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George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950), Man and Superman (1903) "Maxims for Revolutionists"
You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"
George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950), "Back to Methuselah" (1921), part 1, act 1
Don't let fear convince you that you're too weak to have courage. Fear is the opportunity for courage, not the proof of cowardice.
McCain, John (2004, September). In Search of Courage: Finding the Courage Within You. FastCompany, 51-56.
In the search for character and commitment, we must rid ourselves of our inherited, even cherished biases and prejudices. Character, ability and intelligence are not concentrated in one sex over the other, nor in persons with certain accents or in certain races or in persons holding degrees from some universities over others. When we indulge ourselves in such irrational prejudices, we damage ourselves most of all and ultimately assure ourselves of failure in competition with those more open and less biased.
J. Irwin Miller, Chairman of the Board (1951-1977), Cummins Inc. From 1983 letter about diversity at the company.
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February 29, 2004
What'dYa Know? Not Much You?
Hubby and I broke out and made the drive north to the Purdue University campus, West Lafayette IN, to watch a live broadcast of What'dYa Know? with Michael Feldman. This is the second time we have seen the show live. In about 1994 we saw them in Louisville, sponsored by WFPL.
This show was by far the better of the two. In Louisville the company spent an inordinate amount of time discussing bourbon and Kentucky mash. First a local historian was interviewed discussing the history of the Kentucky liquor industry. Then they had an expert on who provided drinks for the cast, during an on stage tasting. Finally a local baker was introduced who had brought samples of cakes and pies containing locally brewed liquors. It got long...very long. Not sure I have ever before paid to watch someone else drink. LOL
During the Purdue show guests included an entomolgist who brought along a few critters to show off during the program, a local commentator who discussed some of his humorous autobiographical writings, a fife and drum corp who played beautifully, and - of course - a local baker who showed off her pies.
February 27, 2004
Monthly Advisory Committee Reports
I started doing monthly reports this academic year as a tool to communicate with my advisory committee now that I am not in classes. I started it for them, but quickly found that the process really helps me. I get to the end of many months feeling somewhat dejected because I didn't complete my goals for that month. It is very enlightening to write out all of my activities for the month, I constantly find that I have achieved many more things then I realized. In other words not achieving all of my goals does not mean that I was not active or was wasting my energies. Rather it often means that either priorities were forced to change over the month, or that my initial plan was unattainable.
I am linking this month and previous months reports in, in good blog tradition, reverse chronological order:
February 25, 2004
This week seems to be flying
'm not sure where the time is going...but isn't that always true. Monday I graded exams and journal entries which took up most of the day. I also signed the contract to hook us up for a satellite internet connection. Our dialup is so slow that it's making accessing main campus library resources very difficult from home. Of course it's not great on campus either, I can access but I can't print via the wireless network. I have to get the tech support people on the phone and have them walk me through how this is done under the new system.
Tuesday I read several articles on adolescent online communication. I took detailed notes but didn't write abstracts. I hope to get that done and posted here tomorrow. My new enclosure arrived. It was easy to set it up and get my files up and running. Though it took a bit of time to figure out that the connector required is proprietary and therefore ill-suited for my application. I ordered a second enclosure that uses a USB 2.0 mini to USB A connector configuration. When it arrives I will use that enclosure as the primary and this one, with the proprietary connector, as backup. Never hurts to have a backup when you depend on the hardware.
Wednesday, as usual, is dedicated to preparing to teach my class and, of course, teaching said class. So that brings us to tomorrow, Thursday.
February 22, 2004
A computer bump in the road
Well I've ordered another enclosure with next day delivery. Hopefully that means I will have it in my hands on Tuesday, Wednesday at the latest. Until then I will be reading journal articles, making notes, and writing abstract for same. Oh and grading tests for my class. That should keep me busy enough until everything is back to normal.
February 20, 2004
Computer disasters...or possibly just a massive rock in the road
I have, for over a year, used a laptop hard drive in an external enclosure to move files from my desktop to my laptop and back again. Basically it is my working hard drive for all my files on both computers. Normally I back it up before I unplug it from the desktop, and I did Monday before I headed for campus. I did not do so today though.
So after hours of library research on Monday and again today - none of it backed up - the connector broke tonight when I attempted to plug is in at home. I had noticed that it was more difficult then usual to unplug from the laptop earlier and was very careful plugging it in here. But that was not enough.
I hope when hubby gets home he can get the enclosure open and reattach the female-end so I can back everything up very quickly. Clearly I will need to replace the drive or at least the enclosure...but I can do that. *crossing my fingers* Let's just hope that's all I lose.
February 18, 2004
Glasses glasses everywhere
I have now joined the post-40 set who proudly or not so proudly sport their bifocal. I made a choice not to go the bifocal route since I have NO tolerance for blur when it comes to my vision. So that means I have reading glasses/computer glasses and driving glasses. Both of these pairs are my old standby frame style with the large oval lens...reading/computer glasses are teal and the driving glasses are black. But I quickly found that two pairs are not enough, I needed something that would work in multiple situations. So I now have ordered a pair of half glasses, see the picture, that I can wear when I am teaching or watching TV and reading. We shall see how it goes. I like this pair because they acknowledge they are half-glasses and have a fun historical bent. They are made by Windsor Eyes and are called the Cromwell. I ordered them in gunmetal grey.
Today's Reading - Scientists and Subjects
Pedroni, Julia A. & Pimple, Kenneth D. (2001). A Brief Introduction to Informed Consent in Research with Human Subjects. Poynter Center for the Study of Ethics and American Institutions [On-line].
Notes from a close reading: The article introduces the history of informed consent codes tying existing rules to the Nuremberg Code, through the Declaration of Helsinki, and the International Ethical Guidelines adopted by the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS). This short history grounds the article and allows the reader to understand from whence informed consent rules have come.
Consequentialist and nonconsequentialist reasons can be used to justify the status of informed consent as a fundamental principle of ethical research with human subjects. The consequentialist reason asserts that one should adopt as doing so would have the best expected results compared with alternatives. The authors present the following contentions to support this reason:
|1) Obtaining subjects' informed consent to participation tends to increase their adherence to the protocol, and hence the quality of the research.|
|2) Since investigators are not always able to identify the risks their research may pose to subjects, a process of informed consent provides the benefits of an additional layer of risk review tailored o the interests of the individual subject.|
|3) Affirming a principle of informed consent is likely to foster public trust of the research community; without such trust the research enterprise could not flourish. (p. 3)|
One can also apply consequentialist reasoning to the position against informed consent. These arguments would include: the process is expensive, time consuming, and can create a self-selection bias. Additionally the reasons for support listed above can be invalidated.
Nonconsequentialist reasons for adopting a principle of informed consent rest on the intrinsic qualities of persons or actions. This can provide a more robust foundation then the consequentialist perspective since it requires researchers acquire informed consent regardless of the expected consequences of doing so. The Belmont Report utilizes a nonconsequentialist rationale in its principle of informed consent.
Two notions of informed consent are drawn from Faden and Beauchamp (1986) The first meaning is a moral sense that defines consent as the "autonomous authorization" of an individual's involvement in research (Faden et al., 1986, p. 276). The second meaning is a socio-legal definition which establishes "legally or institutionally effective authorization (Faden et al., 1986, p. 281).
The authors present four elements of informed consent including providing information in one of three standards (professional practice, reasonable person, or subjected), subjects must substantially understanding the information, authorization must be freely given, and subjects must have the capacity to make the decision on their own. There are a limited number of reasons why informed consent would not be required.
Two circumstances where informed consent is undesirable are noted: a) when a signed form may pose a risk to the subject, and b) when obtaining informed consent may diminish the scientific merit of the research. In the first case the issue is the form of the consent, in that the existence of a signed form may pose a risk. In these cases informed consent is still required but the paperwork should either protected with a Certificate of Confidentiality or the paperwork process could be waived by the IRB.
In the second case the subject's knowledge that they are participating in a study could substantially change their acts and therefore alter the outcome of the research. In these cases IRBs may waive the paperwork process though post-hoc paperwork should be obtained if possible.
Faden, Ruth R. and Beauchamp, Tom L. (1986). A History and Theory of Informed Consent. New York: Oxford University Press.
February 17, 2004
Today's Reading - Adolescent communication in CMC environment
Notes: This article asks the questions are online relationships spread evenly throughout the population of adolescents online or are they more common among some segments of youth Internet users. The data is drawn from a national survey of 1501 Internet-using adolescents between 10 and 17 years of age conducted via telephone between August 1999 and February 2000. The methodology was primarily designed to accommodate another set of research questions used to assess how often young people encounter unwanted sexual solicitations, pornography and harassment online. The data (n=1501) for this survey was drawn from a subset of the overall survey. A single participant was drawn from eligible households using a systematic process for selection when more then one eligible teenager resided in the home.
A composite independent variable was constructed from questions related to conflict with parents, communication with parents (specifically about who the adolescent is with and what they are doing with away from the parents), delinquent behavior (drugs/alcohol use and general delinquent behavior), if the teen is "highly troubled" (depression, physical/sexual assault in the past year, and the occurrence of negative life events), and high internet use.
The authors found that 14% (n=205) of the adolescents had close friendships online. Two percent (n=30) had had online romances. Girls were slightly more likely then boys to have close online relationships (16% of girls vs. 12% of boys). Girls ages 14-17 were about twice as likely as younger girls (10-13) to form close online relationships. Youth with close online relationships were more likely to be high school age (14-17), non-Hispanic while, who reported high levels of internet use with home access.
Logistic regression shows that a disproportionate number of these youth were highly troubled, reported high amounts of conflict with their parents, low communication with parents and engaged in high levels of delinquency. The characteristics of high parent child conflict and being highly troubled were associated with close online relationships.
For boys the logistic regression showed that five variables were associated with close online relationships: being non-Hispanic white, low communication with parents, being highly troubled, high Internet use, and home Internet access. The regression model explained half the variance that was explained by the model for girls.
The authors suggest that adolescents who are alienated from their parents may have difficulty establishing face-to-face relationships and that their need to develop close relationships may be satisfied via the internet.
The research design has limitations that are presented in the article. First the data was drawn from a larger survey that bore only tangential relationship to this set of research questions. Second there appears to be an unsupported underlying assumption that most significant numbers of adolescents experience problems during their teenage years. Third the survey does not appear to assess the level or recency of some of the independent variables (e.g. how recent is the negative life event or recency effect on the issues of parental conflict).
Today's Reading - Content Analysis
Rose, Gillian (2001). Visual Methodologies: An Introduction to the Interpretation of Visual Materials. London: Sage.
Notes: Chapter 3 - Content Analysis: Counting what you (think you) see
This chapter extends the use of content analysis from its origins as a method to interpret written and spoken texts by applying it to visual images. Studies using content analysis use lots of numbers to prove their points. While considered a scientific method, content analysis may also include qualitative interpretation elements.
The author outlines the four basic sampling strategies: random, using a random number table to pick a specific number of images for analysis; stratified, sampling from subsets that exist in the data set choosing images from each group; systematic, selecting every nth image across the set; and cluster, choosing groups at random and sampling from within those groups only. Strategies can be used individually or combined to give the best fit to the research question.
In the Analysing the Results section the author discusses the transition from frequency counts to analysis. She stresses that researchers must have high levels of contextual knowledge relative to their subjects. This contextual knowledge can guide their analysis of the patterns draw from their data. Examples are given. More sophisticated analysis can be drawn by exploring the relationships between different coding categories. These analysis can be either quantitative (statistical) or qualitative. Qualitative analysis can consist of developing themes from the data set, what interpretations can be supported across coding categories.
They cite Ball and Smith (1992) suggesting that content analysis is fairly useless for understanding the cultural meaning of the visual components it analyses. While the attempt to refute the claim their argument is not founded on single methodology case studies, rather their examples are of research that utilize content analysis with ethnographic and documentary research methods that lead to broader understanding of the phenomena under investigation. When applied in this manner Lutz and Collins (1993) place content analysis on the borderline between quantitative and qualitative analysis methodologies. Rose states that content analysis is best used when one desires to approach a large volume of data in a consistent manner.
Ball, M. S. & Smith, G. W. H. (1992). Analyzing Visual Data. London: Sage.
Lutz, C. A. & Collins, J. L. (1993). Reading National Geographic. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
February 15, 2004
Reference Manager Project
I have finally seen the bottom of the piles of papers and books waiting for entry and filing/shelving. As of today I have sorted out all the edited volumes, waiting to be entered, into those related to and those not related to my quals. I have seven volumes that need to be entered for quals, I will be doing the data entry as I go along and adding new citations to the paper as required. A much larger stack of eleven books are waiting patiently for future entry into the database. It makes me feel like I have succeeded at something even if at this point that something is not writing.
There is tomorrow to do the bibliographic searches for the first two sets of terms for my quals. I will be working on that project and downloading pdf files from the library databases for the following terms sets: adolescent, communication, CMC (internet); and adolescent, communication, gender. It is clear I can't get four sections done in February but I am still working toward having two completed by the end of the month. If I can pull that off them I will definitely feel like this project is under control.
February 14, 2004
Happy Valentine's Day. Following a nice dinner out with my sister and her husband, we broke out of the county to go to Indianapolis for a movie. I had been wanting to see In America for some time and tonight was the night. It is an excellent film that pulls you into its well rounded characters. I recommend it.
February 12, 2004
Bowls on the bias
I learn amazing things from my Aussie friends. I had heard of "lawn bowling" as the German game that developed into today's indoor bowling. I had never heard of "lawn bowls," which a friend mentioned to me tonight. After a series of instant messenger exchanges where I ruled out not only German Lawn Bowling but also Italian Bocce, which I misspelled in my message - thanks Ken, I decided to plug the terms into Google and see what results were found. This lawn bowls site details the history of the game in Europe and American. A Google image search turns up lots of pictures of people appearing to have a great time playing this game. I will have to learn more about it.
The United States Lawn Bowls Association has a neat logo.
February 11, 2004
New version of ListPro
I unabashedly love Ilium Software products. I have, at one time or another, tried almost all of their software. Currently I use three of their products daily on both Windows and Palm OS systems (where supported): ListPro, eWallet, and Recordian. I have also used the same three programs on Pocket PC. I simply could not run my world without these three programs.
My use of these products overlaps a bit but mostly they serve separate purposes. I use ListPro as a future planning tool, with categories for conference submissions and links to the CFP, as well as static information like publication bibliographic information. Recordian overlaps a bit, in it I enter when I submitted a conference presentation proposal/paper, what the outcome of that submission is, any workshop or colloquia I attend, etc. At the end of the year I just dump all of this information into Word and format it for Annual Review submission. Very handy. Finally eWallet keeps all that information I simply can't remember on my own. LOL Like the combination to the IUPUC Faculty Lounge, and my copier key number. I'd be totally lost without it.
Today they announced a new version of ListPro, v. 4.0. It's very cool looking with updated graphics and an improved appearance. The new version also has enhanced filtering, and new wizards. I highly recommend it. They offer 30-day free trials on all of their products so you can try them out and see if they work as well for you as they do for me.
February 09, 2004
Today Daniel Burbrink is being laid to rest after a lengthy battle with leukemia. I did not know him personally, his father John was in the class ahead of me in grade school. John is from a large family and there are many links between their farming family and mine.
The one time that I know for certain that I saw Daniel was last year at his cousin's graduation party. He was a striking young man, I noticed him when he had to duck to make it through the door. He was having fun with other young folks his age. As I watched them join the party, separating and regrouping, I could see that he was talking animatedly with others and having a good laugh over something someone had said to the group. At that point my attention was drawn back to the group of folks, my own age, with whom I was sitting; the teenagers were on their own. I did not know Daniel personally and that I am sure is my loss listening to those who did know him it sounds like he was a special young man.
For me, Daniel is a touchstone; he is the first child of someone my age - someone my age that I know - to have passed away from an illness. Oh I have had friends that lost babies either pre-term or at term, and while that is a tough thing it is very different then losing someone so poised on the brink of adulthood. Neither are those additional family connections lost on me: the one piece of my mother's handwriting I have is note she wrote to John's grandmother upon the passing of his uncle, and my father too passed from leukemia. These are the strands of silken cord that bind us to each other and to the land, the memories and the interweaving.
I have been thinking a lot about the death of someone so young in the last few days. Sometimes the synergies that run through our lives are truly amazing. On Saturday I received two CD's I had ordered from Amazon, work by Julie Gold (she does not appear to have a website of her own). I knew little of her music beyond that she had written From a Distance, recorded by Nanci Griffith and Bette Midler. From a Distance was the Grammy winning song of the year in 1990.
I plugged in the CD today as I was working in the study, and was amazed to hear the second tune on her Dream Loud CD, titled Heaven. This song absolutely knocked me out as it is a wonderful mourning song. Here are two links to recorded versions:
And a link to the song lyrics:
A link to the guitar tab:
May heaven truly be a place with no pain for this young man and may his family find their own peace with his passing while they are here on earth.
Google search for "Daniel Burbrink" shows two hits both requesting that Daniel and his family be kept in parishioners prayers:
The following is excerpted from The Republic
Daniel Luke Burbrink, 17, died at 12:50 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5, 2004, at St. Francis Hospital and Health Centers in Beech Grove.
A member of St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Daniel attended St. Peter's Lutheran School, where he played basketball, and Central Junior High School, where he played football. He was a junior at Columbus East High School and farmed on the Burbrink family farm.
He was a member of Bartholomew County 4-H SRC Junior and Senior Farmers Club, where he had held several offices, and was an active camp leader and was active in Share the Fun and tractor maintenance. He was an active member of Junior Leaders, participating in the junior livestock show, 4-H camp and the haunted house.
He served on the Junior Fair Board, had attended animal science and aviation workshops at Purdue University and was a member of the Columbus East Chapter of Future Farmer of America, where he had held various offices, been involved in community service and was on the state-finalist soil-judging team.
February 07, 2004
Yesterday, Yvonne Rogers, School of Library and Information Science & School of Informatics, Indiana University presented the SLIS Colloquium. Her talk was entitled From Icons to Mixed Realities: How External Representations Help Us Learn.
Abstract:Advances in graphical technology have now made it possible for us to interact with information in innovative ways, most notably by exploring multimedia environments. Many benefits have been claimed for such interactivity; a general assumption is that learning is facilitated. But how do the different kinds of external representations help us learn? In what ways does watching an animation, clicking on an icon, interacting with a graphical simulation, manipulating a virtual environment, or moving through a mixed reality world enable us to understand what is being represented? My talk provides an overview of some of the research projects that I have worked on that investigate the cognitive and social benefits of using different kinds of external representations. I will show how different forms of external representations can have quite different learning effects depending on the way they have been designed. To account for how graphical representations work, I will present a theoretical framework for external cognition.
Notes:It is always interesting to hear about Yvonne's work. Her research into iconography has implications for cognitive science, linguistics, as well as information science and informatics. Check out her website (linked from her name above) for more information about her work in the UK and the USA.
February 05, 2004
The loose paper filing is finally done. I now have eight neatly stacked filing boxes having added two more to fulfill all this filing, instead of several messy stacks of mostly stapled together articles. I should be able to find things now.
So it's time to start sorting the books that have not made it to the books shelves. To join the illustrious crew on the shelves a book must be fully entered into Reference Manager, receive my signature - it's an ownership thing, and then be added in alphabetical order by author. Now all of that sounds very systematic and totally organized, maybe even a touch authoritarian...but that's not my over all style. SO new books tend to languish a bit, as in months, before all of that happens, hence the piles.
Right now there are more piles then usual since I have been inter-library loaning like mad, gathering books related to diaries and journals. The university libraries page that lists my checked out materials shows I currently have 54 items. *sigh* Very few on the 'from the library bookshelf' at the moment. So there is work to be done.
February 04, 2004
The last of the filing
The file storage boxes and hanging folders have arrived. So tomorrow will be my big filing day. Well at least a big filing morning.
February 03, 2004
No more loose paper articles in piles...well shortly there will be no more
More filing today. I have all the loose articles added, with their abstracts, and file labels printed. Probably will be a couple of days before all the paper is put away, I'm waiting for the new filing boxes to arrive. I ended up with 2628 entries in Reference Manager. The next step in this project is to sort all the stacked books into project piles. Then to add those edited volumes that have a bearing on my quals. I don't expect this to take more then a week working part-time.
February 02, 2004
Filing is for the birds...but they don't seem to want to do it either
I spent the day working on filing articles - looking up citations, entering data, printing labels, and filing. Luckily many of the citations were already in Reference Manager, so then I just need to verify them, print labels, and file them. In doing all this filing I ran out of hanging file folders. I'm also concerned that I'm going to run out of space in the filing boxes. SO I ordered more hanging file folders and two more stacking file boxes from Staples. Thank the gods they have free shipping and one day service. Then I don't have to brave the icy roads to go to town and shop that their, less the stellar, competition.
Tomorrow I hope to finish this job and start on the edited volumes I think I will need for quals. Some edited volumes are just going to have to wait until summer to have all their articles and abstracts entered.
A Thinking Persons Sport
Ok I'll admit it, I don't understand the major sports. Of course I understand the physical end: running, hitting, throwing, etc. But I do not understand the psychology that makes the game work. Is that a gender thing? Is it hard-wired? Is it personal in that I grow up reading more then playing any organized sport? I don't know for sure could be one or could be all of them.
But Sunday I watched a game I can understand intellectually and am still amazed by the play. The World Poker Tour played their Battle of Champions on NBC. Watching these guys play was a real trip. They were playing no limit Texas Hold'em. The participants chips began at $266,000 and ranged to $1,458,000 at the start, for a total of roughly $5.5 million on the table. Hundreds of thousands of dollars being bet on two cards and a huge knowledge of the probabilities of the game. Truly a thinking persons game, very cool to watch.
February 01, 2004
"People with migraine seem to be at increased risk for lesions in certain brain areas, new research suggests. However, it remains to be determined whether these lesions ever cause any problems for the patient."
Lesions can't be a good thing can they? Doesn't sound good. No one who has experienced the intense pain that goes with a migraine will be surprised to find out that the illness may be causing damage (though that has yet to be conclusively proven). What is amazing is that the illness has been discounted for so long as female hysteria.