if you'll excuse me, i'm going to rant about academia for a moment. in my opinion it is unconcerned with things like scholarly excellence, or for that matter truth. what gets rewarded is, first, conventionality; your best career move is to try to be more like everyone else than anyone else. and then there's kind of a partisan series of tests: people don't care how good anyone's work is; what they care about is what party you belong to - in my discipline, analytic or continental or american - and then what tendency within continental, for example. of course, the professoriate is politically unanimous, and any tiny deviation is grounds for exile. from grad school to tenure, people write out of career fear: any interesting claim or sharp formulation could be fatal. you're better off carefully refining someone else's ideas or going for real obscurity; signs of originality or even definiteness or clarity endanger your kids' health insurance. under these conditions, i would say that being the citigroup professor of fellatio at stanford or whatever shouldn't lend any credibility to anyone. am i parading my own ego and resentments here? oh, quite possibly. on the other hand i really do know the terrain.