[Air-L] Reid Cornwell

Chris Hodge chodge5 at utk.edu
Mon Jan 4 11:50:16 PST 2010

I can understand people misrepresenting the nature of their personal
contacts for self-aggrandizement (FB body counts), and I can
understand people misrepresenting associations and affiliations for
professional gain (fictitious advisory boards). As sins go, I guess
I'm not sure this is much worse than resume-padding. I guess for me
the question is what assumptions am I making with this information.
For example, if someone has 500 friends on FB, and I don't know any of
them, that fact means nothing to me (except perhaps the person is
really into FB). If OTOH we have say 20 friends in common -- and let's
say these are people I actually know professionally and respect --
then I may ask myself, why haven't I met this person? I don't
necessarily assume they're an expert, but they may have moved onto my
radar as someone I might be interested in knowing in a real way. Or if
I'm going to submit a paper to an organization I'm not familiar with,
I'm going to be impressed by their Board and Advisors. But I'm also
going to look at their past conferences, and I'm going to ask
colleagues if they're thinking of attending. At worst I may waste a
few days at some Nightmare Conference from Hell, and even then, I'm
guessing I'd have a story to dine out on for some time.

I also understand how an individual can generate so much churn on a
listserv that meaningful conversation gets driven out. Those people
get banned from lists and for good reason. However I don't see FB
working the same way. I do a quick scan several times a day of my FB
live feed. The posts Cornell has made all have seemed professionally
relevant. If the number of posts gets too heavy, or if I get tired of
seeing his name, I can hide his entries, or defriend him altogether. I
guess I'm not sure how I'm harmed in having him as a friend on FB, or
in such a way that's not easily remedied (by me).

Offering friendship to a complete stranger may say several things
about Cornell, just as accepting friendships from strangers probably
says something about me. But in the grand scheme of things I'm not
sure the consequences matter a great deal.


On Mon, Jan 4, 2010 at 2:06 PM, Rhiannon Bury <rcbury at rogers.com> wrote:
> Without the history, I understand why people would be thinking this discussion of "Reid Cornell" is problematic. I had in fact forgotten that he even "existed" (indeed, I'm not convinced he is an actual person and not just an alias). When I saw his name multiple times in my inbox, I involuntarily shuddered. I'm with the previous poster who said that the facebook friend requests from him are a variation of the same old refrain.
> Rhiannon
> Rhiannon Bury
> Assistant Professor, Women's Studies
> Athabasca University
> rbury at athabascau.ca
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