reality is weirder than you think

Tag: r/K selection theory

Faculty Culture II

More character studies from The 4 Cultures of the University. See if you can guess what this guy is the precursor of. The book was written in 1992.

The faculty member most inclined to join a union in general … will (1) teach at a two-year community college or four-year public institution with no tradition of strong faculty participation in institutional governance; (2) have a degree short of the doctorate and be nontenured; (3) teach in the humanities or social science field; (4) be less that 40 years of age and male; (5) have a greater teaching load and lower salary than academics at four-year/graduate institutions; (6) have a record of little participation in a campus senate or similar body; (7) have low trust in the campus administration and be dissatisfied with working conditions (i.e., have low morale); (8) be conscious of the benefits of unions on other campuses and of the nonacademic level on his own campus.

The author goes on to call this person “estranged from [faculty] culture” and contrasts him with similarly-paid faculty in vocational fields who have no desire to unionize.

Let’s see. I wonder why someone with subpar credentials (in a field that idolizes them), who chooses a non-technical field, who chooses not to contribute to the dominant culture, and who does not defect from the dominant culture into the support culture, might feel like he is not valued?

And yet, instead of recognizing the reality of his situation and taking steps to change it, he instead doubles-down and insist that everyone else accept his reality by force of power in the form of a union.

Now we’ll make this a bit easier and give you some choices:

A. Soyboy
B. Gamma
C. Proto-SJW
D. r-selected individual
E. All of the above

If there’s anything that can deflect some of my distaste for faculty culture, this guy is the personification of it.


Faculty or Baby Boomers?

If you’re in the higher education racket, you deal with faculty. Period.

Maybe, if you play your cards right, you can get out of dealing with students, but you can never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever escape the faculty.

If you can work successfully with faculty, I’m pretty sure you can work with anybody. (Although I’ve heard that surgeons are pretty bad too.)

The thing is, most individual faculty members are perfectly lovely people. If you talk with any one of them one-on-one, even the old crotchety ones, they come across as decent people with good motives.

As a group? Entirely different story. They are so difficult to work with. Recalcitrant, paranoid, constantly complaining without being willing to take action to change things.

For a long time, I thought about why they always seemed to be this way. Was it the low risk tolerance? The innate leftism that was bred into most of them, leading to a hugely r-selected population? The self-selecting for introverted personalities who prefer “facts” to action?

All of those are true, I think, to some extent.

But I didn’t realize until Stefan Molyneux’s most recent call-in show that there might be more nuance to my observations of faculty than I previously thought.

You see, one of Stefan’s guests was a Baby Boomer (trigger warning for the background image), out to disprove all of his negatively-biased conclusions about her generation.

Naturally, she failed at her own aims and succeeded only at reinforcing the Boomer stereotype. (Of COURSE it’s all about me!)

This was when I realized–what if it’s not just faculty, but Boomer Faculty who present such a difficulty to work with. Many of the same hallmarks are there–the entitlement, the inability to see themselves as part of a larger group or trend or demographic, th

Perhaps this is why there is such a divide between senior faculty and junior faculty. Between the Boomers and Gen X.

Most of my favorite faculty were and are Gen X.

Anyway, I don’t have any grand conclusions to this line of thinking at this point, so I’ll let this post drop with a very unsatisfying THUD, but I’ll be exploring it more as I slowly wade into the waters of a new project.

Image of the week: Eat Your Meat edition

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about carnivory. (Mostly because I don’t want to wax poetic about poop on this blog but that’s another story for another day.)

One of the lines of argument that carnivores use against the constant cries that “you simply HAVE to eat vegetables!” is the anatomy argument. Where ruminants have 27 thousand different stomachs to digest all that grass, humans have one. Much like carnivores, we also have sharp teeth and high acid content in our stomachs.

There are lots of studies and arguments and graphs that show why humans are built more like carnivores than they are like herbivores. There’s plenty of anecdotal data (if you’ve ever read a vegan forum) of people’s digestive systems getting completely wrecked by a vegan diet. Again, statistics and numbers and arguments.

Then, there’s this:

A succinct argument in meme form. Boom, done. QED.

I can’t stop laughing.


On the personal front, switching to an all animal product diet has been one of the best decisions that I’ve made in recent years. I haven’t eaten a plant-based product for five months, and while healing is slow, it’s been fairly steady.

As I’ve searched for “natural” methods to control my autoimmune illness, I’ve focused (perhaps overly so) on diet. After a while, I felt like I could blame everything on what I ate. Taking a whole host of variables out of my diet has revealed how much variability in symptoms has absolutely nothing to do with what I eat. In fact, the lack of margin with food highlights just how much stress or lack of sleep impacts my health. I’m still terrible at exercising regularly, but I’m seeing a few glimmers of how exercise could provide some immediate, direct impacts.

My only diet-related issue is that I keep eating cheese. I have found that raw-milk cheddar is the best option, and eaten only in conjunction with meat. Otherwise, it doesn’t provide enough “matter” for my digestive system to tackle seriously.

Overall, though, no regrets. I may just be able to make it work without drugs. And that, my friends, I never thought that I could say.


I’m in the midst of a massive transition. Wrapping up an old job, getting started with a new one. Defragging my possessions and moving to a new town — with no place to live yet. (Not for lack of trying.) Living in the midst of chaos, as my two roommates are also packing up and moving out.

God has very clearly laid out the path, but it is surrounded with chaos and uncertainty and newness.

Today, I am feeling it. All of the tasks I feel I have to complete before I’m “allowed” (by whom?) to finish. All the things that I “should” (according to what?) do before I leave town. What is the “proper” way to sort, to clean, to pack?

There are two options: recalibrate, or distract. Focus, lean in, do the work. Writing this blog post is helping some, but I bet doing the work of packing will help even more. Forget should (one of my top 5 most-hated words) and just do. It doesn’t have to be right, just done.

Focus, and make it through.

People who naturally write in passive voice

Hello, Dear Reader:

It is the weekend. (What is a week end?) As such, I would like to sit down and ramble at you a little more than usual. A weekly column of sorts. A letter, perhaps.

We may never reach such lofty heights as the Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Romans, but that is entirely beside the point.

The point is for me to take some of the thoughts that I have been batting around in my head, and try to arrange them in somewhat of a readable order without bending myself in knots trying to write a perfect essay. (Because if that were to happen, I would never publish anything and that would entirely defeat the purpose of having a blog, now would it.)

This week I have been thinking about people who reflexively, or naturally, or compulsively write in the passive voice.  Continue reading

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