31 Jan

Three Things I read on Twitter this week

In Defense of Academic Writing, by Judgemental Observer, via @FreshlyPressed.

But the internet has created the scholarship of the pastless present, where a subject’s history can be summed up in the last thinkpiece that was published about it, which was last week. And last week is, of course, ancient history. Quick and dirty analyses of entire decades, entire industries, entire races and genders, are generally easy and even enjoyable to read (simplicity is bliss!), and they often contain (some) good information. But many of them make claims they can’t support. They write checks their asses can’t cash. But you know who CAN cash those checks? Academics. In fact, those are some of the only checks we ever get to cash.


Diary, by Anne Enright in the LRB on censorship in Ireland.

Really enjoyed this Anne Enright piece on censorship in Ireland, can’t believe how little I knew of it http://t.co/OLlc9U8Mc5 via @LRB

The complicity of police, customs officials, literary critics, the church, the law, and local governments in censoring literary fiction, non-fiction and memoir, complemented in interesting ways the points made by Katharine N Hayles in her article, shared by Sian.

Alane Kochems, a national security analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation, said, ‘I don’t think your privacy is violated when you have a computer doing it as opposed to a human. It isn’t a sentient being. It’s a machine running a program’ (Savage, 2005). But this reasoning is surely specious, since in the first place it was humans who designed the machine. Moreover, if the material is on file, it is always available for human scrutiny. Human and machine cognitions have now become so inter-twined that distinguishing between the two in the context of surveillance makes no sense.

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