Archive for September, 2012|Monthly archive page

Intellectual property: A new world of royalties – FT.com

Intellectual property: A new world of royalties – FT.com.

I grow concerned that people–typical consumers–don’t really get what intellectual property is and its importance in the world economy, both present and to come. And that it is not an academic issue without street effect. And that so much of the high-level discussion takes place in secret.

Budapest Open Access Initiative | Ten years on from the Budapest Open Access Initiative: setting the default to open

Budapest Open Access Initiative | Ten years on from the Budapest Open Access Initiative: setting the default to open.

Economics and Politics by Paul Krugman – The Conscience of a Liberal – NYTimes.com

Economics and Politics by Paul Krugman – The Conscience of a Liberal – NYTimes.com.

I’ve been following Krugman for years, now, well before he was progressive. His article on how he was reading opposing economists was actually bracing and encouraging, not because of the actual change of view the economists might evidence–they don’t, they are veritable sticks in the mud–but because he has the patience to read them at all. But this is normal. It’s in the course of academia, the requisite, that one must be able to tolerate those with whom one disagrees. The saving grace in academia is that it’s academic: it is about the abstract issues, not about the personal. One therefore can and indeed must evaluate the issues at hand dispassionately–without, that is, the embodied emotions that characterize other debates.

But I’ve always found that dispassionate distance difficult to reach. I’ve always been too involved in the argument I present. My position is simple(istic?)–I believe what I believe for reasons whose logic may be attacked and thus effect a change of mind, but which are by their logical force “true” and bound to me. 

Otherwise, why hold them? 

I miss the point–that the whole idea of the ivory tower is precisely to hold a cordon sanitaire that posits academic discourse outside of the familiar and personal. 

But then again I’m not in academia.

iOS 6 Maps Apocalypse – Business Insider

iOS 6 Maps Apocalypse – Business Insider.

 

Normally, I don’t actually laugh out loud. But these errors!

H-Net Reviews

H-Net Reviews. (Reid L. Neilson. Exhibiting Mormonism: The Latter-day Saints and the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.)

The review is good but I’m really interested in reading the study, which comes across as fascinating. The 1893 Fair was (and remains) a milestone in US culture, equivalent, at least culturally, to the British Empire’s Great Exhibition of 1851. 

1. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. T.S. Eliot. 1920. Prufrock and Other Observations

I grow old … I grow old …         120

I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?

I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.

I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.         125

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves

Combing the white hair of the waves blown back

When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea

By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown         130

Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

via 1. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. T.S. Eliot. 1920. Prufrock and Other Observations.

Arctic Resources, Exposed by Warming, Set Off Competition – NYTimes.com

Arctic Resources, Exposed by Warming, Set Off Competition – NYTimes.com.

 

It is an issue whose value for social thought and action has been difficult to pin down, and thus gets forgotten. It’s hard to pin in part because the melting arctic, and all that it implies regarding resources and their getting, almost implicitly involves military defence and fossil-fuel or other geo-stripping technology. There is in short nothing beautiful to look forward to, where “beautiful” implies something whose value lies independent of the natural resources, the commodities, that lie underneath, underground and soon to be revealed to those with the most money, biggest companies, largest and most powerful navies. 

That I live in Canada is not irrelevant. That Canada’s huge wealth derives mainly from its natural resources and their gross exploitation is important to any future calculus. That there has been an effective deprecation of innovative technologies, especially green ones, is to the point. Canada, after all, has programmatically removed itself from International green treaties, and it is only very locally that one sees the necessary efforts made to keep up with, for instance, trash. But that is by no means enough. (I find this frustrating. Canada could, and should, be the world leader in Green Technology. Argh.)

Freedom’s Just Another Word For “Nothing Left to Share on Facebook Without Fear of Government Retribution” | PandoDaily

Freedom’s Just Another Word For “Nothing Left to Share on Facebook Without Fear of Government Retribution” | PandoDaily.

 

Book is better. The larger point: we use the Web, the Internet, and we use it, mostly, as if all our communications were narrowly cast, not broadcast into time and space. That in itself wouldn’t be bad–disorienting, vertiginous, perhaps–but what such casual broadcast does is make us vulnerable to our own words held against us at some unimagined time, in some unimagined place, by some unthought of people. It’s not a question of being paranoid or anxiogenic. It rather is a recognition that we have to be aware of the life history of our Web identity.

The Bush White House Was Deaf to 9/11 Warnings – NYTimes.com

The Bush White House Was Deaf to 9/11 Warnings – NYTimes.com.

 

Perhaps just me but I found this account extraordinary. It’s also the case that what counts as the history of the event is unfolding still–and will be for many years. It’s not even an onion; it’s rather that as more is revealed and publicized, more changes. Yes, we (the progressives) always knew that Iraq was always the target. But the extent to which that target’s life history was redacted to suit the narrative exigencies of public commissions is enormous.

The E Extensions to Java

The E Extensions to Java.

 

I’ve been looking into E lately: it’s fascinating. And immensely useful….