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The self-importance of researchers

This interesting aside in Jamie Woodcock’s superb Working The Phones is worthy of further discussion. From loc 2698: Researchers often attribute a level of importance to their own research that is not shared by others, assuming that because they spend so much time on it others will want to know all […]

Ambient intimacy and cultures of overwork

In a recent book about the neoliberal superstar turned aspiring world saviour Jeffrey Sachs, a quote from his wife caught my attention. On loc 2909, she describes how Sachs only sleeps for four hours a night and works constantly throughout his waking hours. Even on a family holiday, he often gave two […]

The Pleasures of Scholarly Blogging

There’s a lovely extract of the Academic Diary in which Les Back reflects on the life and work of the social theorist Vic Seidler. Remarking on the vast range of topics on which Seidler has written, Les suggests that this deeply committed man “writes not because his academic position expects it […]

blogging as an outboard brain

This superb post by Cory Doctorow offers a philosophy of blogging extremely similar to what I’ve described as continuous publishing: As a committed infovore, I need to eat roughly six times my weight in information every day or my brain starts to starve and atrophy. I gather information from many sources: print, […]

The intellectual legitimacy of academic blogging

One of my favourite academic blogs is Understanding Society. Written by the philosopher Daniel Little, it covers a diverse range of topics across the social sciences while continually coming back to a number of core theoretical questions that fascinate me. Reflecting on its seventh anniversary, Little offers some interesting thoughts on the role that […]

Trying to “evade the academic literature”

There’s a wonderful discussion in the midst of this review essay of Bernard WIlliams’s collected essays, which incidentally sound fantastic, in which the author defends Williams against accusations of lazy scholarship. I’ve written about this issue in the past (particuarly here and here) and it’s one which continues to concern […]