Rice University ends an experiment of all-digital model of scholarly publishing


Abandoning an Experiment

Rice University Press is being shut down next month, ending an experiment in an all-digital model of scholarly publishing. While university officials said that they needed to make a difficult economic decision to end the operation, they acted against the recommendations of an outside review team that had urged Rice to bolster its support for the publishing operations.

The Semiotics of Islamophobia

from Savage Minds: Notes and Queries in Anthropology ? A Group Blog by Kerim

Via the PostSecret website, it is unclear whether the poster intentionally picked a photo of Sikhs or if this was unintentional irony. Not that the sentiment would have been any less offensive if the person wearing a turban was actually a Muslim. It certainly didn?t matter to the families of victims of post 9-11 hate crimes whether the victim was Muslim or not. I bring this up because William Dalrymple has an op-ed in the NY Times about the proposed Islamic center planned for lower Manhattan (for those living under a rock, see William Saletan?s piece in Slate for a good roundup of the issues surrounding the center):

Right-wing refutations of relativity really, really wrong!

from Scientopia Posts by drskyskull
Back when I first started my blog, I spent a lot more time dealing with crazy people who are convinced that Einstein’s theories of relativity are wrong (see here, here and here).  More recently, I haven’t spent a lot of time on the crazy train, but I have been meaning to get back to my long-neglected series of posts explaining relativity. Enter Conservapedia, the right-wing version of Wikipedia intended to combat the liberal bias in reality!  Over the past day, Twitter has been abuzz with tweets¹ on the Conservapedia page on “Counterexamples to relativity“, provides a list of 24 “points” that attempt to show the weakness of Einstein’s crazy ideas! In my mind, perhaps the most despicable sort of denialism or crankery, however, is that which is based on some sort of political or religious ideology.

The 10 Best Writing Conferences in the United States

from All Freelance Writing by Jennifer Mattern

The following article is a guest post from Sarah Snow.

Writing is a constantly evolving craft. If you consider yourself a writer, it is important that you hone your skills on a regular basis. The following ten conferences offer workshops, guest speakers, and information on publishing. Attending these can be a great way to not only improve your writing, but also to get in touch with individuals in your field.

Why Online Education Needs to Get Social

from Mashable! by Marco Masoni

Matthew Taylor on human psychology and political change

from Neuroanthropology by gregdowney

One of my students, Nikolas Dawson, hipped me to these nifty animated videos developed from lectures at the RSA, the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, ?a cradle of enlightenment thinking and a force for social progress.? My student was pointing out a video about recent financial crises, RSA Animate ? Crises of Capitalism, that combined an edited version of a David Harvey lecture with great animation, but in the process of poking around their website, I realized that there?s an interesting clip for readers at Neuroanthropology.net.

Working Class, Upper Class, Community Colleges, and Harvard U.

from Ethnography.com by Tony

For anyone interested in social stratification and university systems, Julie Garza-Withers has written ?Is the Community College Still the Best Bet for Working Class Students?? over on the ?Working Class Perspectives? Blog. This blog raises similar issues to what I wrote about in my essay here ?The Sociology of Status Hierarchy and Why I Think Chico State is a Better College than UC Berkeley?? Or more to the point, Garza-Withers?  blog asks why such a premium is put on where you learned something, rather than what you learned?  And more importantly, she asks why there is an inverse relationship between the quality of teaching and the status of the institution; or in other words, why are the most dedicated teachers (and smallest classes) at the Community Colleges rather than at the more high prestige places?  (The reverse question of course is why at the elite universities insist on  teaching Anthro 101 in sections with several hundred students, and an army of inexperienced teachings assistants?)

Politics or Civility?

New sociology research suggests that nonpolitical campus characteristics may influence whether conservative students thrive with or feel intimidated by faculty at overwhelmingly liberal institutions. more

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