recentpopularlog in

academic-culture

« earlier   
Khanlou | Continuous Integration
Code that isn’t integrated into your team’s mainline branch should be considered a liability at best, and dead at worst. Your job is to get the small, workable units of code merged in as early as possible.
continuous-integration  software-development-is-not-programming  collaboration  rapid-feedback  to-write-about  academic-culture 
3 days ago by Vaguery
Manubot - Manuscripts, open and automated
Manubot is a workflow and set of tools for the next generation of scholarly publishing. Write your manuscript in markdown, track it with git, automatically convert it to .html, .pdf, or .docx, and deploy it to your destination of choice.
academic-culture  markdown  toolchain  rather-interesting  to-try  typesetting  software 
6 weeks ago by Vaguery
Why books don’t work | Andy Matuschak
My collaborator Michael Nielsen and I made an initial attempt with Quantum Country, a “book” on quantum computation. But reading this “book” doesn’t look like reading any other book. The explanatory text is tightly woven with brief interactive review sessions, meant to exploit the ideas we just introduced. Reading Quantum Country means reading a few minutes of text, then quickly testing your memory about everything you’ve just read, then reading for a few more minutes, or perhaps scrolling back to reread certain details, and so on. Reading Quantum Country also means repeating those quick memory tests in expanding intervals over the following days, weeks, and months. If you read the first chapter, then engage with the memory tests in your inbox over the following days, we expect your working memory will be substantially less taxed when reading the second chapter. What’s more, the interleaved review sessions lighten the metacognitive burden normally foisted onto the reader: they help readers see where they’re absorbing the material and where they’re not.

Quantum Country is just one piece of the memory puzzle, which itself is part a larger tapestry. How might we design mediums in which “readers” naturally form rich associations between the ideas being presented? How might we design mediums which “readers” naturally engage creatively with the material? How might we design mediums in which “readers” naturally contend with competing interpretations? If we pile together enough of these questions we’re left with: how might we design mediums in which “reading” is the same as “understanding”? A more detailed treatment of such a research program is beyond the scope of these brief notes, but I believe that the answers to questions like these can transform the pace of human knowledge, echoing the transformation which books themselves sparked so long ago.
pedagogy  books  rather-interesting  academic-culture  media  to-write-about  to-understand 
may 2019 by Vaguery
Detecting Footnotes in 32 million pages of ECCO « CA: Journal of Cultural Analytics
As we explain in greater detail elsewhere, our larger project is about bringing together the intersecting strands of research from the fields of book history, the history of science, and document image analysis to better understand the analytical unit called "the page image" and its role in the history of scientific knowledge. Our aim us to take seriously the page image in a double sense: first, as an image of a page, that is, to see the digitized page first and foremost as an image rather than a flawed mediation of text; and second to see the page itself as an image, as a visual unit rather than a primarily textual one. What have been the ways that the graphic practices of pages have underpinned the epistemic claims of scientific knowledge?

In this essay, we recount our process of using machine learning and classification algorithms to detect footnotes within the Eighteenth-Century Collections Online dataset (ECCO). ECCO represents one of the most complete digitized collections of a national publishing context within a specific historical period, consisting of over 100,000 volumes and 32 million pages published in Britain between 1700 and 1800. It has become a staple of research in the history of ideas, not just in Britain but for scholars of the Enlightenment more generally. We see the enrichment of collections like ECCO as a primary research goal for furthering historical understanding.
academic-culture  digital-humanities  rather-interesting  publishing  cultural-norms  metatext  to-read 
may 2019 by Vaguery
The mangle of OR practice: towards more informative case studies of ‘technical’ projects: Journal of the Operational Research Society: Vol 65, No 8
Case studies of interventions involving ‘technical’ OR have traditionally been published in the style of scientific papers. Most are well written and technically sound but few explain the process of intervention, the story of what actually happened. Those interested in the process of OR would like know about the organizational hurdles that had to be surmounted, the changes in direction that were made, the influences of the people involved and technology available on the path taken. The physicist turned sociologist Andrew Pickering has suggested that by conceiving scientific practice as a dynamic process of intertwined elements a more insightful account is obtained, leading to a better understanding and giving rise to more interesting questions. In order to explore this claim the paper describes an OR project that already features in the OR literature, and then discusses it in terms of Pickering’s concept of the mangle of practice. The project examined is the development and use of a model of the UK energy market. The mangle perspective places the emphasis on the interaction through time of material, human and conceptual components of a research programme. It is concluded that the concept of mangle can indeed help case writers produce a more realistic description and help them make better sense of what occurred. Such cases could provide a useful source of material for some academic research programmes.
the-mangle-in-practice  science-studies  anthropology  academic-culture  data-science  modeling-is-not-mathematics 
april 2019 by Vaguery
Scientists rise up against statistical significance
Let’s be clear about what must stop: we should never conclude there is ‘no difference’ or ‘no association’ just because a P value is larger than a threshold such as 0.05 or, equivalently, because a confidence interval includes zero. Neither should we conclude that two studies conflict because one had a statistically significant result and the other did not. These errors waste research efforts and misinform policy decisions.
statistics  that-line-right-there-sums-it-up  academic-culture  publishing  pedagogy  what-gets-measured-gets-fudged 
april 2019 by Vaguery
Melancholy Mandarins – chad wellmon
And so Bloom leaves us with the question of whether we could imagine or would want a university organized around a modern-day Socrates. Bloom doesn’t say. But he repeatedly stresses the implacable hostility of “modern science” to Socrates, and so gives readers who share his ideals little cause for optimism. Bloom concludes his book by asserting that moral education and the research university as it currently exists are a bad fit. This is a (false) truism that has been repeated many times over the past thirty years. And in the form in which Bloom and his more progressive admirer Deresiewicz frame it, the claim is particularly misleading, as misleading as the idea that there need not be any tension between traditional moral education and the research imperative. Whatever its faults, Weber’s Science as a Vocation provides a corrective to both views. In these particularly difficult times for alma mater, university presidents who are of a mind to act on the latter view would do well to read Weber’s speech of a century ago.
academic-culture  history  public-policy  pedagogy  humanities  20C  politics-and-apolitics-sittin-in-a-tree 
april 2019 by Vaguery
Evaluating scholarship, or why I won’t be teaching Shoshana Zuboff’s The Age of Surveillance Capitalism | Blayne Haggart's Orangespace
Strange shows us how it should be done

In terms of how to situate yourself in the academic literature in a book like this, it’s useful to see how Susan Strange dealt with the same issue. One of the reasons I was underwhelmed by The Age of Surveillance Capitalism is that I have spent the last several years researching and publishing about knowledge governance, with Strange’s work as my primary guide. Everything in The Age of Surveillance Capitalism is easily modelled within Strange’s “structural power” framework, which emphasizes the ability of non-state actors to exert power so as to shape society’s foundations, the importance of knowledge creators and producers, and the importance of knowledge production itself.

Strange – an absolute giant in International Political Economy and in academia generally – was a committed materialist who nonetheless placed the creation and legitimation of (immaterial) knowledge at the very heart of her theory of the international political economy. Unsurprisingly, she’s nowhere to be found in this book.
capitalism  surveillance  literary-criticism  academic-culture  system-of-professions  rather-interesting  meta-review  book-review  startup-culture-must-die  to-read-refs  via:robertogreco 
april 2019 by Vaguery
Second-generation p-values: Improved rigor, reproducibility, & transparency in statistical analyses
Verifying that a statistically significant result is scientifically meaningful is not only good scientific practice, it is a natural way to control the Type I error rate. Here we introduce a novel extension of the p-value—a second-generation p-value (pδ)–that formally accounts for scientific relevance and leverages this natural Type I Error control. The approach relies on a pre-specified interval null hypothesis that represents the collection of effect sizes that are scientifically uninteresting or are practically null. The second-generation p-value is the proportion of data-supported hypotheses that are also null hypotheses. As such, second-generation p-values indicate when the data are compatible with null hypotheses (pδ = 1), or with alternative hypotheses (pδ = 0), or when the data are inconclusive (0 < pδ < 1). Moreover, second-generation p-values provide a proper scientific adjustment for multiple comparisons and reduce false discovery rates. This is an advance for environments rich in data, where traditional p-value adjustments are needlessly punitive. Second-generation p-values promote transparency, rigor and reproducibility of scientific results by a priori specifying which candidate hypotheses are practically meaningful and by providing a more reliable statistical summary of when the data are compatible with alternative or null hypotheses.
statistics  experimental-design  philosophy-of-science  define-your-terms  performance-measure  rather-interesting  to-watch  prescriptive-advice  best-practices  academic-culture 
march 2019 by Vaguery
Ten myths around open scholarly publishing [PeerJ Preprints]
The changing world of scholarly communication and the emergence of ‘Open Science’ or ‘Open Research’ has brought to light a number of controversial and hotly-debated topics. Yet, evidence-based rational debate is regularly drowned out by misinformed or exaggerated rhetoric, which does not benefit the evolving system of scholarly communication. The aim of this article is to provide a baseline evidence framework for ten of the most contested topics, in order to help frame and move forward discussions, practices and policies. We address preprints and scooping, the practice of copyright transfer, the function of peer review, and the legitimacy of ‘global’ databases. The presented facts and data will be a powerful tool against misinformation across wider academic research, policy and practice, and may be used to inform changes within the rapidly evolving scholarly publishing system.
open-access  arXiv  preprints  academic-culture  cultural-norms  one-funeral-at-a-atime  publishing 
march 2019 by Vaguery
SocArXiv Papers | Scaling Down Inequality: Rating Scales, Gender Bias, and the Architecture of Evaluation
Quantitative performance ratings are ubiquitous in modern organizations—from businesses to universities—yet there is substantial evidence of bias against women in such ratings. This study examines how gender inequalities in evaluations depend on the design of the tools used to judge merit. Exploiting a quasi-natural experiment at a large North American university, we found that the number of scale points used in faculty teaching evaluations—whether instructors were rated on a scale of 6 versus a scale of 10—significantly affected the size of the gender gap in evaluations. A survey experiment, which presented all participants with an identical lecture transcript but randomly varied instructor gender and the number of scale points, replicated this finding and suggested that the number of scale points affects the extent to which gender stereotypes of brilliance are expressed in quantitative ratings. These results highlight how seemingly minor technical aspects of performance ratings can have a major effect on the evaluation of men and women. Our findings thus contribute to a growing body of work on organizational practices that reduce workplace inequalities and the sociological literature on how rating systems—rather than being neutral instruments—shape the distribution of rewards in organizations.
academia  what-gets-measured-gets-fudged  performance-measure  corporatism  benchmarking  academic-culture  sexism  bias  technocracy 
march 2019 by Vaguery
Why our citation practices make no sense | Musings about librarianship
Why are there thousands of citation styles?

Nobody is against consistency in referencing of course, but do we really need thousands (8.5k styles according to CSL Style repository) of citation styles existing? 

All this creates confusion and the costs.

Think of the researchers who have to format their references everytime their paper is rejected and they need to resubmit to another journal with it's own unique style. Given the low acceptance rates for top journals and the desire of researchers to try submitting to the top journals first , this means a typical journal article can be resubmitted to more than 1 journal before it is accepted. Even if researchers don't do it properly, copywriters are employed who work to clean up references in accepted manuscripts.

The fact there are thousands of styles have other less obvious costs. In the past decade there has been dozens of projects that try to parse text references and process them into structured data e.g Parscite which then can be used for various functions from finding an appropriate copy in link resolvers, to importing into reference managers.
citation  academic-culture  standards  looking-under-the-lamp-post  publishing  what-a-citation-is-for  archiving  stakeholders-ball 
march 2019 by Vaguery
A Framework for Library Support of Expansive Digital Publishing
What is expansive digital publishing? We use the term "expansive" to characterize online publications that challenge current systems and expectations of publishing, primarily because they push against and beyond the limits we typically use to successfully manage publications. These works are often undertaken by scholars at multiple institutions and in different fields; use many different technologies; have multiple scholarly outputs; grow over time; operate over the long-term or are multi-phase; aim to engage with multiple audiences; and, in general, use digital tools and methods to explore or enable scholarship that would be more difficult to achieve through traditional publishing.
academic-culture  publishing  open-access  scholarship  libraries  to-write-about 
march 2019 by Vaguery
On authoritarian neoliberalism and poetic epistemology | Richard Hall's Space
As one response to the secular crisis of capitalism, higher education is being proletarianised. Its academics and students, increasingly encumbered by precarious employment, debt, and new levels of performance management, are shorn of autonomy beyond the sale of their labour-power. One heuristic for analysing this response is authoritarian neoliberalism, imposed as a means of enacting disciplinary practices in the name of the market with an anti-democratic rationale. This has a distinctly technocratic focus, rooted in techniques of performativity, including audits and assessments of teaching, research and scholarship, grounded in productivity, the management of time and value-creation. However, there are a range of intersectional and geographical responses to such an imposition, through which it is possible to describe alternatives to these architectures of subsumption. In particular, a second heuristic emerges which challenges the restructuring of the University in the global North, erupting from struggles for decolonisation. Here, Audre Lorde’s invocation to an integrated, poetic existence that situates bodies in places, and respects feelings and emotions as the site of epistemological development and understanding, underpins the possibility for dismantling hegemonic knowledge production. The article examines whether humanist narratives of solidarity, in particular from marginalised voices, might help academics and students to analyse their alienated labour and to imagine that another world is possible.
worklife  institutional-design  neoliberalism  humanities  academic-culture  just-what-is-it-you-do? 
december 2018 by Vaguery
No, it’s not The Incentives—it’s you – [citation needed]
A random bystander who happened to eavesdrop on a conversation between a group of scientists kvetching about The Incentives could be forgiven for thinking that maybe, just maybe, a bunch of very industrious people who generally pride themselves on their creativity, persistence, and intelligence could find some way to work around, or through, the problem. And I think they would be right. The fact that we collectively don’t see it as a colossal moral failing that we haven’t figured out a way to get our work done without having to routinely cut corners in the rush for fame and fortune is deeply troubling.

It’s also aggravating on an intellectual level, because the argument that we’re all being egregiously and continuously screwed over by The Incentives is just not that good. I think there are a lot of reasons why researchers should be very hesitant to invoke The Incentives as a justification for why any of us behave the way we do. I’ll give nine of them here, but I imagine there are probably others.
academic-culture  publishing  social-dynamics  social-norms  conservatism  attention-desert  ethics 
december 2018 by Vaguery
[1810.07074] Why We Do Not Evolve Software? Analysis of Evolutionary Algorithms
In this paper, we review the state-of-the-art results in evolutionary computation and observe that we do not evolve non trivial software from scratch and with no human intervention. A number of possible explanations are considered, but we conclude that computational complexity of the problem prevents it from being solved as currently attempted. A detailed analysis of necessary and available computational resources is provided to support our findings.
via:lspector  yeah-no  nimby  system-of-professions  mistaking-the-publications-for-the-work  academic-culture 
november 2018 by Vaguery
Jupyter, Mathematica, and the Future of the Research Paper – Paul Romer
Jupyter rewards transparency; Mathematica rationalizes secrecy. Jupyter encourages individual integrity; Mathematica lets individuals hide behind corporate evasion. Jupyter exemplifies the social systems that emerged from the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment, systems that make it possible for people to cooperate by committing to objective truth; Mathematica exemplifies the horde of new Vandals whose pursuit of private gain threatens a far greater pubic loss–the collapse of social systems that took centuries to build.
data-analysis  user-experience  open-source  academic-culture  startup-culture-must-die  literate-programming  open-access  literary-criticism 
november 2018 by Vaguery
God Help Us, Let’s Try To Understand Friston On Free Energy | Slate Star Codex
Normally this is the point at which I say “screw it” and give up. But almost all the most interesting neuroscience of the past decade involves this guy in one way or another. He’s the most-cited living neuroscientist, invented large parts of modern brain imaging, and received the prestigious Golden Brain Award (which is somehow a real thing). His Am I Autistic – An Intellectual Autobiography short essay, written in a weirdly lucid style and describing hijinks like deriving the Schrodinger equation for fun in school, is as consistent with genius as anything I’ve ever read.
define-your-terms  understanding-oversmart-people  cognition  simple-models-of-simple-models  Bayesian-all-the-things  to-watch  academic-culture  oh-look-Schmidhuber-too 
october 2018 by Vaguery
In Defense of Hoaxes - Justin Erik Halldór Smith
Whatever. Everyone's playing their assigned roles. But what I wanted to speak to here is the question of hoaxes in general. Quite apart from whether I think “Sokal Squared” has accomplished what its authors claim, I confess I am astounded, though I really should not be by now, by the moralism and the piety about rules and procedures that so many academics are expressing, as if hoaxing were always unethical and lacking in any potential salutary effects. These academics seem entirely unaware of the distinguished history of hoaxing, and to assume that it dates back no earlier than Sokal. They seem never to have read, e.g., Anthony Grafton on the importance of playful deception in the learned culture of Italian humanism. They seem unaware of the rich and fascinating 19th-century genre of the “mystification.” They seem unaware of the often high-minded theoretical ambitions of documentary metafiction and of the vague gradations between this broad genre of writing and outright fraud. They do not know about the French fraudster Denis Vrain-Lucas, who was eventually arrested, in 1869, for having passed off numerous falsified letters as authentic documents. Vrain-Lucas continued to defend himself, from prison, on the grounds that he had breathed new life into the carcass of history by making past characters, including Newton, Galileo, Vercingétorix, and Jesus Christ, more interesting than they actually were. They do not know about Ken Alder's ingenious piece in Critical Inquiry in 2004, which was a purported translation from the French of a prison letter by Vrain-Lucas. I learned more about the history and historiography of science from Alder's piece than from any other single text I could cite. 
hoaxes  academic-culture  politics  history-is-a-feature-not-a-bug  to-write-about  metafiction  paratexts 
october 2018 by Vaguery
Kiwi Hellenist: The citation problem
Let me re-state the problem. It didn’t occur to anyone, at any stage, that a research paper ought to look at research on the thing that the article is about. Why not?
science-and-humanities-sittin-in-a-tree  annexation-by-physics  digital-humanities  network-theory  le-sigh  academic-culture 
october 2018 by Vaguery

Copy this bookmark:





to read