The ‘culture problem’ at MIT boils over.

Or whatever.

‘They said that she would vanish for 30 to 45 minutes per class to “meditate.”’

LOeffingL. UD, as you know if you read her blog, loves to chronicle the shit some professors do in class in order not to bother teaching at all. A long list of guest speakers is a perennial favorite, as is PowerPoint, which enables you to stand there for an hour staring down at and mumbling aloud someone else’s words. There’s the popular show a movie scam. Having students give papers and presentations all the time is also great for filling up that big ol’ néant which is your class period. There’s send students out to interview the homeless in the park across the street. There’s have students organize into small groups and talk among themselves. Truly ballsy fuckoffs just go ahead and cancel most of their classes.

Vanishing to meditate for half the class is a new one on UD and she adores it and must give props to this NYU prof (NYU: you figure her students are paying a fortune) whose… uh… methods were so scandalous that the class wrote the school a letter of complaint. The bit about meditating in private to while away the irritating hour of human contact is amazing – it’s much better than the classic I’ve got to take this half-hour-long cell phone call just talk amongst yourselves because it’s … you know… this urgent mystical deep practice we all respect… MUCH better than a cell phone call.

She was begging for it.

Richard Stallman, the computer scientist best known for his role in the free software movement… [argues that MIT professor and AI pioneer Marvin Minsky] had not actually assaulted [Virginia Giuffre, when she was seventeen and he was in his seventies]. Stallman insists that the “most plausible scenario” is that Epstein’s underage victims were “entirely willing” while being trafficked.

In a viral video, Stallman and a buddy were recently filmed at a bar.

Bret Stephens Writes to GWU’s Provost about Professor David Karpf

Please Mister Malzman

Wait, oh yes wait a minute Mister Malzman
Wait, wait Malzman

Mister Malzman look and see
What that professor has said about me
I been waiting a long long time
For your reply to this email of mine

There must be some word today
From a provost so far away…
Please Mister Malzman, look and see
If you can hit him with a penalty

I been standing here waiting Mister Malzman
So patiently
For just a card or just a letter
Saying you will make it right for me

There must be some turpitude
Inside a person so very rude
Dear Mister Malzman, make me feel better
Please revoke my enemy’s tenure

You gotta wait a minute, wait a minute
You gotta wait a minute, wait a minute
You gotta wait a minute, wait a minute
Abolish his tenure, the sooner the better
You gotta wait a minute, wait a minute
You gotta wait a minute, wait a minute
You gotta wait a minute, wait a minute

The Tao of Chemistry

A naughty young man from Fuzhou

Thought China should equally know

Our every analysis

Regarding catalysis.

And now off to prison he’ll go.

David Andelman Asks the Question a Lot of People are Asking:

‘The big question is how does @Harvard Law still honor @AlanDersh by retaining him on its faculty list (esp as “Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law emeritus”). Imagine that distinguished jurist spinning in his grave !?’

Harvard’s highest profile professor takes the prize.

When [my story on Epstein] came out, [Harvard Law School professor and former Epstein attorney] Alan Dershowitz wrote an open letter to the Pulitzer Prize committee, trying to discredit my work and influence the board [not to award the Miami Herald a prize]. He must have said a million times, “I know that you’re not going to tell the truth because you’re just aiming for a Pulitzer.”

But Harvard’s finest is after bigger fish now. He’s smearing the New Yorker as an antisemitic rag.

Sexual Climate Change

He’s a climate change expert at the University of Minnesota, still happily and expensively tenured although (says here) he’s an alcoholic with “mental health issues,” a convicted woman batterer, and an alleged thief of significant university funds.

We’ve seen, over the life of this blog, quite a number of walking advertisements for the abolition of tenure, but none of this guy’s predecessors shows anywhere near the same passionate commitment to depravity-while-maintaining-a-permanent-taxpayer-paid-$100,000-a-year job.

If you read the narrative sketch of his theft-spree, you detect that his problem is sexual climate change, as in he’s always battering/humping/dumping the women in his life as they, I guess, fail eventually to excite him, and replacing them with others with whom he goes through the same cycle. While things are hot, he spends university funds on vacations and presents for them; when cooling commences, he dumps.

This pattern turns out to generate a lot of people eager to bust the guy. They point out that where on his expenses report he writes “PR consultation” or “consultant expense,” he really means fucking to beat the band in Bali; and where he writes “testing equipment” he means Star Wars Battlefront for his kid.

Quite a specimen. And a named chair at the University of Minnesota forever.

‘He told police that he was taking a shortcut through church to reach his minivan, which he claimed had run out of gas.’


Frozen out.

Woolly mammoth goes extinct.


UD thanks S. for the link.

Much sad discussion, UD thinks, will be occasioned…

… by the suicide of Princeton economist Alan Krueger at 58. It will perhaps be seen as an iconic death, carrying most powerfully within it horrible truths about the ultimate incorrigibility of some forms of clinical depression. His was as far as one could tell one of the golden lives: Brilliant, athletic, handsome, wealthy, esteemed by presidents, rich in friends and family. A “gentle, generous guy.” And still the mind has mountains.

 O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall 
Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheap 
May who ne’er hung there.


After decades of reading, writing, and thinking about suicide, I’ve gathered a few statements about it that feel right to me.

Boris Pasternak wrote:

We have no conception of the inner torture which precedes suicide.

… The continuity of his inner life is broken, his personality is at an end. And perhaps what finally makes him kill himself is not the firmness of his resolve but the unbearable quality of this anguish which belongs to no one, of this suffering in the absence of the sufferer, of this waiting which is empty because life has stopped and can no longer fill it.

… What is certain is that they all suffered beyond description, to the point where suffering has become a mental sickness. And as we bow in homage to their gifts and to their bright memory, we should bow compassionately before their suffering.

Philip Roth wrote:

What was astonishing to him was how people seemed to run out of their own being, run out of whatever the stuff was that made them who they were and, drained of themselves, turn into the sort of people they would have once have felt sorry for. It was as though while their lives were rich and full they were secretly sick of themselves and couldn’t wait to dispose of their sanity and their health and all sense of proportion so as to get down to that other self, the true self, who was a wholly deluded fuckup. It was as though being in tune with life was an accident that might sometimes befall the fortunate young but was otherwise something for which human beings lacked any real affinity. How odd. And how odd it made him seem to be numbered among the countless unembattled normal ones might, in fact, be the abnormality, a stranger from real life because of his being so sturdily rooted.


August Kleinzahler’s comment on his wild and brilliant brother, who killed himself at 27: “He wasn’t made for the long haul. Not everyone is.”


This poem by Donald Justice is very much in line with Pasternak and Roth:

For The Suicides of 1962

in memory: J & G

If we recall your voices
As softer now, it’s only
That they must have drifted back

A long way to have reached us
Here, and upon such a wind
As crosses the high passes.

Nor does the blue of your eyes
(Remembered) cast much light on
The page ripped from the tablet.


Once there in the labyrinth,
You were safe from your reasons.
We stand, now, at the threshold,

Peering in, but the passage,
For us, remains obscure; the
Corridors are still bloody.


What you meant to prove you have
Proved: we did not care for you
nearly enough. Meanwhile the

Bay was preparing herself
To receive you, the for once
Wholly adequate female

To your dark inclinations;
Under your care, the pistol
Was slowly learning to flower

In the desired explosion
Disturbing the careful part
And the briefly recovered

Fixed smile of a forgotten
Triumph; deep within the black
Forest of childhood that tree

Was already rising which,
With the length of your body,
Would cast the double shadow.


The masks by which we knew you
Have been torn from you. Even
Those mirrors, to which always

You must have turned to confide,
Cannot have recognized you,
Stripped, as you were, finally.

At the end of your shadow
There sat another, waiting,
Whose back was always to us.


When the last door had been closed,
You watched, inwardly raging,
For the first glimpse of your selves
Approaching, jangling their keys.

‘He’s also written more than a thousand humorous poems and loves to share them with visitors, including one about an African antelope that ends with the line “what the new gnu knew.”’

A roadmap to longevity.

He’s got a real stranglehold…

… on his job.

A Professor’s Daughter is Murdered. A Judge Might have Prevented it, but…

… despite the fact that police had been called repeatedly to the murderer’s home because of his dangerous mental illness, the judge chose to deny the professor’s request for emergency intervention.  

A completely avoidable outcome, assuming a competent judge.

Cynthia Chang, Daniel Tao.. . and now we have a new name to enter into the professor-as-human-trafficker hall of fame.

Ashim Mitra, University of Missouri, joins this remarkable crew of slave-drivers, professors for whom students represent little more than indentured servants.

Because he pulled in lots of grant money, and because … well, he’s Indian and I guess it’s his way and who are we to judge his behavior by American standards … Mitra got away with enslaving his students for decades.

A long article about the dude gives you all sorts of insight into his sweet disposition. When a colleague called him on [his] behavior at a faculty meeting, “Mitra … called … the campus police to expel [the colleague] from [the] meeting.”

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