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So been there. I can still hear in my head the BRRRRRRRIINNNNNGGG of the kitchen timer that I used, at one point, in a desperate attempt to get the amount of time I was spending grading assignments down to a manageable level (i.e., one in which I could actually do the work I was also getting paid for, for my other 50%-time job, rather than spending 80 hours a week on grading alone).

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(This is my distinctly obscure way of saying, using a tortured chess metaphor, that I have advanced to candidacy in my PhD program, as of yesterday.)

for those who really care, the framework for the metaphor )
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> work on dissertation
You spend two hours searching the OED for the usage history of the word devolve.
> work on dissertation
You spend three hours reading five articles which have nothing to do with the dissertation.
> work on dissertation
You spend twenty minutes online reading about baseball.

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I just got an email from the organizers of an academic/professional conference in the field of social network analysis. The gist is that they have too many abstracts for the amount of time that they have, and are therefore trying to figure out what to drop.

In this email, we find the following gem:

It is likely that we will drop some papers from the program because they aren't about social networks, they don't make sense, they have obviously been lifted from the internet, or for some other reason that convinced us that they don't belong on the program.

Now, I realize that this conference has never claimed to have a formal peer review process for inclusion in the program; it's a conference to which one can bring work in progress, and generally work of a speculative nature. I'm generally fine with that; there's a place for such conferences, and I'm glad this one exists. Heck, I presented there last year and probably would be doing so this year if I had more time.

But I mean, seriously, have the organizers not at least been doing the minimal checking required to filter out papers that aren't about social networks, or don't make sense? (I guess this would be the "hemorrhaging edge" . . . . )
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On the unfortunately cogent advice of a friend, I've caused some of my recent UCI-related posts to become friends-locked, and any further posts on the subject may also be so. If you are a friend of mine (but not in the LJ sense) and want to know what I'm talking about, email me and ask, and I'll give you the scoop.
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because my connection with it has caused [livejournal.com profile] darcydodo to be jealous of me, since the following (apparently true) story happened here:

My Morning: A Play in One Uncomfortable Act

I don't normally think of UC Irvine as having any characteristics that would make someone at UC Berkeley jealous of my affiliation. Certainly if someone were to ask me which of the two was a more likely setting for a tale such as this, Berkeley would win hands down.

This just goes to show that I am sometimes amusingly wrong.
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In which I temporarily make this sound more like a journal, or a research blog, than like the "hey, look at this cool and/or wrong thing!" postings that generally characterize this space.

Most readers of this here blog are probably aware that Megan and I recently took the hit show "Corwin!" on its first ever road trip, with several dates in and around Portland and Seattle. We anticipate lots of cute pictures with Faces Not Previously Appearing In This Film.

Portland, part 1 )

interlude: Chicago, KDD 2005, and related academic wuggae )

Portland, part 2 )

As a final note, it appears that Corwin travels well: in the car he generally responds well to singing, and on the airplane he's just fine as long as you're prepared to bounce him up and down about 3 million times. :)


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May 2011

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