Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Monday, June 21, 2010

Homage to Litvak

In my department, instead of doing research, we spend most of our time wooing each other with song. From Russ to Paul:

PhD student
PhD student (PhD student)
Dear Advisor, will you read my thesis?
It took years to write, even under your aegis.
It's based on research in decision science
And I need a job, so I want to be a Doctor of Philosophy,
Doctor of Philosophy.

It's an ample sample of buffet-goers
And manipulations on loaded dice throwers.
They fall victim to the sunk cost effect,
It's five years now, but I want to be a Doctor of Philosophy,
Doctor of Philosophy.

PhD student (PhD student)

It's a thousand references, give or take a few,
I'll be citing more in a week or two.
I can provide an abstract if you wish to inspect,
I can change it round and I want to be a Doctor of Philosophy,
Doctor of Philosophy.

If you really like it we can publish soon,
we could schedule my defense for this coming June.
Then submit a chapter to Management Science.
Hey, I need a break and I want to be a Doctor of Philosophy,
Doctor of Philosophy.

PhD student (PhD student)

PhD student - PhD student
PhD student - PhD student

Friday, June 18, 2010

Litvakian Gold

My friend Paul Litvak likes to write songs about people. Today I was fortunate enough to be the recipient of one:

"he was a fast machine / he kept his data clean / hes the best researcher i've ever seen / he had no guise / he told no lies / knockin me out with his effect size / discovers more than his share / never in err / i had some ideas, but already hes there

cause the lab was shaking / findings' no faking / my mind was aching / and data was raking because you -- got the data all night long / yeah you got data all night long"

Sheer brilliance. And it's all true too!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Poem by Michael J. Mahoney

Pilgrim in Process

It's a season of transition
and you're on the move again
on a path toward something you cannot disown;
Searching for your being in the labyrinths of heart
and sensing all the while you're not alone.

Yes, you seem to keep on changing
for the better and the worse
and you dream about
the shrines you've yet to find;
And you recognize your longing
as a blessing and a curse
while you puzzle at the prisons of your mind.

For as much as you seek freedom
from your agonies and fears
and as often as you've tried to see the light,
There is still a trembling terror
that your liberation nears
as you struggle with the edges of your night.

For your Reason is a skeptic
and rejects what it desires,
playing hard to get with miracles and signs;
Till a Witness gains momentum
and emerges from within
To disclose the patterns well above the lines.

Then a window has been opened
and you've let yourself observe
how the fabric of your Being lies in wait;
And you want to scream in anger
and you want to cry for joy
And you worry that it still may be too late.

For the roller coaster plummets
with a force that drives you sane
as you tightly grasp for truths that will abide;
Never fully understanding
that your need to feel secure
Is the very thing that keeps you on the ride.

You survive the oscillations
and begin to sense their role
In a process whose direction is more clear
And you marvel as your balance point
becomes a frequent home,
and your lifelong destination feels like "here."

So with gentleness and wonder,
with questions and with quests
You continue on the path that is your way;
Knowing now that you have touched upon
the shores of inner life,
and excursions deeper can't be far away.

There will be so many moments
when an old view seems so strong
and you question whether you can really change;
And yet, from deep within you,
there's a sense of more to come
and your old view is the one
that now seems strange.

Take good care, my friend, and listen
to the whispers of your heart
as it beats its precious rhythm through your days;
My warm thoughts and hopes are with you
on your journeys
through it all . . .
and the paths of life in process find their ways.

Do be gentle, Process Pilgrim;
learn to trust that trust is dear,
and the same is true of laughter and of rest;
Please remember
that the living is a loving in itself,
And the secret is to ever be in quest . . .

Mahoney, M. J. (2003). Pilgrim in process. In M. J. Mahoney (Ed.),
Pilgrim in process (pp. 61-63). Plainfield, IL: Kinder Path Press.

Saturday, June 12, 2010