2018/9/18: Times Newer Roman, a font from internet marketing firm MSCHF (which you may remember from the Tabagotchi Chrome extension). Times Newer Roman looks a lot like the go-to academic font, but each character is subtly altered to be 5 to 10 percent wider, making your essays look longer without having to actually make them longer. According to Times Newer Roman's website, a 15-page, single-spaced document in 12 point type only requires 5,833 words, compared to 6,680 for the standard Times New Roman. (That's 847 words you don't need to write, which is more than twice the length of this post!)
2018/sep/13: Never underestimate the power of one determined person. What Carole Cadwalladr has done to Facebook and big data, and Edward Snowden has done to the state security complex, the young Kazakhstani scientist Alexandra Elbakyan has done with Sci-Hub to the multibillion-dollar industry that traps knowledge behind paywalls.
Last week, a consortium of European funders, including major research agencies in the UK, France, the Netherlands and Italy, published their “Plan S”. It insists that, from 2020, research we have already paid for through our taxes will no longer be locked up. Any researcher receiving money from these funders must publish her or his work only in open-access journals.
The publishers have gone ballistic. Springer Nature argues that this plan potentially undermines the whole research publishing system. Yes, that’s the point.
At behest of a feminist professor, an academic journal's board reportedly threatened to "harass the journal until it died."
Theodore Hill, a retired professor of mathematics at Georgia Tech, claims that activists successfully pressured the New York Journal of Mathematics to delete an article he had written for the academic journal because it considered a politically incorrect subject: the achievement gap between men and women at very high levels of human intelligence.
Conservative rationalist Karl Popper wrote in The Open Society and Its Enemies that "unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance." In a society that tolerates intolerant forces, these forces will eventually take advantage of the situation and bring about the downfall of the entire society. The philosophical foundation of this belief can trace its roots to Plato's ideas of the republic or Machiavelli's paradox of ruling by love or fear, and a practical example of this in action is jihadists taking advantage of human rights laws. Nothing should be absolute and without reasonable boundaries, not even freedom. In light of this, there are three observable, identifiable ways in which this latest fad of intersectionality is taking advantage of and destroying the rational enlightenment roots of Western academia from within. The approaches are, namely, infiltration, subversion, and coercion. *** On the face of it, infiltration at first sounds conspiratorial and even counterintuitive. There is, of course, no grand conspiracy or a cabal with a smoke-filled headquarters in the Swiss Alps led by a bald,
As a much-needed reckoning happens in the workplace, look to college campuses for a note of caution.
A mob of students at a Washington state liberal-arts college confronted a professor and demanded his resignation for writing an email questioning the propriety of a race demonstration in which white people were invited to leave campus for a day.
This may be the golden age for "do-it-yourself". We are all creating and distributing objects, images, sounds and text in ways that not long ago required the direct, hands-on involvement of experts. "DIY" is behind the growth of blogs (e.g. Wordpress), self-publishing (e.g. Lulu), music-recording (e.g. Garage Band), podcasts (e.g. iTunes), and the emergence of a whole new category of celebrity - YouTube stars. 3D printing, in which successive layers are built up into objects under the control of a computer, appears to be next.
A backlash from alumni is an unexpected aftershock of recent campus disruptions, as some colleges have reported a decline in donations and a rise in complaints.
We're big on diversity, but not when it comes to conservatives in academia. That's wrong.
Ken Macdonald, a former director of public prosecutions, warns government Prevent strategy may stifle free speech and university research
The government has turned students into customers who have no respect for academics and refuse to work for their grades
Scientists seek demigod status, journals want blockbuster results, and retractions are on the rise: is science broken?
Before there was Pope Francis, there was a different Francis from Assisi, Italy. Back in the twelfth century, St. Francis heard the call to fix a church falling into ruins. Now it is the twenty-first century, and this Francis ought to hear the call to fix Catholic colleges falling into ruins.
A recent Wall Street report declares the death of open access. What can we learn from their analysis?
Over the past couple of years, massive open online courses (MOOCs) have taken the academic world by storm. Despite much debate about whether the idea of running free online courses for everyone is both
Imagine an industry where a few companies make billions of dollars by exerting strict control over valuable information -- while paying the people who
Publishing scholarly papers with, and on, Wikipedia
The Wellcome Trust recently published details of how much it spent on open access publishing in the year 2012-2013 in an attempt to make the debate around the costs of open access publishing more evidence-based. The data we released fuelled much discussion online and Robert Kiley, Head Digital Services at the Wellcome Library, gives an