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Joseph Fire Crow
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Mahatma Gandhi, (attributed)
Indian ascetic & nationalist leader (1869 - 1948)
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
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 27, 2006
Tomorrow’s Professor Blog
I've been a fan of the Tomorrow's Professor listserv since I found it last fall. Now I am going to be an even bigger fan because they are now a blog. Check out Tomorrow's Professor Blog and add the site to your feedreader.
CFP - Autobiography PAMLA
CFP: Autobiography (03/15/06; PAMLA, 11/10/06-11/11/06)
Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association Conference (PAMLA)
November 10-11, 2006
University of California, Riverside
Submission Deadline: March 15, 2006
**Panel Topic: Autobiography**
Paper proposals are requested for a standing panel of the PAMLA conference. The panel is open to any topic related to lifewriting. Please e-mail a 500-word proposal and a 50-word abstract (in the body of the message body or as an attachment) to email@example.com . Please include your name, institutional affiliation, and preferred contact information with your proposal.
Conference website with details and membership information: www.pamla.org
CFP - Centre for Social Theory and Design Conference
Centre for Social Theory and Design Conference
Walter Benjamin and the Architecture of Modernity
August 17-19 2006
Call for Papers
Walter Benjamin's work remains central to discussions of modernity within the Humanities, Visual Arts, Design and Architecture. This conference will bring together scholars working on all aspects of Benjamin's work as well as those who deploy the insights of that work in developing projects of their own.
Abstracts, which will be subject to a refereeing process, should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 30 2006.
Confirmed Key Note Speakers:
Carol Jacobs (Yale University)
Gyorgy Markus (University of Sydney)
Winfried Menninghaus (Freie University)
Henry Sussman (Yale University)
Organizing Committee: Professor Andrew Benjamin, Dr Tara Forrest, Dr Charles Rice (Centre for Social Theory and Design. University of Technology Sydney.)
Yesterday I took my youngest niece, she's 10, to see Nanny McPhee. Yes I know it probably wasn't the best thing to do when you have a cold but I have been assured that I am very likely no longer contagious, just deeply annoying with the noises and such. And besides with all the other stuff going on, including being ill, her 2005 Day Out With Aunt Lois has stretched too far into 2006.
Well just to let you know, this is a wonderful film. She enjoyed it, I enjoyed it...what a find. If you want a good fairytale I strongly recommend you see this film, you don't need kids to enjoy it. All that is required is a good seat and some popcorn.
I’m officially over it
Hubby and I, like so many others, have been fighting the germ war this winter. We have had one varient or another of the classic flu/cold set in play since Thanksgiving. So as I'm sitting here trying to concentrate and get some little dab of work done today between blowing my rudolph-hued nose and sneezing my head off. I just have to say publicaly...I'm officially over it. If I never sneeze again as long as I live it will be to soon.
I really really really need to buy stock in Kleenex.
February 25, 2006
A Learner’s Space...into the semiosphere
I'm so pleased, my friend and colleague at A Learner's Space...into the semiosphere (aka itbubble) has worked out the RSS feed thing. SO now I can read her blog on Bloglines as soon as it is available. I have to admit my reading has been kinda spotty without RSS. This is just so cool. Check out her blog she talks about the most interesting things.
Now if we can just get her to set the feed for the entire post. LOL I know I'm demanding.
CFP - HICSS Eighth Annual Minitrack on Persistent Conversation
Eighth Annual Minitrack on Persistent Conversation
Hawaii International Conference on Systems Science (HICSS 40)
Hilton Waikola Village Resort , Big Island, Hawaii
January 3-6, 2007
The Persistent Conversation minitrack and workshop is a yearly
gathering of those who design and study systems that support
computer-mediated communication. [online: http://www.visi.com/~snowfall/HICSS_PC.html ]
== AT A GLANCE ===
= Summary of Topic =
Persistent conversations occur via instant messaging, text and voice chat, email, blogs, wikis, web boards, MOOs, graphical VR environments, document annotation systems, text messaging on mobile phones, etc. Such forms of conversation play a crucial role in domains such as online communities, the sharing and management of knowledge, and the support of e-commerce, e-learning and other network mediated interactions. The persistence of digitally mediated conversation affords new uses (e.g., searching, replaying, restructuring) and raises new problems. This multi-disciplinary minitrack seeks contributions from researchers and designers that improve our ability to understand, analyze, and/or design persistent
= Who =
Researchers and designers from fields such as anthropology, computer-mediated communication, HCI, interaction design, linguistics, management, psychology, rhetoric, sociology, and
so forth. We also welcome submissions from graduate students.
= Chairs =
= Important Dates* =
Fri, Mar 31, 2006: Abstract submission
Fri, Apr 14, 2006: Feedback on abstracts
Th, June 1, 2006: Paper submission - [Instructions will be on the HICSS site]
Tu, Aug 15, 2006: Accept/Conditional Accept/Reject notice
To be determined: Resubmission of Conditional Accept papers -
Fri Sep 15, 2006: Final publication-ready papers due -
Fri Sep 15, 2006: One author must register for HICSS -
* For other dates, such as end of early registration and hotel
deadlines, see the official HICSS conference site
=== DETAILS ===
= About the Minitrack =
This interdisciplinary minitrack and workshop brings designers and researchers together to explore persistent conversation, the transposition of ordinarily ephemeral conversation into the potentially persistent digital medium. The phenomena of interest include human-to-human interactions carried out using chat, instant messaging, text messaging, email, blogs, wikis, mailing lists, newsgroups, bulletin board systems, multi-authored Web documents, structured conversation systems, textual and graphical virtual worlds, etc. Computer-mediated conversations blend characteristics of oral conversation with those of written text: they may be synchronous or asynchronous; their audience may be small or vast; they may be highly structured or almost amorphous; etc. The persistence of such conversations gives them the potential to be searched, browsed, replayed, annotated, visualized, restructured, and recontextualized, thus opening the door to a variety of new uses and practices.
The particular aim of the minitrack and workshop is to bring together researchers who analyze existing computer-mediated conversational practices and sites, with designers who propose, implement, or deploy new types of conversational systems. By bringing together participants from such diverse areas as anthropology, computer-mediated communication, HCI, interaction design, linguistics, management, psychology, rhetoric, sociology, and the like, we hope that the work of each may inform the others, suggesting new questions, methods, perspectives, and design approaches.
= About Paper Topics =
We are seeking papers that address one or both of the following two general areas:
- Understanding Practice. The burgeoning popularity of the internet (and intranets) provides an opportunity to study and characterize new forms of conversational practice. Questions of interest range from how various features of conversations (e.g., turn-taking, topic organization, expression of paralinguistic information) have adapted in response to the digital medium, to new roles played by persistent conversation in domains such as education, business, and entertainment.
- Design. Digital systems do not currently support conversation well: It is difficult to converse with grace, clarity, depth and coherence over networks. But this need not remain the case. Toward this end, we welcome analyses of existing systems as well as designs for new systems which better support conversation. Also of interest are inquiries into how participants design their own conversations within the digital medium -- that is, how they make use of system features to create, structure, and regulate their discourse. Examples of appropriate topics include, but are not limited to:
- Turn-taking, threading, and other structural features of CMC
- The dynamics of large scale conversation systems (e.g., USENET)
- Methods for summarizing or visualizing conversation archives
- Sudies of virtual communities or other sites of digital conversation
- The roles of mediated conversation in knowledge management
- Studies of the use of instant messaging in large organizations
- Novel designs for computer-mediated conversation systems
- Analyses of or designs for distance learning systems
For other examples see the list of previous years' papers:
= The Workshop =
The minitrack is normally preceded by a half-day workshop open to all minitrack authors, as well as those who will form the core audience for the minitrack. We will know whether the workshop has been accepted for HICSS 2007 in early April. Watch the online version of this call for more details: http://www.visi.com/~snowfall/HICSS_PC.html
Instructions for Abstract Submission =
Submit a 250 word abstract of your proposed paper via email to the chairs: Tom Erickson <email@example.com>, Susan Herring <firstname.lastname@example.org> by the deadline noted above.
= Instructions for Paper Submission =
* HICSS papers must contain original material not previously published, or currently submitted elsewhere. All papers will be submitted in double column publication format and limited to 10 pages including diagrams and references. Papers undergo a double-blind review.
* Do not submit the manuscript to more than one Minitrack. If unsure which Minitrack is appropriate, submit the abstract to the Track Chair for guidance.
* Submit your full paper according to the instructions that will appear on the HICSS web site: http://www.hicss.hawaii.edu/
= For More Information =
* This call for participation, etc.:
* History (papers and participants in previous minitracks):
* About the HICSS conference, see: http://www.hicss.hawaii.edu/
Spring Break in New Orleans
From My So Called (ABD) Life, looks like it might be a good venue for some serious service learning. I have not veted this personally so consider the following a flyer rather than an endorsement. Addition: As though the CFP's I post are personally veted and endorsed. *sigh* I think it's the student thing and having watched part of the interviews about Natalee Holloway's disappearance the other night. Sorry no comparison I know...beyond the student thing.
Spring Break in New Orleans
Why spend spring break in the typical destinations of the Caribbean, Virginia Beach, or Mexico when you can experience firsthand the rebirth of one of the world's most exciting cities -- New Orleans?! In the spirit of the 1960's Freedom Rides, we are calling on students, especially African American students, to descend on New Orleans for any amount of time during the period of March 10-24, 2006. During their stay, students will experience a mecca of African-American music, culture, and history, while also participating in the historic task of rebuilding the city's communities. Voices of Katrina and the Common Ground Collective are inviting students to come to New Orleans to partcipate in a service-learning trip during their spring breaks. Common Ground Collective will provide basic but secure housing and three family-style meals per day. In return, students will assist in the rebuilding of the area's most devastated communities. Specifically, volunteers will be gutting, cleaning, and repairing houses, as well as distributing food, water and clothing to residents. Students will be able to apply studies in law, medicine, and other specialized courses of study towards the rebuilding needs of the community through work with Common Ground's legal team, medical clinic, and construction crews. Students of any and all backgrounds and skill levels will find opportunities to contribute towards the rebuilding effort and will have a spring break that is incredibly rewarding as well as enjoyable.
Workshops on social justice issues will be offered as well as tours of cultural and historical sites. All you have to do is provide your own transportation to New Orleans, and Common Ground Collective and Voices of Katrina will take care of the rest.
Common Ground Collective was formed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, to provide immediate aid and long-term solidarity along the Gulf Coast. We are a local, non-profit community-run organization offering mutual aid and support to the New Orleans communities that have been historically neglected and underserved. Common Ground's teams of volunteers include: medical and health providers, aid workers, community organizers, legal representatives, radio/print media, and people from all over with broad skills from all walks of life.
For more information and for pictures of our work, visit the Common Ground website at: http://www.commongroundrelief.org
Voices of Katrina is a newly formed group of African American scholars and community organizers who are lending support to the people of New Orleans.
Or Call: 504.368.6897, 609.617.9815, 917.440.9679
K. Kim Holder, Ed.D.
Voices of Katrina
Spring Break in New Orleans
331 Atlantic Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70114
Grades and student evaluations
Profgrrrrl! has a post Good grades = Good evals? that comments on the Chronicle article Professor Goodgrade. Check out both. I'm keeping my take on it all offline but would be happy to talk about it one-on-one.
UK readers, enter to win a Honda Civic Hybrid
For our UK readers, from Groovy Green:
Your chance to win a Honda Civic Hybrid and drive a greener car! The Honda Civic Hybrid is both petrol and electric-driven and one could be yours.Enter our amazing competition by texting ITV News with the answer to this question:
Which of the following is a renewable source of energy?
If you think the answer's A, then text CLIMATE A to 86188
If you think the answer's B, then text CLIMATE B to 86188
If you think the answer's C, then text CLIMATE C to 86188
Texts cost £1.00 plus standard network rates. We will notify the winner at the end of the expedition in May.
Competitions only open to residents of the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man
February 24, 2006
The popularity of names through recent US history
When I was a kid I felt like most of the Lois' I knew were my parents age. Well according to NameVoyager there was a reason in that the height of popularity of the name was about 1930's.
Check out your name on the site...or names you find interesting. It's really quite fun to see how the distribution works.
PubSub vs. Bloglines
Is PubSub not pushing or is Bloglines not pulling? Either way my PubSub searches are not routinely available in Bloglines. This is annoying, and something I never realize is happening until I haven't see any feed for a few days. Whatever the problem, fix it guys...I use both services because they are supposed to be compatible...so get compatible. Thank you.....
Two IT Public Policy Postdocs - University of Michigan
The Science, Technology, and Public Policy (STPP) Program in the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan seeks to fill up to two postdoctoral fellow positions (each for two years in residence.) Fellows will be expected to perform research in some aspect of science and technology policy, teach two courses per year in science and technology policy, help to organize a conference and seminar series, and work with faculty to develop the STPP program. In addition to working with colleagues in STPP and the Ford School, fellows will find a wide range of programs at University of Michigan that provide opportunities for enrichment and collaboration, including leading programs in law, business, public health, medicine, engineering, the sciences, and science & technology studies.
Applicants should be recent recipients of the doctoral degree, with demonstrated interest in science and technology policy. Areas of specialization and disciplinary approaches are open. These fellowships are made possible through a generous gift from The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation. Salary is competitive and includes benefits. Modest funds will also be provided for moving, conferences, and research. The start date for this position is August 2006, although this date is flexible. Awardees will be expected to be in residence in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for the time of their award and be an active colleague within UM.
Applications received by April 1, 2006, will be given first consideration, although we will continue to accept applications after that date. Please send application materials, including a CV, letter describing research and teaching interests, a statement outlining the proposed research project, and three letters of reference to:
STPP Fellow Search
Attn: Sharon Disney
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
440 Lorch Hall, 611 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1220 USA
February 23, 2006
Teaching is the germiest profession
The Clorox Company has a news release entitled, Is Your Job Making You Sick? Study highlights follow:
For the testing, samples were collected in fall 2005 from private offices and cubicles in office buildings located in Tucson, AZ and Washington DC. A total of 616 surfaces were tested and analyzed at the University of Arizona laboratories.
* Germiest Jobs - ranked from most germy to least germy
- Radio DJ
- Television Producer
Job description: surface stats
- Most germy: Teachers
- Least germy: Publicists
- Most germy: Accountants
- Least germy: Lawyers
- Most germy: Teachers
- Least germy: Bankers
- Most germy: Teachers
- Least germy: TV producers
- Most germy: Accountants
- Least germy: Lawyers
Pardon me while I go wash my entire computer and phone. Know anywhere I can find a good deal on scrub masks?
Confessions of a software junkie
Steve Richards - Adventures in home working pointed me to what looks like a great deal on a potentially useful project software program with web integration. Check out his post with hacks below, Are you a GTD convert, looking for a great tool? Oh and the program is $5.00 right now. I'm gonna play with this one for a bit. Per the Axosoft site, this social marketing experiment ends Friday February 24, 2006. Requires access to a Microsoft SQL server database.
I recently came across a quite amazing offer from AxoSoft, that allowed me to get a 5 user version of their project management software OnTime for just $5 rather than $495, even better the $5 was donated to the Red Cross! I have been struggling to find a project/task management solution thats flexible enough for my needs so I thought I would give it a try.
You can get access to the offer from here, there is no link on the web site, so the only way is through the blogsphere. At the time of posting they had taken 645 orders and raised $3225 for the Red Cross.
5 minutes later my activation key arrived and I was up and running. You need to install MSDE, but once thats done you have a 5 user system that is really powerful. Here are a few of the highlights:
* It's designed to support defect, feature and task tracking/management, but its very easy to re-configure it. In my case I changed Defects to Activities, changed a few field names and removed a few others and I now have a project management and task management solution, instead of a bug tracker!
* It's client server, it has a great web client that connects to an SQL server or MSDE database
* They say that MSDE can easily support 50+ users
* It has a web client as well that's broadly equivalent in functionality
* It allows you to build a hierarchy of projects, and browse your tasks at any level in the hierarchy
* It allows you to sort, group, filter and search items
* It allows you to store a description, notes, attachments (linked or embedded), work logs, emails and more against every item
* It's wildly configurable, the descriptions of pretty much every field and view can be changed to suit your needs and pick lists like status, priority etc can be customised
* It allows you to create emails, from items
* It allows you to automatically monitor any number of pop email accounts, and auto-process the emails that arrive in them. In my case I created a number of email accounts and associated them with the activity and task lists. Found that I could then automatically create an archive of emails associated with each task, just by forwarding or cc-ing the email accounts I created and placing the task number in the subject field, (for example adding [#44] anywhere in the subject would attach that email to activity 44.
* You can create custom fields, add them to forms and and then group by them, which is great for GTD users, although you already have severity, status, priority fields as standard, but you can add fields for different places and different categories.
This is a truly amazing tool for the small project team, but really excellent for a single user as well. Unfortunately the 5 user for $5 trial may soon be over, but don't despair because the 1 user version - which is functionally the same - is FREE of charge. Here is a sample screen shot:
A few other notes:
* You will want to backup your database, to do that I created an ODBC connection (in control panel) to my database and then added the following command to the batch file that does my regular nightly backup. (onetime is the name of the ODBC connection)
OSQL -E -n -D onetime -Q "BACKUP DATABASE onetime TO DISK = 'D:\Steve\SQL server\master.bak' WITH INIT"
* There are some really great screen cams that show you how to use it, start with the overview to get an idea of the power
* I found a bug in the pop email account monitoring service, it doesn't seem to download attachments, which is a real shame. They are working on a fix.
* This is not a great solution if you need to keep your tasks in sync with your laptop, desktop, PDA etc. However you can use the automatic email processing to allow you to create tasks by sending the appropriate account an email, which is pretty easy. In fact as many of my tasks are initiated by email in the first place it's often pretty natural to do it that way. There is a feature request in to create Outlook sync.
* Check out the support forums for more bugs and issues
Buffy’s Gentleman have a new website
One of my undergrad classmates is a successful award winning actor he specializes in roles that use extensive costume and makeup to create the characters...i.e. Sci-Fi. My undergrad is in theatre so that may contextualize it a bit.
Splatt's Blog has a link to a very cool site Abandoned Places.com. I've always been fascinated by abandoned places, the house on a hill with no window panes, the old barn by itself in a field, and of course the ghost town. If you find these places interesting too check out the site...there are photos from all over the world.
IU Webmail Migration
This morning I have been thinking unkind words about the universities webmail system. Ok, I know IU people are laughing now wondering when anyone has ever thought good words about it since the change to webmail. In truth webmail isn't all that bad...the interface is much better than PINE's and you have access from anywhere which is a real plus for us off-campus folks and when we travel. But lately I have to exit and reenter the page at least two times to read my morning email, and today I've restarted it close to 10 times without gaining full access.
So I got interested in what was going on and started at the UITS page Notices & Alerts box, it says everything is fine but then it always says everything is fine. I found out last semester that the box only acknowledges complete outages so it's not really very useful. I kept digging and found this jem IU Webmail Migration:
Beginning Monday, February 6, IU Webmail users will be migrated to an upgraded environment. This migration will take place each day from 8:00am to 5:00pm over the following 3 weeks. No interruption of service is anticipated.
No doubt in my mind that this is the problem...because in my experience when UITS says "no interruption of service is anticipated" expect massive interruptions. Nothing ever runs that smoothly for anyone, not just UITS, especially over an almost month long transition.
February 22, 2006
Some thoughts on fear of the other and isolationism
Reading articles in today's Inside Higher Ed has me thinking about a of nexus of though and discussion I experienced this month. First, the release of the book by he-who-will-not-be-named-because-he-deserves-no-more-free-publicity-from-me has many in academia talking and laughing. While I see the humor of the whole things, the idea that a peace scholar is on anyone's "most dangerous" list should both amaze and frighten liberals and conservatives, there are deeper ideas present in the acceptance of his ideas by his fellow citizens.
Second, while attending Cyberworld unlimited? Digital Inequality and New Spaces of Informal Education for Young People I asked a question following an esteemed British colleague's discussion of digital culture and school policy. My question was in reference to the use of new communication mediums within schools and the construction of policies to support or outlaw such uses, such as MySpace being banned in some American schools. The response I got was totally appropriate, my colleague had no idea what I was talking about. You see it's just not an issue in the United Kingdom or in Europe like it is here. Why would you ban a technology you can use for learning?
Underlying all of these issues, on one level or another, are several basic ideas. One, people - especially young people - are not rational actors with freewill, rather they are blank slates to be written upon by anyone with whom they come into contact, permanently transfigured in fact. Second, bad overwrites good every time regardless of previous experiences with good - good can't hold a candle to bad. Third, bad is anything unusual, disagreeable, or outside my experience set or belief system.
While in Bielefeld I was party to several fascinating conversations that revolved around the uniquely American fear of the other and the unknown. Now I am not saying that we have a lock on these ideas, rather that our society has institutionalized the concepts to a far greater extent than most other western countries. I have my conjectures on why this is true, having read nothing academic on the subject I have only my own thoughts to play with. Whatever the reasons the American cultural landscape is framed by isolationism - internationally, intranationally, city-to-city, and person-to-person. Rugged individualism undergirds the idea so that we have the undieing belief that we have the right to do most anything we want as long as no one else calls us on it, and, of course, no one has the right to make us do anything we don't want to do. Oh and one of the things we don't want to do is look at something from the others perspective, if they were right thinking they would understand that we are right and get with the program.
It's always been interesting to me that after George W. Bush's original election to the presidency, I commented to several people about my concern that our new president had not held a passport prior to his election. Amazingly none of the people, admittedly these were not folks who travel extensively themselves, got what I was saying. While I have no doubt that Bush had set foot in Mexico and maybe Canada, both are countries US citizens could travel without a passport prior to 9/11 and it's aftermath, I found it odd that a wealthy person had never decided to holiday in London or Paris or Italy at least. Why had the idea never come to him or never been acted up? I'm no mind reader but looking at his speeches since taking office I have to harken back to my underlying issues, why bother with the unknown when the known is good pretty darn good. Besides if they had anything better to offer we would have imported it by now.
I have to admit that as I grow older I become more disturbed by the isolationism I see in my culture. We may rule the world, not that I even totally buy that concept, but that is largely because we have had such a strong economy. Nothing lasts forever and what will happen to my culture when the torch passes to someone else? The Chinese, making gross generalizations, do not see the world as American, also a gross generalization, do...and there are many more of them than there are Americans. Though I have rays of light that give me hope, in the kids I see online. So many of them are meeting others and finding out that inside we are all pretty much the same, while learning that someone else can hold ideas and beliefs that they don't subscribe to and that both parties can still be friends. I have a lot of hope when I look at the internet generation, if they bring a percentage of what they are learning to the table I think it will be a better world overall.
Students who want to opt out of assignments for various reasons and beliefs may be in your future
Confessions of a Community College Dean has an excellent post on the issue of "opting out" of assigned work in classes. Now this is not an issue I have faced personally but I can see it coming for many of us. I strongly suggest you give his post a read. I captured the heart of it below. The issue of changing minds is one that resonates with me personally. I have seen more than a few people I know opt for home schooling to protect their kids from experiencing an "other" as though exposure to difference means instantaneous cooption. The same has been done in my extended family when making college selection decisions, don't want to let the kids get to far away where they might be influenced by things we don't know about or do or approve of.
Of course, for the devil's advocate to be effective, he has to be persuasive, and that carries the risk of changing minds. At base, I really think much of the sudden eagerness to second-guess curricular choices comes from an unwillingness to accept uncertainty, to accept the possibility that you might change your mind. It takes a certain courage to venture into uncharted territory, especially in emotionally-charged areas. But that's part of maturity. It's part of real adulthood.
Anybody who has ever weathered a bad breakup knows the fear of uncertainty. Hell, asking my then-girlfriend to become The Wife took a gigantic leap of faith. Deciding to have kids took even bigger leaps. If you never grapple with uncertainty, you never really learn to make leaps in its face. (Or, worse, you make the leaps too quickly, with no reflection on their cost.) I'm brave enough to read people I disagree with, and to admit when I'm not sure. Too many people confuse intensity of conviction with truth. I prefer to think that truth is what's left standing after the dust settles.
Moving too quickly from "this makes me uncomfortable" to "therefore, I shouldn't be exposed to it" is dangerous. As a college, we've made the choice to bar underage students from certain classes, rather than water down the content, and I'm proud of that choice. As the political winds shift, I hope we stay true to our mission. If that means offending a few true believers, so be it. There are worse offenses than offending.
February 21, 2006
Go edit a wiki!
Ok this will make any librarian, or the people who love them, laugh. http://www.laughinglibrarian.com/bd_blogga.htm Note...several of the blogs and bloggers mentioned appear on prolurker, some even by their own wishes. LOL
Yesterday I had a fun conversation about Web 2.0 and the imaginary dividing line that sets off this somewhat random set of features from Web 1.0 or Web 1.9 whichever came before. So when I found the following on Blogography I had to laugh. Dave may be less then politically correct but I do think he has nailed the essense of it. LOL
Totally facinating winter sports
Curling is a fascinating sport. I haven't figured it out yet, and the darn American TV people don't show enough of the matches for me to put it all together.
Well I had to grab this Google doodle and add it to the blog...curling is cool.
Time responding to written assignments of all sorts
Bardiac has a post on Responding to written assignments. This is an issue I personnally keep working to improve. Or as a friend of mine reminded me, "Like most things academic. grading will take up exactly the amount of time you allot it." I'm now working with a timer so that at 15 minutes I get a warning to move on to the next paper. Using a timer doesn't make me a slave to the clock, rather it means I am consious of the time I am giving to some papers. It still takes far longer than I would like for me to finish grading written assignments so if you have suggestions I and Bardiac would love to hear them.
I spend a large part of my time responding to written assignments of all sorts in all of my classes. I'm guessing most academics do, no matter what we teach.
What I'm looking for is strategies that will help me respond more usefully overall, while spending less time writing respones. Part of that means targeting my responses at the more engaged students, and spending less time responding in depth to minimally engaged students.
I often feel as if I'm writing responses to justify the low grades essays earn; instead, I want to write responses aimed more fully at helping students do solid revision work and do better on future assignments.
I know from studying composition research that marking up lots of grammar or proofreading problems doesn't help most students, so I generally put a tic in the margin, and a note to come talk to me about this grammar issue. The benefit is that I can usually explain the grammar issue in a few minutes, and the student may actually learn something (if I write an explanation, most students won't really read or work through it) because they've chosen to come to learn, and so are ready at that moment. Then you also have the benefit of one on one communication, which is important both to teaching and my own job happiness.
I've started taking to making bulleted lists on the work of students who are most minimally engaged. Usually the lists start with the need to address the assignment, lack of a thesis, and so forth.
Happily, the vast majority of my students are relatively engaged and interested in their studies, and do try to write a good assignment.
What are the most helpful responding strategies you've found?
What are the most helpful responses you've received for your own writing? Is there a way to transfer that sort of helpfulness to my students' work?
(The single most helpful response I've received from a professor came from a professor who let me turn in a dissertation chapter for a pretty unrelated seminar. It was helpful because she was able to help me visualize the overall structure of the chapter argument and rethink it totally, which made the whole chapter stronger. She may have been genius [well, yes], but I'm guessing it took her a couple hours. Admittedly, the chapter was 30 some pages, and I was a pretty engaged student. So I hope I was worth her effort and repaid it with my own in class.)
February 20, 2006
Doing Digital History: An Introduction for Historians of Science, Technology, and Industry
Doing Digital History: An Introduction for Historians of Science, Technology, and Industry
June 12-16, 2006
The Center for History and New Media's Echo project (http://echo.gmu.edu) invites scholars of the history of science, technology, and industry to our second workshop on the theory and practice of digital history. Participants will explore the ways that digital technologies can facilitate the research, teaching, writing and presentation of history; genres of online history; website infrastructure and design; document digitization; the process of identifying and building online history audiences; and issues of copyright and preservation. The workshop, which is co-sponsored by the American Historical Association and the National History Center, will be held at George Mason University's Arlington campus, conveniently located in metropolitan Washington, DC. Thanks to support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, there will be no registration fee, and a limited number of fellowships are available to defray the costs of travel and lodging for graduate students and young scholars. As spaces are limited, please submit an application form by March 10, 2006 (available at http://chnm.gmu.edu/tools/surveys/1358/).
I’m not a librarian I just hang around them
Walt sites Elyssa Kroski's "The hive mind: Folksonomies and user-based tagging" at Infotangle in his overview article in this volume of Cites & Insights. Following are her takes on the strengths and weaknesses of the process. I totally concur as I have said previous I play around with folksonomies for prolurker but have never really adopted the practice because of a lack of precision and synonym control. Heck I forget what my tags are how can I expect you to remember? Besides categories are tags too you know.
Strengths: Folksonomies are inclusive. Folksonomies are current. Folksonomies offer discovery. Folksonomies are non-binary. Folksonomies are democratic and self-governing. Folksonomies follow "desire lines." Folksonomies offer insight into user behavior. Folksonomies engender community. Folksonomies offer a low cost alternative. Folksonomies offer usability. Resistance is futile.
Weaknesses: Folksonomies have no synonym control. Folksonomies have a lack of precision. Folksonomies lack hierarchy. Folksonomies have a "basic level" problem. Folksonomies have a lack of recall. Folksonomies are susceptible to "gaming."
Note: Edited on 2.20.2006 to reflect Walt's corrections per his comment.
Postdoctoral Research Associate - Kids' Informal Learning with Digital Media
Twenty Years from Now blog posted an announcement for a kid-related postdoc position at Annenberg Center for Communication, University of Southern California
Mimi Ito has just posted about a really interesting ethnographic post-doc position for her digital kids project.
Kids' Informal Learning with Digital Media
An Ethnographic Investigation of Innovative Knowledge Cultures
Job Opening: Postdoctoral Research Associate
Annenberg Center for Communication, University of Southern California
The Annenberg Center for Communication at the University of Southern California invites applications for a postdoctoral research position, sponsored by a grant from the MacArthur Foundation. The position is for one year with the possibility of renewal for one more year. The postdoctoral researcher will work as fieldworker/ethnographer on a project on "digital kids" and informal learning, which involves foundational research on how children and youth are using information and communication technologies and participating on the Internet. At USC, the project is led by Mizuko Ito, and is part of a broader project involving Peter Lyman and Diane Harley at UC Berkeley, and Michael Carter at the Monterey Institute of Technology and Education. More information on the project can be found at: http://digitalyouth.sims.berkeley.edu.
Responsibilities would involve monitoring and participating in online activity and conducting interviews with kids and parents The researcher would also be responsible for analyzing, writing, and presenting results, and considering policy and design implications of the ethnographic research. We seek candidates with backgrounds in fields such as science and technology studies, information sciences, communications, education, anthropology, and sociology with interest in areas related to new media, education, and childhood studies. The ideal candidate would have experience in ethnographic fieldwork, collaborative and interdisciplinary research, and experience working with kids and families. The position will be full time, with a yearly salary of $45,000 plus benefits, and researcher will be expected to be in residence in the Los Angeles area.
Applications should include a CV, a cover letter including a personal statement, and a brief statement of research goals and experience in relation to ethnographic research on kids and technology. Three letters of recommendation are to be sent directly by the writers (letters may also be faxed to 213-747-4981). Address all application materials to Rachel Cody, Annenberg Center for Communication, University of Southern California, 734 West Adams Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90007. Email contact: rcody at annenberg dot edu. The deadline for receipt in our office is April 30, 2006.
Unstable Text: An Ethnographic Look at How Bloggers and Their Audience Negotiate Self-Presentation, Authenticity and Norm Formation
The ever amazing Amanda Lenhart, the primary author of the PEW adolescent studies, has posted her masters thesis online. Check it out, it is excellent work.
- Lenhart, Amanda (April 21, 2006). Unstable Text: An Ethnographic Look at How Bloggers and Their Audience Negotiate Self-Presentation, Authenticity and Norm Formation. Master of Arts in Communication, Culture and Technology Graduate School of Arts and Sciences of Georgetown University, Washington, DC, from http://lenhart.flashesofpanic.com/Lenhart_thesis.pdf .
February 19, 2006
Ok decision made...no AoIR this year
I have to start off this post by saying that I consider the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) to be my disciplinary organization. Yes I know they have had a long and interesting discussion on "internet research as discipline" and have rejected the notion but when research work spans as many boundaries as mine does, it makes sense that a non-discipline would be my discipline. With the allegiance to the organization that comes with the "my disciplinary organization" moniker is the understanding that I plan to submit to and attend all, or most all, of the conferences. Well this year I am not submitting to or attending the Brisbane AU conference. Decision made!
I've waffled on this for a while. I really want to go to Australia, have for many years. But the expense is huge, especially for a grad student who must finance stuff on her own. Just doing a quick check on a flight from Louisville to Brisbane, the charge is $1816.40 (not including taxes and fees). Now that is without the side-trips I would want to make to Sydney to meet my family there and to Melbourne to meet my internet friends. So the airfare alone would easily top $2000. Of course that is also without lodging or food or fun money, so the cost would be much more than the airfare I'm sure.
And you can't forget that there is almost 30 hours in transit just for the Louisville to Brisbane leg. Add that 30 hours to a four day conference plus two side-excursions and this trip would undoubtedly mean I would miss two weeks of classes, assuming I am offered teaching for the fall...which I'm pretty sure I will be. Now in a tenure or tenure-track position I might not feel bad about asking a fellow faculty member to cover my classes for two weeks, I would absolutely make it up to them in spades. But as an adjunct I hate to ask anyone to cover let alone for two weeks, it's the old don't make waves issue.
Well I have no doubt I will be kicking myself over this decision but it really seems to be the right one. I have a couple of short conferences I want to attend in Europe and the UK this summer. Luckily they are only four days a part so, assuming I am accepted to both, I can hang out for four days and save on airfare. One of the conferences has a related publication opportunities so that is a much bigger bang for the travel buck. The work I had intended to submit to AoIR as "work in progress" will be going to HICSS 2007 as a completed project. I think I had better save the money and plan on HICSS 2007, another expensive trip - though not this expensive - but with a publication if you are accepted.
I will get to AU someday, someday when I can afford it or when it is someone else's dime. Anya keep the speaking slot open I fully intend to use it before we both retire.
Oh and someone who is going from the states? Pick me up a really cool embroidered flying fox cap. My friends in Melbourne won't send me one because they think they are tacky and only worn by tourists. No I mean embroidered...not one of those ones with a stuffed flying fox on the top that flaps it's wings. *shivers*
My last interaction with LunarPages (rant warning)
Ok after the LunarPages fiasco (see Prolurker is back from LunarPages hell (long ranting post warning)) I requested full refunds on both sites, professional-lurker.com and loisscheidt.com. LunarPages processed the refund for prolurker only. I immediately emailed then that my request was for both sites, a request they again ignored.
Of course I got busy and didn't follow up immediately. So once I was back on my feet from the trip to Germany I again emailed them and requested a full refund for loisscheidt.com stating that my previous request had been ignored. I got this insightful response:
I have gone ahead and reviewed your account for you. Being as how you are outside of the 30-day window that qualifies for the full money back refund, we will be unable to issue a refund for this cancellation.
If you have any more questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Lunarpages Help Desk again.
Some review...yes I'm out of the thirty-day period ONLY because your company didn't process my original request for a refund at the time you processed the refund for the other site.
Emails went back and forth, no go...they have policies you know and none of them have the ability to think about the policies they are applying. *sigh* It's scary sad.
So I took my partial refund and walked to the sites online door...goodbye and good riddance. If you are reading this because you found my post via a search engine and are thinking about using LunarPages...Don't. Take your business to DreamHost or another site. Trust me anyone is probably better than these jokers.
February 18, 2006
Ultimate Blogger 2006
They guaranteed to be twice as spectacular as Ub05, of which I was a participant.
Check it: http://www.urbanhonking.com/ultimateblogger2/
Applications accepted until February 24th. http://www.urbanhonking.com/ultimateblogger2/application.html Out of control internet addiction begins February 27th.
Blogging by the numbers
CultureCat has some interesting numbers she will be using in her diss. Check out her post, WATW by the Numbers, for the discussion behind the counts.
As most of you know, I'm writing a dissertation about rhetoric, gender, and blogging using where are the women? as a case study. I should say that I'm not looking at every post on the list I compiled, only the spikes of activity: August 2002, September 2002, March through August of 2004, December 2004, and February 2005. So here are the numbers:
Total number of posts: 102
Total number of comments: 2243 (not counting spam or those accidental duplicate comments)
Total number of trackbacks: 171
Total number of posts by men: 33
Total number of posts by women: 69
Total number of comments by men: 885
Total number of comments by women: 1059
Total number of comments by gender-free: 349
Total number of trackbacks by men: 60
Total number of trackbacks by women: 105
Total number of trackbacks by gender-free: 6
Total number of posts by men that allowed comments: 30
Total number of posts by women that allowed comments: 53
Total number of comments under posts by men: 1374
Total number of comments under posts by women: 869
Average number of comments per post by a man: 46
Average number of comments per post by a woman: 16
Panels for the 2006 MLA Convention, Division on Autobiography, Biography, and Life Writing
Here are the panels for the 2006 MLA Convention, Division on Autobiography, Biography, and Life Writing. If your paper is accepted, you will have to become a member of the MLA by April 1--if you are a member already, then you're all set. Please send your proposal to the person chairing the session; you can submit to more than one session, although if you're selected for both, I assume you'd be asked to choose one.
1. Theorist Autobiographers. Autobiographical works by writers known as theorists, and/or life-writing that develops theoretical argument (e.g. Augustine, Confessions; Montaigne, essays; Wordsworth, Prelude; Steedman, Landscape for a Good Woman; Derrida, Circumfession; Sedgwick, Dialogue on Love). 250-word abstracts by March 10 to Carolyn Williams (email@example.com).
2. Life Writing and Humor. Parody, irony, and satire as modes for understanding and interrogating life writing genres. Self-deprecation or mockery as strategies for identity construction. Lives of comic writers, artists, performers. 250-word abstracts by March 10 to Craig Howes (firstname.lastname@example.org)
3. Auto/Graphics after Maus. Interaction between word and image; construction of personae through documents, portraits, anecdotes; narration and layout of time, space, history; "graphic" content as well as form. 250-word abstracts by March 10 to Gillian Whitlock (email@example.com)
FYI--the current members of the division executive committee are Sarah Bird Wright, Carolyn Williams, Craig Howes, Alison Booth, and Gillian Whitlock.
Director, Center for Biographical Research
Editor, _Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly_
Professor of English
1733 Donaghho Road
University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Honolulu, Hawai'i 96822
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org , or email@example.com
Home Page: www.hawaii.edu/biograph
Oh so that is what that is for! Bloglines
Ever notice that little "Keep new" checkbox on each post you view through Bloglines? Well I finally figured out what it is for, yes I can be kinda slow sometimes. You see up until now I have opened interesting posts in new Firefox tabs for review and possible posting to prolurker. Nothing wrong with that unless you are reading RSS and don't have time to post. So now I can click "Keep new" and go about my other work. Then next time I open Bloglines the interesting posts will still be there. Daaaaa Now ain't that cool?
Ok most Saturday morning's hubby and I head for breakfast at the Family Diner, yes that is really the name of the place. Well normally hubby reads two newspapers over the course of breakfast, The Republic - our local paper formerly known as "The Republican" just so you know I really do survive in the red state, and the Indianapolis Star. I read the magazine sections, while he reads me the "real news." Well in the middle of my reading I started laughing hard enough that I couldn't talk...of course others in the diner were staring. I don't think they understand the concept of being REALLY amused.
So what got me laughing that hard? The Answer: Special Edition NASCAR driver Crock-Pots. Yes I am talking about special crockpots with pictures of your favorite NASCAR drivers on the cooker itself, oh and you can buy a matching carrying case for tail-gating. I'm sure the Tony Stewart version will be turning up at church dinners all over the county, in case you don't know Tony Stewart lives in my town.
NOT available in stores, buy now. LMAO
p.s. I really love the idea that RocketPost doesn't have NASCAR in it's default dictionary. Works for me!
This may be old news to some of you, but today I got a pointer to The Dumpster a visualization of romantic breakups in 2005 culled from blog posts. Very cool concept and visualization. We need to many more of these capture and vis scripts looking at blogs and the net. Check it out.
February 16, 2006
Insight into what an award winning instructor does in his classroom
From the Tomorrow's Professor Mailing List:
The posting below give some simple and important suggestions for all of us to keep in mind when giving a class lecture. It is by Professor Rolf E. Hummel at the University of Florida, Gainesville, and is now required reading for all new professors at the University of Florida. The article first appeared in the University of Florida, "Pedagogator," Vol. 3, Issue 13, July/Aug 2005. Available: http://www.ucet.ufl.edu/newsletters/pedagogator.shtml
What I do is simply the following:
1) I prepare at least one hour per period for classes which I have given before and about 5-7 hours for each new class. This preparation allows me to teach without reading from or referring to notes.
2) I arrive in the classroom at the right time, or even a few minutes earlier to have the chance to chat with my students or answer any questions they may have.
3) I start my class with a one or two minute review of the previous lecture.
4) I am a great supporter of the old fashioned blackboard. The larger it is, the better. I write as much as possible on this board, and highlight important parts with colored chalk and/or put a box around important equations. (I do not like so much the new whiteboards because one has to always remember to cap the markers before they dry out. And those markers available in the lecture room often do not work anyway, so you have to bring your own.
5) I start at the upper, left-hand corner of the blackboard. I do not erase anything during the entire hour. At the end of the lecture I have reached the lower, right-hand corner of the blackboard. Admittedly, this takes some advanced planning and practice, but can be eventually accomplished by everybody.
6) I attempt to write large and legibly enough so that my "hieroglyphics" can be read from the last row. After class I often walk to the back of the lecture room to see if I succeeded in doing so.
7) During the last three minutes of the lecture I repeat briefly what was discussed that day by showing with a pointer the relevant graphs or equations on the board and mention how they were arrived at. This lets the students see the larger context in which the individual steps have been developed.
8) I attempt not to block the blackboard with my body so that virtually everybody can see what is written on the board; at least most of the time. This is accomplished by stepping aside after writing.
9) When drawing a graph on the board, I carefully label the axes by saying what they represent and describe a curve while drawing it. If there is more than one curve in a given graph, I distinguish them with different colors and write on each curve what parameters they represent.
10) To each class I bring a bunch of "show-and-tell" items, such as a transformer, a computer chip, a computer hard drive, a laser tube, a silicon crystal, several magnets, a transistor, a shape memory alloy etc., so that students have hands-on experience of the subjects I am talking about. Occasionally, I show movies that depict manufacturing processes of what was explained before in theory.
11) I encourage questions during class and answer them in a respectful manner (even the supposedly 'stupid questions'). If I do not know the answer immediately, I admit so (which makes a student feel good) and promise to answer it next time.
12) I feel that overloading the students with information during class does not serve them properly. Often less information, but that in more depth, is pedagogically better. After all, the students can learn supplemental information from their textbooks.
13) I am a supporter of the Monday/Wednesday/Friday rhythm rather than the two or three hour-long lecture on one day. Students need digestion between lectures and catching up with their homework.
14) I try to speak loud and distinctly so that everybody should be able to hear and understand me. I aim my voice toward the last student row. Foreign students particularly appreciate this.
15) I address my students by looking at them during the lecture, that is, I keep eye contact. This way I can see if some students drift away, requiring me to change the pace.
16) I take a class picture during one of the first lectures and ask the students to write their names next to their image. This gives me the chance to memorize their names and to address them with their names during lectures and in my office. (I admit memorizing names becomes increasingly difficult with age).
17) Student like my "war stories," that is, practical examples in which the subjects just taught have been used (or not been used with negative consequences). This loosens up the flow of information and demonstrates the relevance of the often theoretical-appearing subjects. In other words, a proper balance between theory and practical aspects needs to be maintained.
18) I am not a friend of projected transparencies because they are frequently removed before the students are capable of fully comprehending what they want to teach. Still, occasionally even I use overhead projectors when putting the respective information on the board would require too much time or when the students have the same graph in their textbook and I need to point out certain details on the image. Flashing slides in five second intervals on a screen turns students quickly away from paying attention. In other words, each transparency needs to stay on the screen long enough so that all details they contain can be fully explained and understood. On the same line, I am not a friend of PowerPoint presentations in the classroom. They have their merit in seminars and conferences where a substantial amount of information needs to be transmitted in a relatively short time.
19) Before an exam, I hand out tests from previous years, whose answers we discuss in the class immediately before the upcoming midterm or final.
20) I allow my students to prepare for the test a one-page, hand-written, personal "crib sheet" on which they may write all the equations and graphs they consider to be important. They have to turn-in this sheet along with their tests. This promotes academic honesty and gives those students some confidence who otherwise "draw a complete blank" during tests. Interestingly enough, most students admit that once they have written a crib sheet they don't need it any more during the test since they are now well prepared for the exam and they feel confident that they can turn to their sheet when need arises. Needless to say, my tests do not allow mere regurgitation of crammed information, but usually require some thinking. For this reason, my exams are often labeled as "difficult," ("because asking a student to think is unfair").
21) Most of all, however, I consider my students to be my friends. I am kind to them and am available most of the time for questions and for airing concerns. My door is virtually always open. I teach all classes myself, I write the tests and grade them myself and use teaching assistants only for looking over the homework, which I assign, (because one can only learn by "doing" and not so much by just listening). As a former student once wrote in retrospect: "Dr. Hummel does not only teach class, he adopts it." In summary, I love teaching and showing my enthusiasm about the subject matter. This spark flies over to my students and makes them enthusiastic too.
American English is developing more variety not less
I hear an NPR interview with William Labov, the audio will be available after 7:30 p.m. EST, this evening as I was driving home from campus. They were talking about the Atlas of North American English [ANAE] which either as just been published. Labov was discussing two concepts - the merger of some sounds and the split in others - that create our unique local accents. Both concepts lead to more distinction in American English rather than less.
The merger of /o/ and /oh/
- Map 1. The merger of /o/ and /oh/: invariant responses in production and perception.
- Map 2. The merger of /o/ and /oh/: advancement of the merger before nasals.
The merger of /i/ and /e/ before nasals
- Map 3.The merger of /i/ and /e/ before nasals: invariant responses in production and perception.
The merger of high vowels before /l/
- Map 4. The merger of /il/ and /iyl/.
- Map 5. The merger of /ul/ and /uwl/.
- Map 6. A comparison of the /i/~/iy/ &/u/~/uw/ mergers before /l/.
- Map 7. The merger of /e/ and /ey/ before /l/.
The contrast of /hw/ and /w/.
- Map 8. The maintenance of the /hw/~/w/ contrast.
I don't find information about the splits on the website, I'm guessing that is the juicy stuff they saved so we will all run out and buy the book.
This quarters installment of the State of the Blogosphere
Dave Sifry has posted several stats based posts over the last week. Gotta love new numbers...
- Technorati now tracks over 27.2 Million blogs
- The blogosphere is doubling in size every 5 and a half months
- It is now over 60 times bigger than it was 3 years ago
- On average, a new weblog is created every second of every day
- 13.7 million bloggers are still posting 3 months after their blogs are created
- Spings (Spam Pings) can sometimes account for as much as 60% of the total daily pings Technorati receives
- Sophisticated spam management tools eliminate the spings and find that about 9% of new blogs are spam or machine generated
- Technorati tracks about 1.2 Million new blog posts each day, about 50,000 per hour
- Over 81 Million posts with tags since January 2005, increasing by 400,000 per day
- Blog Finder has over 850,000 blogs, and over 2,500 popular categories have attracted a critical mass of topical bloggers
- Blogging and Mainstream Media continue to share attention in blogger's and reader's minds, but bloggers are climbing higher on the "big head" of the attention curve, with some bloggers getting more attention than sites including Forbes, PBS, MTV, and the CBC.
- Continuing down the attention curve, blogs take a more and more significant position as the economics of the mainstream publishing models make it cost prohibitive to build many nice sites and media
- Bloggers are changing the economics of the trade magazine space, with strong entries covering WiFi, Gadgets, Internet, Photography, Music, and other nice topic areas, making it easier to thrive, even on less aggregate traffic.
- There is a network effect in the Technorati Top 100 blogs, with a tendency to remain highly linked if the blogger continues to post regularly and with quality content.
- Looking at the historical data shows that the inertia in the Top 100 is very low - in other words, the number of new blogs jumping to the top of the Top 100 as well as he blogs that have fallen out of the top 100 show that the network effect is relatively weak.
- The Magic Middle is the 155,000 or so weblogs that have garnered between 20 and 1,000 inbound links. It is a realm of topical authority and significant posting and conversation within the blogosphere.
- Technorati Explore is a new feature that uses the authoritative topical bloggers as a distributed editorial team, highlighting the most interesting blog posts and links in over 2,500 categories.
- The new Filter By Authority slider makes it easy to refine a search and look for either a wider array of thoughts and opinions, or to narrow the search to only bloggers that have lots of other people linking to them. This gives you the power to decide how much filtering you want.
Why Grad Students Succeed or Fail
Among the findings:
- More than 30 percent of all graduate students never feel that they have a faculty mentor.
- Two-thirds of graduate students enter Ph.D. programs without any debt, suggesting that those concerned about expanding the pipeline to graduate education should pay attention to the affordability of undergraduate education.
- Students rate their social interaction with faculty members as high in the engineering, sciences, mathematics and education -- and relatively low in the social sciences and humanities.
- In rating the quality of academic interactions, students in the humanities think highly of their professors while those in the social sciences and math and science are more critical.
- Significant gaps exist in the experiences of minority and female graduate students -- from admissions to getting teaching or research assistant jobs to publishing research while still in graduate school. Generally, these gaps do not favor minority students.
I wonder if the difference between social interaction with faculty is the existence of "labs" in many of the fields listed under the third bullet point. Or at least the communal nature of the research.
I also wonder what the difference is between "mathematics" and "math" might be that would land the in opposing lists.
February 15, 2006
Greenest Cars 2006
GreenerCars.com has their list of the Greenest Cars for 2006. Interestingly the Honda Insight they list as number one has a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), an automatic transmission of sorts. Insight owners seem to think that manuel transmissions get better mileage but GreenerCars has this note on their chart that makes me wonder. "Certain other configurations of these models (with different transmissions or meeting different emission standards) score nearly as well." This implies that the CVT is the best mileage of the line. I should note that "the line" is three cars, two with manual and one with CVT.
I will have to think on that for my future change to a different vehicle. I'm trying to keep this one going until I have a tenure track...so I can buy a new car. Oh well, it will be a while yet.
Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile II - A Wednesday Meme
|You scored as Babylon 5. The universe is erupting into war and your government picks the wrong side. How much worse could things get? It doesn't matter, because no matter what you have your friends and you'll do the right thing. In the end that will be all that matters. Now if only the Psi Cops would leave you alone.|
Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile II: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? (pics)
created with QuizFarm.com
February 14, 2006
The link for Clinical Research Training ran across one of my listservs today. Don't let the name turn you off, this site offers free training on:
- Human Subjects Protection
- Informed Consent
- Subject Recruitment
- History and Ethics
- Drug Development Process
- Regulatory Issues
- Data Collection
- Protocol Design
While the focus of many of these sites is "medical research" that does not mean they ca'nt be very helpful for social science researchers. Remember the system we are forced to play in was designed for medical and psychological experimentation. The more we understand how that system works the better we will be able to utilize the system to do our work.
Nielsen//NetRatings report detailing the growth of online communities
Taken from Neowin.net where Shane Pitman posted Online Member Communities Shaping the Internet & Society:
Internet media and market research firm Nielsen//NetRatings [pdf] has released a report detailing the growth of online communities such as Friends Reunited, Blogger, MySpace, and many others. Over 57 million member community web pages are viewed per day totaling almost 1.8 billion viewed monthly by their members. In the UK alone over half of the online population participates in a member based online community site.
Alex Burmaster, European Internet Analyst at Nielsen//NetRatings says "Whilst most of the talk about the future of the web revolves around which of the giant media companies will win the battle to enable people to watch TV through the Internet, a revolution of more immediate substance is already underway. The popularity of social networking and community sites in the UK are growing day by day - particularly amongst the young who, after all, will be responsible for the future of the Internet. Sites such as MySpace, bebo and MSN Spaces dominate those most likely to be visited by the teenage market. The future of online to the young is about what the Internet is best at - communicating and interacting - not watching TV. The sheer volume in the way that people use these sites, whether it's finding friends, family or sharing their experiences and lives with others, is connecting and bringing people together in a way that was unimaginable before the Internet. It has fundamentally shifted, perhaps even created, the way in which new micro-societies are being formed and relate to each other. It will be interesting to see how these affect the general construction of society in the years to come as the web increasingly underpins more of our daily lives."
Boasting membership of over five million online and one million plus visitors per day, Faceparty is the number one community site in the UK totaling more pages viewed per person than Google, eBay, and the BBC combined.
Burmaster continues "Member communities are the most popular brands in the UK when you look at it in terms of the average number of web pages viewed per visitor. For example, if you consider that just the average Faceparty visitor views 23 pages within that site every day you can begin to comprehend how deeply ingrained the member community experience is in the lives of today's online population."
Video exploring one students use of tablet software
Tracy Hooten at the The Student Tablet PC blog has a Camtasia video of the programs she uses to run her student life. Check out MY Camtasia Video: Student Apps Demo (#1). She uses the following software:
- GoBinder 2006
- Adobe Acrobat 7
- Mindjet MindManager 6
- Virtual TI
My Font Tool(Ok I got the link wrong, corrected 2/18/2006) Microsoft PowerToys for Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
- Equation Writer (She comments that this program came in an education package. I haven't been able to figure out which of the many "Equation Writers" she is using.)
Another oldie but goodie - ENIAC +60 years
"In February 1946, J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly were about to unveil, for the first time, an electronic computer to the world. Their ENIAC, or Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, could churn 5,000 addition problems in one second, far faster than any device yet invented.
"The scientists knew that they had created something that would change history, but they weren't sure how to convey their breakthrough to the public. So they painted numbers on some light bulbs and screwed the resulting "translucent spheres" into ENIAC's panels. Dynamic, flashy lights would thereafter be associated with the computer in the public mind."
It's hard to believe that now we have such tiny devices when only 60 years ago, ENIAC occupied massive amounts of space. Go back in time with the video on these pages.
This is just too cool to let it go
Gizmodo has a post with a picture of a working model based on Charles Babbage's Difference Engine, built entirely out of Lego's. Don't you just love human ingenuity?
Nineteenth-century computer pioneer Charles Babbage is taken back--via Lego. Andy Carroll, an apparently highly-skilled Lego builder and mathematician, created this functional mechanical computer, modeled after Charles Babbage's Difference Engine, which was a precursor to modern-day computers.
Amazingly enough, this machine is able to solve mathematical problems known as second- and third-order polynomials, and is able to calculate those to three or four digits.
Elmore Leonard’s Ten Rules of Writing
43 Folders has a link to Elmore Leonard's Ten Rules of Writing. While not all are appropriate to academic writing, in truth few of them are appropriate for even "new ethnography" they do show how one writer has analyzed his craft. For those of us that live self-reflexive lives this analysis is important...and on going. Give the list a once over and see what they make you conscience of in your own writing.
My most important rule is one that sums up the 10.
If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.
Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can't allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative. It's my attempt to remain invisible, not distract the reader from the story with obvious writing. (Joseph Conrad said something about words getting in the way of what you want to say.)
If I write in scenes and always from the point of view of a particular character--the one whose view best brings the scene to life--I'm able to concentrate on the voices of the characters telling you who they are and how they feel about what they see and what's going on, and I'm nowhere in sight.
Ellipsis in computer-mediated discourse
my paper was on the use of the ellipsis in computer-mediated discourse. a good part of the paper was descriptive in nature, talking about traditional uses that have been adapted by speakers in CMD (e.g. representing silence or hesitation) and some innovative uses that have popped up (e.g. typing dot dot dots in place of periods, commas, semi-colons, lexical conjunctions, etc., and the different grammatical and social [both situational and metaphorical] contexts in which this feature is most likely to appear). a large portion of the paper also addressed the notion of whether CMC should be approached as more closely approximating standards of written text, spoken discourse, or as a mixed modality. rather than picking sides, i argued that this was not so much a constant designation for CMC, but more likely an ideology that speakers approached differently and which shaped their discourse appropriately, and that linguistic style in CMC could be dependent on this ideology. that's how i framed a majority of the variation of ellipsis use among the speakers from my corpus, anyway.
I've been thinking about my own use of ellipsis in blog posts...I tend to use them instead of ending punctuation to connect related ideas. Not proper English I know. But what the heck it's not an academic publication, prolurker is a blog after all. *S*
Business blogging is a puny part of the blogosphere?
An interesting article on business blogging from BusinessWeek Online, The Inside Story on Company Blogs:
The numbers are downright puny. According to The Fortune 500 Business Blogging Wiki (a list of blogs provided by employees about their companies and products), only 22 of the 500 largest U.S. companies operate public blogs from their executive suites. That amounts to a measly 4.4%. Has the blogging sensation passed corporations by?
Why are blogs supplanting traditional corporate Intranets? They're a snap to set up, and cheap to run. That's why the blog universe -- as counted by Technorati, the leading blog search engine -- has tripled to 27 million in the last year. They dwarf the number of personal Web pages, which require more technical expertise.
What's more, blogs are designed to change daily and -- importantly -- to receive comments from the public. This means that while traditional corporate Intranets are static, blogs generate conversation.
Blog links show something, but what?
Ok you know how you read something and it doesn't really register until you run across it later. Then pow it sinks in with a vengeance. That is what happened with the post from Bamblog's, Survey "Wie ich blogge?!" I had read the post last month but it didn't make it through the haze until today's marathon RSS reading, after I read Jan's comments to the Socnet listserv. These are very interesting stats
The online survey "Wie ich blogge?!" was conducted in October 2005, in cooperation with blog providers blog.de, blogg.de, blogigo.de, twoday.net and Six Apart Germany. Questions covered various aspects of blogging practices, from motivations and content over issues of anonymity and identity to reading habits, as well as basic sociodemographic information. A special part of the questionnaire aimed at ex-bloggers (e.g. asking for reasons for stopping to blog).
Sampling was in part based on an E-Mail invitation to registered users of twoday.net (n=980) and blogg.de (n=96), in part on self-selection through a link banner that circulated through the german-speaking blogosphere (n=4.171). 83,9 percent of respondents are active bloggers, 11,8 percent are "readers only", and 4,3 percent are ex-bloggers (who still read blogs, though). The majority comes from Germany (81,5%), Austria (9,6%) and Switzerland (5,5%). Due to the sampling process, the results will not be statistically representative for the german-speaking blogosphere, but will give a good explorative indication about the state of blogging within those countries.
Here is the heart of Jan's email (reprinted by permission of the author):
I agree that Blogroll links are not as well an indicator of actual blogging practices than links in postings and comments. Just to give an indication of blogrolling practices, here are a couple of findings from a large-scale (N=5.247) survey of the german-speaking blogosphere we've conducted in October 2005 (alas, not published in english yet; some more info: http://www.bamberg-gewinnt.de/wordpress/archives/348).
55.2 percent of all blog authors have a blogroll. On average (median), they include 16 (10) blogs. Older weblogs (> 6 months) have larger blogrolls (avg 20, median 15) than younger ones (avg. 9, median 6).
34% state they modify their blogroll once a month or more often, 45.5 % a couple of times per year, 20.4 % even less regularly. Frequency of blogroll update correlates with age of weblog, with younger weblogs updating the blogroll more often. Both findings indicate that a blogroll gets build primarily in the beginning of one's blogging activitates, while authors build their networks within the blogosphere, but is a less reliable indicator for ties among "older" bloggers.
Where do the blogroll links point to (multiple answers possible)?
- Weblogs I read regularly: 85,0 percent
- Weblogs run by friends of mine 60,3 percent
- Weblogs dealing with similar topics as my own 38,7 percent
- Weblogs which link to my own weblog 25,6 percent
February 13, 2006
New updates for the D*I*Y Planner
Updates to the D*I*Y Planner kits have been released. If you haven't checked out this site I strongly recommend it. Why pay Franklin Covey when you can get the same and usually better forms here for free?
My relationship to Gandhi’s ear
Apparently from a political standpoint I am Mahatma Gandhi's right earlobe. Have never thought of myself as socialist before...don't really think I am it's just the forced choices thing.
You are a Social Liberal (85% permissive) and an Economic Liberal (15% permissive)
Ok so the numbers might be close to correct but I'm not overly comfortable with the final label. What I mostly like is the mental picture of me sitting on Gandhi's right ear...is right the angel or the devil? I don't remember.
Addendum: How to Save the World has an interesting post titled Why Both Conservatives and Progressives Are Out of Touch With Mainstream Americans which has several charts that are worthy of study. Interestingly one of them says my placement in the lower right quadrant would put me somewhere between 15-24 year old males and females. NOW I wonder what that means. LOL
CFP - Gender as a Taboo: Places, Dynamics and Functions
Interdisciplinary Workshop organized by the Graduate Research Group Gender as a Category of Knowledge at Humboldt University, Berlin, 27th + 28th of October 2006
Gender as a Taboo: Places, Dynamics and Functions
Organization: Dr. Ute Frietsch, Dr. Sabine Grenz, Dr. Lidia Guzy, Jennifer John, M.A., Beatrice Michaelis, M.A.
Gender is both a taboo and a field of knowledge. Gender as a taboo and gender as a category of knowledge are mutually dependent “they constitute a pair” comparable to the implicit and the explicit, secret and scandal, silence and speech.
One priority of the workshop is to interrogate what kind of "will to knowledge" (Foucault) motivates the talk and exposure of sexual acts, genitals etc. Furthermore, we want to investigate the "will" to ignore gender in sciences and other fields of knowledge. This includes questions of canon-making in academic disciplines and other fields of knowledge as well as of larger social mechanisms, such as political correctness and breaking discursive taboos (pretending to explicate what has long been silenced, thereby negating that enunciations of racism, sexism and other discriminatory modes have always already been practiced).
Not only becomes the marginalized tabooed but also the privileged. It remains unmarked and simultaneously marks its “other”. The preservation of power as well as the maintenance of social coherence appear to be crucial a cause of tabooing. How can we evaluate and analyse the ability of taboos to contain potential threats? Both the tabooing and the perpetuation of a binary logic of gender relations are instrumental in the construction and taxonomy of social and scientific communities, culture and human beings. Taboos, however, are situated and culturally as well as historically contingent.
The workshop is designed to examine places, dynamics, and specific functions of taboos concerning gender (gender performance, gender relations, homo/hetero/sexuality). How, for instance, can we intervene in a binary gender logic, if we recognise that gender studies is not innocent either in the process of tabooing other genders (Intersex, Trans*) in very material-corporeal and violent ways. How is (scientific/academic) knowledge structured by taboos? How does tabooing affect subjectivities? In how far can taboos be conceptualised as discursive? How does a taboo define who is in and who is out? In how far is tabooing ludicrous? Can a taboo concerning gender still function, if once articulated? Can canons incorporate taboos without de-tabooing them? How can we describe the limitations of taboos?
Taboo research exists in various fields, among others psychology/psychoanalysis, ethnology, sociology, theology, cultural studies, film and literary theory. At this workshop we wish to connect these two fields of knowledge (taboo and gender) in a transdisciplinary manner reflecting mechanisms of tabooing both within science and society. We invite contributions investigating gender as a taboo from all areas of academia, reaching from the natural sciences to arts/art theory. Papers should be self-reflexive concerning the status of gender in their own (inter/trans) disciplinary situatedness.
Prof. Dr. Joan Cadden (provisional)
Dr. Bettina Mathes
Conference languages will be German and English. However, discussions can also be held in French.
Conference fee: There is a small conference fee of 10 Ã¢â€šÂ¬ for both days of the workshop to be paid at registration.
Travel expenses might be covered for invited papers.
Proposals should not exceed 2,000 characters. Please send them together with a CV until the 10th of April, 2006 to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictures of Bielefeld
I wasn't very good at taking pictures this trip I think I shot two, to be posted later. Eszter Hargittai, however, took a nice set of pictures you can check out on Flickr. You gotta love the yellow rubber ducks we each had in the bathroom at the Hotel Mövenpick in Bielefeld.
We live in frightening times
I think that the Inside Higher Ed article David Horowitz Has a List is mandatory reading for anyone with an interest in higher ed. We live in truly frightening times when a professor of peace studies at a Quaker college can be labeled as one of The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America.
An exact disciplinary breakdown is difficult because many of the professors do interdisciplinary work. But by far, Middle Eastern studies seems to be the most dangerous field to Horowitz, with at least 15 scholars on his list who do work on the subject. Many other professors on the list work in relatively new fields such as ethnic studies, gay studies, or women's studies. But there are also plenty of people from traditional fields such as history, English and law.
From the publishers website:
Horowitz exposes 101 academics--representative of thousands of radicals who teach our young people--who also happen to be alleged ex-terrorists, racists, murderers, sexual deviants, anti-Semites, and al-Qaeda supporters. Horowitz blows the cover on academics who:
- Say they want to kill white people.
- Promote the views of the Iranian mullahs.
- Support Osama bin Laden.
- Lament the demise of the Soviet Union.
- Defend pedophilia.
- Advocate the killing of ordinary Americans.
David Horowitz's riveting exposé is essential reading for parents, students, college alums, taxpayers, and patriotic Americans who don't think college students should be indoctrinated by sympathizers of Joseph Stalin and Osama bin Laden.
The Professors is truly frightening--and an intellectual call to arms from a courageous author who knows the radicals all too well.
Remembering names of students and others
I am terrible with names, it was one of my deep dark secrets as an HR person. You see I often remembered lots of details about employees, which department they worked in, who was their supervisor, how many kids they had, and lots of unusual information that ones sees in an HR roll. Now that I am teaching classes of 40+ my problem is a much more apparent. I simply have a terrible time with names, so this Inside Higher Ed article, What's Your Name Again? by Mary McKinney, caught my eye. Here is their advise on remembering student names.
How To Learn Student Names:
1. Make it a priority. Focusing on any goal is the first step towards making it happen.
2. Read the registrar's list before the first class.Pay attention to the names that may be difficult to pronounce.
3. Take roll call on the first day of class. Take your time, pay close attention and repeat each student's name. Make sure that you have the proper pronunciation. If a student's name is unfamiliar be sure to ask explicitly if you've got it right. Students who are shy, or from cultures where greater deference to authority is the norm, may hesitate to correct you unless prompted and yet will still find it grating to be referred to incorrectly the entire semester.
4. Ask the students what they prefer to be called and be sure to write down nicknames on the class roster. You may want to preface your roll call with a request for nicknames: while you are likely to wonder whether Elizabeth whether goes by "Liz" or "Beth", you'll have no idea that Amy Jones goes by "A.J."
5. If you have access to students' photos, use them to familiarize yourself with names as part of your preparation in the first weeks of class. My client Jim had been unaware that he had access to student I.D. photos until he checked with the registrar.
6. If there are no photos available, consider taking your own photographs. In Tools for Teaching, Barbara Gross Davis suggests taking Polaroid shots of students and pasting them on index cards with the students' names and other personal information. Creating class "I.D. cards" is even easier with access to digital cameras.
7. Often it is most difficult to remember foreign students' names, which may be unfamiliar to Western ears. Be sure to write a phonetic version of the name if needed. For example, in one of my classes the name of a Chinese student was transliterated as Xiou -- but pronounced something like "Shaw."
8. A common memory trick is to link the name with something or someone else - thus my student Xiou became the unforgettable George Bernard "Shaw" in my mind.
9. Think of another person you know who has the same first name as the student. Then make a link using a visual image. For example, I imagine my short-haired brunette student Susan with the wild grey mane of my cousin Susan, who hadn't changed the style of her coiffure since the late 1960's. The incongruous image cements the student's name in my cortex.
10. Use humor in your associative links to make a lasting impression. I kept getting confused about whether a student was Egla or Elga until I imagined her with a hard-boiled Egg of a head.
11. Find a rhyme to create mental associations: Is Jim slim? Or an adjective that tips you off about the name's first letter: Is Thomas tall? Can you visualize Sarah in a sarong? Again, humor helps. Thus Slim Jim becomes a life-size stick of dried beef sausage. And Sarah, well, sarongs fall off easily, right? (Need I admonish you that the mnemonic devises should be kept to yourself?)
12. Use your students' names frequently both to call on them to participate and to refer to previous points made in the discussion. Davis points out that this technique can be used in even very large classes: Ask students their name when they make a comment and later refer to it as "Jeff's point" or "Audrey's contribution."
13. When you take roll, consider creating a map of the seating arrangement labeled with student's names. I'm always surprised at how consistently students sit in the same seats, or at least the same quadrant of the room. In my small classes, we sit around a large table and for the first few classes I write down who chooses to sit where as students arrive. Writing the names down also helps commit them to memory. Some professors ask students to sit in the same seats for a few classes, a request that communicates their earnest efforts to learn names. I prefer to keep my mnemonic methods mysterious. Either way works.
14. Using name tags for the first few class sessions can help students learn one another's names at the same time it helps you. I ask my students to write their first names in very large letters so that I can read them from the front of the classroom.
15. When teaching very large classes it is tempting to give up. Resist the temptation. Try learning five names per class and try to use those names.
16. One professor I know uses name cards for her large classes. Students pick up the cards as they file into class and place them at the front of their desks. This United Nations style name card strategy is also useful because the tags that aren't retrieved indicate absent students.
17. With any sized class, look at registrar's list during week and see how many faces you can recall.
18. Make sure you know the names of students who visit you during office hours. Take a few minutes to ask the students about themselves, their major, where they are from, etc. Personal contact is one of the ways you can increase the effectiveness of your teaching.
Becoming an expert at memorizing names is a small but respectful step toward demonstrating personal investment in your students' well-being. Building a mutually respectful relationship with students is as important as having an organized lesson plan, giving a dynamic lecture, or encouraging enthusiastic class participation. Positive student-teacher relationships foster engagement and achievement.
American Airlines *spits*
I just found out that trans-atlantic flights on American Airlines partners, specificly British Airways, will not earn AA miles. Gezzzzzzz and to think that if I had taken American all the way I would just now be walking into my house. *sigh* Read the fine print my friends, read ALL of the fine print. Guess I better apply for a British Airways miles card and see if they will give them to me retrospectively.
From ProBlogger. I had no idea there were so many meme tracking options.
Richard MacManus has a good round up post that takes a look at what he calls the increasing array of Meme Trackers that are pretty popular these days.
He ranks Memorandum as the best (he's a long time fan) but others that he looks.
Check out MacManus's original post for detailed information on each of his choices, including screen shots of some his favorites.
CFP - CONSTRUCTING IDENTITIES, Doctroal Student Confernece Cardiff University
22-23 June 2006
Organised by doctoral students for doctoral students
Graduate School in Humanities, Cardiff University, Wales, UK
The convenors of the panels listed below are now inviting abstracts for papers which examine the concept of identity, and encourage submissions from those examining aspects of personal, linguistic, national and cultural identity. Proposals examining the following areas are especially welcome:
- Post colonialism
- Place and Identity
- New Identities
- Organizational Identities
- Black Identity
- Religious Identity
- Identity and Material Culture
- Nationalism and Its Effect (to include Representation of Identity in Popular Culture, and Wales and Welsh identity)
Abstracts (300 words) should be sent by e-mail to Gwenllian Lansdown, ConstructingIdentities@cf.ac.uk by 30th April 2006. Papers are expected to last for 20 minutes. Proposals for additional panels may also be considered.
Information about registration may be obtained from the conference website at www.cf.ac.uk/constructingidentities or from the email address above. The conference is subsidised and therefore a nominal charge of £20 will be levied to cover meals and accommodation.
Constructing Identities is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
Internet as “hazard” - hazard research
This is worth looking into if your dissertation is "hazard" related.
The Natural Hazards Center and the Public Entity Risk Institute
(PERI), in partnership with the National Science Foundation and Swiss Reinsurance Company (Swiss Re), will be awarding PhD dissertation fellowships to support research on any aspect of natural and human-made hazards, risks, and disasters. The goal of the program is to foster the development of the next generation of interdisciplinary hazards scholars who can offer wide-ranging contributions to the body of knowledge in hazards research. As a relatively small subset of many different disciplines, the interdisciplinary hazards field relies to
an unusual extent on an influx of young scholars committed simultaneously to their own disciplines and to the more practical, applied aspects of the field. This combination can be difficult to achieve in today's traditional academic climate, and thus this program helps solidify student interest in and commitment to hazards via financial support.
Applications for the second round of PERISHIP Awards are due September 1, 2006. Complete program information, including deadlines, eligibility, and application requirements, is available at http://www.cudenver.edu/periship/. Specific questions can be directed to Audre Hoffman, PERI, 11350 Random Hills Road, #210, Fairfax, VA 22030; (703) 352-1846; e-mail: email@example.com .
Research Fellowship at De Monfort University
Our successful AHRC application has created an opportunity for a postdoctoral researcher for a project entitled 'Interdisciplinary applications of experimental social software to the study of narrative in digital contexts', led by Professor Sue Thomas. The post is jointly based in the Institute of Creative Technologies and the Faculty of Humanities.
You will have a major role in the survey and evaluation of collaborative social software tools and their application to people-to-people models of transdisciplinary knowledge-sharing in relation to narratives in a digital context.
You will have a PhD (or have recently submitted your doctorate) and you will probably, but not necessarily, have a first degree in a Humanities subject. You will have a proven knowledge of narrative in digital environments and experience of managing web-based collaborative tools. A substantial understanding of the technical aspects of the project, including knowledge of HTML, databases, data collection and analysis skills, are a requirement of the post.
Interviews for the post will take place on Monday 10th April with a preferred start date of 22nd May 2006
Informal enquiries can by made to Sue Thomas on firstname.lastname@example.org or +44(0)116 2078266
The AHRC funds postgraduate training and research in the arts and humanities. For further information please see www.ahrc.ac.uk
Closing date 17/03/2006
3 trains, 3 planes, and a pickup truck
I'm home from Bielefeld Germany. I owe the blog a lengthy post on the conference, which I will be doing later this week. For now it's preparing for this week's classes and wading through the email, snail mail, and RSS that I missed while I was gone.
February 09, 2006
Grenzenlose Cyberwelt? Internationale Fachtagung in Bielefeld
Hello from Bielefeld Germany. After a long (26 hours from door-to-door) trip I arrive yesterday and quickly fell asleep hence no post. Last evening the invited speakers were taken for dinner at a local beerhouse. Dinner was good and the beer was great, heavy dark beer...my german genetic structure resonates with good dark beer.
I will be blogging the conference as I can, we have wifi but battery power is required so connection is a problem.
Just a note this is my first translated conference so this should be interesting.
February 06, 2006
A few days in Germany for Cyberworld Unlimited
I am off early in the morning for a few days in Germany where I will be an invited presenter at Cyberworld unlimited? Digital Inequality and New Spaces of Informal Education for Young People. Susan Herring and I will be talking about gender and the blogosphere, our PowerPoint slideshow is available at http://ella.slis.indiana.edu/~herring/bielefeld.ppt. Though since we don't present for a few days minor changes are possible.
Assuming I have good connectivity during the conference I will try to post live notes for those of you who can't attend. Otherwise they will have to wait until I get home.
Blog stalkers - advise on personal safety
It's been almost two months now since the situation was resolved and I believe it is now safe to talk about it without inflaming things (but hope you'll forgive me for not going into too many specifics).
His advise in the Lessons for Blogger Security section is very valuable and I strongly advise you to read it and think about the issue.
I don't have first hand knowledge of blog stalkers in specific, but I do have more than I ever wanted about internet stalkers in general. I won't go into detail here, the man that stalked me is still online and I would rather not meet up with him again. Suffices to say that I agree with all but one of Darren's points, that one difference being that tone is an uncontrollable variable, you never know what might set off someone whose unstable or just plan mean. I totally agree that third-parties are needed to resolve the problem, in my case other online persons helped buffer the situation and I had sought legal advise, thankfully he stopped bothering me before I set the legal intervention into motion. It was a frightening trying experience and I sincerely hope none of you ever have to go through it. One finds out both the worst and the best about yourself and your friends in these type of situations. While knowledge is always good sometimes it can be too hard won to be worth the cost.
The first issue of PodcastUser Magazine hits a download near you
Wow Podcasting is big enough to warrant a "magazine." Check it out...
Direct Download PDF (4MB)
It's been a frantic few days at the virtual offices of PodcastUser Magazine, but I'm pleased to announce the release of issue one.
Please let us know what you think by either clicking on the contact button or using the individual email addresses printed within the magazine.
February 05, 2006
coComment, Clear conversation in the Blogosphere
ProBlogger has a pointer to a new free service for bloggers and blog readers.
What is coComment?
coComment is the only service that allows you to enjoy the full potential of blog comments on the web. Before coComment, the blogosphere was not a global conversation, but tons of fragmented, hard to follow, and untrackable discussions.
Using coComment, you can now keep track of what you have been commenting on, display your comments on your blog, and see what is new in the discussions you are participating in (if other users are also on coComment).
Since I'm a lurker and not a big commenter this service is probably not very useful to me. Now if they let you watch others spread the joy of commenting, I might be up for it. Would make for interesting research wouldn't it.
coComment is currently in beta phase, registration is only possible with a personal invitation code
Maybe if we ask really really nicely? It sure would be great to have some invitations to hand out to the academic and biblio-blogosphere.
February 04, 2006
Two great movies you should see, and a book to read
In slightly more than 24-hours hubby and I have seen two great films. Last night it was Capote:
In 1959, Truman Capote, a popular writer for The New Yorker, learns about the horrific and senseless murder of a family of four in Halcomb, Kansas. Inspired by the story material, Capote and his partner, Harper Lee, travel to the town to research for an article. However, as Capote digs deeper into the story, he is inspired to expand the project into what would be his greatest work, In Cold Blood. To that end, he arranges extensive interviews with the prisoners, especially with Perry Smith, a quiet and articulate man with a troubled history. As he works on his book, Capote feels some compassion for Perry which in part prompts him to help the prisoners to some degree. However, that feeling deeply conflicts with his need for closure for his book which only an execution can provide. That conflict and the mixed motives for both interviewer and subject make for a troubling experience that would produce an literary account that would redefine modern non-fiction. (from IMDb)
Tonight it was Good Night, and Good Luck.
In the early 1950's, the threat of Communism created an air of paranoia in the United States and exploiting those fears was Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin. However, CBS reporter Edward R. Murrow and his producer Fred Friendly decided to take a stand and challenge McCarthy and expose him for the fear monger he was. However, their actions took a great personal toll on both men, but they stood by their convictions and helped to bring down one of the most controversial senators in American history. (from IMDb)
Both movies are amazing, through I have to say Good Night, and Good Luck resonates a bit more with me. Ok, the primary reason is the topic, which I will address more in a moment.
The second reason is the acting. Yes like most of the women in American, heck maybe even in the western world, I think George Clooney is a hunk and have since his days on The Facts of Life. But Clooney isn't the reason the acting in this film is so great. That honor goes to David Strathairn a prolific character actor whose work I have admired for years. As Edward R. Murrow, Strathairn has to recreate a man who existed and of whom there are hundreds of hours of recorded television, while lending his own flavor to the mix. The beauty of the portrayal is in the quiet moments, you can bluff with dialogue and hide behind words, but a true actor excels in the moments of introspection. Strathairn is one of those actors who can disappear into his roles, check out his filmography, you will be surprised how many films he has made that you have seen and completely forgotten that he was the actor in the role.
However what I mostly walked away with this evening was a wonderful recap of that dreadful time in the 1950's when America turned in on itself and began to persecute it's own citizens for their difference. In the 1980's as a theatre undergraduate I read Robert Vaughn's book Only Victims: A Study of Show Business Blacklisting and was shocked at what was done by Sen. Joseph McCarthy, and his supporters to those whose views may have differed from the majorities views and to those who simply were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Vaughn's book, taken from his doctoral dissertation, has stayed with me all these years and has been in the forefront of much of my thinking since 2001. As Santayana said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." I would much rather we learn from our mistakes than that we keep repeating them. Personally I try to minimize what must be relearned. If you value free speech and have not read Vaughn's book I highly recommend it.
I don't want to minimize Capote's impact. It is a great film that has been cleaning up on the awards circuit, and deservingly so. Philip Seymour Hoffman brings Capote to life in ways that highlight his difference and humanizes it at the same time. Capote, a staple of the talk show circuit until his death, always appeared to me to be an odd person. His intellegence was always clear as was his narcissism. Also it was obvious that he had a keen ability as an interviewer. He could get others to talk to him about things that would not have normally shared publicly. Hoffman captures the contradictions and makes you see Capote in new ways. Take the time to see it especially if you have read the book In Cold Blood.
The searches prolurker turns up in *shaking my head*
I am amazed by the search strategies some folks seem to use to find things online. I often thing random pages might be as good at provide answers for some of these queries. This sample is from the last three hours.
- Oil manager guest book for 2006/2007 include email address
- A sample dissertation problem statement on urbanization necessary for Internet diffusion in a country
- California teen scholarship pagent tips (misspelling in original)
- Professional dive jobs in Hawaii and the pay scale
Plus there are three different vanity searches.
None of these searches have any quotation marks in them so the results are going to have a very high noise ratio. LOL Of which prolurker is part of the noise, since all of these searches take folks to large archive pages which will not provide them with useful information related to their searches. *sigh*
Though I do have to admit it is an interesting mix of topics.
Possible searches that might yield better results:
- "Oil manager" "guest book" 2006 2007 include "email address" (kind of hard to propose an alternative when I have no idea what this person is really looking for. LOL)
- "dissertation problem statement" urbanization "internet diffusion"
- California "teen scholarship pageant" tips
- "professional dive jobs" Hawaii "pay scale"
When I am using a long search string I try to put something in quotes just to narrow down the search and keep me out of less than useful blog archives.
Western Union Telegrams STOP
From the Baltimore Sun, though I first heard it on CNN.
Western Union was making little money sending telegrams - $500,000 in revenue last year on 20,000 telegrams delivered - and will focus on the more lucrative money transfer business, with revenue of $4 billion annually.
The company delivered its last telegram Jan. 27, but it won't say to whom.
In an age of cell phones, fax machines, e-mail and text messaging, there's little room for the telegram. By the cold calculus of business, it's hard to make an argument for keeping it alive. But something romantic is being lost, say those who love telegrams, even if they acknowledge not sending them anymore.
AoIR deadline extended
The deadline for paper abstracts submissions for the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) Conference has been extended to 21 February.
February 03, 2006
I am cream pie...nummmy
|You Are Cream Pie|
Those who like you live for understated pleasures
p.s. Cream pies are my absolute favorites.
Because I like angels
CFP - Carl J. Couch Internet Research Award
Carl J. Couch Internet Research Award
Sponsored by the Carl Couch Center for Social and Internet Research
The Carl Couch Center issues an annual call for student-authored papers to be considered for Carl J. Couch Internet Research Award. The Couch Center welcomes both theoretical and empirical papers that (1) apply symbolic interactionist approaches to Internet studies, (2) demonstrate interactive relationships between social interaction and communication technologies as advocated by Couch, and/or (3) develop symbolic interactionist concepts in new directions. Papers will be evaluated based on the quality of (1) mastery of Symbolic Interactionist approaches and concepts and Couch's theses, (2) originality, (3) organization, (4) presentation, and (5) advancement of knowledge.
Competition is open to graduate or undergraduate students of all disciplines. Works that are published or accepted for publication are not eligible for award consideration. The top three papers will receive Couch Awards to be presented at the 2006 meeting of the National Communication Association (NCA) in San Antonio, Texas. The top paper will be awarded a certificate and a cash prize of $300 US, runner up will receive a certificate and a cash prize of $200 US, and a third paper will receive a certificate and a cash prize of $100 US. All three
authors will be invited to present their work at a session of the NCA conference, November 16-19, 2006.
Those interested should send a copy of their paper, with a 100-word abstract, electronically to Mark Johns at email@example.com Submission deadline is May 1, 2006. Notification of award will be sent by June 15.
Those with questions or comments about Couch Award application, please contact:
Mark D. Johns
Dept. of Communication Studies
Decorah, IA 52101
Tel: (563) 387-1347
February 02, 2006
CFP - Compelling Confessions: The Politics of Personal Disclosure
Compelling Confessions: The Politics of Personal Disclosure
(abstracts by 3/31/06; accepted manuscripts by 5/19/06)
Personal testimony seems ubiquitous in contemporary culture, raising fundamental questions: is the authentic personal disclosure we apparently prize--whether in classrooms, on television, in clinical or legal settings, or elsewhere--productive, advisable, or even possible, from a psychoanalytic or other theoretical perspective? Manifestations of a confessional impulse are widely available not only in in fiction, poetry, autobiography, and memoirs but also in ethnography, within therapeutic or legal frameworks, in popular, so-called "reality"
television, in "expressivist" writing theories and, increasingly, in a testimonial strain observable in pedagogical scholarship. Less available to general readers and viewers, however, are the strategies for assessing modes of personal disclosure in literature, the classroom and popular media.
Which theories, concepts, and terms equip interested observers with a critical understanding of confessional strategies and effects? Compelling Confessions aims to make available to general readers a range of essays (2500-5000 words) that visibly interact with relevant theory by way of making clear the promise, pressures, procedures and/or pitfalls connected with "telling one's story." In other words, this compilation aims to provide a critical vocabulary with which its readers might more systematically assess the confessional rhetoric they
encounter. Essays that interrogate unexamined assumptions within the discourse about personal disclosure are welcome; the crucial point is that they make what is at stake in their interrogations clear and meaningful to a general readership. Compelling Confessions differs from collections such as Modern Confessional Writing: New Critical Essays (Routledge) in its inclusion of popular media, non-literary communication, and contemporary pedagogy within the confessional paradigm and in its purposive aim at a non-scholarly audience.
Please direct all inquiries/abstracts to firstname.lastname@example.org and use "Compelling Confessions" as the subject line to ensure a prompt response. Abstracts should be pasted into e-messages (not posted as attachments) accepted manuscripts should be snail-mailed (along with authors' contact information) to S. Diamond, Department of English, Youngstown State University, One University Plaza, Youngstown, OH 44555. Deadline for abstracts: March 31, 2006. Deadline for accepted manuscripts: May 19, 2006.
CFP - Refashioning the Self: Authorial Construction in Autobiographical Writing
Refashioning the Self: Authorial Construction in Autobiographical Writing
Abstracts are invited for a proposed special session at the annual Modern Language Association Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 27-30 December 2006.
This session, pending approval of the MLA program committee, will examine how authors write about themselves in various contexts. Papers may explore authorial self-reflexivity in novels, poetry, diaries, letters, or other contexts such as e-mail or speeches. The session will address such questions as the following:
- How do authors construct themselves through their work?
- To what extent does an author's construct of self differ from, say, a biographer's construct?
- In what ways does the author-created self inform our understanding of his or her biography?
- What legitimacy do we give to authorial self construction?
- How do autobiographical tendencies in a work change our interpretation of the piece and other works?
- How might the author's self-construction reshape our understandings of genre?
Please send an abstract (300-word limit, please), a brief vitae, and relevant contact information to email@example.com by 15 March 2006. Submissions by e-mail are preferred, but you may post your materials to:
Ben P. Robertson
Troy, AL 36082
CFP - NEW DIRECTIONS IN CHILDREN'S GEOGRAPHIES
NEW DIRECTIONS IN CHILDREN'S GEOGRAPHIES
7th and 8th September 2006
Centre for Children and Youth
The University of Northampton
Faith Tucker, John Horton, Peter Kraftl, Sarah Armstrong
The growth of geographical research on the experiences and lifestyles of children and young people has been well documented. The vibrancy of this research field is illustrated, for example, by the publication in 2000 of Holloway and Valentine's Children's Geographies: playing, living learning, the launch of Children's Geographies journal in 2003, a special edition of the Geographical Associations' Geography journal (2003), and regular sessions at international conferences. We propose that it is timely for researchers to step back, reflect upon progress made to date, and debate new directions in children's geographies.
We invite papers on the following themes:
- the body, emotions and children's geographies
- the ethics of children's geographies
- participatory research with children
- critical approaches to designing environments for children
- mobilities and children's geographies
- quantitative approaches to childhood research
- popular culture and children's geographies
- teaching, learning and children's geographies
Abstracts (c.200 words) should be emailed to:
firstname.lastname@example.org by 31st March 2006. If you would like to present a paper on a 'new direction in children's geographies' not listed above, please let us know.
For further information, please contact Dr Faith Tucker.
Associated reading: First Steps: A primer on the geographies of children and youth (pdf)
Retaining your rights with an Author’s Addendum
The SPARC Author's Addendum is a form you may use to amend the document that your publisher asks you to sign. It was developed for SPARC by Michael Carroll of the Villanova University School of Law.
By using the SPARC Author's Addendum you will, for example, retain the right to make your article available in a non-commercial open digital archive on the Web (such as the National Institutes of Health's PubMed Central or your institution's open digital archive) or to make copies of your article for use in the classes you teach.
I have previously penned Phil Agre's recommended addendum, "The author retains the right to publish an earlier version of the work on a website" on the contract before I signed. I like this one much better it's clearer and more professional looking.
February 01, 2006
When counseling should have a trained professional
Back when I was in Human Resources my hubby used to be concerned. I had death threats of course none were to serious, but all were taken seriously by myself and my employers. Of course he knew about the folks that come to a work place with a gun to right some wrong that has been "done to them." We've all seem this one the news, even one this week. Usually those folks shoot their boss and are on their way to HR when the snipers take them out or the reverse. Now that never happened to me or to anyone I know, but I did deal with folks with every variety of mental and emotional issue so the potential for violence was always there, and he knew it.
Because of that I don't think I will be pointing him to the article in The Chronicle by Harry Lancaster - Not a Counselor. Lancaster has written a case study of his interaction with a pathological liar, if you haven't met someone with this illness this is a fairly accurate story from my experience, that should give all of us pause as we interact with the broad spectrum of people we see on a daily basis.
For the record, mental and emotional issues are not limited to the student body. One of my first interactions with someone with pathological lying tendencies, if they were not a pathological liar they were very close to being one, was as an undergrad student dealing with a full professor. Talk about messed up power dynamics.
While I may not share it with hubby I do think this article is important reading for all of us in academia. This clip is from the conclusion but the case study is required reading to make all of the pieces fall into place, and maybe most of the cautionary tale.
At my small college, the administration gives us somewhat paradoxical advice: We should be open and receptive to students, willing to give them our time and attention. Yet we should refer students with problems to the counseling center, remembering that we can't diagnose problems or make the students go (or even make them call for an appointment). Those varying directives are difficult to balance.
In my case, when the student first came to me, I wrestled with what to do: She was legally an adult with the right to make her own decisions about her private life, yet she appeared to need help. She had said she didn't want to see a counselor on the campus -- in her words, "the counseling center doesn't know what it's doing" -- and I felt obliged to honor her request and her privacy.
Wanting to help, I kept listening. She seemed to need someone to talk to, and she trusted me. And I have to admit it: Being trusted is a good feeling.
But it was exactly that "good guy" nature that got me in trouble -- that's what she exploited. Many of my colleagues with whom I've shared this story have sympathized, for they, too, would want to be the good guy, the trusted ear, the one who helps save a hurt student. Some said they would have easily believed her protest about the counseling center, for there is that lingering "us-them" relationship between academics and student- life professionals.
I have decided I cannot play the role of informal counselor again: I will direct students immediately to the counseling center, not in judgment but because you need the best person for the job. You call a plumber to fix a broken pipe, right? Let me help you write an essay, not resolve your personal issues.
If only it were that easy with every case. Not every student can be waved off to the counseling center. My fellow faculty members have talked of stalkers and identity thieves who go after professors as easily as they go after students. One colleague even had a voodoo "death curse" put on her some years ago by an angry student -- obviously ineffective (at least so far) but still disturbing.
The matter becomes even darker when I consider that at some future point on our quiet campus, things could turn deadly. I already know tangentially of several episodes in which students became confrontational with professors nearly to the point of violence. Students also have threatened each other. There may be a time when a violent, unstable student will have a gun.
Mandy merely deceived me. What should I do if a student becomes violent? If a student hits me, will I be fired if I hit back in self-defense? If a student brings a gun into my class, am I expected to sacrifice myself for my other students, or can I run and hide and thereby save my children from the loss of a parent? Am I liable if I give the bad (yet deserved) grade that sets off a sniper? Yes, those questions are ultimately all about me -- but you know, I have a vested interest in me.
From my perspective, there are far more questions than answers. I sure would like some answers as I move further and further into this unknown territory.
I also wonder/worry about how I can effectively interact with students who are using drugs and alcohol detrimentally. I've had several students who clearly were using something that altered their personalities markedly from one interaction to another. One student would swing from docile to vengeful, thankfully all via email, between each interaction. In this case they eventually did poorly in my class and probably others as well, but is "flunking out" the best we can offer these people? I'm sorry but I'm not comfortable with that at all. It seems to me that some sort of intervention process should be available...no we can't force them into treatment but somehow we (being the college/university) should be able to present them with information and options to resolve the problem. No I'm not a pie-eyed optimist I know many substance abusers would say "no thanks" to the offer but if you helped one wouldn't it be worth it? Something to think about.
JCMC’s new issue
The JOURNAL OF COMPUTER-MEDIATED COMMUNICATION is pleased to announce its latest issue: http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol11/issue2/
Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Volume 11, Issue 2, January 2006
Organizational Blogs and the Human Voice: Relational Strategies and Relational Outcomes
- Tom Kelleher and Barbara M. Miller
Managing Impressions Online: Self-Presentation Processes in the Online Dating Environment
- Nicole Ellison, Rebecca D. Heino, and Jennifer L. Gibbs
Ouch!: An Examination of the Self-Representation of Disabled People on the Internet
- Estelle Thoreau
Community Participation and Internet Use after September 11: Complementarity in Channel Consumption
- Mohan Dutta-Bergman
Student Perceptions of Asynchronous Computer-Mediated Communication in Face-to-Face Courses
- Yun-Jo An and Theodore Frick
The Politeness of Requests Made Via Email and Voicemail: Support for the Hyperpersonal Model
- Kirk W. Duthler
Primacy and Recency Effects on Clicking Behavior
- Jamie Murphy, Charles Hofacker, and Richard Mizerski
The Internet and Tobacco Cessation: The Roles of Internet Self-Efficacy and Search Task on the Information-Seeking Process
- Traci Hong
The Effects of Communication Modality on Performance and Self-Ratings of Teamwork Components
- Thomas D. Fletcher and Debra A. Major
IMing, Text Messaging, and Adolescent Social Networks
- J. Alison Bryant, Ashley Sanders-Jackson, and Amber M. K. Smallwood
On and Off the 'Net: Scales for Social Capital in an Online Era
- Dmitri Williams
Preliminary Development of a Model and Measure of Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) Competence
- Brian H. Spitzberg
The Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Susan C. Herring, Editor-in-Chief