The Art of Science

Princeton is having an art show based on some of the images and artful artifacts coming out of the labs. The spectacular imagery associated with Science and the attempts to persuade audiences of its worth should be explored in greater depth in humanities departments.


In-Laws are Gone

Now, I'm back to my *mounting* scholarship issues. Right now, I'm busy working on an article about an aircraft startup. Looking a bit down the road, I would like to create a "City Blog" like the Duke City Fix here in Northwest Ohio (except with more of a decided business flair).


What Do These Have in Common?


American Cities That Best Fit You:

70% Honolulu

65% Chicago

65% Philadelphia

55% Los Angeles

55% Washington, DC


The Chronicle Embraces the Blogosphere

Instead of just discussing blogs as a fascinating new web genre, The Chronicle of Higher Education seems to be getting over its shyness. A recent column by Alexandra Lord details her efforts to help history PhDs get jobs outside of academe.


Training to Train

Ran seven miles today. I'm noBrent Faber, but I'm training for my second marathon.


I take it back, Mr. Lucas

I take it all back, Mr. Lucas. Your recent movies are EVERY BIT as good as the original Star Wars.

Now, please can I come and work for you here?

Read about Lucas' new studio built at the old San Francisco Presidio here. Suh-wheat!


Marketing to the Extreme

Neilson (the folks who do television ratings) are claiming that they will spend $100 million on what they call Project Apollo. Massive efforts to figure out what really works and what doesn't in marketing. I'm guessing they are going to find that people are both dumber and more clever than they imagine. Read about it here.


Science vs. Politics

Interesting twist on the "Morning After" Pill. Studies out demonstrate that "Plan B" is not an abortificant. Still, groups that benefit financially and politically by conflating ovulation prevention and implantation prevention have no tests that verify their position. No evidence beyond "we say so." From the story:

"It's science versus politics once again in the widening fight over the "morning after" pill known as Plan B, with medical researchers this week citing studies showing the drug does not induce abortions, as is commonly thought."

Now, I could easily point to the Kansas vs. evolution debate (actually, it's a weird mish-mash of things that the Kansas conservative texbook-hawks object to, but I digress), and just label the Pharmicists for Life as a bunch of liars and Luddites (something that has a bit of credibility, frankly), but that would miss an important Larger point--namely, that "truth" is constituted by the grounds of argumentation. Pharmicists don't need studies. Pharmicists don't even really care about the scientific process. They are bureaucrats that are bucking for greater status via women's bodies. The logic goes "If I can set up the velvet rope in a moment of terror, that would make me really powerful! I can go to church with a clean conscience, make a truckload of money, and even claim I'm in charge." Sounds really petty of me to say this, but the refusal of these political pressure groups to acknowledge real experimental evidence (and the even more damning refusal for represented Pharmacists to muzzle their attack dogs when they are proven wrong) shows that Pharmacists are not really scientists. They depend more upon the terror of pain, death and impregnation, than they do on clinical, chemical, and biological evidence. Of course, the dirty secret is that most professionals accrue this mysterious magical power we call "affect" by these political and bureaucratic velvet ropes. Still, I think that Plan B will be made over the counter. It is only a matter of time before Pharmicists who care about their status will trump the ones who think it is just a naked game. The social capital is just too valuable.


Cinco de Mayo

Go out and celebrate. At least go rent Frida



An InfoWorld blog entry on the ACLU pizza meme describes how one might measure the effectiveness of a "meme" (complete with bar graph). It is pretty unsatisfying (one step removed from web counters), but helps to illustrate how "memes" flow through blog space.

Food as argument

This Silicon Valley.com story on the gourmet tech company grub illustrates a point that I try to make in my scholarship--namely, that the issues that theoria tries to foreground often fail to account for the "things that count." That is one of the strengths I see in cultural studies theory (especially the concept of "articulation"). I'm not always comfortable "stuffing" details into an article willy-nilly from a thick description, but most of the classic rhetorical theory is far to unweildy to fit into the standard 25-35 page article. Spending your time detailing the difference between a Ciceronian, Aristotilian, and Platonic notion of syllogistic reasoning doesn't leave much space for the "cafeteria food argumentation."


Branding of Academia

CNNfn has a good article about how universities game the rankings. Seems that "marketing" is taking the perjorative sting off of the word "rhetoric."