Uncertain Dots, Academic Blogs

Last week, a comment I made on Twitter about the annoyance of doing merit evaluation paperwork led to some back-and-forth with Rhett Allain and the National Society of Black Physicists Twitter account about whether blogs can or should count toward academic evaluation. This seemed like a good topic for another video hangout with me and Rhett, which we did yesterday. Unfortunately, there were some technical issues with the hangout, which delayed the start and didn't allow live Q&A, but we did get video:

(The camera appears to be on just me for most of this, so it's largely a hangout between me and Rhett's disembodied voice...)

The lack of live input from others is a little unfortunate-- we tried and failed to line up somebody with a much different opinion to join us on video. We both basically end up taking the same view-- our blogs our something kind of separate from work, that we do on our own. When that leads to more traditional scholarly sorts of things-- speaking invitations, reprints in magazines or journals, etc.-- I cite those, but I don't cite the blog itself. I know there are people who cite their blogs as part of their scholarly portfolio, as it were, but neither of us do, so we can't say much about that.

The NSBP tweeter sent us an article this morning about a proposal by the International Studies Association to ban its editors from blogging, which might've been good fodder for discussion had we had it yesterday. Though I think it probably speaks less to academic attitudes about blogging than to what happens when lazy lawyers try to head off a Henry Gee incident-- it's much easier to ban blogging outright than to define clear standards for appropriate online behavior.

And that's the video hangout for the week. We'll probably do this again, and suggestions for topics would be welcome. Or if you'd like to come on video and revisit this issue from a different perspective, we might be able to arrange that. Assuming we can get the technology sorted, anyway...

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I left my suggestions for topics on the YouTube comments.

"National Society of Black Physicists" I have heard there exists an international society of Jewish physicists called "Nobel Laureates." The unabled maximize self-esteem to be credible, effectively selecting for the deluded.

" it’s much easier to ban blogging outright than to define clear standards for appropriate online behavior." Evolution is a hoot if you are one of the survivors. How should the Manhattan project have been staffed to maximize diversity? Chien-Shiung Wu was in the thick of the Manhattan Project - and a girl to boot(y) - but Asians are not American minorities for there being too few of them. Their objective competence steals from the deserving.

The US dumps more than a $trillion/year into Welfare. It annually vanishes without a burble. Suppose 10% of that sum were redirected to the Severely and Profoundly Gifted. What a very different, and incomprehensibly richer at all levels, world it would be. Social justice is the race for academic nullity.