(It does not occur to Mason that this might have something to do with her being his supervisor, but we who have supervised graduate theses have our own dark thoughts at this point.)
It is left to a 'glum Hegelian' to steer him through his final revisions, which, while depressing for Mason and no doubt also for the Hegelian, is as nothing to what happens next:
But for me the real catastrophe -- and I'm afraid this is how graduate students construct these matters -- was that the person selected to round out my committee was certain to cause me trouble. The nemesis in question was the celebrated postrationalist theologian Felix Pielmeister, newly arrived from Notre Dame.
There are certain co-ordinates on this planet, spatial and temporal, where one is well advised to avoid antagonising the locals. The Lower East Side of Manhattan at three o'clock in the morning, say, or the philosophy department of a major university any day of the week. I never found out how Felix Pielmeister came to visit my website ... I suppose he was slumming it one day, ordering his search engine to display all reviews of his newest book, an anti-Darwinist screed called The Algorithms of Immortality, and suddenly, voilà: the blistering review I'd composed to amuse myself during the gestation of my dissertation.