Academia As Pie-Eating Contest

Some wag once said that academia was a pie-eating contest in which the prize was more pie. The reason this evokes rueful chuckles from academics is that, like all good jokes, there is truth in this hyperbolic description. (The more gloomily inclined among us will recognize a deeper existential truth in here: life can allContinue reading “Academia As Pie-Eating Contest”

The Academic’s Peculiar Dissonance

The academic state of mind is distinguished, I think, by a peculiar kind of dissonance; the academic is able to entertain two conflicting states of being simultaneously; each informs the other and brings to it its peculiar intensity and torment. At one end of its affective and emotional spectrum lies the well-known impostor syndrome: theContinue reading “The Academic’s Peculiar Dissonance”

My First Academic Conference

The first academic conference I attended was the 1999 Annual Meeting of the Association of Symbolic Logic, held at the University of California at San Diego. I submitted an abstract for a presentation, which was accepted, and so off I went, hoping to gain ‘experience’ and ‘exposure.’ My paper was based on part of myContinue reading “My First Academic Conference”

The Subway Car’s Daily Dose Of Culture

My train ride into Manhattan today reminded me that yesterday’s lament about the possible lack of adequate ‘cultural consumption’ in my life in this city was sorely missing one aspect of my urban experience: the culture that this city’s residents¬† experience and ‘live’ by the mere fact of being in this city. This morning, IContinue reading “The Subway Car’s Daily Dose Of Culture”

Peter Gay On Bourgeois Insecurities (And Mine)

In Pleasure Wars:¬†The Bourgeois Experience: Victoria to Freud, (WW Norton, New York, 1998) Peter Gay writes: Only the most determined could gather up the leisure and the energy after a hard week’s toil, or for that matter the money, to haunt museums, or follow compositions in the concert hall with a score, let alone travelContinue reading “Peter Gay On Bourgeois Insecurities (And Mine)”