This just in: Somebody is "sabotaging" the English Literature job search wiki.
You'd think that I'm making this up, because why (really) would anybody bother? Is there some sort of pleasure to be derived in freaking out a bunch of already freaked out grad students and assistant professors?
Apparently, yes. But what's hilarious to me as I watch the escalating hysteria about the "sabotaged" wiki, is that nobody seems to think that anybody is putting misinformation on the thing. They basically trust that the wiki is the voice of Truth. The saboteur is in fact just being accused of deleting updated information. But why would a saboteur stop with deletion? Wouldn't it be more fun to tell people that interviews have been scheduled when they've not been scheduled, etc., so as to dash people's hopes, make them leave town and never check their messages, etc.? I mean, if I were a saboteur, this is what I'd do (and, let me state for the record that I am definitively NOT the vandal responsible for all of the chaos, nor would I do such a thing, but I'm not above thinking about it).
Now, my mom's been suspicious of this wiki all along, claiming that she thinks people would just tell lies on it. I thought she was being a bit paranoid, but now I'm thinking, hey, maybe my paranoid mom is on to something.
I suppose the point here is that it is clear to me that the wiki is just a way for people to focus their anxieties - whether for good or for ill. It really doesn't aid in one's own search at all, and I'd pretty much given up on the thing as being worth a damn anyway, because it doesn't really make the process transparent - rather, it creates an illusion of transparency, which I think is more dangerous than just acknowledging that it's not a transparent process.
I'd say more, but I'm drinking the echinacea tea and am feeling a bit cloudy. That said, am feeling better than yesterday, which is what happens when you sleep for about 16 hours over the course of a 24 hour period.
3 years ago