...I want to confirm that I have withdrawn from consideration for the vacant position in Rome.
UPDATE: Michael Otsuka (UCL) writes: "Since the last pope had a twitter account, I think the next pope will be a blogger. And you could have declared that everything you post is ex cathedra, in order to shut up Vatican censors."
At least with Springer! Philosopher David Hilbert (Illinois/Chicago) writes:
The email below seems to imply that Springer thinks I wrote a book, the original edition of which was published over 60 years before I was born. Although I'm flattered that they think I have made fundamental contributions to mathematics, I do have some doubts about their ability to successfully do the rights management that seems to be their major business these days. I wonder if they always just email some random person with the same name to obtain rights or if this is a special case.
We are writing today regarding your book The Theory of Algebraic Number Fields (ISBN: 978-3-540-62779-1), and to let you know about our plans for an electronic archive, the Springer Book Archives.
At this point you may be wondering what the Springer Book Archives are all about. The project is an effort at Springer to breathe new life into older books - specifically those published between 1842 and 2005 - by making them available in electronic formats. The archiving project includes about 40 renowned imprints. Many of these titles may even be out-of-print. With this initiative we will enable researchers all over the world to access a wealth of information via their libraries. The individual books will not only be made available digitally, but also in print. The Springer Book Archives affirms Springer's commitment to preserve valuable scholarly content, and your book plays an important role in this effort.
Your author benefits at a glance:
Your book will be digitized and become an eBook, published on SpringerLink, our online platform, and for e-reading devices such as the Kindle or iPad.
Your book can never go 'out-of-print' and will be preserved for future generations of scientists.
You will be provided with free access to the electronic version of your book once it is included in the archive.
You will receive royalties, or can choose to waive them in support of charitable organizations such as INASP or Research4Life, that help provide the developing world with access to scientific research.
Please go to the following website and select your preferred royalty option*: [omitted]
Peter Hendriks President STM Global Publishing & Marketing
UPDATE: Tad Brennan (Cornell) observes that, "It's a shame that the famous Aristotelian scholar, Hippocrates G. Apostle, died back in 1990. Springer could have given him royalties for the whole Corpus Hippocraticum, and the New Testament as well!"
UPDATE: Philosopher Kent Bach (San Francisco State) writes: "Perhaps your readers would like to know, or be reminded, that in 2001 excerpts from Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus were set to music in a BBC-commissioned cantata by Anthony Powers, entitled 'A Picture of the World'."
UPDATE: Philosopher Lars Bergström (Stockholm) tells me that the author of this parody was actually the philosopher Herman Tennesen; Professor Bergström writes:
It was given to me long ago by the author, Herman Tennesen (or possibly by a close friend of his, Harald Ofstad, who was my supervisor, and predecessor as professor of practical philosophy, at the University of Stockholm). As far as I remember, Tennesen's name was not mentioned in the manuscript; I seem to remember that the author was presented as "Murdock Pencil, professor of Social Darwinism at the Old School for Social Research", as it says in the Washington Post article. I knew Tennesen well, and I am quite sure he really was the author. The article is also very typical of his kind of wit. I did not know that it was actually published in the Journal of Communications, as the WP says, but that may be so. The only difference that I can pin down between my copy and the WP-version is in the list of references, where the second item in the WP-version is "Bem. B." In my version, absolutely all authors had the initial "R". But this is probably just a misprint.
MOVING TO FRONT FROM YESTERDAY--IN COMMENTS, TAMAR GENDLER SUGGESTS POSTING OTHER EXAMPLES OF PARODIES AND JOKE ARTICLES FROM PHILOSOPHY JOURNALS
It seems so! As Alex Rosenberg (Duke) wrote to me, "'Stoppism', by one Myrtle Willoughby...is about whether local stops and express stops exist owing to local trains and express trains or not, and the author shares her (?) name with a station in the NYC subway system." What say you readers?
Noting this study, Jason Stanley (Rutgers) remarked on Facebook (he gave me permission to quote it): "The two top universities in the United States for illegal downloading of pirated movies are the ones with the two top philosophy departments in the United States. Philosophy encourages thrift!"
Tad Brennan (Cornell), noting Professor Koons's claim that "each professor of the humanities is free to make the classroom into a laboratory of untrammeled fantasy," writes: "Man, have I been doing it wrong...."
Most of the responses to the earlier tempest in a teapot were pretty feeble (or maybe it's just that tweeting wrecks your mind? more than blogging even?), but the funniest comment is due to Tim O'Keefe (Georgia State):
I don't get why a philosophy talk would be the sort of thing people would want insta-updates and immediate reactions to anyway. Can't it wait a little while, at least an hour or two after the presentation? I can see why for something like the presidential debates folks might be anxious for it immediately, but a colloquium? "Bombshell time! OMG BL says Niet epiphenomist about consciousness! lol!!! WHat's arg 4 that? Can't wait"
UPDATE: A reader has kindly informed me that my title just betrays my complete ignorance of trends in popular culture. "Bro Culture," which the linked site parodies, has to do with (in the words of my correspondent)"polo shirts with popped collars, ridiculous handshakes, sunglasses indoors... many of the absurdities of modern frat culture are roughly bro-ish. If I close my eyes and picture a 'bro,' he's a musclebound white guy with a bad tan." This has nothing to do with Hip-Hop.
ANATOMY PRIZE: Frans de Waal [The Netherlands and USA] and Jennifer Pokorny [USA] for discovering that chimpanzees can identify other chimpanzees individually from seeing photographs of their rear ends....
Just what the world was waiting for! The author, Krista Wilson, now teaches at Soka University in California (it's her son in the photos!). Both Professor Wilson and Micah Lewin, who sent me the link, tell me kids enjoy it. Here, courtesy of Mr. Lewin, is another photo from the board book:
(Thanks to the many different readers who sent this.)
UPDATE: Rob Tempio points out that Justin Bieber (talentless teen hearthrob) has merged with Martin Buber (somewhat more talented, but not as popular as he once was, existential philosopher) to tweet as Justin Buber.
Continental Philosophy Farhang Erfani, a philosopher at American University, provides a useful set of links to news, events, interviews, reviews, videos, etc. related to "Continental philosophy" (broadly construed)