The department has invited several people to give job talks this week and next. No, I won’t say how many. No, I won’t say who. No, I won’t say where they are from. But I can tell you that there were job talks, and there will be more of them.
It’s not as though this is really private information. In fact, we have been desperately trying to get as many grad students in the department as possible to attend so that they can give us their impressions. So, there are fliers that I printed up and posted all over the department saying who’s coming and when. All of the candidates therefore know who is visiting, at least in this round.
And I so want to write about today’s talk. The person is looking at some interesting things, and seems like he (ah, a single bit of information–or more if you see gender as more than binary) would be a good fit to the department. Too early to say where he stands, but certainly he was worth inviting out. His presentation is online, and I could tell you the URL, but I won’t.
Why not? I suppose I could ask him if it was OK, and he might say yes (though, naturally, there is a potential power dynamic there that might compel him to respond this way). Increasing the information flow can work to the disadvantage of either party, or sometimes both. If everyone was frank about their interest in a candidate, it would provide that candidate with a nice bargaining position. On the other hand, though none of the candidates we talked to asked specifically for us to keep their applications quiet, I suspect that some might prefer it that way.
Folks seem so interested in what people blog. I find perhaps more interesting what they won’t. Liz’s recent post about not blogging personal family events describes one part of her taxonomy of the unblogable. Others might find such stories fair game if they wrote them in a way that was not personally identifiable. Very little seems unblogable to livejournalers.
This entry has no clean ending. I am wondering, at this point, whether I consider tired, unedited ramblings blogable. I guess I do.
Update: Just after posting this, I find a related item on Invisible’s blog. He (I can’t remember why, right now, but I think I ran into something that would suggest it is a he) warns those who send email about the academic market that, unless otherwise indicated, he will consider the stories fit for public consumption.