How to write a good dissertation – the Atlantic (humor)

This is the same interview linked to in the post below—repackaged for those of you looking for a little dissertation writing help (and not caring much about story-telling). Jack Hitt (as if you know or care) in an Atlantic interview:

I have spent a long time looking for short cuts to the answer to this very question. But I haven’t found any. So, begin by over-reporting and over-researching everything. . . Begin the process of re-reading all of your research. Bail out of re-reading all of your research by convincing yourself that what you really need is a long walk to think about “structure.” Walk toward your shoes and look at them. Blow off the walk altogether. Descend into a shame spiral. Now, catch up on your HBO tivo’d backlog. After several hours, take another ride on the shame spiral. Lumber over to the desk. . . Write down the big ideas that form the superstructure of the piece. Realize you are a pompous git for thinking that ideas have anything to do with it and go back to that list of details. Set it aside. Read some blogs. . . Fiddle with writing a few more paragraphs. Microwave your cold cup of coffee for the third time. Go over your notes again. Yell irrationally at your spouse/child/dog/a bare wall. Now, kick the wall. Limp. Review. . . Paste a large sheet of paper to a wall and, standing up with a fresh cup of coffee in your hand, outline the piece in really big letters. Realize that you’ve misunderstood the point of the entire story all this time. Scream . . . Read the latest draft-like substance and think that, with a little work, maybe this won’t be too embarrassing. Feel mildly excited that there could actually be something here worth reading eventually. . .

[I could have done without the last line of his description, but some of what he says could put a smile on your face. We are not alone.]

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Baby rush (Moses comic)

Today is Liam’s 3rd birthday. He’s been a little nervous about this day for a while, but seems to be warming up to the idea after we sang him happy birthday this morning. His sisters are really excited!!

Itinerary: Cake, popcorn & ceremony at school this morning; cake at lunch; and cake at grandma’s house this weekend.

Today’s Reverend Fun Cartoon:

Exodus 2.1-9 Baby Rush

[Lots more fun Bible cartoons at]

Just by serendipitous coincidence, Michael Heiser (The Naked Bible) has this post today: Moses, Sargon, and the Exposed Child motif in Ancient Literature:

Here’s an interesting article that advanced students of the Old Testament should read and digest. Egyptologist Donald Redford traces what he calls the “exposed child” motif through ancient literature. By “exposed child” he means stories that have the elments of the Moses birth in them. Redford’s goal isn’t specifically to deal with the Moses story, but that’s inevitable. The Sargon story in particular is very similar to the Moses story:

The identities of N. T. Wrong; an African perspective on the historical quest

As noted by Mark Goodacre speculation about the identity of Bishop NT (Jeremiah) Wrong continues, with contributions from James McGrath On the trail of N.T. Wrong, On the Trail of N.T. Wrong, Part 2 and On the Trail of N.T. Wrong, Part 3, with J. C. Baker weighing in with The Identity of N.T. Wrong and More Proof that Mark Goodacre is N.T. Wrong, and Pat McCullough adding his own suggestion on The Identity of N.T. Wrong.

One of the main drawbacks of Western thinking is it’s tendency towards “either/or” dichotomies. In the historical quest for the N.T. Wrong, what is needed is some good African “both/and” scholarship.

  • he’s from Chicago
  • he’s from New Zealand
  • he’s from Durham
  • he’s a biblioblog guru
  • he’s NT Gateway
  • his focus is ANE, Hebrew Bible (categories and blogroll)
  • he’s Jewish and Arab and goyim
  • he’s gay and straight
  • he’s a feminist
  • and he’s a she?
  • . . .
  • (add your own identifiers here)

Any and all members of the Guild of Biblical Minimalists (listed and unlisted) are suspect. He may have started out as one, but the first two identities in my above list appear to be irrefutable empirical facts –  strong evidence for the multi-present identities of N.T. Wrong (all you need is the name and password and you too could be WRONG – though maybe not as smart, funny, or irreverent). The tagline expands, the posts become more prolific and diverse, and former outsiders suddenly vow not to tell (are they now contributing too?). I suppose this is what McGrath is getting at.

Think about it folks . . . “both/and” not “either/or”.