I thought Daily Nous should get in on the year end list action. But what would be a good list? Top philosophy blog posts? 3 Quarks Daily has that cornered. Best philosophy books published this year? Like I’ve had time to read enough books this year to make a list (I thought of this one but it turns out it came out last year). Fave pop songs of 2014? A bit outside DN’s bailiwick (but ok here’s a fun one). Big news items in the philosophy profession this year? Hmmm… were there any? I’m at a loss. (Though I suppose at a personal level there was this.)
There’s a joke that mathematicians and deans like:
Q: What is the difference between a mathematician and a philosopher?
A: The mathematician only needs paper, pencil, and a trash bin for his work. The philosopher can do without the trash bin.
It’s a dumb joke. The philosopher needs an armchair, too. Duh. But it gave me an idea.
What do philosophers use? That’ll be the list.
Philosophers, think about what you use in your day to day life that is anywhere from directly to tangentially related to your work, broadly construed, and share it in the comments below. Then we can all “accidentally” leave our browsers open to this page for potential gift givers to come across when they see our computers, which we can “accidentally” leave on and in their lines of sight. Or maybe you want to get something for another philosopher in your life. Or for yourself.
I’ll get the list started with a few things:
- This website would not exist without coffee. I often make coffee at home and bring it to work in the Klean Kanteen 20 oz. wide mouth insulated bottle. It keeps the coffee hot for a really long time, and if you get it with the “cafe” lid you can sip hot coffee all morning from it as if it were a regular cup. It doubles as a water bottle, too.
- I keep the Flexion phone charger in my work bag, but it is slim enough to fit in a coat pocket unobtrusively. It is great for getting a few hours of extra battery life from your phone when you can’t plug it into a wall.
- I write in books in pencil, and for some reason I like these small, old-fashioned metal pencil sharpeners.
- It is very difficult to make chocolate banana rum milkshakes, when you need a break from work, without a blender. My old one died and I hope to replace it with this one, which is supposed to be comparable to Vitamix and Blendtec machines for a lot less.
- This small 32 GB USB 2.0 flashdrive is advertised as shock and water resistant. It fits on my key ring, so I always know where it is — lost, somewhere, with my keys.
- Traveling for conferences or talks? I like this suitcase, which should fit as carry-on on most airlines.
- Standing desks are all the rage, but let us not forget that one of the perks of academia is being able to work without getting out of bed. For such occasions, or when one can make it to the sofa but no further, there are lap desks. I have one like this and it keeps my laptop from melting my legs.