My plan is to stir up some trouble.
What do you have on tap for 2015?
People selected to pontificate at an audience on the basis of prior accomplishments in a related context are invariably less interesting than people selected because they have interesting things to say.
Today in the USA we think of all the things we are thankful for.
I am thankful for another year of awesome from you, Dear Readers. Thanks for reading, for commenting, for writing your Congress Critters, for challenging the bad in academic careers, for donating to school classrooms and for generally giving a care about this world we live in.
And for the hilarity. Thanks for that.
I love it when the reviewers really GET the paper, what we are trying to do and why it is important!
One precious tic of academic writing I implore you to avoid is "...in the literature".
"Novel contribution to the literature..."
"Unknown in the literature..."
"Fill a gap in the literature..."
You know what I mean.
The impression you create is that this is some silly self-referential game with only internal measures of importance.
Whether this is how you see science or not.....avoid creating this impression.
Talk about knowledge or understanding instead.
At first you might think it a negative that the US Supreme Court refused to hear five gay marriage cases this term.
The Supreme Court on Monday turned away appeals from five states looking to prohibit gay marriage, effectively legalizing same-sex marriage in those states and likely others -- but also leaving the issue unresolved nationally.
The justices rejected appeals from Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. The court's order immediately ends delays on gay marriage in those states.
Couples in six other states -- Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming -- also should be able to get married in short order. Those states would be bound by the same appellate rulings that were put on hold pending the Supreme Court's review. That would make same-sex marriage legal in 30 states and the District of Columbia.
So they haven't "finished the job". So what. The nationwide trend on this is clear and we will have only the smallest bumps ahead as more lower courts find that what SCOTUS did in the Federal decisions applies in their jurisdictions as well. More than half the population now lives in a jurisdiction that permits same-sex marriage. Or as more States decide to legalize same-sex marriage and nobody complains (at the legal level).
This is what happened with Loving v. Virginia too. Perhaps Roe v. Wade as well?
SCOTUS waiting for tides to turn in a particular direction within the country has precedent. And today, they announced they will not try to move that tide, they will watch it. And that is a good thing.
Today was a win for civil rights and I'm going to celebrate it as such.
Look, it's a long slog to make yourself a decent person. I once wrote a fairly popular blog post entitled "I am". It contained passages such as
I am a friend. A friend to women who I met when I was 5 years old, ones I met in high school, college, grad school. Women I met as a postdoc, as a faculty member, as an inhabitant of my community.
I am a boss and a mentor. Women work for me and with me on my various professional activities.
I am a husband. My spouse is a professional person working, as it happens, in the sciences.
I am a father. Of a nonzero number of miniwomen.
These sorts of sentiments still feel truthful to me.
But so do the sentiments in this piece which takes a shot at such self-referential thinking:
I’m not proud to admit this, but before I had daughters, I sometimes used to harvest women for their organs to build Liver Pyramids in my backyard. I just didn’t see a problem with it. I sure do now, though. What if someone killed my daughters just to make a pyramid, or even a ziggurat, out of women’s internal organs in their backyard? I sure wouldn’t like that at all. They’re my daughters!
Go read the whole thing. Careful with drinking any coffee until you are done.
Cling fiercely to what you want to do with your life and what kind of person you want to be.
View it through your expectations of yourself and your view of what constitutes a good person.
Defend that against all comers.