Theory Of Nothing

or Just Theory

The Continental as Radical Difference

During a very recently drawn-out discussion, I was finally informed, with not just a small amount of bemused exasperation, that I, “write in the continental way… emphasis on con.” 

The discussion was on radical difference.

Quod erat demonstradum.

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Saturday, 24 November 2007 Posted by | PhD, Theory | Leave a comment

Self-contradiction according to the law of non-contradiction

I’ve been scrutinizing this list with relish:

Self-contradicting words in English

Totally stress-relieving.

PS. If you do not get it, please refer back to my shrinking sense of humour.

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Thursday, 1 November 2007 Posted by | PhD, Theory | Leave a comment

More of the same but different…

samediff1.gif
samediff2.gif

… and that is why I’m still at Chapter 1, 24 500 words, footnote 237.

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Tuesday, 9 October 2007 Posted by | Comic, PhD | Leave a comment

Some serious swearing

I proudly announce that I have managed to write FCUK into my dissertation. I also solemnly swear that it is seriously academic.

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Friday, 7 September 2007 Posted by | PhD | Leave a comment

Shot by Coffee

Stōk is black coffee shot and sweet black coffee shot sold in creamer cups. Each serving of Stōk contains 40mg of caffeine, the equivalent of a shot of espresso.

stok_product_reg_big.jpg stok_product_sweet_big.jpg

Scrooge academics, this is what you need to stock up on instead of paying extra for more shots at your preferred coffee place. Stōk’s limit warning is 2 servings per day, but as academics – especially as academics stuck at tedious conferences, or worse still, as academics trapped with marking undergraduates’ papers – 2 servings will be just barely enough to keep your brain from freezing over due to boredom. So, stock up Stōk!

PS. Shall I order massive amounts of Stōk online to give to my coffee-addicted supervisor? Some goodwill never goes awry, especially when you’re that low on the academic foodchain as a graduate student. But will I wake up one morning to find the scary men from Singapore customs (I am wired by a consistent and permanent sense of guilt which undoubtedly explains my instinctive and irrational fear of authority) knocking on my door to interrogate my import of what they may categorize as potential substances of abuse?

(Link to order Stōk)

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Thursday, 6 September 2007 Posted by | PhD, Pop Culture | 2 Comments

The Coffee Guide to Academia

While the species of graduate students are mostly powered by coffee – their level of (dys)functionality corresponds directly to the amount of caffeine they manage to down (only holdbacks being a small bladder as well as dissertations and supervisors related hallucinations), I belong to the rare breed of non-coffee drinker. However, as a theoretical tribute to my status as graduate student, here are some fittingly and necessarily also theoretical infographics on coffee.

Espresso [e-spres-oh]
espresso.png

Just espresso, this is the preferred poison of real philosophers who can take it as it is.

Cappuccino [kap-oo-chee-noh]
cappuccino.png

1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, 1/3 foam, this is the brew for the rest of the plebian academics who need it sweetened down and foamed up.

Café Latte [caf-ay lah-tey]
caffe_latte.png

Espresso with mostly steamed milk and just a thin layer of foam, this is coffee for pretentious pop culture theorists.

Café Mocha [caf-ay moh-kuh]
caffe_mocha.png

Espresso and steamed milk sweetend as much as you can with chocolate syrup, then fluffed up prettily with a dollop of whipped cream, only pseudo academics would be clueless enough to drink it.

(Link where you can find more infographics on other coffee drinks out there)

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Friday, 31 August 2007 Posted by | PhD, Pop Culture | Leave a comment

PhD measured in Crush Time

You know how every graduate student has a crush on his/her supervisor?

I had a crush on my supervisor which ran through quite a number of years before it slowly exhausted itself, petering off into very decent respect for the other as well as some occassional eye-rolling at the other’s idiosyncracies which I’m grown to be familiar with.

Then I developed another crush on another supervisor. Uh-hmm. Uh-hmm. Teeheehee.

2 protracted crushes, 1 still running its course – that’s how long I’ve been doing this. And I’m still at Chapter 1, 18,000 words, footnote 164.

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Wednesday, 29 August 2007 Posted by | PhD | 3 Comments

Still academically yours

I had a nightmare that my head of department was hesitant about accepting my completed dissertation on the grounds that it’s nothing new.

I tried explaining that was precisely the point, hollering frantically down the phone, but it’s nothing, it’s nothing! Which he misunderstood as my saying it’s ok, and to which he therefore amicably agreed, yes, it’s nothing.

I felt the rising panic about getting nothing across and woke up in a frightful state of despondent nihilism.

Post dissertation induced nightmare of nothing, I realised that the head of department who didn’t get it was the previous head who had retired quite a few years ago. Did I mention that it’s a nightmare of nothing?

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Thursday, 23 August 2007 Posted by | PhD | Leave a comment

Microsoft Word’s official stand on footnotes (Codename: Tolerance Level 134)

Remember the unending beginnings and usurping footnotes I was gloating over that day? Well well, the footnotes swelled up to nothing less than 134. Then Microsoft Word hung. When I finally got it repaired, the footnotes were all messed up. Since, I was in the baffling habit of saving over each of the documents, I didn’t have an older copy I could go back to. So I painstakingly spent the day fixing up all 134 footnotes. This explains the hiatus on this blog.

In the meantime, Chapter 1 looks like it’s bloating up to 20,000 words. It was planned for 8,000 words in the beginning, then allowed to grow to 15,000. And now, it looks like it has sneaky plans to overtake the entire 80,000 words dissertation. I’ve downsized from 8 texts to 6 texts and I still have a problem fitting the rest of the 5 texts in together with the monstrously conniving Chapter 1. Maybe I’ll be merciless and excise yet another text. But which one? 2 authors, 5 texts – how do I decide which author is weightier and deserves more texts? This has kept my eyes wide open while lying on my bed for some nights now. This also explains the hiatus on this blog.

Having experienced Microsoft Word’s fallibility, I now allocate substantial periods of paranoia to saving my dissertation as a file document on my MacBook, a separate file document on my portable hard disk, yet another separate file document sent to a secondary email account, and last but not least, a copied and pasted version sent to the same secondary email account which has been set up specially for the above stated purposes. This, once again, explains the hiatus on this blog.

I could go on, but it has occurred to me that this would be a good space to practise concluding in the hope that someday in the near future, I will be able to execute the stop button on the unending beginnings and usurping footnotes that is Chapter 1.

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Wednesday, 15 August 2007 Posted by | PhD | Leave a comment

Unending Beginnings & Usurping Footnotes

I have been doing my PhD for 4 years.

I am writing Chapter 1 of my dissertation.

Chapter 1 was supposed to be 8,000 words long.

I began Chapter 1 with an epigraph.

I have been writing about Chapter 1’s epigraph.

So far, I have written more than 10,000 words on Chapter 1’s epigraph.

I am still writing about Chapter 1’s epigraph.

I will write the rest of Chapter 1 when I’m done with writing about Chapter 1’s epigraph.

Obviously, Chapter 1 is no longer just 8,000 words long.

It is going to be much longer than 8,000 words.

How long?

As long as it takes for the footnotes to become longer than the main text.

So far, I have 107 footnotes.

I love Theory Of Nothing.

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Thursday, 19 July 2007 Posted by | PhD | Leave a comment