Saturday, February 19, 2005

The Drek Assignment

by Tom Bozzo

For writing this post, I "won" the right to commission a post from sociologist-blogger Drek on almost any subject of my choosing. That time has come.

Last weekend, my site meter logged a visit from the domain referred by the Google search "salvador navarro chicago." The visit entry page is here (which turned up on the fourth page of search returns), which discussed in some superficial and somewhat mocking terms the job market paper of one Salvador Navarro, who is a University of Chicago Ph.D. candidate in economics.

My post responded to this JFW post, particularly Jeremy being funny in the comments. Like Jeremy, I actually kept Navarro's name out of the discussion until at a point in the comments where I basically slipped and mentioned it. Who knows if this would have been found with the new, seemingly lower, Google search result rankings for blog posts.

Topics for discussion:
1. Assess the probability that this was a recreational visit.

2. Discuss any lack of cultural sensitivity I (and/or just-tenured Jeremy) may have shown in taking pot-shots at a poor grad student.

3. Discuss whether it matters for #2 that the grad student hails from an elite school and has a Nobel laureate for an adviser, and thus is pretty well assured of getting a tenure-track job unless he has some disqualifying personal habits that somehow aren't evident in the first interview.

4. Would I be a freer man if I suppressed or otherwise channeled elsewhere my urge to drop rhetorical bombs on my academic betters (e.g., here)?

5. Is mentioning this again just compounding the problem?

6. Discuss whether this may be related to compulsions to, among other things, drop a few too many neutronium bombs on unsuspecting planets in a computer game of our mutual acquaintance. Does it matter if I play as the Elerians?

Comment and reciprocal offer:
Truth be told, #4 and #6 are the only parts of the assignment I really care about. So I'll consider the remaining parts as extra credit, and make a non-exclusive reciprocal offer. If Drek — or anyone else, just send a link — actually writes about #4, #6 (I can suggest an alternate computer game for those not familiar with Master of Orion II), and at least one of the other issues, I'll do a request blog subject to the limitations that
This should either be fun or terminate the meme with extreme prejudice. Happy blogging!
My father (a small town banker) often said the wanted to run out of breath and money at the same time, he just wished he knew when that would be.

In practice, of course, he wanted to leave an estate for my mother and my sister, and he did.

Thus, reality and its uncertainty tend to trump theory, huh?

Your wish is my command. Enjoy!
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