Monthly Archives: October 2011

Literature, second language, authenticity, passion

I have fond memories of my undergraduate days as a Japanese major.

To me they were exciting times. The world was seemingly spinning at a furious pace. The people I met were doing things, going places. My future was ahead of me.

My future now, of course, is still ahead of me (metaphorically, can it be nothing other than ‘ahead’). But it is different, still exciting, perhaps a little more focused and a little less uncertain. Twenty years down the road and I have made more progress (alas! a little slower than I would have liked) towards my goal as an academic. Continue reading

Internet security

that warm fuzzy feeling one gets when one connects to the internet and finds the servers are not down.

Sustainable economics (linguine-istics)

Sustainable economics – what economists think is possible but environmentalists know is not.

See all linguine-istics. (What are linguine-istics?)


An awful mispelling of ‘the reader’ by ignorant postmodern scholars.

See all linguine-istics. (What are linguine-istics?)

Lay monk (linguine-istics)

Lay monk – a person who has taken the vow of not getting up.

See all linguine-istics. (What are linguine-istics?)

What are ‘linguine-istics’?

Linguine-istics are humourous definitions of words and phrase. for example:

Linguine-istics – the study of humourous language that is just right (al dente).

They are to be regular feature on this blog and are categorized under linguine-istics. Click here to see all.

Word play – Minimum

Academic life – it’s all about publish or perish, and quality over quantity

The bottom line in academia is publish or perish … but … .

I have a friend who says publish anything anywhere but in the long run that is academic suicide. Publishing a junk paper in a junk journal is selling yourself short academically. And there are some who think publishing a lot is important. Sure it is. But publishing ten papers in a year can not and will not be seen as good academic practice.

There is something to be said about quality over quantity. To use a mass production of goods analogy, Made in China is everywhere but products with this label soon fall apart. There is nothing like Made in Japan. You may not see many of them out there but they are really durable, of excellent quality. So which do you want to be – a product with a Made in Japan or Made in China label?

In short, one should take pride in their research. A scholar of any worth should not take their life’s work, their  ‘viva‘, the term for the defence of their thesis, lightly.

To survive in the academic world, then, one should publish often within practicality. This means maybe 1-3 papers a year. There should be always something cooking on your stovetop, so to speak. If you are not working on something then you are not really an academic. And one should also publish in peer reviewed journals of quality even if it feels like selling your soul. Actually the feeling of selling your soul is really a sign of not good academic quality. Afterall the point of your research is to convince the readers (first the reviewers, then the readers) through strong evidence and reasoning that your findings and interpretation are valid. If your research cannot do that then there is something wrong with either 1) your research and research results, and/or 2) your writing.

And now I must go turn off the web browser, return to my research and put my money where my mouth is.