IF Comp, doctorate

In a couple of hours, the IF Comp 2011 will start. Or at least, the deadline for uploading games will have passed; it might take a little longer before they actually become available. Since I will be participating, I won't be publishing reviews during the competition. In fact, I won't be saying anything at all about the competition, because I don't want to be disqualified.

So let me take this final opportunity and wish the best of luck to my fellow authors, the greatest of wisdom to the judges, and the finest of times to us all.

Also, although this is not a blog about my personal life, I cannot resist the temptation of sharing with you the elation I still feel about getting my doctorate two days ago. Impression of me with my two 'paranimfen': photo. Imagine a committee of 11 people to the left, and an auditorium full of friends, family and colleages behind the photographer. In the Netherlands -- this differs widely between countries -- the actual defence is a big ceremony. At that stage you can no longer fail, but it is still a very exciting day. And you do have to answer difficult questions about your thesis for 45 minutes while all your loved ones are watching (and wondering what you are talking about).

In case you are interested in a PhD thesis on philosophical theories of explanation, you can find it here.


  1. Congratulations, Dr. Gijsbers! And best of luck to Kerkerkruip as well.

    (Word verification: "joint." I make no inferences as to what that means.)

    So can we expect this blog to be devoted to explanation for the next month? I was just teaching IBE-based* antiskeptical arguments today; I think they're interesting as attempts to meet skeptics on their own terms (maybe the only ones that you see in contemporary philosophy, since no one believes in Descartes's positive arguments?), but that the basic problem is that skeptics would be particularly likely and entitled to reject IBE.

    *Inference to the Best Explanation, for any civilians still reading this comment.

  2. Also, the paranimfen seem like the best academic tradition ever. From the Google-translated Wikipedia article: "It was very wise to you as candidate to be accompanied by two burly guys." The word itself is translated as "para nymphs." I suggest that those be introduced into the next release of Kerkerkruip (I know, I know, you can't talk about it).

  3. Congratulations! And good luck in the Comp as well.

  4. Congratulations, Victor!

    You apparently received your doctoral degree exactly a week after I started mine. I only hope that someday in the distant future I will be standing somewhere looking as distinguished as you.

  5. Congratulations, Victor. What a huge accomplishment. Take the next six weeks to celebrate. ;)

  6. Congratulations on your doctorate, and good luck in IFComp -- I hope your game does well and you have a great time!

  7. Congratulations! And enjoy the passing feeling. I completed mine in early 2010, and am still elated :) Oh and your defense sounds scary! We have a much more private system in the UK. I just had to deal with internal and external examiners, and a viva convenor.

  8. @ Matt

    They will be even more entitled to reject IBE after reading chapter three of my thesis, which is titled "Against Inference to the Best Explanation". :)

    @ Aaron

    Come on, if you wear those clothes, you'll look even more distinguished than I did. You've got a less artistic, but more distinguished beard. ;)

    @ Vivienne

    Well, I just had someone explain the British defence to me, and it sounded much scarier. No time limit, a very real chance to fail -- I'd choose 45 minutes of public spectacle any day!

  9. Congratulations! I can't imagine trying to finish a comp entry while also preparing for a thesis defense!

  10. Doug, thanks. The defence is mostly a formality, though. And Kerkerkruip was in beta stage for almost two months.


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