[Air-L] snide, cute, ignorant, surprising

Alexis Turner subbies at redheadedstepchild.org
Sun Dec 16 16:40:05 PST 2007

Circle the wagons, boys!

She didn't seem surprised *or* ignorant to me.  She seemed right on the money.  
I read nothing in the article that was inaccurate about the general state of 
academia.  Do we really want to suggest that telling the public the truth about 
how fucking ugly, insular, and petty the ivory tower is is "irresponsible" 
(a word several respondents have thus far used)?  Is telling the truth 
irresponsible, or is telling the truth about only yourself irresponsible?

That is not to say academia doesn't do good work.  But it isn't an all or 
nothing endeavor.  We can put out good work while still being incorrigable  
fuckups and human beings, filled with all the same ridiculous cliques, 
backbiting, and foibles that other humans are subject to.  Pointing that out is 
hardly inaccurate.

I would LOVE to give most of the academy the  "atomic wedgie" Hesse suggesests 
because the shit she quotes is *precisely* what makes the academy's work 
meaningless to the very people it should be speaking to - the public.  If you 
don't like the picture being painted, change the landscape.

On Sun, 16 Dec 2007, Barry Wellman wrote:

::Date: Sun, 16 Dec 2007 16:47:41 -0500
::From: Barry Wellman <wellman at chass.utoronto.ca>
::Reply-To: air-l at listserv.aoir.org
::To: aoir list <air-l at aoir.org>
::Subject: [Air-L] snide, cute, ignorant, surprising
::The tone of Monica Hesse's Washington Post story is somewhat snide.
::Although I did enjoy some of her word-play: "celebrademic" danah
::"uncapping" herself (altho note that the Post copyeditor re-capped her at
::the start of a para.) Frankly, "danah" uncapped has made proofreading
::PITAs for me for years.
::What is ignorant is Ms Hesse being surprised that small circles cite each
::other. This is true in many fields. There is a whole area of bibliometrics
::devoted to this. Check out the work of Howard White or Loet Leyesdorff,
::for example. Or, as usual, I have co-authored a paper on the subject --
::its on my website.
::"Does Citation Reflect Social Structure? Longitudinal Evidence from the
::'Globenet' Interdisciplinary Reserach Group" JASIST, 1/04.
::What is surprising is that I was interviewed and quoted by Ms Hesse and
::it was a much straighter piece of reporting:
::"An Unmanageable Circle of Friends: Social-Network Sites Inundate Us with
::Connections, and that can be Alienating." Washington Post, August 26,
::2007, p. M10.
:: Barry Wellman
:: _______________________________________________________________________
::  S.D. Clark Professor of Sociology, FRSC              NetLab Director
::  Centre for Urban & Community Studies           University of Toronto
::  455 Spadina Avenue          Room 418          Toronto Canada M5S 2G8
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