Adventures in Ethics and Science

Media consumption inventory.

Over at BlogHer, Marianne Richmond has tagged everyone with a meme on personal media consumption. Given that I’ve already self-identified as a Luddite, I figured a little self-examination of my media habits might be worthwhile.

Web: Until last week, I didn’t use a feed-reader. I’d get my daily fix of the blogs by clicking around (or typing the start of my regular reads’ URLs into the nav bar and letting Firefox complete them for me).

Then, with the release of the spiffy new ScienceBlogs Select feed, I finally got around to setting up some subscriptions with Google Reader. I still click around, but I’m making progress.

Communication: Email access on my laptop; no Palm or Blackberry or cell phone email-checking for me.

It’s worth noting that I have too many email addresses (each intended to address a particular facet of my professional or personal life), so when I get really busy, there are some that I don’t check for a long time. Months sometimes.

TV: We have one of those satellite receivers that can programmed to record your show for you, allowing playback when it’s convenient (and, even better, fast-forwarding through commercials). As a result, I watch very little live TV.

Currently, my watching habits center on The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, an occasional Frontline, and Futurama.

Books: When I have time for them, I like books. History of science, popular science, and mysteries are my favorites.

When you read a lot as part of your day job, there’s not always so much time for recreational reading. The “Philosophy and Literature” class I’m teaching this term is helping me sneak in some extra pleasure-reading as work-reading.

Newspapers: We get the local paper and the Wall Street Journal delivered. (The delivery folks from WSJ are still struggling to get the plastic bag around the paper in such a way that it does not instantly become a sodden mass during the rainy season.)

I regularly read the student newspaper at my university, and I try really hard to be charitable about the typos and grammatical errors.

My frequent online reads include Inside Higher Education and the New York Times. Also, my office mate recently turned me onto EurekAlert, which is very good for science news.

Movies: Mostly on DVD via Netflix, unless I run into a good movie on basic cable. (“Good” here should be read as “Something I’ll end up sitting all the way through any time I encounter it, unless I’m dog tired or am required to be someplace else.” I make no representations about the artistic merits of these movies.)

I have major sticker-shock when it comes to movie theater ticket prices, and often there’s an issue about locating (and paying) a sprog-sitter, so I pretty much only see a movie on the big screen if it’s the sort of special effects extravaganza that would be diminished on the small screen.

Radio: I like public radio, though when I can get the signal I prefer the smaller of our two local public radio stations to the behemoth.

Music: This depends on where I am. CDs in the car, iTunes or Pandora on my laptop at work, my iPod if I’m walking around or using non-car modes of transit like BART or a plane. At home, we do CDs, cassettes, and vinyl. We are not currently equipped to listen to 8-tracks or wax cylinders, despite what you may have heard about me in the school yard.

Magazines: If you’re not counting scholarly journals, we get Seed, American Scientist, The Nation, The Economist, and Chemical & Engineering News. We’re also getting Sunset and Gourmet, but will let those subscriptions lapse when the screamin’ promotional rates (about $1/issue) expire.

You want to know what scholarly journals I subscribe to? Boy, you’re nosy! At present, I get Philosophy of Science (when it gets published — the December 2005 issue was just sent out on February 22), Science and Engineering Ethics (electronically), Foundations of Chemistry, and Teaching Philosophy.


  1. #1 Bill
    March 1, 2007

    If you find you like RSS (and how could you not?), take a look at Bloglines. Tastes vary, but I find it much nicer and easier to use than Google Reader.

  2. #2 Marianne Richmond
    March 1, 2007

    Thanks for playing along…I think posting “hand written” flow charts on a blog requires skills that immediately disqualify you from luddite-ness….seems more complex than mere text and elucidates the point in a much more interesting manner. Great post!


New comments have been disabled.