This series of posts about a proposed Alan Turing conference at Stanford left me wondering about the best academic novels I had read. Pnin is good, but not very academic. Gone by Renata Adler is fantastic but about office politics. I didn’t like Changing Places nor Lucky Jim. I doubt a novel could be better than this:
A couple of days later we received a note from Lester Earnest to say he was withdrawing from the committee. Since Les was underwriting the event this was a blow; we had lost our funding.
I wrote to Les asking him what had happened, knowing that the exchange with [Jennifer] Widom [chair of the Stanford CS department] over the December holiday was surely sufficient to deter and depress anyone.
A few hours later Ed Feigenbaum wrote to the committee saying that he had not spoken to Les but that he would withdraw from the committee himself. This puzzled both me and Les because Les had just told me that Ed that had talked him out of supporting the conference.
Is there a blog about academic politics?