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SuperJail Warden
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+345|2337

Jay wrote:

I'm reading The Death of Expertise and he's written a full chapter about arguing on the internet and misinformation etc. He's ranting about people who believed Obama was a Muslim and how their minds couldn't be changed. I think he takes everything too seriously. I don't believe that most of the people repeating the theory were sincere, they were just pushing buttons and being infuriating on purpose.
Clearly this lady was just trolling.

The Obama Muslim conspiracy people were sincere including the president we have now.

Last edited by SuperJail Warden (2020-06-30 18:06:01)

Jay
Bork! Bork! Bork!
+2,002|3975|London, England
Maybe a few, sure.
"Ah, you miserable creatures! You who think that you are so great! You who judge humanity to be so small! You who wish to reform everything! Why don't you reform yourselves? That task would be sufficient enough."
-Frederick Bastiat
uziq
Member
+280|2069
there’s only a few members of the far right.
trump didn’t really mean that, he was kidding.
birtherism wasn’t really serious.

Last edited by uziq (2020-07-01 01:28:08)

Dilbert_X
The X stands for
+1,694|4723|eXtreme to the maX
I did learn that Fox News only has 2 million viewers.
Epstein didn't kill himself
uziq
Member
+280|2069
in all seriousness breitbart et al were never exactly mega-corporation scale enterprises and yet they entirely set the tone and ideology of the trump presidency, so.
Larssen
Member
+23|504
A while ago I wrote somewhere here that I barely read books outside of my field (not counting fiction etc) but it got me thinking. I do read a ton, both inside and outside my field, just rarely entire books.

IMO almost every idea or opinion worth reading can be reduced to article size (max ~50 pages) and many books seem to be bloated versions of articles academics already published X years prior. All it usually is is a detailed dive or more robust set of case studies/arguments to underpin already fairly fleshed out ideas.

So the books I usually pick up I do because I have a more detailed interest in the subject matter or because they're comprehensive introductions/overviews of certain (niche) topics.
uziq
Member
+280|2069
that’s an incredibly bad take.

subjects cannot be boiled down to journal articles.

you need longer monographs of exposition. attempts to assay and add something to a field. room to develop an argument, counter-argument, conclusion. things that bring together a discipline. not to mention some topics are far too vast to fit within the remit of a single article.

it’s like saying there’s no need for novels: we can wrap up a plot and a scenario in a short story, etc.

really you sound like a ‘i just don’t have time’ sort. a bureaucrat who wants everything broken down into minutes and memos. that or you are reading incredibly bad books. i won’t deny that some books need an editor or ‘pad’ their extent rather wastefully. but to say that nothing justifies a book length? LOL.
Larssen
Member
+23|504
lol I would say bureaucracy is extremely heavy on writing and reading. Your example would more likely appeal to management boards in the private sector - they reduce everything to quantifiable variables and visualisations. In consultancy I spent two years on nothing but powerpoint and excel sheets.

No I don't think that rings true. Most books seem to be about academic rigour more than anything else - repeat examples of cases to cement the notions forwarded by its central thesis. In that sense it's of course good & valuable that the work is done, but you really don't need to read some 200-300 pages to understand the point. Unless, of course, you need or want a more detailed view for whatever reason.

Come to think of it I believe these days it's rare in university classes for students to be assigned entire books as coursework, bar introductory classes. Nine out of ten times it's articles and select chapters. Academia itself has moved towards more journal focused output for a few decades now.

Last edited by Larssen (2020-07-03 01:35:21)

uziq
Member
+280|2069
for a start, i'm not sure what sort of books you are talking about. 'academic book' is a little vague. in international relations, sure, i can believe that many books are kicked out by career academics who reach the 'need a monograph to advance' stage of their career. that's no different from bureaucrats kicking out reports and missives that only ever reach about 13 desks. is there an 'industry' of academic book making, tied in to career and continual research output? absolutely. it's a professional insider-industry like any other.

with that said, i still don't think it's 'useless'. if you're only reading career academic monographs, then yeah, sure, you might start longing for the pithiness of an article.

but for all books to be useless? all non-fiction or book-length treatments to be essentially overblown articles? OK. good luck addressing the life of napoleon in a 20-page article.

this all sounds extremely defensive on your part. why are you phrasing it as a 'this is why i don't read books -- because all books are bad' argument? why are you talking about university reading list assignments? the comment was on your free-time reading habits, your intellectual curiosity, your reading regimen. no shit university courses don't prescribe a whole book to read for each weekly seminar (unless you're taking literature, of course). this is very thin milk as a response to 'why i do not read books anymore'. why don't you read, er, any books from outside of your narrow career niche?

academia has relied on journal articles for hundreds of years. you sound very clueless. the purpose of a journal article or research paper and a monograph are very different. they are used in different contexts, and produced for different reasons. a book is a 'summa', a journal article is a precis. of course journal articles are used more in seminar rooms for instructing undergraduates or covering a topic! one of the main genres of journal article is the 'topical review'! the book is something you go for when doing deep research of your own, and can benefit from a deep treatment with an extended bibliography and all the scholarly trimmings. christ you are clueless!

Last edited by uziq (2020-07-03 01:51:43)

Larssen
Member
+23|504
I simply asked myself 'why don't I read more books?' and this is the answer. Of course it's not a blanket statement that all books are useless, but a great many are. In fact I would also argue that you'll be quicker to develop some depth of knowledge in a certain subject by devoting your time to reading 6-10 praised articles on a given topic rather than slogging through a single book produced by a single writer.

Who's excited for another history of Napoleon? If it's biographical content or books centred on certain historical events from A to Z, yeah an article won't cut it. But honestly that's the sort of stuff produced for the obsessive and for hobbyists. It may contribute to deepened understanding of certain periods in history but is highly unlikely to add profound new (theoretical) insights in the field. It's history for history's sake, while real value is usually found if the focus is instead on new frameworks or methodologies. Those more abstract contributions can and usually do first start as articles.

uziq wrote:

academia has relied on journal articles for hundreds of years. you sound very clueless. the purpose of a journal article or research paper and a monograph are very different. they are used in different contexts, and produced for different reasons. a book is a 'summa', a journal article is a precis. of course journal articles are used more in seminar rooms for instructing undergraduates or covering a topic! one of the main genres of journal article is the 'topical review'! the book is something you go for when doing deep research of your own, and can benefit from a deep treatment with an extended bibliography and all the scholarly trimmings. christ you are clueless!
No there's definitely been a traceable switch in focus to more output in journals. Not in the least because # of citations have become an incredibly important measuring stick. You're not going to get there by spending years writing a bunch of tomes.

Last edited by Larssen (2020-07-03 01:57:18)

uziq
Member
+280|2069
honestly, it's like nobody explained to you in week 1 of university during orientation what each type of resource is for.

okay, so you prefer reading topical reviews. that's great. most journals produce them. they're even put at the front of every issue! it's very handy.

articles and books, even within the narrow example of academia, have very different purposes. book-length monographs are not written for the undergraduate or postgraduate seminar-teaching room. why you're arguing for their relative merit or demerit based on your weekly seminar sessions is beyond me. 'all books are bad because i could not find use for them in my 1-year master's'.

Come to think of it I believe these days it's rare in university classes for students to be assigned entire books as coursework, bar introductory classes. Nine out of ten times it's articles and select chapters. Academia itself has moved towards more journal focused output for a few decades now.
saying that 'academia has moved towards journal articles' because books aren't used in seminar rooms is laughable. the seminar room is the very bottom tier of academic activity! the vast majority of an academic's work is their research, not teaching students!

the original comment, again, was that you read a shockingly low number of books per year, in total. you could read books about birdwatching for all i care. it's just a strange lack of curiosity. go right ahead if you want to glean 'knowledge' of the world by reading book reviews. there are readers like that, people who base all their opinions on novels based on their reception in the sunday broadsheet supplements. slightly missing the point of the exercise of reading for your own benefit, putting together your own ideas, doing your own research, etc., but nevermind.

and no, those general history books are not produced for 'obsessives or hobbyists'. lmao. there is a general reading public who like general history, just like they enjoy pop-science or detective stories or memoirs or any other number of genres. it is by far the reading majority. how many people do you think read the latest book on WW2 compared to reading topical reviews from academic journals? but please, tell me more about the publishing industry.

No there's definitely been a traceable switch in focus to more output in journals. Not in the least because # of citations have become an incredibly important measuring stick. You're not going to get there by spending years writing a bunch of tomes.
research evaluation criteria have changed a lot, yes, that's true. but no academic today is even getting a foot-on-the-rung as a post-doc without a book contract. that's how the industry works now: most PhD theses need to be expanded into books to establish an academic's credibility. many, many postgraduates have several journal publications under their belt by the time they have finished their doctorate. they do not tend to get jobs. the book is still an overwhelmingly more influential statement of credibility and expertise. you do realize that a PhD itself is far nearer to book-length than article-length, right?

you are right that academics require an almost annual or five-year churn of journal articles on top of this, to stay 'active' and relevant; it's been pilloried as a 'publish or perish' culture for about the last 20 years. it does not speak to the benefit of journal articles, i have to say. it's just a situation of fierce competition in which every scrap of idea or research finding is up-converted into a journal article, for the sake of career survival.

again, it's like you don't understand their different purposes in an academic context. i cannot be bothered to explain to you why academics write journal articles and why they also write books.

Last edited by uziq (2020-07-03 02:21:07)

Larssen
Member
+23|504
But your second to last paragraph alludes to the point I already made: that writing a book is about academic rigour and as you say a way to get your foot in the door if you aspire to a (assistant) professorship. I can live with that and see a purpose to it as it helps uphold quality standards as well. But if they're generally not valuable for teaching purposes in a 4-6 year timespan ... like I said specific chapters do get assigned, but it's an indication that perhaps the entirety of a work is not absolutely necessary to gain deeper understanding of a certain field.

I'll give you one thing though and that is that I am impatient, and that kind of affects my book-less existence, but I don't think it affects my judgment here. No, I don't particularly enjoy working my way through an entire book (I'm not counting birdwatching or other entertainment). It's taxing to engage with an argument structured to such an extent as you can't read it leisurely or absent-mindedly. I end up scribbling on every page , underlining stuff / writing down my disagreements or comments, which makes the process rather long and tedious but I've found it necessary to digest it. I'd be hard pressed to finish something like that in a week. I've got about a dozen books I started in that way and never finished too.

I did a 2 year masters maaan.

Last edited by Larssen (2020-07-03 02:21:35)

uziq
Member
+280|2069
larssen, you do realize that teaching is an academic's side-gig, right? academics' primary purpose is to produce research. you're arguing for the uselessness of books because you didn't find value for them in your taught undergraduate/graduate seminars. i honestly cannot even be bothered to explain this to you any further. the books are not FOR students; they are for OTHER ACADEMICS. this might blow your mind, but journals are aimed primarily at a community of post-docs, too, and not undergraduates or graduate students. neither books nor journal articles are produced to be teaching tools. it is research!

every academic will reach a point in their career where they have to write a book, if not THE definitional book, for their sub-field. it is a proof of expertise. you can't attain that by kicking out 25,000 word journal articles. if you, on the other hand, can glean all the 'expertise' you need to pass a master's course or get by in your career by reading review articles, that's another matter. but academia is not 'switching to the journal article and discarding the useless book'. you are clueless.

an exceptionally bad take. nevermind!

and, once again, the comment was about your reading habits generally. i would be VERY surprised if ANYONE read academic monographs in their spare-time for enjoyment. i only read a few a year and i'm still half in that world. i was asking why you read barely anything AT ALL. never any philosophy? any classics? any novels, canonical or contemporary? any non-fiction book about anything, for christ's sake? something topical? but no, you'd rather argue that 'the book is useless' because you preferred journal articles in your graduate seminars, 5 years ago. ok bro. pat pat. there there.

Last edited by uziq (2020-07-03 02:37:34)

Larssen
Member
+23|504
Let me drag it out of academia to my professional field: almost everything I read are either policy/political documents or work we or other parties commissioned to think tanks, or stuff they produced themselves, which is very, very rarely over 100 pages. We'll regularly have academics over to present their research and work, which may be produced in book form but is also often the result of articles.

It used to be the case that things were more book-oriented, long before my time, but there has been a shift. Either through research evaluation criteria but also because of demand from parties like us. There's a strong preference for more focused and concise research. Which is perfectly possible.
uziq
Member
+280|2069
neat but again nothing to do with your ‘reading habits’. you do know people here aren’t discussing ‘documents i’ve read for work’ right?

and you’re still a long way from justifying your comment that ‘all ideas or topics can be better summed up in an article’. a statement so ludicrous that the only way to go is to backtrack.
Larssen
Member
+23|504

uziq wrote:

and, once again, the comment was about your reading habits generally. i would be VERY surprised if ANYONE read academic monographs in their spare-time for enjoyment. i only read a few a year and i'm still half in that world. i was asking why you read barely anything AT ALL. never any philosophy? any classics? any novels, canonical or contemporary? any non-fiction book about anything, for christ's sake? something topical? but no, you'd rather argue that 'the book is useless' because you preferred journal articles in your graduate seminars, 5 years ago. ok bro. pat pat. there there.
but uziq, philosophy and classics are usually pretty heavy reading.

To answer your question, not that much. I recently bought a book about blockchain technology that I read halfway through and intend to finish. I think that might be my 3rd book this year.
Larssen
Member
+23|504

uziq wrote:

neat but again nothing to do with your ‘reading habits’. you do know people here aren’t discussing ‘documents i’ve read for work’ right?

and you’re still a long way from justifying your comment that ‘all ideas or topics can be better summed up in an article’. a statement so ludicrous that the only way to go is to backtrack.
most ideas or topics can be better summed up in articles, I do believe so.

Last edited by Larssen (2020-07-03 02:55:11)

uziq
Member
+280|2069
philosophy and classics aren't necessarily heavy reading. but also, so what? is blockchain a light and entertaining read?

nothing you have said this morning actually makes any sense. i assume you're just bored.
Larssen
Member
+23|504
No blockchain isn't light at all so maybe I've reached my book quota for the year after this one.
uziq
Member
+280|2069

Larssen wrote:

Let me drag it out of academia to my professional field: almost everything I read are either policy/political documents or work we or other parties commissioned to think tanks, or stuff they produced themselves, which is very, very rarely over 100 pages. We'll regularly have academics over to present their research and work, which may be produced in book form but is also often the result of articles.

It used to be the case that things were more book-oriented, long before my time, but there has been a shift. Either through research evaluation criteria but also because of demand from parties like us. There's a strong preference for more focused and concise research. Which is perfectly possible.
and yes, most academic monographs will have chapters which are essentially expanded-upon journal articles. this is entirely to be expected: how else would an academic structure and present their basic research and work?

this has nothing to do with you lot 'demanding succinct presentations' and everything to do with the academic career and research production. any salient or new finding/thesis, if it's good, will deserve a journal article. this is good for their career. and any good journal article is a germinal idea for a chapter in a book. this is often an intermediary rung in an academic's research progress. they will write contributing chapters to a collected edition or volume, which will be an expanded journal article (often an invited one for this very reason - 'hey! good article! would you mind contributing to ...').

after a certain amount of research has been done on a field, they can unify their ideas into an overarching book-length argument or review. again, it recycles and upcycles their previous research: book chapters, journal articles, lectures given at x, conference presentations given at y. this is literally what the academic career is: it's how research is conducted, becomes revised, is iterated, fedback upon, reviewed, re-read, codified.

this is really elementary stuff. the 'book' is not dying off because academics present journal articles at seminars or use shorter pieces in presentations. the journal article is precisely there for those occasions, or for presenting new findings, preliminary sketches, new theses, topical reviews. it is exasperating having to explain all this to you. i'd expect to have this conversation with jay, who has never stepped foot inside a research institution.
uziq
Member
+280|2069

Larssen wrote:

uziq wrote:

neat but again nothing to do with your ‘reading habits’. you do know people here aren’t discussing ‘documents i’ve read for work’ right?

and you’re still a long way from justifying your comment that ‘all ideas or topics can be better summed up in an article’. a statement so ludicrous that the only way to go is to backtrack.
most ideas or topics can be better summed up in articles, I do believe so.
but academic monographs are not FOR this. jesus christ! it's like talking to a plank.

you've also totally dismissed the general book-buying public, 'trade books', general history, etc. which are by far the biggest proportion of books that are bought and sold. they are not niche or hobbyist-level. reading journal reviews is the niche practice, here. people like buying books.
Larssen
Member
+23|504
Running through google I can actually find pages of articles on how the academic print book is dying. Doesn't say much about its internal value to academic institutions but market demand has definitely plummeted. Apparently some 200 copies worldwide is a good average. Example:

https://theconversation.com/academic-pr … ture-46248

Last edited by Larssen (2020-07-03 03:10:50)

Larssen
Member
+23|504
people like buying books.
Mostly for decoration and to give an air of intellectualism. Can't tell you how many stupid fucks I've met with impressive personal libraries in their living rooms.
uziq
Member
+280|2069
the print version of academic monographs is dying because of a drying up of library subscription funds and the increasing digitilization of research. this is a good thing. of the academic monographs i produce, 90% of their sales are digital copies or ebooks, not print. have you seen how much a print monograph costs, by the way? how many academics do you think opt to buy the £75 or £220 print edition?

the print runs of journals are dying, too. i manage the full production duties of 6 well-respected academic journals. 4 of those have become digital-only in the last 5 years. these are big journals with heavy-hitting contributors, not niche bottom-feeders. of the 2 which still produce an actual print volume, to be stored in library archives or on shelves, the print runs are in the low 100s. how many journal articles did you access in physical form during your university studies?

maybe the journal article is dying too??!?

again, you have fundamentally misunderstood what the academic monograph is even FOR. you are arraigning them for being dry, methodical, over-evidenced, repetitive. lol.

now you're trying to tell me about my own industry. lol x2.

why are you prevaricating so much about the simple fact that you're just not much of a reader? that's perfectly okay, larssen. you don't need to go into great exertions and contortions of argument to prove that 'the book is dead, anyway' to justify the fact that you just don't read. it is very bizarre to witness.

Last edited by uziq (2020-07-03 03:17:32)

uziq
Member
+280|2069

Larssen wrote:

people like buying books.
Mostly for decoration and to give an air of intellectualism. Can't tell you how many stupid fucks I've met with impressive personal libraries in their living rooms.
ok jay. did you knock your head this morning? this all reeks of deluded self-defense and unrestrained egotism.

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