Devoted readers have probably noticed the ad in this issue announcing that we’re accepting applications for the Junior Fellows program.

I’m sure many of you are thinking that this is a great opportunity, but please heed the advice of one who knows: Don’t be be taken in. For unless you like intensely interesting reading and frequent conversation with some of the brightest contributors to the most fascinating and urgent debates of our time, a junior fellow’s life is no life at all. Unless you value the privilege of testing your ideas against sharp minds and your prose against expert editing, you’d be better off in the coalmines. Unless you’re one of those eccentrics for whom lively interaction with brilliant and witty peers counts as a “good time,” then for heaven’s sake keep your writing samples to yourself.

If you still feel tortured by a subrational urge to apply against your better judgment, take heart. The deadline is almost here , so the danger will soon be past.