Tag Archives: social media

Genocide as a win-win situation

Imagine. A company appears in your town and starts by making the public place more welcoming. Come play, says the company, come talk, come here and have fun. Let us help you with everything: we’ll keep your memories, traditions, we’ll take care to remind you about that friend you lost track some years ago. We’ll spread your news to everybody, we’ll get customers for your business. Are you alone? No problem, many people are like you, what if you could talk and meet them, whenever you want?

We don’t want anything important, says the company, just let us put some ads in the public place. It’s a win-win situation. Your social life will get better and we’ll make profit from those ads.

Hey, what if you let us manage your photos? All that stuff you want to keep, but there’s too more of it and it’s hard for you to preserve. We’ll put it on a cloud. Clouds are nice, those fluffy things which pass over your head in a sunny morning, while you, or your kids play together in the public place.

Remember how it was before? The town place was not at all as alive as now. You had not as many friends as now, your memories were less safe. Let us take care about all your cultural self.

Let us replace the commons. We are the commons of the future. We, the company…

We’ll march together and right all wrongs. Organize yourselves by using the wonderful means we give you. Control the politicians! Keep an eye on those public contracts. Do you have abusive neighbours? Shame their bad habits in the public place.

The public place of the future. Kindly provided by us, the company. A win-win situation.

 

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The price of publishing with GitHub, Figshare, G+, etc

Three years ago I posted The price of publishing with arXiv. If you look at my arXiv articles then you’ll notice that I barely posted on arXiv.org since then. Instead I went into territory which is even less recognized as serious by a big part of academia. I used:

The effects of this choice are put in front of my homepage, so go there to read them. (Besides, it is a good exercise to remember how to click on links and use them, that lost art from the age when internet was free.)

In this post I want to explain what is the price I paid for these choices and what I think now about them.

First, it is a very stressful way of living. I am not joking, as you know stress comes from realizing that there are many choices and one has to choose. Random reward from the social media is addictive. The discovery that there is a way to get out from the situation which keeps us locked into the legacy publishing system (validation). The realization that the problem is not technical but social. A much more cynical view of the undercurrents of the social life of researchers.

The feeling that I can really change the world with my research. The worries that some possible changes might be very dangerous.

The debt I owe concerning the scarcity of my explanations. The effort to show only the aspects I think are relevant, putting aside those who are not. (Btw, if you look at my About page then you’ll read “This blog contains ideas from the future”. It is true because I already pruned the 99% of the paths leading nowhere interesting.)

The desire to go much deeper, the desire to explain once again what and why, to people who seem either lacking long term attention capability or having shallow pet theories.

Is like fishing for Moby Dick.