In the meanwhine

I was supposed to move on to Gilles Deleuze’s take on structuralism, but, well, shit, I didn’t manage to get it done on time. I want to write something every month. I’ve done that every month since May 2017, so about six years, and I have no intention to abandon that. Don’t get me wrong though. I did work on that essay, but me being me, I don’t only do the highways, but also the byways. So, yeah, I’ve still got about ten pages to cover. Maybe next month. Maybe.

I also wrote a bit on university budgets, but I need a bit more time to get that done. It’s sort of a product of an encounter in class. It’s nothing fancy, just the usual, me whining about how the system doesn’t make a whole lot of sense and how there’s not a whole lot you can do about it, because it’s based on a logic where the input (costs) should be as small as possible (you know, ideally zero), while output should be as high as possible (and get higher and higher, every year). It’s like, ahem, it’s a system in which people teach other people. That means you need to pay people to teach other people. The other people, of course, don’t produce anything, which means that you get zero output. Now, if you somehow didn’t get it, that’s exactly the opposite of what’s wanted. Then there’s the research aspect of it. Okay, do some research, get some money. The thing is, however, that you need to get money to do research, unless you are, like me, a teacher (aka just money down the drain, if you ask the people running the show), and after you’ve done your research, your university needs to pay whoever publishes that research so that anyone in that university can have access to that research.

It’s nowadays so bizarre that it’s something you’ll encounter during the job application process. You have the usual stuff, yes, but that application form also tends to have a part where you are expected to indicate if you have external funding (if and how much money you bring in, that is). It’s like, erm, you are hiring me, but it comes across as you asking me to cover my own expenses. Am I right? I mean that does make sense, I get it, because why on earth would you pay anyone anything, for anything? Why not just have them to do it for free? No, wait! I have an even better idea! Why not ask them to pay the employer? I mean, come on, that’s zero input (no costs), while guaranteed output (money coming in). Genius!

I also wrote something on AI, because it is something, well, not new, but something that now comes with the territory. I think I need to address it and I sort of did, but, once again, I just didn’t get it done in time and I haven’t returned to it. I will, but I need to check where I’m at currently and if what’s happened in between needs to be covered as well. For now, as a teaser, I can point out that I’ve noticed that my word processor has started to fill in the gaps for me. I don’t know how that works, whether it’s AI powered or not, whether it has always been there and just got turned on after some update, but, yeah, I do get suggestions now. It’s nothing fancy, but it does suggest what I’m likely to write, like those academic stock phrases. I don’t mind that, because I do write academic articles. It’s handy that way. Then again, is that crossing the line? I honestly don’t know, which is why I think I need to finish that essay on AI.

There’s also a couple of other essays in the making, stuff that I’ve simply forgotten about. Tough topics, halfway there or so to speak. It’s hard to say whether I’ll get them done. It all depends on what I happen to find interesting or pertinent at the time.

And that’s what I’ve been doing lately.