Furthering my time-wasting in this here coffee shop, your easily distracted blogger has been leafing through a several-month old paper copy of The Chronicle of Higher Education left lying around. The story to which I refer is unlinktoable due to a subscription wall. It’s a seemingly simple announcement about the appointment of one Danielle Allen to the position of Humanities Dean at the University of Chicago. This seems all normal and good: Professor Allen has a Ph.D in Classics from Oxford and Political Theory from Harvard; she’s published two books (both of which sound pretty good) and over a dozen articles (in both fields, often not overlapping at all). She’s a full professor of Classics at Chicago with courtesy appointments in Social Thought and Political Science. She’s recieved numerous grants and awards I won’t bother to mention, except one: she’s a recent recipient of a MacAurthur genius grant. All fine and good; some people are very successful, nothing wrong with that. But here’s the kicker: She’s 32 years old! If anyone can explain the physics involved in this, I’d be curious to hear it. I haven’t looked to see if her CV is online, and I’m not sure I want to.