to post interesting sessions or panels in the comments section.