Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Things we like.

(Cross-posted on Scatterplot.)

I don't talk about sociology all that much given that I'm a soc blogger. This is basically for two reasons: (1) talking about my professional ups-and-downs might give away my sub-area and, thereby, my mild-mannered alter ego and, (2) I spend so much of my time writing about my professional work anyway, why on earth would I make it my hobby to write about my professional work? I mean, seriously, I love the... er... dedication of the orgheads, but if I didn't blog about zombies now and then my work time would be much less productive.

The side effect of all this, however, is that it may sometimes appear like I don't enjoy my job very much. Nothing, as it happens, could be further from the truth. I love my job. I enjoy going into the office to do it. I can't imagine doing anything else. It's just that I don't talk about what I'm doing that much and, when I do, am more likely to be complaining about something that's bugging me. Such, I think, is human nature.

So on the hunch that some of you are the same way, I want to pose a little activity: tell us a little about what it is that you love about sociology. What keeps you fired up about the job? I mean, you're here, you're still doing it- it's got to be because you love it, you don't hate it, or you're trapped in by simple path dependence. So what's the deal, scatterbrains and scatterfans?

For anyone who is curious, I'll start: one of my favorite things about this job- no kidding- is revising papers. I don't mean revising them before you send them out, I mean revising them with reviewer comments in-hand. I get as many incomprehensibly weird reviews as anyone, and possibly more than most, but there's something deeply satisfying to me about opening up a paper you thought was finished, reworking big chunks of it, and then closing it back up with the feeling that it's a stronger and more compelling piece of work than it was before. I love watching a paper that you thought was strong transform into a much more robust version. I love that sense that despite the efforts of a reviewer to kill it,* your paper has emerged more unstoppable than before. Like Dracula. Or a zombie.**

And after that? Eh. I love hanging out with so many people who are geekier than me.

Okay. Your turn.

* For those who haven't heard me expand upon this before, I have a sort of back-of-the-envelope theory that almost every paper will have one reviewer who, for mysterious reasons, wants to kill you just to watch you die. Most reviewers, however, end up being quite helpful and well-intentioned for all we may be angry at them for not recognizing the brilliance of our work. I mean, it's OUR work! How can it not be brilliant, right?

** My papers lend themselves well to zombie comparisons: shambling undead nightmares that seek only to consume the brains of others.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

People pay me to study stuff I am fascinated by -- talk shows, new religions, wrestling -- isn't that fantastic? And I love teaching. Even grading most of the time is fun!

Thursday, April 23, 2009 7:09:00 PM  

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