One of my favorite authors, David Foster Wallace, gave a commencement speech at Kenyon College in 2005. Now there’s a nice, short video version of it: http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2013/05/10/david-foster-wallace-commencement-video-goes-viral-five-years-after-death/.
Wallace committed suicide in 2008. Nevertheless, his work lives on.
As you know, I will retire in about a month. The Dean has nominated Professor Epp Lauk to be Head of the Department of Communication 1.6.-31.12.2013. The period is at this point fairly short, as there will be elections of Faculty Council and University Board in the Fall, probably resulting in university-wide changes in influential positions such as Dean and Head of Department.
Epp has already been member of the Steering Group of the Department of Communication, so she’s well versed in department matters. Thumbs up for Epp!
There are quite a few predatory journals (
) and publishers (
). Here in Finland, reliable journals and publishers are presumably well covered in the Publication Forum (
I’ve been recently been trying to find reliable information about real vs. fake academic conferences. It would appear to be a lucrative business, as tensions run high. For instance, the person writing Scholarly Open Access (
), Jeffrey Beall, is being accused of being a fraud and a black-mailer (
). I don’t think this is true.
What all this really indicates, in my opinion, is that there are all kinds of scam artists active in academic publishing and conferences. Have a look at some of the following and try to make sense of the conflicting accounts (and note that often no information about the person writing or the organization responsible is given):
I’ve spent a few hours trying to find reliable information about conferences. This list of warning signs (
) may offer some help:
- The conference is advertised using spam
- The conference has the same chair every year. (Bona fide conferences may have the same people on an executive committee for many years, but probably not the same chair.)
- The call for papers emphasises repeatedly that it is a “reputable” conference with many “famous experts”
- The call for papers, and subject of the conference, is very general
- The chair has chaired dozens of other conferences but probably has few good publications and does not work at a reputable institution
-The conference is in a very nice place
- You are invited by a stranger to organise a special session, or to undertake some other activity for the conference which would normally require some stature in the area, when you in fact do not have this stature. For example if you are a PhD student it’s unlikely you will be asked by a stranger to take a high-profile role. Having said that, invitations to serve on a programme committee are not that uncommon or that high-profile, and advertising for special session proposals is fine as long as they’re not automatically accepted.
I remain perplexed. Clearly, more reliable information is needed!
There are many tools available for making online interaction during lectures possible. Of course in addition to face-to-face interaction.
Tools that don’t require registration are well adapted for classroom use. These two sites (and I’m sure there are more) give links to many tools:
If you use such tools, please share your experiences
PS. Twitter and Facebook can be useful too.
PS2. Here’s a nice intro to Blended Learning.
The Special Collector’s Edition of Scientific American (22:1, Winter 2013), What Makes Us Human, is fascinating and thought-provoking. It covers our origin and future. It points out the big role of grandparents in the success of our species. And it addresses the question of collaboration.
Some excerpts from the article Why We Help by Martin Nowak (also published in Scientific American 306: 7, July 2012):
“People tend to think of evolution as a strictly dog-eat-dog struggle for survival. In fact, cooperation has been a driving force in evolution”.
“There are five mechanisms by which cooperation may arise in organisms ranging from bacteria to human beings”.
“Humans are especially helpful because of the mechanism of indirect reciprocity, which is based on reputation and leads us to help those who help others”. “Those who have a reputation for assisting others who fall on hard times might even find themselves on the receiving end of goodwill from strangers when their own luck takes a turn for the worse. Thus, instead of the “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” mentality, the cooperator in this situation might be thinking, “I’ll scratch your back, and someone will scratch mine.”
What does all this have to do with communication? Communication (and language, of course) make it possible for us to share information about everyone, be it family close by or strangers in other continents.
“The interplay between language and indirect reciprocity leads to rapid cultural evolution, which is central to our adaptability as a species”.
I recommend the whole volume and especially the article by Martin Nowak (available through Nelli). It raises fundamental questions about us, our relationship with other living organisms – and communication.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,400 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 6 years to get that many views.
Here’s a list of the blogs kept by current people and alumni in the Department of Communication, University of Jyväskylä. Many of them are in Finnish. Please inform me about further blogs! Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year!
Com-motion (Marita Vos)
InComAs (Intercultural Communication Master Students)
Kärki (Imago, yhteisöviestinnän ainejärjestö)
Looking for a Place, Technology, games, and communication (Marko Siitonen)
ORGCOMMS, Yhteisöviestinnän riemastuttavia ja raivostuttavia ilmiöitä (Anna-Kaisa Varamäki)
LindenTweaks (Marko Lindgren)
Paikallisviestintä (Heli Veripää)
Puhismaailma (Olli Vainio)
Story Lab – Exploring Organizations and the World in Them (Eerika Hedman)
Suuri maisterinmetsästys (Aapo Kuortti)
3CGC Exchange (Mika Simula)