[Air-L] Researchers as new eyes on public data

Gilbert B. Rodman gbrodman at mindspring.com
Mon Sep 3 12:28:36 PDT 2007

Three things:

(1)  You're still dodging Lois' question -- i.e., what's specifically
harmful about researcher access that doesn't factor into the harm done
by other people's access?  The person whose words have been "repackaged"
in "harmful" ways isn't going to feel less harmed depending on whether
the "repackager" was allegedly bound by "institutionalized ethics" or not.

(2)  It's a side issue whether they actually live up to such an ethic or
not, but I suspect most journalists and preachers and politicians would
certainly claim that they are "responsible to [an] institutionalized
ethic" of one sort or another.

(3)  Not all researchers are social scientists.  Unless, of course,
you're trying to claim that folks who work in the arts or the humanities
are somehow not really researchers.


Ed Lamoureux wrote:
> Gilbert
> " journalists, politicians, preachers, bloggers,"  are NOT social  
> scientific researchers responsible to that institutionalized ethic.  
> They don't promise their universities (and the government and society  
> in general) to protect human subjects. You are right, they can do  
> anything they darn well please (within the confines of the ethics of  
> their genre). We cannot. We promise to do better. And when we don't,  
> we compromise the ability of future researchers to get willing  
> subjects. We live and work in the speech act game called "social  
> science research." It is bound by constraints that don't exit in some  
> other language games.
> On Sep 3, 2007, at 1:56 PM, Gilbert B. Rodman wrote:
>> Sure, Ed ... but that doesn't get at Lois' question about what (if
>> anything) is *uniquely* dangerous about researchers in this  
>> regard.  The
>> very same processes of interpreting, labeling, repackaging, and
>> redistributing, after all, are routinely used by journalists,
>> politicians, preachers, bloggers, and then some.  And, given the large
>> discrepancies in audience size between, say, CNN and _New media and
>> society_, any legitimate fears of possible "repackaging" are probably
>> better directed at the "repackagers" who reach tens of millions of
>> people (on a bad day), rather than the ones who reach hundreds (on a
>> good one).
> ard Lee Lamoureux, Ph. D.
> Associate Professor, Multimedia Program
> and Department of Communication
> Co-Director, New Media Center
> 1501 W. Bradley
> Bradley University
> Peoria IL  61625
> 309-677-2378
> <http://slane.bradley.edu/com/faculty/lamoureux/website2/index.html>
> <http://gcc.bradley.edu/mm/>
> AIM/IM & skype: dredleelam
> Second Life: Professor Beliveau
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