Wind chill warnings in effect and snow tomorrow evening make this a perfect weekend for putting the finishing touches on a book and making some maps for the Tourist Guide to the Bakken. It’s also a nice weekend for watching some cricket from New Zealand and sitting by the fire while imagining a sun-drenched, late-summer day in Wellington.
Yesterday, I blogged about the dust-up between Michael Smith and the archaeology folks at University of Colorado-Boulder (in a slightly self-congratulatory way). It looks like the little controversy is not over yet, with the Department of Anthropology weighing in with some pretty stern words. While I am still inclined to think of this as a tempest in a teacup, I was pleased to see that the comment from the chair of anthropology largely echoed some of my own sentiments, but then took it in a different, less sophisticated direction: “blogging on the internet evidently does not require understanding, a sense of professional courtesy or ethics, or much thought of any kind.”
To be sure, blogging (on the internet or otherwise) does not require those things, but it does provide a window into the dusty pre-professional quarters of our disciplines. While we might want to hide these thing, I worry that this kind of “black boxing” of the academic process (to borrow a term that might site nicely in Prof. Joyce’s talk) does little for understanding how our discipline functions. Prof. Smith’s response to the lecture, in my experience, is the kind of thing that academics say all the time after talks (and who hasn’t directed hyperbole at an ideal that we don’t quite understand). Blogging as a platform allows scholars to make these impressions and observations public and to expose the messy “sausage making” process of academic and intellectual work. As embarrassing as it is for me to admit, there are talks that I have called incomprehensible when it turns out that out they were significant and important.
Folks like Prof. Smith can be blunt and honest on his blog. His reputation as curmudgeon with nearly dogmatic views is well-known and well-established. This persona takes a certain amount of confidence and courage because exposing the sausage making process through a blog entails risk. His apology, to my mind, did enough to clear the air as did his open conversation in the comments section of his blog. The response from the anthropology faculty at Colorado, in contrast, sought to reinforce professional and disciplinary standards which I’m not convinced that enforcing stilted standards of academic decorum on blogs makes academia a better place. But don’t believe me, this post didn’t require “much thought of any kind.”
If you couldn’t care less, here’s little gaggle of quick hits and varia:
Sometimes you wear the elephant, sometimes the elephant wears you.
Week four of our semester. A mild February. Satisfactory progress on a bunch of projects. A Cyprus Research Fund Lecture coming in March. One more series of good cricket to keep our attention. Everything is just swell here at Archaeology of the Mediterranean World Headquarters.
The only thing not lovely in my world is the mankading scandal at the cricket under-19 world cup, and if that’s all I can complain about, life is very good indeed.
It’s the time when the semester has settled into a bit of a routine and the excuses that have kept me from the pile of tasks have run their course. Heck, Australia isn’t even playing test cricket right now, football season is nearly over, and NASCAR and Formula One are still weeks in the future. These are the prime productive weeks of the semester.
But before I get back to work, I’d be remiss if I didn’t share some pleasantly distracting quick hits and varia:
It’s call “the wing”
In North Dakota, when the temperature is set to spike into the mid-teens, we get out our “mild winter weather gear.” Temperatures in the upper-20s and maybe even the 30s like this weekend is our way of teasing the snow-bound east coast. With any luck, I’ll have an outdoor run on Saturday.
The springlike weather will undoubtedly distract me from pressing tasks. To share my distraction, I offer you this springlike gaggle of quick hits and varia:
I keep telling him…
“If you’re cold, I’m cold.”
It seems like a long time since the last I’ve posted a varia and quick hits. With the holidays, travel, and the start of the semester, I’ve fallen behind in my obligations to my blog readers. It’s also very, very cold here.
So today, I’ll begin the long process of making it up to you.
It’s that cold.
The semester is almost over (but for the grading), the footballing season is getting interesting, and the boys of summer are at it down under. And there are the holidays with all that they entail.
I expect most of my loyal readers will be watching the epic Richmond Spiders vs. North Dakota State Bizon (that’s how they spell it, folks; and, yes, it’s strange) tilt this evening, but for those who aren’t here’s a little list of quick hits and varia:
- Some views of Constantinople from the Trinity College Library, Cambridge.
- Agatha Christie and archaeology in Montreal.
- More on the throne of Agamemnon (or his basin). Here’s the backstory in links from Dimitri Nakassis: start here, then read this, and then this.
- Ongoing work at Lecheion.
- From Kostis Kourelis this morning: Greece was Syria.
- Congrats to all the good folk who earned NEH grants this year, but special congratulations go to Andrew Reinhard at the American Numismatic Society,the folks at Open Context,
- Emily Guerin writes about money based on her time in the Bakken.
- A short story based on the Atari dig.
- Reasons that we can’t teaching writing in college.
- North Dakota Quarterly’s nominations for the Pushcart Prize: The Best of Small Presses.
- Go check out Concordia’s fine little journal called Ascent.
- And I can’t tell you how excited I am about the Elwyn Robinson memoirs project.
- Everything about the Omega Speedmaster.
- What I’m reading: Saskia Sassen, Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy. 2014.
- What I’m listening to: Frank Sinatra, A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra; Nat King Cole, The Christmas Album; Bing Crosby, Merry Christmas; and, of course, Various Artists, A Christmas Gift to you from Phil Spector.
Milo is a Spiders fan!
It’s been a while since I’ve corralled various links into a quick hit and varia post.
In my defense, I’ve been busy. Go check out my most recent podcast or read what I’ve been doing over at North Dakota Quarterly.
So without further ado.
It’s been a pretty exciting week at Archaeology of the Mediterranean World headquarters. We saw the first sustained snow, I started pecking away at a long overdue project, wrapped up a conference paper (next week!), published a collection of reprints from North Dakota Quarterly, and watched the start of David Warner’s mighty double century.
Despite all the excitement, I have had some time to grab a gaggle of quick hits and varia.
It’s snowing back home in Grand Forks, but only damp and cool here in Duluth where the sea and sky cover us with a grey blanket. I think this weather will provide lovely backdrop for a little exploration of coast of Lake Superior. (To be honest, I’ve never spent much time near the Great Lakes other than a couple of visits to Chicago. Who knew they were so big?).
This weekend looks full of interesting sport with Ohio State and the Eagles having evening games. I was initially worried that these might conflict with the last two days of the Australia – New Zealand test match. The way it looks now, I might be wrong.
Whichever side you’re pulling for (unless it’s the Cowboys) this weekend, enjoy this little gaggle of quick hits and varia:
I’ll just wait here until supper.
The long, last legs of summer have finally run out, and today is genuinely a fall Friday with highs in the 50s and blue-grey skies. Weather like this will provide a nice evening for trick-or-treaters and make it just a bit easier to clean up the last of the fall leaves from the backyard this weekend.
If you’re one of those “varia and quick hit only” people (we call them viquickihos), you might want to roll back and see the interesting conversation and comments on the last two blog posts on writing for a non-academic audience.
If you’re only here for the archaeology, check out the nice work from the folks at Open Context who have a snazzy new front-end and (I’ve been told) a fancy new back-end (not that I’m looking). Here’s how our PKAP data now looks.
Hope everyone has a spooky and autumnal weekend!