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Is it crazy how saying sentences backwards creates backwards sentences saying how crazy it is?

Are you a ? Prolific is giving away 5000 USD grants to grads and postdocs for fully and studies. Share widely! (But not too widely, because I want to win some of that cashmoney!)

blog.prolific.ac/introducing-j

You heard about the 'bot' plague on mTurk? mTurk is a place a lot of contemporary social psychologists collect data. If it's compromised, it's a big deal.

Turns out, it's not bots. It's just humans exploiting the system.

blog.turkprime.com/after-the-b

I still have most of my stuff in boxes, because I know that, sooner or later, I’m going to have to move again. If the shithead landlord decides to bump us, he can, and almost certainly will. But not before milking us dry while we endure his weekend construction

I’m on the job market (unrelated to above) and I’m cautious about posting this. But honestly, oxford can do better. In the meantime, I have no savings because I’m forking over a bond every four months to some new, dodgy asshole.

Fin.

Stay here, during construction by a dodgy funt, or leave, pay more, and overwinter in some overpriced shithole.

Oxford has many great things about it, but postdocs are sorta fucked on this count, and the uni has - as far as I can tell and access - no protections. No colleges, no services, no rent-help, and no representation for people in my position.

Last week, feeling a little settled after 2 months here, I bought a £15 potted plant of flowers. I left for four days to london, believing life would find a way, and I come back to…

A new situation. The landlord has begun acting on an (expired) permit for a 3-story renovation. He cleared the outside, and fucking hedge trimmed my flowers. Now, I’m faced, in the worst part of the year for house prices, a choice:...

House 6: It is cheap, and mostly large. Shitty facilities. I’ve been here two weeks, and I’m pretty sure one housemate is dying of cancer, judging by his midnight cough, and everyone else is a functioning alcoholic (not academics, but that’s not diagnostic).

The shower here basically just stopped working for like 4 weeks, and the landlord tried to replacing by *bidding on ebay*. It’s 2018, fucker. Use amazon. Anyway, we basically had to birdbath (6 of us) every morning....

House 5: I moved into my 5th house, an attic with a bathroom. This place was more or less fine, good price, housemates fine (except animals in the kitchen). The landlord went ahead and cut down a beautiful willow tree from the garden (aiming for that english bleak chic vibe)… and a few weeks later evicted us for the higher rates new tenants would pay. The circle of life continues. So I moved into the 6th place, the place I am right now…

‘I’m in hospital, I got viral meningitis, I was in a coma. I can’t keep the house. You’ll have to move out’. Turns out, her unravelling, and poor hygiene (associated with her kid’s nappies) probably fucked her brain, literally. So here I am, just before christmas, booted out, wondering if the house itself will put me in a coma, and looking for somewhere to sleep. Fortunately, a friend helped me out …

The bottle was for her birthday (a week forthcoming), and she ‘just needed a drink’. It was about now I noticed that she was kinda on edge. Things were fine, until one day they weren't’t. In fact, one friday many weeks later, she (and her kid) never came home. I got a phone call on a sunday morning (while on a date)...

House 3. It was nice enough, except I lived with a recently divorced 25 year old and her one year old kid - it was a messy breakup. Though I didn’t know any of this when I showed up and later moved in. Stayed there a couple of weeks, and watched her unravel. One friday I was up late, but about to go to bed, and she pulled out a bottle of Moet and offered me some. I stayed up to be friendly, but insisted she drink my beer....

… fuck you, you can’t live in a house, and also, pay us extra money. Moreover, students pay one rate, and non-students pay another. This means that postdocs routinely are discriminated against by students, and are *required* to pay more when they do find a place...

So, after being booted, and desperately searching for weeks, I found a new place in Summertown…

I asked to keep the house to fill in the rooms myself, but the laws in Oxford are strange, and because I was not an original name on the lease, I couldn’t. Not that the any agency in this town gives a fuck, they literally hold all the power. See, oxford requires non-kin groups who live together to live in houses with special licences. If you’re not blood/married...

House 3. After 6 weeks, I found a new place. Unfortunately at this time, students were leaving, and the market was open (but expensive). It was in abbey road behind the train station (yes, trains). It was pretty good there, rent was moderate, I had my own bathroom. But it wasn’t long before the landlords simply evicted us to get in new tenants to charge them more.

House 2: I got into a second short let. It was nice, a lovely nurse and an IT person from India. We watched movies together. The rent was ok (near the Jam Factory). It was temporary, so I could look past the fact a house with two women had no mirrors or shower (just a bath). I didn’t even mind the weekly sunday family get togethers. They were fun. Though, to be fair, I didn’t have any say in the matter, and I was lucky everyone left pretty soon after dark. I kept looking for the next place.

Maybe I was just unlucky. Maybe, in the hipsteriest neighborhood of OX, I got unlucky...so after navigating the seasonally exploitive housing market I got out. One AM, I called a cab, dragged my suitcase out the door, jumped in, and fucked off. I see her around, but if she ever recognized me, I’d pretend we’d never met. Her addled brain wouldn’t know otherwise.

House 1: My friends advised me, before moving, to take a temporary let. I did. I found it on gumtree, and I lived in Jericho. It was a fucking abomination. The kitchen was a health hazard. I ate takeaway for six weeks. The house was owned by a degenerate alcoholic who literally never cleaned her kitchen. Not just this, but there was a ton of drugs, domestic abuse, the occasional very large dog, midnight parties, and indoor smoking....

I have a great job at one of the best universities in the world (@UniofOxford). I’m often a little embarrassed to say that out loud, but not today. Gather round, and let me tell you a tale of this town, and how postdocs are *fucked* by taking on this job.

I live in one of the least affordable cities in the uk (ind.pn/2Qa2pr2), and no protection is afforded me by the uni or the colleges (postdocs aren’t affiliated). I’ve lived here for 20 months, and I have moved 6 times.

A thread..

Just submitted my first totally voluntary peer review on a pre-print (with my name on). I'm not used to imposter syndrome, but this sparked it. Hopefully it's useful. Paper here:

osf.io/afwmr/

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📄 [preprint] A brief introduction to , Software and Collective Intelligence for environmental data creators and users

:doi: doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprint

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