All those topics that i wish i had time to pursue more earnestly.
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Category — academic life

Handbook is in amazon

June 4, 2009   1 Comment

SocProf Supports William I. Robinson | The Global Sociology Blog

[From SocProf Supports William I. Robinson | The Global Sociology Blog]

As do I.

It amazes me that this sort of thing goes on. It is quite worrisome in terms of academic freedom, not that we necessarily have any more freedom than others as academics, but that we are supposed to be able to speak and share knowledge… make comparisons that may make people uncomfortable. Knowedge does that…. makes people uncomfortable.

April 24, 2009   1 Comment

Times Higher Education – You don’t have to be fixated to work here…

For Lennard J. Davis, universities are akin to licensed madhouses and obsession is the name of the game.

[From Times Higher Education - You don't have to be fixated to work here...]


the sad thing is that this is mostly true….

March 12, 2009   No Comments

Graduate School in the Humanities: Just Don’t Go –


Graduate School in the Humanities: Just Don’t Go

It’s hard to tell young people that universities view their idealism and energy as an exploitable resource

[From Graduate School in the Humanities: Just Don't Go -]


I think this should not just be Humanities, it is somewhat the same in the social sciences, physical and chemical sciences. biological sciences might be different, but that might be changing also. There are only so many jobs, and there fewer jobs all the time.

Many colleagues expect an increase in graduate student enrollment in the next few years in many fields, as that always happens in a downturn. However, they know that of the few that actually graduate with their ph.d.’s, fewer will get jobs, and of those, even fewer will get tenure. It isn’t about talent as much as willingness to submit to the system and grinding through:)

January 30, 2009   No Comments

Hacker News | Don’t Become a Scientist.

Don’t Become a Scientist.

[From Hacker News | Don't Become a Scientist.]

interesting insider/outsider discussion about the workings of modern science and the appreciations of that.

June 3, 2008   No Comments

Fellowship and Conference

Since Tuesday I have been in Milwaukee visiting SOIS and CIPR as part of my Information Ethics fellowship. I attended a discussion about a possible future conference on translating intercultural information ethics across the situated understandings that term implies across a plurality of contexts. That seems like a great project, I’m happy to help out there. For the rest of the time, I attended the conference Thinking Critically:Alternative Perspectives and Methods in Information Studies. It was an excellent conference and I met many interesting people in the field of information studies, most of which are leaders in their field or soon to be so. I also attended the 2008 Samore Lecture: “Interpreting the Digital Human,” by Professor Rafael Capurro, at the Allis Museum, which provided an excellent end to the conference. I had excellent dinners and conversation with colleagues that I’ve not seen for some time, and with new friends and colleagues. I suspect that I’ll be seeing many of these people again over the years. It was a great experience all around, though I did not get enough writing done on a promised paper that is overdue. It really looks like the CIPR and SOIS are up to some great things and I’m happy to be affiliated with them as an Ethics Fellow for another year.

Unrelated to the conference and my fellowship, I had the opportunity to meet and talk with Thomas Malaby who has a book forthcoming on Linden Lab. We spoke at length about problems of research, computer game studies, his work with Linden Lab and his related work. It was a fantastic conversation and I hope to have similar conversations in relation to my work in Second Life in the future.

All in all the problem of alternative methods and the communities that support them is an important issue in my career. I have been affiliated with many groups on this topic from Phil Graham’s old NewMediaResearch, heterodox economics, and the political science perestroika movement list, to my current work with InterpretationandMethods and Theory, Policy and Society, not to mention my work with the Association of Internet Researchers. The work that I perform is primarily interpretive methods, from ethnography to textual analysis, though I’ve been known to use quantitative when it adds to the argument. The key to me though is to come to notion of understanding and being able to communicate what actually leads to certain understandings of the world. It concerns me that there are so many people with so many of the same issues across so many different disciplines and there is so little conversations amongst them. Though there are broad interdisciplinary efforts and efforts toward inclusion.

May 18, 2008   No Comments

Blackboard wins initial round on patent suit damages awarded 3+million

The verdict, announced this afternoon, allows Blackboard Inc. to demand a ban on sales of Desire2Learn’s products in the United States.

[From - News - Local: Jury rules against Desire2Learn in patent case ]


I cannot help but wonder why this patent has not been invalidated. There has to be innumerable examples of this actually occurring in universities before blackboad, and beyond that, the patent does not seem to be particularly innovative in context, it seems to me to be mapping practices, but hey that’s my opinion, and the court disagrees.

February 24, 2008   No Comments

morning IM chats on teaching with technology

A colleague brought up the recent inquiry on technology in the classroom here which led to my general use of high technology in the classroom as found below:


10:33 way back when i started teaching

10:34 my colleagues introduced me to the most handy bit of kit

10:34 it’s called a codex

10:34 it is a collection of paper bound at the edge with glue or other means

10:34 now quite amazingly… you’d think that this bit of technical kit, well, it’s useless.

10:35 but people have appropriated it and filled it with all kinds of things, pictures, drawings, and words

10:35 some people have even taken the explicit step of ordering these things, pictures and words in a way that apparently is intended to convey meaning


10:36 well that’s crazy


10:36 and i’m like ‘holy cow!’

10:36 you mean someone

10:36 has gathered all their knowledge on a topic

10:36 and put it in a codex

10:36 and students can get hold of this thing

10:36 isn’t that dangerous?




10:36 i mean what if it tells them how to skip class

10:37 or worse, how to fold their graded assignments in to lewd origami?


10:37 I’m shocked and apalled


10:37 but then i saw one of these things, and tried to use it in class

10:37 and OMG

10:37 the students that could read and spent time reading it…

10:37 their performance improved dramatically

10:37 no more did they just have to reiterate what i said before

10:38 though that is always appreciated, and some still strive for that

10:38 they could actually ‘interpret the meanings’ in the codex and occasionally you find one or two that will combine those meanings with other meanings and actually teach me something

10:38 man… that’s scary

10:39 but it adds a new exciting edge to the classroom

10:39 so… technology in the classroom, it’s great!


10:41 I dunno

10:41 it sounds…dangerous


10:42 well, I have to admit that it is actually slightly less dangerous than having the students re-enact the lessons of history with pointed sticks and rocks, though that was all in all very learning intensive on many levels

February 24, 2008   No Comments

Weblogg-ed » What Do We Know About Our Kids’ Futures? Really.

What Do We Know About Our Kids’ Futures? Really.

[From Weblogg-ed » What Do We Know About Our Kids’ Futures? Really.]


there is an interesting discussion occurring at weblogg-ed about kids and learning. my addition is that kids have learned to be compartmentalized, not taking intellectual risks, and losing to some extent their curiousities in favor of performance of others’ goals.

February 17, 2008   No Comments

Academia is a Cult « Bug Girl’s Blog

Academia is a Cult

[From Academia is a Cult « Bug Girl’s Blog]

here’s an interesting set of opinions. too bad some things don’t fit… though certainly other parts of the argument illustrate certain parallelisms

February 9, 2008   No Comments