Cheese photos, speedcabling, laptops and whatnot

by Eszter Hargittai on March 13, 2008

Usually, when I get invitations for talks or interviews with the press, the focus is my research. Last week, however, in an interesting twist, I got an email from the host of a Canadian radio show asking me to chat with her about my experiences with taking pictures of cheese labels.:) I was amused and was happy to talk. The interview is available here. I’m glad Spark contacted me, because I didn’t know about the show, but am now happy to have it in my RSS feed reader. Spark taught me about speedcabling, something I’ll have to try in my lab one of these days.

As a mini-update, right now I’m on my way to the University of Minnesota to speak in the seminar series of their Institute for Advanced Study about my research. It’s a campus-wide talk with people expected in the audience from all sorts of departments, which should be fun. It’ll also be nice to catch up with some prominent sociology bloggers.

A propos of nothing, I am blogging as I’m boarding the plane to Minneapolis. The flight attendant said I was working too hard (boarding with my laptop open), but who said I was working? I think it’s interesting that even in the age of YouTube, etc. laptops are primarily associated with work.



Lisa @ Corporate Babysitter 03.13.08 at 1:56 pm

Oh, rats! I would have loved to come and hear you. But I have a parent/teacher meeting at my girls’ school. I hope it goes well and I hope you enjoy your time in Minneapolis!


HH 03.13.08 at 2:40 pm

My curiosity piqued by the inclusion of CT in a recent top 50 blogs list, I came here to find this? Is it really too much to expect a leading sociology blogger to say something substantive?

This isn’t even typing, it’s blogorrhea.


Eszter 03.13.08 at 3:33 pm

It’s crazy how little it takes, HH, isn’t it?

Thanks, Lisa, sorry to miss you!


c.l. ball 03.13.08 at 3:34 pm

Re 2, CT is much admired because it blends heads-ups on major substantive issues across academic fields with quirky subjects. Hargittai’s posts — often too far between as of late — frequently link to unusual subjects that I often would not have heard about otherwise. She also does blog about relevant sociology research.

Like #1, I wish that she had posted it sooner. I would have attended, but promised my 3-year-old a trip to the Children’s Museum in St. Paul. this afternoon.


c.l. ball 03.13.08 at 3:36 pm

Now, if my iPhone was able to receive a live-blog I could listen in if IAS were broadcasting. “Internet in your pocket” — sure, but you can’t see anything if it’s in your pocket.


Eszter 03.13.08 at 3:39 pm

Thanks for that. Sorry I posted about this so late. I never know the right balance about these things.

Okay, off I go to spend time with my hosts.


HH 03.13.08 at 4:24 pm

Is it not strange to burn jet fuel to stand in a hall showing PowerPoint slides that explain how electronic communication is changing society?

Why is it not evident that the geographic organization of academic institutions is now bloc obsolete and that global faculties, organized purely by discipline, will replace them? How long before the dinosaur’s tail moves?


Matt 03.13.08 at 5:27 pm

I just hope this sort of thing won’t lead to you eventually being mostly remembered as “the lady who thought of taking pictures of cheese labels”!


laura 03.13.08 at 6:05 pm

re: technology and food shopping. I’ve noticed a lot of guys shopping while talking with their wives on their cell phones. The wives are directing them around the store and telling them what brands to get. My husband isn’t that helpless, but he does occasionally have to call for help.


Kenny Easwaran 03.13.08 at 8:17 pm

Re 7: I’m sure Eszter’s work can say a lot more in detail about this, but it’s clear that regardless of the possibilities of electronic communication, people still get a lot of useful communication done when they actually encounter each other in person that they wouldn’t have done otherwise. There have been experiments with online conferences, but they don’t yet seem to have worked very well.


HH 03.13.08 at 9:15 pm

“There have been experiments with online conferences, but they don’t yet seem to have worked very well.”

Pick a number for petroleum cost per barrel, and we will eventually get there. There are over one billion people on the public Internet. Why is it difficult to connect the dots? Speaking before small groups after traveling thousands of miles is grossly inefficient, and persists mainly as ritual. That the academics charged with discerning trends in Internet society should do so at conferences and seminars is just silly.


Dan Simon 03.14.08 at 12:52 am

Sorry–I can’t resist mentioning this: in my final year of high school, the school play was the musical, “Cabaret”. Nora Young–the host who interviewed you–played Sally Bowles. I was Herr Schultz.

Small world, isn’t it? I bet Henry, John, Chris and Daniel are sorry they banned me now…


John Quiggin 03.14.08 at 12:58 am

hh, I’ve been writing a bit about the topic of videoconferencing, for example here. As others have said, an important part of blogs (or at least of CT) is that we cover lots of different things in lots of different ways. So I’d suggest you might want to be a bit more polite about the fact that the first post you read wasn’t what you expected. You’re welcome to a full refund if you’re still dissatisfied.


Eszter 03.14.08 at 2:00 am

HH, since you’re new to CT, I thought I’d point you to our policy on trolling.


John Quiggin 03.14.08 at 3:41 am

Speaking of trolls


bigcitylib 03.14.08 at 2:14 pm

Weird that this story should come just when I come upon your story about using a cell-phone as digital note taker:

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