Interesting is only two weeks away. We've just ticked over into 300 tickets sold, which is testament to the power of not promoting things at all.
It's still at the Conway Hall. It's still the evening of September 15th.
Here's a rough guide to speakers and timing:
Doors open, milling around: 6.30pm
Announcements regarding toilets and fire exits: 6.50pm
September 01, 2016 | Permalink
"For prose is so humble that it can go anywhere; no place is too low, too sordid, or too mean for it to enter. It is infinitely patient, too, humbly acquisitive. It can lick up with its long glutinous tongue the most minute fragments of fact and mass them into the most subtle labyrinths, and listen silently at doors behind which only a murmur, only a whisper, is to be heard. With all the suppleness of a tool which is in constant use it can follow the windings and record the changes which are typical of the modern mind."
Virginia Woolf: The Narrow Bridge of Art
August 31, 2016 | Permalink
"Radiophrenia is a temporary art radio station – a two-week exploration into current trends in sound and transmission arts. Broadcasting live from Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Arts, the station aims to promote radio as an art form, encouraging challenging and radical new approaches to the medium."
It sounds rather excellent.
If you're in Glasgow you can listen on the actual radio, everywhere else you can listen on the web. And, excitingly if you do listen, occasionally you'll catch bits of ScienceStoryMagic all up in your airwaves. Sound Art, ladies and gentlemen, Sound Art.
August 29, 2016 | Permalink
A bunch of clicking got me to this piece about the University of Chicago / safe spaces. It contains extensive quotes from this piece about the governance of higher education institutions. (I know, I know, it's nothing but a roller-coaster this blog).
I mention it because it strikes me that digital transformation is mostly about institutional change and these insights about how that happens are probably as true for governments and policy bodies as they are for universities and journals:
"There is a dark side to the history of the university. It is largely a history of ossification punctuated by bursts of intellectual vibrancy and structural innovation. In the large sweep of history, change occurs not because existing scholars, departments, and institutions move with the times, but through replacement. New ideas and methods are developed by new generations of scholars working in newly founded disciplines. New structures that support new forms of inquiry and learning emerge in newly founded universities."
"Existing institutions do change—some of them, some of the time. When institutional change occurs, it is typically in response to the political or economic threat posed by entrants. Departments have a harder time reinventing themselves, and when they do, it is because of generational turnover, for individual scholars tend not to change at all."
"The university is a cruel institution. It takes the best and the brightest, promises them the world, and then it throws most of them to the dogs. The vast majority of scholars start out as fresh-eyed and bushy-tailed newly minted assistant professors; their career peaks as they become tenured associate professors; and from then on their human capital declines steadily for reasons that are mostly not under their control. As a result, there is a lot of bitterness and resentment floating around in the heads of the tenured faculty."
"Disciplines are controlled by journal editors and leading scholars who collectively decide what gets published in the top journals, who is awarded tenure, and which activities are to be supported by grants and showered with honors. There are selection biases in place that create a tendency for self-perpetuation. Perhaps most importantly, there is a natural bias toward gerontocracy that benefits scholars who are in mid-career or even over the hill. This is the group from which journal editors and leading scholars are drawn from, and they will tend to favor traditional work and support clones of themselves."
August 27, 2016 | Permalink
It started when Tom and his pals at 4ip funded Newspaper Club (for which I'll always be grateful).
He forced us to go and get investment advice from some people on Great Portland Street. It was probably great advice but in my arrogance at the time I dismissed it as 'old rope' and was forced to protest in the only way I knew - I wrote a description of their business on Gowalla but disguised it as a write-up of an imaginary business from a parallel world. It was a tiny, tiny joke.
Here it is:
But, I liked the idea of people checking into these silly things (and, as you can see, at least 10 people did) so I began to write more, when I had an idle minute somewhere. I tagged it all Utherly.
And, having started with an Old Roperie I ended up with a String District and fairly soon I had the beginnings of an alternative psychogeography of London. I'm not sure it worked very well to be honest, those kinds of thing have to handled really well to be any good and I'm not sure I paid it enough attention. Too many puns and nostalgerie.
And then Gowalla died and my tiny jokes became a set of screen-grabs in a folder.
And then along came Hi - Craig's splendid tool for writing about and in the world and I wanted to do something with that. So I started writing more Utherly, beginning with the Low Trees of Store Street.
Utherly on Hi did much of the same silliness:
But it also ventured out of London (writing on trains and motorways). I quite enjoyed Sketchley Park's invention of Cleaning Action at a Distance.
I like doing this kind of thing, writing in corners of the internet, places that are public but quiet. Where people might stumble across things without much expectation and might quite enjoy them. I especially like, for some reason, when it's connected to geography.
The problem with the quiet corners though is that they don't last for long and now Hi is going the way of Gowalla. Though it's closing down with a lot of class.
Should you be interested there's an Utherly archive. It's only screengrabs but it's a little souvenir.
I'm off to find another place-based story-telling tool and to doom it with my writing.
August 25, 2016 | Permalink