Happy (belated) 95th birthday to Nelson Mandela!
1. Steve Saideman: Does blogging endanger the chances of tenure for younger academics? (Spoiler Alert: he says “No.”) (For another perspective on this topic, see this old post by Dan Drezner, posted the day after the political science department at the University of Chicago denied him tenure. See also this post.)
2. On American universities building satellite campuses in non-democratic countries: “Is it possible to accept lucrative subsidies from dictatorships, operate campuses on their territory and still preserve the values that make American universities great, including academic freedom? The schools all say yes, pointing to pieces of paper — some of them undisclosed — that they have signed with their host governments. The real answer is: of course not.” (H/T: Althouse.)
3. Lawrence Cunningham asks: What are the top differences between the old common law of contracts and the Uniform Commercial Code?
4. Noah Davis on freelance writing: “It’s not news that making a living by writing on the Internet is a tough business. Freelancing for websites is nearly unsustainable, especially in the one-off pitch, write and edit sense. But here’s the thing: It rarely makes financial sense for the website, either.”
5. Writing to Death: “What I am suggesting is that a novelist’s work is often a strategy (I don’t mean the author need be aware of this) for dealing with some personal dilemma. Not just that the dilemma is ‘worked out’ in the narrative, as critics often tell us, but that the acts of writing and publishing and positioning oneself in the world of literature are all part of an attempt to find a solution, however provisional, to some deep personal unease. In many cases, however hard the writing is pushed, the solution is indeed only temporary or partial, both author and work eventually succumbing.” Writers examined in the article include Thomas Hardy, D.H. Lawrence, Chekhov, and Faulkner. (H/T: Althouse.)
6. The Economist: “Arabic: A language with too many armies and navies?”: “Today, we recognize that French and Portuguese are different languages—but Arabs are not often sure (and are sometimes at odds) about how to describe ‘Arabic’ today. The plain fact is that a rural Moroccan and a rural Iraqi cannot have a conversation and reliably understand each other. An urban Algerian and an urban Jordanian would struggle to speak to each other, but would usually find ways to cope, with a heavy dose of formal standard Arabic used to smooth out misunderstandings. They will sometimes use well-known dialects, especially Egyptian (spread through television and radio), to fill in gaps.” (H/T: Language log.)
7. Summer camp for Jane Austen scholars, at UNC-Chapel Hill.