In lieu of our usual comprehensive weekly wrapup, I’d like to use the first part of this post to call out some of the recent non-blog activity at gnovis, specifically the launch of our website’s new multimedia section, featuring some of CCTs explorations in non-traditional academic research. Currently, the section includes 10 projects, mostly “Digital Stories” produced for Dr Michael Coventry’s classes.
After having recent conversations with friends in the newspaper business and reading Akoto Ofori-Atta’s latest gnovis blog on the predicament of magazines, it reminded me of a lingering fear and, what I believe, an imminent reality: the demise of the profession I spent four years studying — and shelled out thousands of dollars to study — will fall to the hands of millions of amateurs spouting off inane stories, inaccuracies and highly subjective information.
Today, an article came across my Facebook news feed about Georgia legislators trying to stop the funding of research areas deemed “unnecessary”, such as Queer theory. The argument is framed as an economic one – the lawmakers are tired of “spending state dollars on close studies of oral sex and male prostitution.” Some who commented on the article interpreted it as a religiously, rather than an economically driven action, even though there is almost nothing to suggest that in the language of the legislature. Others brought up the issue of academic freedom. So, is this an attempt to spread a particular religious agenda couched in economic terms? Or, is it an economic argument to be taken at face value? And is it an ideologically motivated attack on academic freedom, or is resource allocation part of the state’s job?
It is a question as old as the fail whale itself: Why do we Twitter? Yesterday, the Valley Wag asked this question in a scathing critique of the usefulness of this service. Earlier this month, David Pogue of The New York Times in his for-the-masses review described it as a “time drain” and “one of those ego things.” Yes, it is the season for critiquing Twitter.
This weeks bloggers focus on the economy, emotional reactions to mediated experiences, and of course, social media.
Last week, I set the World Photo Press’ ‘Winners Gallery’ as my gchat status. This status generated several conversations (via chat). Here are my reactions, sprinkled with my friend’s comments. Feel free to share your thoughts.
Back in 2007 I wrote a post called “Disclosure vs Consent: What Software Can Learn From Medicine,” in which I argued that software companies ought to include an informed consent process with their EULAs, in an attempt to make sure their users actually understand what they are agreeing to, instead of blindly checking the “I Agree” box without reading the document.
A few Saturdays ago, I woke up eager to embark on my most treasured weekend past-time- a bowl of granola, a cup of Starbucks, and a stack of glossy magazines. After I skimmed through a couple of weeklies, I reached for one of my many guilty pleasures, People’s Style Watch. I turned through the pages, and came across the number one most annoying magazine pet-peeve of all, the subscription card.
Once again, on gnovis bloggers discuss the constant negotiation made between our lives and new media, with varying degrees of acceptance.
Brad suggests that engaging podcasts may be the ideal way to take a break from thesising, without down shifting your mental gears.
I recently blogged about citizens becoming scientists by observing how nature around them is reacting to changes in climate and imputing their observations into a database. In other words making visible that which would otherwise remain invisible. Keeping with the theme, I recently read an article in the NYT about biologists collaborating with computer scientists to construct the tree of life, first sketched by Darwin in 1837.