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  • Don’t ask your female students to babysit for you « Liam McHugh-Russell
    push along their academic career They rely on you for reference letters not only for subsequent degrees and future job applications but also for funding applications internal national or international occasionally conferences and symposia There may be a collection of departmental administrative tasks you are required to fulfill on his or her behalf You are expected in every case to help usher your student s research project toward completion which involves at minimum signing off once it has reached a stage where it can be read by others academics but might also include if the student is fortunate reading drafts discussing roadblocks and suggesting paths for further research Often bless them these students will look up to you or admire you or at the very least admire your work But even if you have ended up together by chance from the perspective of the student you essentially act as a monopolistic supplier of a large number of very important services It would be easy at this point to lapse into an overdetermined analogy of the economics of service provision between you and your students overpricing of services under inadequate levels of competition what could be accounted for as an underpricing of their services in the resulting barter relationship or equivalently as a mispricing of the services that they would provide to you Luckily there is a much easier way to explain the resulting conflict of interest The dynamic the two of you face is this your students depends on you to say yes to a number of requests that they might make of you over the space of a year or longer and every no that greets a request you make of them will inevitably cast the shadow of some potential no from you no matter how remote The relationship between you and your students is not reciprocal cannot be Yet the logic of reciprocation I scratch your back you scratch mine is hard to shake and harder to deny You may want to believe that a student s refusal to do some task for you or their decision to quit a task halfway through might have no effect on your treatment of them as a supervisor But if so you should ask yourself of your past and current students of those who have done work for you and those who haven t which you know more about have spent more time with or feel generosity for In part the worst aspects of this dynamic can be avoided by the steps identified above opening the job to all the students in the department including details about the nature of the work and discussing it with candidates before hiring someone If the work involves substantive research then it is likely that your own charges are likely to not only be most qualified but also most interested Yet work that involves substantive research is also least likely to be a bad deal and therefore minimizes the chance that the student will feel

    Original URL path: http://mchugh-russell.ca/2015/10/07/dont-ask-your-female-students-to-babysit-for-you/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Unthinkable « Liam McHugh-Russell
    competition the only method by which such co ordination can be adequately brought about One begins to understand in reading the neoliberal canon just what Strauss and his gang were on about when they suggested given the low likelihood that authors of Hayek s intelligence might accidentally contradict themselves so starkly that the only reasonable reading is one that receives such glaring errors as a demand to read between the lines in a search for what the author might really mean The unthinkable alternative of course would be that Hayek was a fool and one whose thinking has somehow come to seem inevitable October 1st 2015 Tags esoteric reading Hayek Leo Strauss neoliberalism road to serfdom Category culture economics politics Leave a Reply Cancel reply Name required Email will not be published required Website You can use these HTML tags a href title abbr title acronym title b blockquote cite cite code del datetime em i q cite s strike strong Find Read This apophenia Epicurean Dealmaker Freddie de Boer interfluidity JW Mason Lazenby n 1 Three Toed Sloth Recent Posts Brats Neoliberalism in One Image Rule Thyself What we think they should want Annihilation Tags academia Alan Johnson America

    Original URL path: http://mchugh-russell.ca/2015/10/01/unthinkable/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Out of the wilderness « Liam McHugh-Russell
    his professional life by unplugging from popular culture either Quite to the contrary His blog posts indicates that he is active on facebook scouring his friends feeds for signs of the American pop liberal zeitgeist that he still finds time to read some fiction that he has movies and kinds of movies that he likes I don t know how he does it But I have an inkling Let s set aside for a moment whether I am as smart as Freddie whether I have his analytical capacity Give me the benefit of the doubt for a moment that I m a smart guy that I can tackle and manipulate ideas with the best of them Okay so the question is why am I not producing There are to my mind two ways to put the answer On the one hand I am tormented haunted by the breadth and depth of my ignorance There is this old joke chart that points that the real gift of learning isn t so much knowledge as it is ignorance you may increase the number of things you know over time but the horizon of things of which you are ignorant also expands Getting how something works how it really works always seems nearly within grasp so that just one more article one more book will be all that s needed to settle the questions that you set off with It is beyond this extremely hard work for the curious mind to remember that not every point of confusion can be explained or explored now that the journey into the wilderness started with a purpose and that tracking through it without leaving a trail may mean adventure for you but is ultimately of no use to anyone else The other way of putting it is that in terms of fear rather than distraction I often feel that the things I want to express are if not complicated at least a bit out of left field It feels to me like it will be a waste of time or an embarrassment I can t even spell embarrassment without a spell check to write things online or even in publication that I haven t fully thought out Objectively I think this is garbage the world is generally full of generous thoughtful people who want to check their own prejudices and intuitions against those of others It s also laughably narcissistic how many people would really care enough about what I have to say that the relative quality of what I put out matters Nonetheless it s the psycho cognitive situation in which I find myself So wish me luck I am going to try and put out more rough drafts more missives from the wilderness But I am also going to try sending stuff that feels incomplete for potential publication It s like my masters supervisor always said Academic work is an iterative process In the end there is no ethical progress and no strategy in

    Original URL path: http://Mchugh-Russell.ca/2015/02/18/there-is-no-ethical-progress-and-no-strategy-in-silence/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Liam McHugh-Russell
    Piketty s Capital in the More We re All Capitalists Now July 31st 2014 Category economics Leave a comment Democracy for Everyone Good news everyone finance is getting more democratic because technology You know how democracy works right It means that a service that was previously only sold to some people gets sold to everyone now It used to be that only finance dudes got to have finance but now everyone does Hooray Let s watch a video of democracy happening What were we talking about Oh yeah today s breathlessness about the democratizing potential of financial institutions More Inconceivable July 31st 2014 Tags democracy disruption finance inconceivable Mohamed A El Erian Oprah Princess Bride techno determinism Category economics politics Leave a comment The End of Capitalists Now I am not sure I totally agree with his reading of the politics for reasons I ve tried to spell out elsewhere But JW Mason does a good job of making a point that has occasionally come up with since the economic crisis drove down interest rates namely i that there is no reason to think that real interest rates should be above zero and ii when real interests rates are very low capitalists qua More The End of Capitalists July 8th 2014 Tags capitalists Cory Doctorow economics historical materialism interest rates JW Mason the end of politics Category economics politics Leave a comment The Danes do it better There s a lot of noise in Chris Maisano s long critique of Lane Kenworthy s work but in his key claim he s on the nose and pithy to boot calling out Kenworthy for adopting the Danes do it better argument Kenworthy a professor of sociology and political science at the University of Arizona has followed the popular Ted Talk strategy for

    Original URL path: http://Mchugh-Russell.ca/page/3/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Hacking Humanities « Liam McHugh-Russell
    to be integrated into the entire design of the session The day s activities include art making performance and discussion but the theme of what art making and humanities research can offer each other provides an orienting principle The push against tired repetitive thinking was at the forefront of the application process which asked potential participants In what ways does art think Working through my answer was both intellectually invigorating and painfully humbling The difficulty of such a question is that we do not usually understand concepts or categories as themselves capable of thinking Rather the metaphor works this way we think using conceptual objects thinking is the manipulation of the boxes and bags of thought it is the climbing on the net of ideas not the net itself certainly neither the net nor the nodes can do the thinking the box cannot unpack itself However when Winston Churchill of all people remarked that first we shape our buildings thereafter they shape us he pointed to the possibilities of art as artifact The making of art in the world gives ideas substance and while architecture or painting leaves a concrete residue all art makes its mark on us And we are thus manipulated Put before us we cannot control how art too shifts around the bags and boxes of thought how it adjusts its weight upon the net We can hardly avoid it Even those standing guard against the risk that art might change them inevitably adapt in response to each experience of art and thereby change We might say then that art thinks by placing our own thought outside us or before us It thinks not only by acting as a distorted mirror but forcing us to act as mirrors ourselves It shapes us just as we shape it What we put of ourselves into us it unpacks of itself in us transformed Given that even the application was able to force me to think obliquely to my own habits makes me very optimistic about Saturday s outcomes The question however is what value such a session could have to a lawyer or to someone studying legal institutions They asked me that question too Here s what I said I am interested in parallels between the ways that art creates artifacts of thought in the world which then constrain and shapes our actions and the way in which law does the same thing Obviously there are differences Our experience of law is inherently normative it not only pushes upon our thoughts but also places its weight on our conscience What concerns me more is the dynamic relationship which exists between art as a reflection of our regularities of thought and action and vice versa The two obviously exist in an imperfect correspondence and there is much of culture as artifacts of shared persistent belief which may not fall under the sweep of art Yet I think there is some parallel between art and law in the factor of deliberate

    Original URL path: http://Mchugh-Russell.ca/2012/09/11/hacking-humanities/ (2016-05-01)
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  • conferences « Liam McHugh-Russell
    understand concepts or categories as themselves capable of thinking Rather the metaphor works this way we think using conceptual objects thinking is the manipulation of the boxes and bags of thought it is the climbing on the net of ideas not the net itself certainly neither the net nor the nodes can do the thinking the box cannot unpack itself However when Winston Churchill of all people remarked that first we shape our buildings thereafter they shape us he pointed to the possibilities of art as artifact The making of art in the world gives ideas substance and while architecture or painting leaves a concrete residue all art makes its mark on us And we are thus manipulated Put before us we cannot control how art too shifts around the bags and boxes of thought how it adjusts its weight upon the net We can hardly avoid it Even those standing guard against the risk that art might change them inevitably adapt in response to each experience of art and thereby change We might say then that art thinks by placing our own thought outside us or before us It thinks not only by acting as a distorted mirror but forcing us to act as mirrors ourselves It shapes us just as we shape it What we put of ourselves into us it unpacks of itself in us transformed Given that even the application was able to force me to think obliquely to my own habits makes me very optimistic about Saturday s outcomes The question however is what value such a session could have to a lawyer or to someone studying legal institutions They asked me that question too Here s what I said I am interested in parallels between the ways that art creates artifacts of thought in

    Original URL path: http://Mchugh-Russell.ca/tag/conferences/ (2016-05-01)
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  • virtuosity « Liam McHugh-Russell
    rash measure Why can t he just say with his head tilted that we can t take it upon ourselves to kill people to purposefully snuff out their life when they want to live we can t do it because it s wrong because it s wrong because it s wrong And I know that the answer is the same as the answer to why there are now almost 1 in 100 Americans incarcerated and yet none of them are George Bush or Dick Cheney Because those of us who engage ourselves in politics just have to accept the political expediency of if you kill 600 000 people in an unnecessary war and hold people without trial and then empower people to torture them then you get paid 400 a ticket to speak but in California if you shoplift three times you go to jail for life Thousands and thousands of people are in prison for minor drug related offences and yes drugs are horrible for a lot of people but then how is Tony Blair is a free man And you struggle every day with the question what am I supposed to do and then you read too much and you watch too many movies and you listen to too much music and you find that you can talk about anything and you can talk at length about the qualities of any of this litany of things You learn from Bourdieu that taste is a product of class and privilege and yet you believe that the art the literature the music matters that it is right that you haven t just soaked up the preferences of your parents And yet There are these moments in books where Gatsby s boat beats on against the current ceaselessly into the past and now here in Helen DeWitt we have this just incredible tour de force a book that starts strong and almost every page is better and better and reading it makes you want to be better Because her candidates are not better at they are simply one after the other better The hero is the hero by becoming not by being already And next I visit Rod who s is really no slouch himself when it comes to just being impressive and prolific and thoughtful and I am only 90 of the way through her DeWitt s book and take a breath it s called The Last Samurai and I ask Rod what should I read I want to know about the law I want to understand what it is I am supposed to do and what it has to do with the law and how we can be good and how we can make this place we live better I am complicit in its shortcomings and we are all complicit in them and we could do so much better than all of this suffering I am breathless and I am weak I want to try again Fail again Fail

    Original URL path: http://Mchugh-Russell.ca/2010/02/11/virtuosity/ (2016-05-01)
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  • doubt « Liam McHugh-Russell
    someone who suggests that maybe the engine needs replacing that well that seems a pretty rash measure Why can t he just say with his head tilted that we can t take it upon ourselves to kill people to purposefully snuff out their life when they want to live we can t do it because it s wrong because it s wrong because it s wrong And I know that the answer is the same as the answer to why there are now almost 1 in 100 Americans incarcerated and yet none of them are George Bush or Dick Cheney Because those of us who engage ourselves in politics just have to accept the political expediency of if you kill 600 000 people in an unnecessary war and hold people without trial and then empower people to torture them then you get paid 400 a ticket to speak but in California if you shoplift three times you go to jail for life Thousands and thousands of people are in prison for minor drug related offences and yes drugs are horrible for a lot of people but then how is Tony Blair is a free man And you struggle every day with the question what am I supposed to do and then you read too much and you watch too many movies and you listen to too much music and you find that you can talk about anything and you can talk at length about the qualities of any of this litany of things You learn from Bourdieu that taste is a product of class and privilege and yet you believe that the art the literature the music matters that it is right that you haven t just soaked up the preferences of your parents And yet There are these moments in books where Gatsby s boat beats on against the current ceaselessly into the past and now here in Helen DeWitt we have this just incredible tour de force a book that starts strong and almost every page is better and better and reading it makes you want to be better Because her candidates are not better at they are simply one after the other better The hero is the hero by becoming not by being already And next I visit Rod who s is really no slouch himself when it comes to just being impressive and prolific and thoughtful and I am only 90 of the way through her DeWitt s book and take a breath it s called The Last Samurai and I ask Rod what should I read I want to know about the law I want to understand what it is I am supposed to do and what it has to do with the law and how we can be good and how we can make this place we live better I am complicit in its shortcomings and we are all complicit in them and we could do so much better than all of this suffering

    Original URL path: http://Mchugh-Russell.ca/tag/doubt/ (2016-05-01)
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