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Beards in Academia – Academia Obscura

December 16, 2014

Beards in Academia – Academia Obscura

I wish that I had the internal fortitude to grow a great beard like my father had at one point, but my skin is too sensitive. I’ve tried many times over the years, usually as a by-product of neglect of personal hygiene associated with mild symptoms of depression brought on by cold weather, but it just becomes too itchy and uncomfortable after several days, until I’m brought to a point where I’m constantly scratching my face, leading to a rash which results in even more discomfort. Eventually I shave it all off, to repeat the attempt the following year.


The Death of Ideas in Higher Education

November 22, 2014

This excellent article from the Chronicle of Higher Education is an epitaph for the Humanities. Roughly speaking, the author divides the history of thought into three eras: pre-rational/religious, idealist/humanist, and materialist/scientific. Although a familiar framework, he includes many examples of each strain of thought. In general, I feel that this article is a cogent analysis and useful overview of the death of ideas.

As for the future, I predict a resurgence of religion, as people seek out meaning and ethical precepts to direct their lives in this cold, amoral, and materialist modern society where we find ourselves. As a human institution, Science is not immune from error and therefore I shudder to think of the terrors ahead now that all social, political, and economic theory must conform to our brains rather than our brains confirming to our previously cherished ideals.

The death of ideas is surely a foreboding development and may signal the end of civilization as we know it, and not in a good way. I only hope that these developments indicate that Science has reached its apex and will soon be subsumed or supplanted by a more satisfying system of thought.

The LaTeX cargo cult

October 27, 2014

The LaTeX cargo cult :

Why philosophers use LaTeX instead of something easier.

Online Website Citation Tool | EasyBib

October 8, 2014

I found the following quite useful:

Create an MLA Website Citation for your Bibliography | EasyBib.

It only outputs in MLA format, but that’s better than nothing.

How to Write Your Thesis in Ten Minutes a Day

July 10, 2013

How to Write Your Thesis in Ten Minutes a Day

from (click on photo for direct link)

Writing Productivity Tips for Academics

July 2, 2013

So, I submitted my draft thesis for review yesterday. Now, I’m waiting on word whether I can continue or not. I just happened upon this link which seems appropriate. Matt Might – Writing Productivity Tips for Academics » PhD2Published. I definitely have perfectionist tendencies which is probably why I find this thesis writing so difficult.



Extracting PDF Highlights

August 17, 2012

Eric Blue’s Blog » Learning Faster – Automatically Extract Highlighted Text from PDF Documents

If you have the money, Adobe Acrobat has many features that let you view and print all of your annotations (notes, highlights, etc.).  Although not significantly cost prohibitive most people (myself included) don’t really want to spend money if you can find a comparable free or open source solution.  Adobe Acrobat Reader (the free version most people use) does allow you to view the highlights in a summary pane, but doesn’t allow you to extract and print (You’ll notice that if you don’t create the annotated note with your highlight the entry will show blank.)  The best free PDF viewer that I experimented with is Foxit Reader and it allows you to easily create a PDF summary of your highlights.  Simply go to Comments -> Summary Comments and you’ll be prompted to save a new PDF file that only contains the highlighted text along with the page number.

UPDATE: The above solution does not work (as attested to in the Comments section and by yours truly) however, one of the other Commentators recommended GoodReader. Now I just happen to use that application on my iPad and it created a wonderful synopsis of my highlights for a document that was resisting the ZotFile plugin.

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