28 January 2008

Faith in computer science?

I've been applying for faculty positions in computer science all over the country.  I've applied to several Christian colleges and none of them seemed to care whether I'm a believing Christian or not; I guess they prefer that I be a good computer scientist.  But recently I came across a job ad that requested that I send, along with the usual documents (cover letter, CV, research statement, teaching philosophy statement, reference letters), a "statement of Christian faith and service".  Then another ad read, "Faculty, who must be born-again Christians, must agree with our doctrinal statement, Community Covenant, . . ."  Yet another ad read, "To be considered for employment, however, applicants must complete an application for employment and a questionnaire giving evidence of a Christian testimony and of a willingness to support the beliefs and practices of the campus community."  And the application does indeed ask as much about Christian beliefs as about professional qualifications.

While I wouldn't mind teaching at a Christian university, and I hate to pass up a possible faculty job, I couldn't apply to any of those positions in good faith.

21 January 2008


This weekend I finally found time to see Juno.  I love good movies, the kind full of realistic, complex characters that generally mean well and almost make me feel what it's like to be someone else.  They shake me up a bit from my routine of being me, even make me think about who I am and (even subtle) ways I might easily be different.  The first scene has two characters trading impossibly clever lines, and I worried that everyone in the movie would talk like that, but each character turned out to have their own style.  Lots of great dialogue from a first-time screenwriter.  According to Wikipedia, director Jason Reitman's influences are Stanley Kubrick, Kevin Smith, Wes Anderson, Richard Linklater, Alexander Payne and Paul Thomas Anderson.  Can't do much better than that!  I think we're living in a golden age of cinema.

I also watched Superman III.  Superman III deeply offends me as a computer scientist, but it sure is stupid fun.  Christopher Reeve's dignified performance is remarkable in such a silly movie.

20 January 2008

RP finishes second

Predictably, the Mormon Mitt Romney romped in Nevada, but Ron Paul came in second:

Mitt Romney299497554633784722649465991
John McCain15559885712575215651367302
Mike Huckabee40841268591396993616211015
Ron Paul118171830854434608790646
Fred Thompson15904289032135352154450
Rudy Giuliani40972043924706191051152
Duncan Hunter524121728238905454

As I write this, the votes are still coming in for South Carolina, but it looks like the favored Huckabee will only finish second.  This may be shaping up as a race between Romney and McCain.  On the other hand, if straw polls mean much of anything, Paul may still have a good chance. . . .  Either way, he's getting the message of limited government out to more Americans than any candidate in history.  And who'd have guessed he'd be so far ahead of projected contenders Thompson and Giuliani at this stage?

16 January 2008

No real surprise

The votes for Michigan are in:

Mitt Romney2994975546337847443342
John McCain1555988571257521361651
Mike Huckabee4084126859139699207399
Ron Paul11817183085443484559
Fred Thompson1590428903213550929
Rudy Giuliani4097204392470649242
Duncan Hunter524121728234564

Romney wins his first primary and extends his overall vote lead; Paul extends his lead over Thompson and Giuliani.  Things are starting to settle, but there's a long way to go.

15 January 2008

No clear leader yet

Interesting.  Huckabee won Iowa and McCain won New Hampshire, but Romney has the most votes overall:

Mitt Romney2994975546105495
John McCain1555988571104130
Mike Huckabee408412685967700
Ron Paul118171830830125
Rudy Giuliani40972043924536
Fred Thompson15904289018794
Duncan Hunter52412171741

It's nice to see Paul ahead of Giuliani and Thompson.  Michigan's next . . .