Bad Prof Encyclopedia
“Encyclopedia” comes from the Greek words “encyclos”, meaning recurrent, cyclical, or general, and “paideia,” meaning education. Together the words came to signify “general or complete knowledge or instruction.”
The phrase “Bad Prof” comes from the American basketball player Jimmy King, who coined it to refer to his friend, collaborator and sometime teammate, Yago Colás, a professor at the University of Michigan.
Thus, the “Bad Prof Encyclopedia,” is meant to offer something like “general knowledge according to Yago.”
Seriously, though, the various questions and objections that have come my way in the course of my teaching and writing led me to want to offer some elaborated definitions of concepts that I frequently use. But as I began to think about this, it occurred to me that it would be fun and moderately useful to readers to have something a little more inclusive.
Of course, this particular encyclopedia will be neither complete nor objective. It’s entries will instead provide brief accounts of how I think about certain words, ideas, people, places, or things. Some will pertain to basketball, others to sports more generally, and still others to language and literature, society, history, philosophy, the arts, and education. Obviously, it will necessarily be partial and incomplete. It’s not meant to provide expert accounts of its entries, so much as to shed light on how I think about things, or how I’ve experienced them, or perhaps inevitably: both. I hope, in the process, to make some of the more specialized tools I’ve acquired through my professional training and experience available to a wider audience. If nothing else, perhaps it can stimulate deeper thinking on topics of shared interest.
Ideally, over time, I’ll add links in my posts to relevant encyclopedia pages and, similarly, various encyclopedia pages will include links to relevant posts, other encyclopedia pages, or illustrative or otherwise relevant content elsewhere on the web.
It’s an ambitious, possibly impossible, project and I’ll be working on this exciting addition to Between the Lines only sporadically, as I have the time and inclination and as topics occur to or are suggested by you. But please check back from time to time and feel free, as you do so, to offer me feedback, including suggestions for additions or revisions.