A good place to be gay?

by Ingrid Robeyns on September 11, 2006

The Netherlands is rightly regarded as one of the most gay-friendly countries. But in recent years there has been a growing concern about increased intolerance towards gays. The Dutch Parliament has therefore asked the “Social and Cultural Planning Office”:http://www.scp.nl/english/ to conduct a study on the acceptance of gays in this country, which was published last Friday. Is the Netherlands really a good place to be gay? [click to continue…]

Blogs and academia again

by Henry on September 11, 2006

This short Jack Balkin “essay”:http://www.thepocketpart.org/2006/09/06/balkin.html seems to me to be the best thing I’ve read on the relationship between blogging and scholarship.

Law professors now agonize over whether blogging constitutes legal scholarship and what this will do to the legal academy. They needn’t bother. The real threat to quality comes not from the medium of blogging itself but from using citation counts, links, page views, and downloads as measures of merit. People won’t just apply these criteria to judge blogs. They will also apply them to standard-form legal scholarship online. Blogging, in fact, is sui generis. It blurs the traditional boundaries between scholarship, teaching, and service because it transcends the normal audiences and expectations of legal scholarship. Over the years, legal scholarship has become an increasingly self-contained community where scholars write only for each other. Bloggers have burst out of that model: they talk to many different audiences, they teach the world about law, and they perform a public service by drawing attention to the legal and policy issues of the day. Blogging may give scholars publicity that gets their work a look. But it will not by itself generate a scholarly reputation or make a scholarly career—at least, that is, until social and technological change thoroughly reconstitute our standards of merit. … The wrong question to focus on is whether hiring committees should count blogging as legal scholarship. The right question is how we should re-imagine our vocation as professors of law in light of new online media. Should we continue to speak mostly to ourselves and our students, or should we spend more time trying to teach and influence the outside world?

I’m thinking about these questions because I’m deciding whether or not to list a very small part of my blogging – the seminars that I’ve organized and am organizing around academic books – on my cv as some form of academic activity – perhaps under the heading of “unconventional publishing.” Any thoughts?

Hey Kids! Nietzsche!

by John Holbo on September 11, 2006

So I’m four weeks into teaching recent continental philosophy and some things have worked. One thing I did – sort of for myself, sort of for the class – was collect all the bits of Nietzsche where he talks about Kant. The idea was to give my lecture on the legacy of Kant by bouncing off a series of selected Nietzsche bits. So I would end up introducing Kant and Nietzsche simultaneously, getting most of the 19th Century in between. (This was the theory. My mileage varied considerably.)

To get my bits I went to the Nietzsche Channel and searched likely terms, then cut and pasted. Then arranged chronologically. That was easy. Then I added bits this method missed. I ended up with about 18,000 words. It turned out to be an engrossing read when I got it all laid out, end to end. As Nietzsche says somewhere or other … damn, can’t find the quote. Something about the long logic of his thought on eternal recurrence. Anyway, there’s often a long logic to Nietzsche’s recurrent treatments of given themes. Also, he talks about Kant when he wants to generalize about broad currents in the history of modern philosophy, so in this case there’s breadth as well as length. (I would be quite grateful if someone would make neat little editions of all the bits of Nietzsche about eternal return, or about pity, or about Plato and Socrates. But maybe that’s just me.) Anyway, I made a start at my own English translations of the bits I collected. (My German is rusty and needs exercise.)

First, to propitiate the translation gods, a bit of silly poetry from The Gay Science: [click to continue…]

Some Reflections On September 11 (Reprinted)

by Belle Waring on September 11, 2006

This post is reproduced from September 13, 2004. I don’t think I have anything better to say, but I wanted to say something. My thoughts are with the families of all those who perished five years ago. [click to continue…]