What are you reading, watching, thinking about this week? As usual, here’s a few which have been on our mind. Let us know your thoughts on any/all of them. If you have items you’d like us to consider for the top five, add them in the comments or send them to Tom or Mike.
1. Simon Critchley (chair of philosophy at the New School for Social Research in New York, and part-time professor at Tilburg University in the Netherlands) kicks off The Stone, a NY Times forum for contemporary philosophers on issues both timely and timeless with the question, What Is a Philosopher? How would you answer this question?
2. Scientists Fault U.S. Response in Assessing Gulf Oil Spill (Justin Gillis, NY Times, 5/19/2010). “‘Our intention is to deploy every single thing we’ve got,’ Dr. Lubchenco [administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] said. ‘If it’s not in the region, we’re bringing it there.'” But it has been difficult to access research material in order to develop an “understanding where the oil is and what its impact might be” and discern/model “what is happening in deeper water.” Any suggestions regarding how business, environmental recovery, government, and scientific response can partner? Sharing their gifts and resources to address the oil spill? Or are we actually doing well, but have a blame game?
Note: Scientists have long theorized that a shallow spill and a spill in the deep ocean — this one is a mile down — would behave quite differently. A 2003 report by the National Research Council predicted that the oil could break into fine droplets, forming plumes of oil mixed with water that would not quickly rise to the surface — Scientists Fault U.S. Response in Assessing Gulf Oil Spill (Justin Gillis, NY Times, 5/19/2010).
3. The King James Bible and Its Cultural Afterlife – Ohio State is hosting this conference in May 2011, focusing on the cultural and literary heritage of the King James Version of the Bible. Presenters already on the schedule already include Leland Ryken of Wheaton and Paul Gutjahr of Indiana U. If you are interested in presenting, statements of interest are due July 1. (HT: John Acker, who is also serving as research assistance for the conference)
4. ProfHacker’s Open Letter to New Tenure-Track Faculty – There’s some good stuff here. Just a taste:
- Don’t be afraid to say no to service, even when you think you should take on the task. Pick your service load limit (using male colleagues as your standard, since they do less service and get more credit), and stick to that limit.
- Make everything into research.
- Get in the habit of writing regularly.
5. InterVarsity has a long history of culture making – including its own record label. The vinyl record blog recordo obscura picked up a 1969 InterVarsity record featuring Christian coffee house band Jonathan & Charles at a Cincinnati thrift store. It’s pretty groovy – if nothing else, take a few minutes to listen to “Jesus Was a Pretty Good Guy.”