It is unfortunate when academic debates in the social sciences devolve into thinly-veiled personal references, even when those debates are held at unrelated conventions:
Professor A. Nuss: My theory is bigger–it encompasses more case examples.
Professor B. Stiality: My theory is harder, more robust–it requires fewer exceptions and special circumstances for it to work
Professor C. Menn: Oh yeah, my theory lasts longer–it covers a much greater period of time!
Professor D. Ildo: You’re all douchebags–my theory delivers a bigger cognitive payload right in the readers’ face where they love it.
Professor A: Look–all the chicks love my theory.
Professor B: Your Mama doesn’t count!
Professor A: My Mama was a great social scientist, so suck my theory!”
Professor C: No, suck my theory!
Professor D: Gargle my data and swallow my hypotheses!
Professor A: Choke on my conclusions, one at a time!
Professor B: You don’t have conclusions, you just have reconfigured jargon.
Professor A: (hurt) “Reconfigured jargon,” eh?… Wow, that’s kinda personal, kinda hurts…(recomposed) ahh peer-review this, schol-liar!
Professor C: Just suck the theory, get it over with, pretend it never happened, and I won’t remind you until I develop a new one–in about ten hours ah-hah!…
Warren Peace: My book’s the biggest, so suck my novel!…
Professors A, B, C & D: (puzzled)…. What are you doing here?
Warren Peace: I thought this was a convention for Victims of the Signature Effect (ViSE).
Professors: It is, but this is the non-fiction and academic section–you want down the hall. Look for Alison Wonderland, Belle Jar, Lord O’Flies, Onda Waterfront, Anne M. L. Farm–
Warrren: Yes, yes, thank you, I think I can make my way there now–
Professor A: Now you might also look for Tequila Mockingbird, she was our keynote speaker for the ViSE convention last year–
Warren: –Yes, yes, thank you, I’ll just–
Professor B: Now if you run into Sergeant Pepper or Colonel Ingus, then you’ve walked too far and gone into the military section–
Warren: –Yes, thank you, yes–
Professor C: And if you see Sy Lent Knight, then you’re obviously in–
Warren: –the Christmas Carol section, right, so I’ll just be–
Professor D: ViSE people don’t call them “carols”–you know, sensitivity and stuff–but yes, that would be the Christmas Song section of the ViSE convention–
Warren: –to which I am late to my subcommittee meeting for people inadvertantly named after great novels they’ve never finished reading, thank you gentlemen and ladies–
Professors A, B, C & D: See ya at the closing ceremonies. Pat McGroin will be speaking!
Warren: …I thought it was the attorney David Boies who was to speak.
Professor A. Nuss: Not since he changed his middle name and got rid of “Lykes”–
Professor B. Stiality: –He’s a coward ’round here. ‘Not welcome at ViSE no more.
(c) 2012, Alan Brech