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Weekend Reading: Allllllmost Done Edition

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So much youth soccer this weekend!

As I understand it, virtually every faculty member in the US is currently grading their fingers off right now, or procrastinating by prepping for midwinter conferences. (Except for those on sabbatical during the fall . . . they might well be quietly weeping at what remains to be done in the time remaining of their leave!) So I won’t prattle on in this space, but will simply wish everyone very well indeed, and the strength to get through whatever challenges you’re facing right now.

  • During the upcoming break, it’s helpful to heed Cal Newport’s advice: never plan to “get some work done”: if you’re not exceptionally clear about where you want [your attention] to go, it will wander.
  • Kathleen Fitzpatrick, on some difficulties and rewards of networked communities: To say, however, that we need to focus on building community — or more accurately, building communities — is not to say that we need to develop and enforce the sort of norms of “civility” that have been used to discipline crucial forms of protest.
  • Eddie Smith explains how the data we all generate now will lead to weird places: You can’t possibly foresee how the fact that you went to lunch at a cafe on Broad Street at 11:43 AM on a Wednesday morning in July will become relevant and subpoenaed in a court case involving people you don’t even know. You can’t possibly be certain that a pattern of perfectly innocuous web searches you did in 2009 will raise suspicion in light of an accusation someone makes in 2021.
  • Jessamyn West lays out some “Things That Make the Librarian Angry” (really just this one big thing): Information workers need to be willing to step up and be more honest about how technology really works and not silently carry water for bad systems.
  • Terry McGlynn, who writes Small Pond Science, shares his description of the blog for his promotion file: I doubt I’d have mentioned this site in a tenure file, because I would want my tenure bid to be evaluated on my teaching quality, the impact of my scholarship, experiences of my students, and service to the institution. I think I’m reasonable, but it’s normal for a reasonable person to get screwed over for just expressing differing, but reasonable, views. So this site only exists because I have the academic — and career — freedom to be free with my views.

In this week’s video, Darlene Kim talks about doing science in extreme environments:

Bonus video: Gene Simmons did a commercial for One Laptop Per Child in Canada. It’s disappointingly normal, but still. (Via Brian Lamb)

Have a great weekend!

Photo “voetbalplein edelare” by Flickr user Reginald Dierckx / Creative Commons licensed BY-2.0

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