Whole chains munched

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Last updated on March 5th, 2018 at 01:33 pm

Jim Treacher reviews the Washington Post’s guide to good blogging. Depends on what you mean by “good”, I guess, but if it’s traffic you seek, the calculation is something like this:

short + interesting x frequency = hits

Simple, really. The calculation is a little different for academics chasing grants, however, as Andrew Bolt points out:

In 2000, [Professor Elspeth Probyn] received an $11,000 grant from the ARC to study ‘The Making of Mod Oz: the roles of the food media in the construction of contemporary identity’.

In 2001, she won another $137,500 to ruminate over ‘Practices and performances of alimentary identities: a comparative analysis of the food media and their audiences’. And that same year she shared a $118,000 ARC grant to study ‘Girl Cultures: the effect of media on young women’s self-representations’.

Elspeth’s work is neither brief nor interesting, but it is churned out with frightening frequency. Bolt supplies an example:

“The mouth machine registers experiences and then articulates them—utters them. In eating we may munch into whole chains of previously established connotations, just as we may disrupt them.

“For instance, an email arrives, leaving traces of its rhizomatic passage zapping from one part of the world to another, and then to me.

‘Unsolicited, it sets out a statement from a Dr Johannes Van Vugt, in San Francisco, who on October 11, 1999, National Coming Out Day in the US, began an ongoing ‘Fast for Equal Rights for persons who are gay, lesbian and other sexual orientation minorities’.”

gibberish + pretension x academic authority = $266,500 of your taxes.

Posted by Tim B. on 12/13/2004 at 05:49 PM
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