Late November Links: Academia, artistic dangers, reading, and more

The Ph.D. Problem: On the professionalization of faculty life, doctoral training, and the academy’s self-renewal.

* A Little-Known Occupational Hazard Affecting Writers: writing (or wanting to write) outside your field.

* When Great Artists Dry Up.

* Cellphones, Texts, and Lovers, on how technology is or is not reshaping romance in the digital age. I don’t really buy the argument, but I find it suggestive nonetheless.

* James Fallows has a typically nuanced, brilliant series on Obama’s trip to Asia, and especially its Chinese implications.

* Das Keyboard is sponsoring the Ultimate Typing Championship. Do you have the “fiercest typing skills around?” Me neither. But those who do can win $2,000 at the SXSW festival in Austin. The e-mail I got says, “Oh, and don’t forget to sign-up yourself to compete! At a minimum, it’s an opportunity for bragging rights among your friends and co-workers. :)”

Alas: I’m a relatively slow typist at 50-ish WPM. Usually the problem isn’t typing speed—it’s thinking speed, and I haven’t found a hardware solution for that yet.

* Local Bookstores, Social Hubs, and Mutualization. Like me, Clay Shirky finds it more than a little difficult to believe that cheap hardcover books are bad for readers, even if they might be bad for publishers as they currently exist.

* What the iPod tells us about Britain’s economic future.

* Secret copyright treaty leaks, and it’s bad. Very bad.

* Sunday afternoon at the Shenzhen Public Library. As James Fallows says at the link, “No wonder Shenzhen is on the rise.”

* Gossip Girl might be worth watching again.

* Are too many students going to college?

* Learn your damn homophones.

* No one wants America to be the sole global superpower, but no one wants to share the load.

* I love it: the bookstore Lorem Ipsum is having an “anti-sale.” As they say: “Everyone like’s a sale, right? But does anyone like an anti-sale? We hope so!

What’s an anti-sale, you ask? It’s when nothing in the store is on sale. We’re proud to announce that none of our items are on sale, instead they are for purchase for regular price. We think it’s ground-breaking.”

* Inculcating a Love for Reading: Children’s books that might help repel the armies of electronic distraction.

* From Oxford to Wall Street: what the rising number of Rhodes Scholars in business and finance means. Or, according to actual Rhodes scholar, maybe not.

* Are U.S. Wages Too High?

* Why are some cities more entrepreneurial than others?

* The Writing Habits of Great Authors.

* Hilarious search query of the day that brought someone to The Story’s Story: “bookworms sex.”

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