by Henry Farrell on December 6, 2005

Three discussions worth taking note of.

* Our own Eszter Hargittai will be talking about blogging with Dan Drezner and Sean Carroll on “Milt Rosenberg’s show”:http://www.wgnradio.com/weblog/archives/miltsfile/2005/12/06/index.html#a000939 on Chicago radio station WGN this evening. Should be fun.

* The Chronicle is running a “discussion”:http://chronicle.com/colloquy/2005/12/procrastination/chat.php3 tomorrow on “how to beat academic procrastination”:http://chronicle.com/free/v52/i16/16a03001.htm with professor of psychology, William Ferrari. Leave yer questions or comments “here”:http://chronicle.com/colloquy/2005/12/procrastination/question.php3. Left untouched is the topic of whether some “forms of procrastination”:http://www-csli.stanford.edu/~john/procrastination.html may actually make you productive.

* Our libertarian comrades at the Cato Institute have created a new institution, “Cato Unbound”:http://www.cato-unbound.org/about-cato-unbound/. Each month, they’ll have an essay by some luminary, responses to that essay, and trackbacks to blogs that take up the discussion. Not entirely unlike our Crooked Timber seminars, albeit somewhat more ambitious in scope. It looks to be a very interesting experiment – blog/online discussions of this kind seem to me to have a lot of potential to shake up the academy.

“Nature” on blogs

by Eszter Hargittai on December 6, 2005

The current issue of Nature has several articles about “Science in the web age” including a focus on scholarly searching online, the digitization of books, and the sharing of research ideas through the use of blogs, which discusses the use of blogs by academics to communicate about their research.

The latter is of particular interest here and something we have written about before. (If I had more time I’d link to even more relevant posts, it’s been a popular topic around here, not surprisingly.) This being the last week of the quarter I am running around like crazy and have little time to comment. The short summary of some current thoughts I have on this are as follows. Traditional academic outlets rarely offer the opportunity to publish short think-pieces. But many thoughts, while valuable, do not require or necessarily merit a 25-40 page paper. Where to publish them then? Blogs seem like an obvious and helpful outlet in such a case. And yes, blogs can have a peer review component if comments are allowed and knowledgable people are reading the material.

Options, options, everywhere …

by Daniel on December 6, 2005

What with one thing or another, thinking among the thoughtful is now turning to the subject of getting out of Iraq. As someone who opposed getting in there, I just wanted to set down a quick note on an important point; just as I always insisted before the invasion[1] that the question was not “War?” but “this war now?”, it also has to be taken into account that the question now is not “Withdrawal?” but “withdrawal now?”.
[click to continue…]

‘Ow is zat?

by Daniel on December 6, 2005

Lots of our American readers complain whenever CT runs cricket coverage. To help “you guys” out, here’s a nice cartoon summary of the rules.

All you have to do is learn French.

Dept of Redundancy Dept

by Kieran Healy on December 6, 2005

I’ve been moving house, so my apologies for the lack of content (as we used to say in those late-90s, Venture Capital days when CT was set to become a major portal/ bookseller/ search-engine/ content-provider … Ah, “content” — fungible like money, homogenous like lard, extrudable like sausage. A marvelous substance.) The other day our own “John and Belle”:http://examinedlife.typepad.com/johnbelle/ suffered a “nasty double-meltdown”:http://examinedlife.typepad.com/johnbelle/2005/11/idied_update_pu.html of their “computers”:http://examinedlife.typepad.com/johnbelle/2005/11/idied.html. This prompted me to do something I should have done ages ago, which is set up an off-site backup system. Like John and Belle I’d previously relied on synchronizing my laptop and desktop machines (using “Unison”:http://www.cis.upenn.edu/~bcpierce/unison/). Properly backing-up your data can be a pain, but then so can losing everything. Thankfully, though, the Interwebs nowadays provide some useful and easy-to-use services in addition to all that content (consistency somewhere between Hellman’s Mayonnaise and Cool-Whip; can be used as spackle if needed). So I’ve also signed up for a basic account with “Strongspace”:http://www.strongspace.com/, part of Dean Allen et al’s “Textdrive”:http://textdrive.com/ outfit. With the assistance of a helpful tutorial from “MagpieBrain”:http://www.magpiebrain.com/index (Part “One”:http://www.magpiebrain.com/archives/2005/10/29/strongspace_backup, Part “Two”:http://www.magpiebrain.com/archives/2005/10/31/strongspace_and_ssh, Part “Three”:http://www.magpiebrain.com/archives/2005/10/31/automated_backups), I now have secure, automated, passwordless, incremental, daily remote backups of the important stuff on my Mac. Strongspace starts at eight bucks a month for just over 4GB of space (and unlimited bandwidth). I recommend it. (And they’re not even paying me to endorse them.)