The annual Academic writing marathon AcWriMo (academic writing month) begins in November. The basic idea is to band together with virtual friends, to create social pressure and to write like never before. A longer description of the system/rules is here.
The main driving force behind AcWriMo2012 is the energetic Charlotte Frost. Check out the list of those who have already joined.
Enjoying the great feeling of seeing my latest article (together with Jan Nolin) in (digital) print! Please check out Tolerance is law: Remixing Homage, Parodying Plagiarism which has been published today in the open journal Scripted.
Would like to thank the reviewers for pointing out the flaws and helping us improve the article. But I still want more so every and all comment is appreciated.
The abstract is boring but the article is (hopefully) much more interesting. Abstract:
Three centuries have passed since copyright law was developed to stimulate creativity and promote learning. The fundamental principles still apply, despite radical developments in the technology of production and distribution of cultural material. In particular the last decades’ developments and adoption of ICTs have drastically lowered barriers, which previously prevented entry into the production and distribution side of the cultural marketplace, and led to a widening of the base at which cultural production occurs and is disseminated. Additionally, digitalisation has made it economically and technically feasible for users to appropriate and manipulate earlier works as method of production.
The renegotiation of barriers and the increasing number of creators who publish their works has led to an increase in copyright violations and a pressure on copyright legislation. Many of these potential violations are tolerated, in some cases have become common practice, and created social norms. Others have not been so fortunate and the law has been rigidly enforced. This arbitrary application decreases the predictability of law and creates a situation where creation relies on the tolerance of the other copyright holders. This article analyses different cases of reuse that test the boundaries of copyright. Some of these are tolerated, others not. When regulation fails to capture the rich variation of creative reuse, it becomes difficult to predict which works will be tolerated. The analysis suggests that as copyright becomes prohibitive, social norms, power and the values of the copyright holder dominate and not law.
M Klang & J Nolin, “Tolerance is law: Remixing Homage, Parodying Plagiarism”, (2012) 9:1 SCRIPTed 7 http://script-ed.org/?p=476
With a few days margin I finally got around to submitting my abstract for this years GikII which will be in London. The title is “Beating the crowds: A pre-emptive study of Teleportation Law”. This is among the coolest conferences as the people are smart and funny – and tend to explore the stranger sides of technology law.
The deadline is August 13th 2012 – so there is still time for you to submit.
Here is my abstract:
Great strides are being made in the field of instantaneous transportation. Only recently (2006), physicists in Denmark and Germany passed gas over a distance of several hundred centimeters. Despite this great leap, scientists are still struggling with the concept of human teleportation.
To the cultural historian, however, the concept of teleportation (the shifting, usually instantaneously, of matter from one point to another without physically passing through the territory between the points) is well established. Teleportation appears in a plethora of sources: from the founding legend of the Kingdom of Champa to Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen and in almost every episode of Star Trek.
This lack of progress among physicists creates a window of opportunity for jurists to ensure that the necessary legal fundamentals are laid out in preparation for the scientific realization. This will ensure that, at least in this area, jurisprudence is not caught in the steel trap of Wendell Holmes’ pessimistic dictum of the law being inevitably behind the times.
In order to ensure that only the (current) laws of physics are broken it is necessary to look at teleportation from the several perspectives. The goal of this paper is to prepare an initial study over the necessary areas of law needed to successfully carry out human teleportation. It will, inter alia, look at criminal law, intellectual property, illegal downloading, privacy, protection of personhood, human rights, medical law and immigration issues.
With this paper the author hopes to demonstrate the ways in which technological breakthroughs require a reappraisal of existing legal attitudes and a revaluation of their underlying norms.
Reading too many papers written by students with poor language skills is melting my brain, and it’s not that I am particularly good at correct use of punctuation…
I just love the intro to Kyle Wiens blogpost: I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here’s Why.
If you think an apostrophe was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus, you will never work for me. If you think a semicolon is a regular colon with an identity crisis, I will not hire you. If you scatter commas into a sentence with all the discrimination of a shotgun, you might make it to the foyer before we politely escort you from the building.
Nor do I want to be a language police. Every time I get too serious about this I remind myself of this…
Stephen Fry Kinetic Typography – Language from Matthew Rogers on Vimeo.
The good news today is that the revision to the article “Tolerance is Law: Remixing Homage Parodying Plagiarism” (written with Jan Nolin) are done and its been sent in to SCRIPTed
As its not been published yet all I can provide is the abstract and this wordle doodle of the text. The good news is that SCRIPTed provides its articles freely and openly online.
Three centuries have passed since copyright was developed to stimulate creativity and promote learning. The fundamental principles still apply, despite radical developments in the technology of production and distribution of cultural material. In particular the last decades’ developments and adoption of ICT’s have drastically lowered barriers, which previously prevented entry into the production and distribution side of the cultural marketplace, and led to a widening of the base at which cultural production occurs and is disseminated. Additionally, digitalization has made it economically and technically feasible for users to appropriate and manipulate earlier works as method of production.
The renegotiation of barriers and the increased number of creators who publish their works has led to an increase in copyright violations and a pressure on copyright legislation. Many of these potential violations are tolerated, in some cases have become common practice, and created social norms. Others have not been so fortunate and the law has been rigidly enforced. This arbitrary application decreases the predictability of law and creates a situation where creation relies on the tolerance of the other copyright holders. This article analyses different cases of reuse that test boundaries of copyright. Some of these are tolerated, others not. When regulation fails to capture the rich variation of creative reuse, it becomes difficult to predict which works will be tolerated. The analysis suggests that as copyright becomes prohibitive, social norms, power and the values of the copyright holder dominate and not law.
Following the good example of Emily and the Lime presenting what we are writing for AcBoWriMo.
My project is to write a book about Online Identity (this is a very crappy working title). Since finishing my PhD (effects of technology on regulation of Democracy) I have had several ideas for longer works. All of these ideas have crashed and burned due to lack of time and other good excuses. So when I came across AcBoWriMo at the same time I had yet another idea for a book it was time to jump in with both feet.
The idea of the book is the way’s in which technological change are forcing changing attitudes to the concept of identity. In particular I will look at the ways in which regulation and protection of elements of identity are being affected by these changes. The fundamental idea is that we have previously agreed upon loosely defined and understood ideas of identity and their protection but these ideas and protections are being challenged (blown away almost) by the ways in which we use technology. The book will show the ways in which regulation fails and attempt to describe why this failure occurs. This is not really as clear as it should be but I am right now not focusing on defining the overarching idea of the whole book but building it from the bottom up with each chapter exploring different (though naturally related) changes.
For me the project began with a mindmap – (ugly version below) – and will in 18 working days reach 36 000 words in November and somewhere between 80 ooo – 100 000 words by mid January. For me AcBoWriMo is a welcome kick up the backside in forcing the launch of the writing project (no more excuses) and a pleasurable way in working alongside others – is this a form of misery loves company?
So what are you writing?
Writing can be hard, boring, lonely work. We need all the help we can get. I just came across the Martini Method (via Academic Productivity) and feel instantaneously its my kind of carrot and whip!
What I call the Martini Method is named after an anecdote I once read about the novelist Anthony Burgess (of Clockwork Orange fame). Burgess was a very productive writer, which is attributed to a system where he would force himself to write a 1000 words a day, 365 days a year. When he had completed his word count, he would relax with a dry martini, and enjoy the rest of the day with an easy conscience, and normally in bar. A friend of mine’s version of the Martini Method was to come into the office everyday, and not allow herself to leave until her word target had been reached. Most days she left before 5pm, though on occasion she would stay as late as 6 or 7. She would also set herself mini Martinis, such as allowing herself an ice cream in the summer once she had hit half her daily word count. Though we started at the same time, she finished her PhD a lot earlier than me!
The basic idea of AcBoWriMo is brilliant, even if it is a sort of academic weight watchers. You publicly declare a goal and then you keep showing your progress to your peers. If it works it is, in part, due to the social pressure and guilt associated with failure. There is obviously a lot more to it than this (read more here) but the basic steps are:
- Decide upon a target word count.
- Declare your participation and target word count (or productivity goal) publicly.
- Draft a strategy.
- Discuss what you’re doing.
- Don’t slack off.
- Declare your final word count – and be honest!
The event has already begun and will continue for all of November. But even though I am late to the game and I cannot begin before Monday the 7th. So this leaves (not counting Saturdays & Sundays) 18 days. Taking the weekend’s off may seem a bit lazy but this is only a half truth as I have planned events and conferences in November.
The goal is too push the limit of what is possible. The enthusiastic inspiration for the event Charlotte Frost has set the ambitious goal for herself
I’d like this to be a good rough draft of my book but some of it might end up in the journal articles I’ve got on the go too.
I do have some form in the writing productivity stakes. When I was finishing my PhD I could churn out a fairly decent 1,500 words a day. That said, I did sacrifice a few things (including personal hygiene), and I think it only right to stay on top of such matters now I’m in a department. (You’ll find I’ve set out a few guidelines in a blog post on AcBoWriMo, as well as suggested the use of a Twitter hashtag, and invited everyone to publicly declare their participation – thus shaming them into definite action).
Since I cannot resist a challenge… I would love to do this but I need to be (a bit) realistic as I am starting a bit late. So my goal is the modest (?) 36 000 words – which works out to 2000 words a day. Which means that, if all goes well I shall have a first draft of my book by December. It’s going to be a push! It’s going to be hell! It’s going to be great!
Another book has been added to my growing hoard of CC licensed works that are somehow relevant to my research area.
The Critical Point of View: A Wikipedia Reader is an interesting work featuring research from a large group of exciting and original thinkers. It is, as the blurb states:
About the book: For millions of internet users around the globe, the search for new knowledge begins with Wikipedia. The encyclopedia’s rapid rise, novel organization, and freely offered content have been marveled at and denounced by a host of commentators. Critical Point of View moves beyond unflagging praise, well-worn facts, and questions about its reliability and accuracy, to unveil the complex, messy, and controversial realities of a distributed knowledge platform.
Right now the chapters which have my interest are
The Argument Engine by Joseph Reagle, What is an Encyclopedia? From Pliny to Wikipedia by Dan O’Sullivan
A Brief History of the Internet from the 15th to the 18th Century by Lawrence Liang, Questioning Wikipedia by Nicholas Carr, The Missing Wikipedians by Heather Ford, and The Right to Fork: A Historical Survey of De/centralization in Wikipedia by Andrew Famiglietti. But this is only a small fraction of the topics covered in this work.
So check out: Geert Lovink and Nathaniel Tkacz (eds), Critical Point of View: A Wikpedia Reader, Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures, 2011. Its available in online, pdf, or good old dead tree versions!
Also if there are other titles of CC licensed books which should be included in the list please let me know…
One of the main benefits of the web is the mass of totally meaningless information that is just waiting to be discovered. It could be used for amusement, procrastination or actual meaningful use (whatever that is…)
A fantastic resource is the old fashioned A.Word.A.Day mailing list administered by Anu Garg. It’s a daily email with an interesting word, with its background, meaning, etymology, pronounciation and more. Just check out some excerpts from the information about today’s word: schlemiel
noun: An inept, clumsy person: a habitual bungler.
From Yiddish shlemil, from Hebrew Shelumiel, a Biblical and Talmudic figure who met an unhappy end, according to the Talmud. Earliest documented use: 1892.
No discussion of schlemiel would be complete without mentioning schlimazel
, one prone to having bad luck. In a restaurant, a schlemiel is the waiter who spills soup, and a schlimazel is the diner on whom it lands.
What’s not to love?