Paper to the rescue

by Eszter Hargittai on November 18, 2005

Following up on the last post regarding dissertation completion, I thought I would acknowledge the role of paper that came up as a theme in the panel this morning. There were two of us recent PhDs on the panel and it turns out both of us turned to playing with paper as a way to take breaks from our dissertation writing. I picked up papier mache the Spring of 2003. Given the results, it is not surprising that I gave it up after the dissertation was complete. The other recent graduate on the panel, Ted Striphas said he was doing lots of origami at the time. Go figure.

All of this relates to keeping healthy during the process. It is important to take breaks. In fact, I do not believe it is possible to do good work without taking breaks. So what is your preferred break activity? I am especially interested in responses other than “blogging”.;)

Strategies for successful dissertation completion

by Eszter Hargittai on November 18, 2005

If you are or were at some point in a doctoral program then you have probably heard the following before: The best dissertation is a done dissertation. But how to get it done?

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EFF on Bloggers’ rights

by Henry Farrell on November 18, 2005

The EFF is running a campaign to support bloggers’ rights and to encourage new members. Over the next few years, bloggers are likely to be hit with both lawsuits and regulations, as blogging becomes normalized as a form of speech and political activity. The EFF is as close to a trade union supporting bloggers’ interests as we’re likely to get. It’s worth supporting, by clicking on the button.

Why do they hate America?

by John Q on November 18, 2005

In the leadup to the Iraq war, we were repeatedly told that anyone who disagreed with the rush to war, or criticised the Bush Administration, was “anti-American”. It now appears that the majority of Americans are anti-American. A string of polls has shown that most Americans now realise that Bush and his Administration lied to get them into the war and that it was a mistake to go to war. The latest, reported in the NYT is this one from the Pew Research Centre.

It has a lot of interesting statistics on the views of Americans in general, and various elite groups. The truly striking figure is Bush’s approval ranking among leading scientists and engineers, drawn from the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. In Aug 2001, it was 30 per cent – not strong but not negligible either. In Oct 2005, it’s fallen to 6 per cent, with 87 per cent disapproving. I’d guess that the scientists in the sample are even more hostile than the engineers (though, obviously, the engineers must be pretty hostile).

It would be interesting to know how much of this hostility relates to specific anti-science policies (stem cells, Intelligent Design and so on) and how much to the Administration’s thoroughgoing embrace of the view that reality is socially constructed, and that the most powerful get to do most of the construction.