I’m increasingly feeling that the old debates (what’s a reasonable cost, green vs gold, hybrid vs pure) are sterile and misleading. That we are missing fundamental economic and political issues in funding and managing a global scholarly communications ecosystem by looking at the wrong things. And that there are deep and damaging misunderstandings about what has happened, is happening, and what could happen in the future.
Seriously, I’m trying to make sure I’m reading this right. Is John Boehner being forced out of Congress for not shutting the government down enough? Because I would have thought — and bear with me here — that keeping the governing actually happening is one of the things one might like in one’s elected representatives.
I am stunned to find myself actually feeling kinda bad for the guy.
“[A]t about the 10th, I started feeling as if it was inevitable — that it is going to get us all and there is nothing we could do to stop it.”
Today has been a day filled with making progress on a slew of different writing projects, adding a paragraph to this one, reviewing some comments on that one, thinking about some ancillary materials to go with another. It’s also been filled with email, and report outlining, and note-taking.
In fact, it’s been the kind of day that often makes me think “shoot, I didn’t get any writing done at all today,” when honestly, if I had a Fitbit for my keyboard, keeping track of the number of words I produced, I’d probably be nearing my daily goal.
Which is to say that, given the realities of job and life and priorities and such, my goals could use a bit of recalibration. Little steps here and there represent progress, if perhaps not on the path that has been most clearly marked out in my head. Honoring that progress as progress is probably important for my general sense that things are still moving, however it may appear.
The same holds for this space. As you may have noticed, I’ve gotten a bit active here again of late, but not in the big think-piece way I used to be. I have neither energy nor inclination for that kind of work. What’s happening here is small, bits and pieces of thoughts, things I’m reading and seeing, stuff I want to remember. But so far, at least, it’s having the effect of re-engaging me, making me look at the world like a person who wants to share parts of it, and sometimes even has things to say about it. And that’s perhaps the best of what this space, and my writing, have ever done.
Please, please, please, somebody tell me that iTunes 12.3 undoes the certainty with which 12.2 decided that about half of my e-books were #actually audiobooks, no matter how many times I told it otherwise, thereby completely borking my device-syncing process?
David Skinner’s fascinating history of the Library of America details both the slow path to overcoming ingrained resistance to the project (including then Librarian of Congress Daniel Boorstin’s “serious doubts about the very idea of an American canon”) and the ways in which the project was connected with the MLA’s Center for Editions of American Authors, a progenitor of today’s Committee on Scholarly Editions.
This is another in a periodic series of updates in which I announce that I’m trying to work my way back into running a bit more regularly once again, and invite you to find me on Runkeeper if you’re doing the same.
I think now the greatest challenge to changing the system from within is changing the system within. Graduate education is the feeder for a kind of strong culture that is far more binding than the gears of bureaucracy are. Make no mistake, the greatest obstacle to a revolution in higher education is the faculty.