Sunday, January 29, 2012

Human research in the JSTOR dungeon

Step back and think about this picture. Universities that created this academic content for free must pay to read it. Step back even further. The public -- which has indirectly funded this research with federal and state taxes that support our higher education system -- has virtually no access to this material, since neighborhood libraries cannot afford to pay those subscription costs. Newspapers and think tanks, which could help extend research into the public sphere, are denied free access to the material. Faculty members are rightly bitter that their years of work reaches an audience of a handful, while every year, 150 million attempts to read JSTOR content are denied every year.

Laura McKenna on:

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Occupy the debate

The notion of a surging Newt is pretty funny, if insupportable. The current debates tell us nothing.

Where is USian life, culture, reality, represented in political debates? Here are a few debate formats we'd like to see:
1. Have the candidates read a good piece of fiction - e.g. The Death of Ivan Ilych, The Metamorphosis, Michael Kohlhaas, The Overcoat, or The Queen of Spades. Require would-be surgers to speak about the story in some probing depth.

2. Have some fine ensemble perform a sonata or quartet. Each surger-in-waiting talks about its form, emotional range, complexity.

Fire Belly Newt
3. Arundhati Roy, Noam Chomsky, Amy Goodman, Stiglitz, Taibbi and semblables ask probing questions. See who's surging after that.

4. Eminem take them for a tour of Detroit, then asks more probing questions. Lady Gaga, JayZ, Yo Yo Ma, Angelina Jolie, George Clooney, Occupiers, join the panel, one by one. Kind of a countersurge. 
5. Bring in a sampling of hedge fund managers, big bankers, oil men, media moguls. The surgers take turns deciding either to grill these "job creators" or lick their scrota.
etc. Your suggestion here: ________________________

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Friday, January 13, 2012

JSTOR, frail Angel

From here:
Register & Read (Coming soon!)Printer-friendly versionSend to friendPDF version 
Register & Read Beta is a new, experimental program to offer free, read-online access to individual scholars and researchers who register for a MyJSTOR account. Register & Read follows the release of the Early Journal Content as the next step in our efforts to find sustainable* ways to extend access to JSTOR, specifically to those not affiliated with participating institutions.
How will it work?
  • Find an article that’s part of Register & Read, click on a “Get Access” option. 
  • Register for a free MyJSTOR account, or log into your account if you already have one.
  • Add the content to your shelf to read the full-text online. After 14 days, you may remove it and add new items to your shelf.
  • PDF versions of some articles will also be available for purchase and download. If you purchase articles from your shelf, the PDF versions may be stored and accessed in your MyJSTOR account at any time.
At launch, Register & Read will include approximately 70 journals from more than 30 publishers, a subset of the content in JSTOR. This includes content from the first volume and issue published for these journals through a recent year (generally 3-5 years ago). We plan to add more titles at a later date. See a list of the titles and publishers. Register & Read is a beta program, and we expect to adjust aspects of the program as needed. This may include both functionality and the available content.
If you would like to be notified of the launch of Register & Read, you may follow us on Twitter or Facebook.   

*"Sustainable" here has to include the sense: "supporting the salaried philanthropic lifestyle to which we good people at JSTOR have become accustomed."

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Renting knowledge: Zizek

The possibility of the privatisation of the general intellect was something Marx never envisaged in his writings about capitalism (largely because he overlooked its social dimension). Yet this is at the core of today’s struggles over intellectual property: as the role of the general intellect – based on collective knowledge and social co-operation – has increased in post-industrial capitalism, so wealth accumulates out of all proportion to the labour expended in its production. The result is not, as Marx seems to have expected, the self-dissolution of capitalism, but the gradual transformation of the profit generated by the exploitation of labour into rent appropriated through the privatisation of knowledge. more...

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