…is one of those flexible terms academicians use to describe fellow faculty who  “do what I like” or “do the committee work I abhor” or “don’t vote for Republicans” or something of that sort.  But I’ve come up with a simpler, more objective, and operationally measurable definition:

 A fellow faculty member is collegial if he erases the blackboard at the end of his lecture, especially if my class immediately follows his.

Update:  I’ve found out where the missing collegiality is at UTSA!  Right next to the sushi & tapas, opposite the cash bar…


GPS makes you stupid

Get your face outta that stupid screen!  The latest First World Problem is  Death by GPS:

Most death-by-GPS incidents do not involve actual deaths—or even serious injuries. They are accidents or accidental journeys brought about by an uncritical acceptance of turn-by-turn commands: the Japanese tourists in Australia who drove their car into the ocean while attempting to reach North Stradbroke Island from the mainland; the man who drove his BMW down a narrow path in a village in Yorkshire, England, and nearly over a cliff; the woman in Bellevue, Washington, who drove her car into a lake that their GPS said was a road; the Swedish couple who asked GPS to guide them to the Mediterranean island of Capri, but instead arrived at the Italian industrial town of Carpi; the elderly woman in Belgium who tried to use GPS to guide her to her home, 90 miles away, but instead drove hundreds of miles to Zagreb, only realizing her mistake when she noticed the street signs were in Croatian.

Apparently “the map is not the territory” isn’t taught in modern schools.

Tip from the Instapundit.

More Revolution

A few years ago, I was chatting with a professor from our Art Department.  He startled (poor, ignorant, unsophisticated) me saying “Art is not about beauty anymore; that’s not what we study.”  My unspoken response was (and is) “If not you, then who?”


Enter Jacob Collins:

“My general feeling in terms of art making is the train got off the rails in the 1860s and 1870s, and my practical instinct is to go back to where it was, try to put it back, fix it up, and start going again.”

“Our culture,” he continued, “has inherited the idea that if artists are not avant-garde they cannot have a significant role. That’s a fallacy we’ve inherited from some Parisian nut-job radicals. The rejection of beauty is so accepted. It’s high time that we as a culture attend to our beauty position.” To much of the New York art world, Collins’s “beauty position,” which he applies to his own paintings of nudes, still lifes, and landscapes, might look embarrassingly retrograde. He enjoys the support of a small minority of critics and writers—most of whom, like him, regard modern art with skepticism. Novelist Tom Wolfe has called Collins “certainly in terms of skill, one of the most brilliant artists in the entire country.” But you would never find the Collins style in a commercial gallery in Chelsea, say, or in a museum survey of contemporary painting. Morley Safer of 60 Minutes, another Collins admirer, told me that he believed that the “current art establishment, the so-called gatekeepers, hate the kind of skill and craft and vision that an artist like Collins has.”

Tip from American Digest.

The Old Emotional Support Animal Gag

In my more curmudgeonly moments, I complain that progressivism is turning us into a Nation of Grifters.  None more egregious than these

What a wonderful time it is for the scammer, the conniver, and the cheat: the underage drinkers who flash fake I.D.s, the able-bodied adults who drive cars with handicapped license plates, the parents who use a phony address so that their child can attend a more desirable public school, the customers with eleven items who stand in the express lane. The latest group to bend the law is pet owners.

Take a look around. See the St. Bernard slobbering over the shallots at Whole Foods? Isn’t that a Rottweiler sitting third row, mezzanine, at Carnegie Hall? As you will have observed, an increasing number of your neighbors have been keeping company with their pets in human-only establishments, cohabiting with them in animal-unfriendly apartment buildings and dormitories, and taking them (free!) onto airplanes—simply by claiming that the creatures are their licensed companion animals and are necessary to their mental well-being.

What about the mental well-being of everyone else? One person’s emotional support can be another person’s emotional trauma.

Later in the article, one Special Snowflake asks

Are you going to ruin it for all of us?” one of my dog-fancying friends asked, when I told her that I was writing this article.

Geez, I hope so.

Tip from Tom at the View from the Porch, via Ed Driscoll at the Instapundit.

Great Comment!

Love him or hate him, Charles Murray is doing some interesting social research with his Bubble Quiz.  In his first, rough, analysis article, he examines the association between bubble score and SES.  The comments are interesting, if only as examples of people being “triggered” into high dudgeon.  My fave from Jeff Herman:

Most people take more time to plan a birthday party than they do their lives.

A bit off-topic, but it hit home to me as I play catch-up with all that life planning.

Tip from Ed Driscoll at the Instapundit.

Holy Deconstruction, StatMan, I’m a Facist!

Briggsy, the Statistician to the Stars, has unearthed a paper revealing that evidence-based medicine* is a facist enterprise.

…the evidence-based movement in the health sciences is outrageously exclusionary and dangerously normative with regards to scientific knowledge. As such, we assert that the evidence-based movement in health sciences constitutes a good example of microfascism at play in the contemporary scientific arena.

No wonder my hipster students chafe at models, estimators, and hypothesis tests; they’re all tools of oppression.

*the kind that uses statistics