meta: July 2004 Archives

Things are getting a little crazy when I'm posting twice in a week, I know. The manuscript is still proceeding at a steady pace, and that gives me permission to stay even with my Bloglines subscriptions. And to notice the following convergence of posts:

Got all that? I don't want to try and reproduce, bc it's worth your time not only to read each of those posts, but especially the comments (49 last time I checked) at There's a convergence here, perhaps of my own devising, of folk wondering about the relationship between their blog personae and the "real" world, and there are lots of answers represented among these various sites.

I've thought about this more than I normally would, bc Lori and I had a conversation about what she should do--and as she notes, there's a choice going on there between being "principled" (if they don't like who I am, then I wouldn't want to work there) and "pragmatic" (lots of us work places and among people, quite successfully, without being liked by all, but it doesn't make sense to wreck your chances before you've even started). My own advice was pragmatic--and my own approach to this space is similarly pragmatic. I try not to say here what I'd be unwilling or uncomfortable saying among my colleagues, students, etc., but mainly this is a place for me to read, write, and think in ways that have been largely tangential to what I do on a daily basis as an employee of the university.

What struck me upon reading the comments at was how my position shifted. I tend to agree with Steve (and Graham) about anonymity, but one thing that the comments really brought to my attention was that this position has a lot to do with the fact that I'm relatively comfortable. I don't have tenure, no, but I'm finishing up my first book, get pretty good teaching evaluations, contribute to the department in a range of ways, and I believe that my colleagues are quite pleased at having hired me. I'm also a big, white man, who hasn't had to worry about unwanted attention, who is comfortable screening the material that appears here, and who doesn't really have to worry about the kind of surveillance that some of the comments discussed. In other words, there's a certain amount of privilege involved with the fact that I can write as myself here, without much fear of official reprisal or risk.

That being said, there were also some comments from folk who worried that the perception at home institutions would be "if s/he's blogging, s/he's not doing scholarship, and we can't have that," and to those people, I'd love to forward Stuart's post, and to transpose it into academic terms. To a certain degree, Stephen Bainbridge already has, reprinting an email he received from a friend of his who's a dean at Villanova (this was back in January). Among a variety of interesting points that his friend makes:

Blogging or, more precisely, interaction among bloggers and their readers, strikes me as something very useful to people doing more conventional scholarship. Most realize, I think that scholarship is not done in a vacuum, and that the ability to test one's ideas, and to get ideas from others, would help in writing articles and books. Blogging helps with all that tremendously and in novel ways. In fact, I'm advising my junior colleagues to start following the blogs in their fields, and to think about contributing where appropriate.

I'm sure that academia will lag behind industry in this (as in so much else), but it'd be nice to start seeing some of the people who have been worrying at the importance of according equal weight to electronic scholarship spend their time working blogs into that equation as well. And/or changing that equation to include the kind of work that's being done well outside of the restricted economy of peer review. There's also some thinking here to be done about the relative transparency of blogs (compared for instance to the 24-hour, one-way transparency of email as it's often used by students) and how they overlap with other academic organizations/networks.


| | Comments (7)

Time to tip the calendar, even though I don't have a great deal to talk about today. I'm deep into a chapter on invention, and I'll be looking for a couple of readers over the next few days. I'm hoping to fini it up quickly so I can turn full attention to a couple of other chapters that have been more intermittent.

One thing that I've noticed lately is that I need more than 24 hours in a day. I don't mean that I'm too busy--I mean it quite literally. I've found that I generally prefer about 8-9 hours of sleep, but also that my ideal up-time tends to be around 18 hours or so. This means, in the absence of scheduled events, that my bedtime drifts by about an hour or so every couple of days. Currently, I'm going to bed around 11 am, and waking up at about 7-8 pm. Next week, I expect I'll have drifted to early afternoon bedtimes. By midJuly, my schedule may very well be synced with the rest of the "normal" world.

My conclusion is simple. I need the earth to rotate about 8% more slowly, so as to create 26-hour days. That'd be perfect for me. I don't really feel like I need to do more in a day, but it would make it easier for me to match my internal rhythms to the external ones.

If someone could get on that for me, that'd be super.



Powered by Movable Type 4.1

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the meta category from July 2004.

meta: June 2004 is the previous archive.

meta: August 2004 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.