I’m not mad. I either avoid, from a professional basis, companies built on closure, or I mitigate my expectations of them and do a lot of backing up. Because at some point unless the revenues come from open, the customer acquisition strategy of openness will be deprecated.
Now we are witnessing the transition to yet another scholarly communication system — one that will harness the technology of the Web to vastly improve dissemination. What the journal did for a single, formal product (the article), the Web is doing for the entire breadth of scholarly output. The article was an attempt to freeze and mount some part of the scholarly process for display. The Web opens the workshop windows to disseminate scholarship as it happens, erasing the artificial distinction between process and product.
The scenario imagined is one where there is a button that humans push if the AI gets an answer right and the AI wants to get a lot of button presses, and eventually it realizes that the best way to get button presses is to kill all the humans and institute a rapid fire button-pressing regime. …
And all I can think is: we already have one of those. It is pretty clear to anyone who’s paying attention that 1. a marketplace regime of firms dedicated to maximizing profit has—broadly speaking—added a lot of value to the world 2. there are a lot of important cases where corporate profit maximization causes harm to humans 3. corporations are—broadly speaking—really good at ensuring that their needs are met.
The Old Bailey Online launched on 15 April 2003. We want to hold a birthday party!
Several years ago, there was an Old Bailey Online Blog Symposium: a number of bloggers got together to blog about their research or teaching work using the website, and co-ordinated their posts over one weekend….
… we were being shown a substantial research project that was a case study in how archaeology works at its best, from questioning and planning, to fieldwork, analyses and conclusion. The distinct but linked strands of research were given to us in one go, so their joint impact on the questions could be evaluated. Peer-reviewed publication will take longer, and will see those strands unravelled, as different journals and different research lines complete at different speeds. Armed only with those, the media would make it look more confusing, reporting some of the studies and not others, with differing emphases, and – a key point – the public would be less well served.
And, this is the rub, so would academia. Asking specialists to address a wider audience, during their research, forces them to think beyond the narrow confines of their immediate tasks, to see the bigger picture. It demands that they communicate in clear language, which means they have to think clearly. It encourages them (though in this case I doubt such incentive was needed) to work together, not competitively. And it asks them to think very hard about what they are going to say. For if they get it wrong, they surely will be fried.
Sometimes the peers in the street are the ones that matter most.
At the moment, academics’ offices take up 21 per cent of total space; this is set to be reduced to around 10 per cent. Office space for UCL Estates, the Registry, finance and human resources, meanwhile, will expand from 5 per cent to 25 per cent.
As academics and students are crammed ever closer together, commercial projects will fill the spaces they vacate.
Welcome to the 21st-century university, where commerce and administration (quite literally) crowd out teachers and students.
OK, so let’s grant for a moment the premise that the withdrawal of funding forces the university to diversify and maximise income; and that modern universities are massively complex organisations whose administrative needs, simply in order to function effectively, are far larger than even a generation ago.
But where does it end?