I have been wanting to do a reading challenge for some time now, and each year I think I’m going to do the Good Reads one (with a 50 book pledge, for instance). But I feel the approach of just counting books is “off” somehow, like a raw number isn’t really what I’m talking about. Would I feel twice as good if I read 50 books instead of 25? What about classics, should I only be counting classics? Is there a way to somehow add gamification to the mix?
Or when it comes right down to it, is all I’m hoping to do is keep track of the books I do read and actually get around to reviewing them? My “to be reviewed” pile is more virtual than real, but is still quite large.
What am I trying to do by participating in a Reading Challenge? I thought I would look at a bunch, see which ones appealed to me, and work backwards to figure out why. » Read the rest
Continuing down the Open Access rabbithole, I found the UNESCO-led site, the Global Open Access Portal. You can even narrow it down to just Canadian access sites. Which I did. And then went further down the rabbit hole with some of the following highlights:
I don’t know a lot about the ins and outs of academic publishing, so let’s start by making that clear. More often than not, I’m likely to trip over government or thinktank reports than scholarly articles. I don’t have a home account for EBSCO access, or a university library account to access their scholarly journals that way, so in the absence of that type of access, I love the idea of Open Access. And when the University College of London announces they’ve hit their 1M download mark of e-texts through Open Access, that sounds outright awesome. The true power of the original university net, sharing and collaborating without restricted rights for the information. Releasing their findings into the wild.
But I do know that the world is not that clean. Academics compete for prestige journals, publishers hoard space and leverage control and $$ through access to those same journals, and while open access threatens to “disrupt” that industry, it is mostly a drop in the bucket. » Read the rest
I have surprisingly strong views about the efficacy, effectiveness, utility, and appropriateness of digital rights management on files, including both music and ebooks. Generally speaking, I do not agree with the powers that be (publishers) that there is a difference in “ownership” between buying something digitally and buying it in hard copy, particularly exemplified by a book. I do agree that there are different risks to the publisher, but that doesn’t mean in one I have bought it and the other I have merely paid to borrow it. I believe I have the same rights and obligations I had previously. Which means in its most basic terms that I have bought it for me and I can’t reproduce it for others, but the digital element puts two other limitations — I can’t loan it nor can I resell it. I am willing to accept those caveats, but it doesn’t mean I don’t own it. » Read the rest
This is another article from Farnam Street, and I confess up until a few days ago, I’d never heard of them. Run by a guy named Shane Parrish, he’s based here in Ottawa. Some really fascinating stuff on there, with decent curation and a lot of links. This article highlights that:
Not all of our grand schemes turn out like we planned. In fact, sometimes things go horribly awry. In this article, we tackle unintended consequences and how to minimize them in our own decision making.
You might think that the article is going to be about train wreck ideas or the butterfly effect causing tsunamis. Not really. In fact, I would say it is more about linear thinking from good intentions to good outcomes, without taking into account side effects. Some unknown, some unforeseeable, some just missed because they stopped thinking early. » Read the rest