The Academy and Digital Publishing

November 28, 2007 at 7:29 pm (Computers, Economics, Education)

I’ve talked before about the resistance in academia, or at least in the Humanities, to digital publications. After a fascinating talk yesterday by Simon Tanner, of King’s College, London, a number of us got into a conversation about the subject. One of Simon’s key points is that we don’t live in an information economy, per se. There is valuable information, but there is also worthless information, and there’s more of it than anyone could ever hope to assimilate. What is limited, and therefore valuable, in our modern world is attention. That’s why we have news services, television, magazines, RSS, etc., to weed through the glut of information and find the tidbits that we consider worthwhile. Read the rest of this entry »


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Tiny Bubbles…

November 23, 2007 at 11:25 pm (Movies)

It’s official, Monkey has discovered both the joy and the frustration of bubbles.

Unfortunately, the bubbles don’t show up too well on Youtube-quality videos, but beggars can’t be choosers, and neither can proud kitty owners.  Ask me to show you the full-quality video some time.  Now, if only he was this cute all the time…

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Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, anyone?

November 23, 2007 at 9:16 pm (Humor, Sports, Travel)

A month or so back, Penny Arcade linked to an old US military Titan missile base that was being sold.  I, of course, was immediately interested, not JUST because it still has the three missile silos intact, but ALSO because the bulk of the complex consists of a series of massive underground hangers and buildings.  I immediately began thinking about hosting Ren Faires and fantasy LARPers there, since what nerd would turn down a chance to hang out in a mothballed missile base?  It’s like the news that NORAD was being turned over to the National Park Service.  Camping in a cold war stronghold, anyone?

George, however, one-upped me.  He suggested turning one or more of the old silos into an underground climbing wall.  Then, we’d turn most of the underground hangers into hotel space, and make the whole thing a luxury outdoors/action sport resort.  People would be able to get their “game” on either above or below ground, and relax after a hard day of climbing or biking or whatever in the massage parlor, or the 5-star restaurant, or perhaps in the underground swimming pool.  So, if anyone has 1.5 million dollars that they want to use to fund this project, just get in touch with me…

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Generation V

November 15, 2007 at 11:05 pm (Computers, Movies, Writing)

I have finally gotten myself a Youtube account, under the handle johnlynch1977. Can you believe that jlynch1977 was already taken? I’ve already uploaded two videos, one of Monkey playing fetch with a sponge (he’s funny like that) and the other of a little off-roading excitement during our recent trip to Joshua Tree National Park with Michelle and Omar (and hopefully I’ll find the time soon to create a Flikr account or the equivalent and get a few of the photos from that online; good times were had by all). I’m linking to them here.


Joshua Tree:

Unfortunately, I now have a problem, one that I really didn’t foresee but is suddenly driving me up the wall: How do I start using this ability to make and upload videos on a regular basis? It may sound silly, but if you’ve followed my thoughts on this blog, you know that I’m obsessed with storytelling in various media. I’ve been thinking about various video-related projects for a while, a couple that even involve Youtube, but these were complex projects involving planning and scripts.  I never really saw video as something just created on the fly, the way that I might take a picture. But both of these videos were just that, created on the spur of the moment. Heather was showing me Monkey’s new trick, and I grabbed the camera for kicks. I was photographing the Jeep’s situation, and just threw the camera into video mode for fun.  From actual event to digital form, ready for upload, within five minutes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Academic Publishing and the Digital Age

November 5, 2007 at 6:31 pm (Dissertation, Economics, Education, Languages)

I’m currently participating (mostly as an observer) in a workshop here at UCLA sponsored by the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative, discussing the “future of cuneiform scholarship,” specifically digital scholarship. One of the key questions to which conversation keeps returning is that of models for electronic research projects, of which there are two types, as one of the participants astutely pointed out: Models for acquiring funding or another form of support to ensure the endurance of the project, and models for ensuring participation and support within the academic community. The former I will perhaps deal with at another time, but the debate about the latter has been so vigorous and fascinating that I feel compelled to note down some of my comments here (for Bryan’s benefit, more than anyone else, since I think he’s my only reader who will find this at all interesting!). Read the rest of this entry »

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An Underappreciated Movie

November 3, 2007 at 2:28 pm (Horror, Movies)

Last night, friends brought over Perfect Stranger, a very poorly received (9% on Rotten Tomatoes) thriller that came out this year. I almost passed over watching it to instead pop in The Bourne Ultimatum, and for the first twenty minutes, I rather wished that I had. The characters and plot development seemed abrupt and formulaic, and the whole jumpiness of the film made me rather uncomfortable. The further we got into the film, however, the more I began to realize that the discomfort was deliberate, that the film was designed to create just that sensation, and that what I had chalked up to poor writing and directing was actually the beginnings of a much more complicated thriller, a thriller that I ultimately liked a great deal. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Failed Experiment

November 1, 2007 at 1:36 pm (Dissertation, Family, Travel, Writing)

Sadly, I have been forced to mark my recent trip to Connecticut as a failure. Not because of any lack of fun or happiness in the trip itself; we had a great time, got to see a lot of family and friends, and generally enjoyed ourselves immensely. However, in terms of my “grand experiment,” to blog the entire trip on a daily basis, I was (as you can see from the lack of posting on the blog) rather unsuccessful. Read the rest of this entry »

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