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Thread: SWJ: praise given and reviews (merged)

  1. #21
    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    I use a variety of tools from WebCT/Blackboard to SharePoint and Citrix.

    I'm all for podcasting if four people would commit to just 8 weeks once a week I'd produce it.
    Sam Liles
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    The scholarship of teaching and learning results in equal hatred from latte leftists and cappuccino conservatives.
    All opinions are mine and may or may not reflect those of my employer depending on the chance it might affect funding, politics, or the setting of the sun. As such these are my opinions you can get your own.

  2. #22
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    Default Keep it up...

    ... we are all ears. SWJ / SWC has plans and we need to hear ways to improve.

  3. #23
    Council Member Adam L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    No one else in my Institute blogs, although I really wish they would (some truly amazing work being done there!). But, currently, here is no recognition of blogging as "real" academic work.
    Does it matter if it is "academic work" of any kind? The forum is a great place to test and refine ideas. It's a good place to spit ball concepts with a group of people whose backgrounds are extremely varied. I think the media and academia are seeing these new online formats for discussion as something far more alien than they are. SWJ is merely a technologically enchanced discussion group, coffee house or bar. We need to stop being so concerned with form rather than substance.

    My point is that whether it is, "- personal, w/academic hat on; or "academic", is not relevent.

    Adam L

    [Note: When I refer to SWJ I am refering to the discussion board and the blog rather than the magazine.]

  4. #24
    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam L View Post
    Does it matter if it is "academic work" of any kind? The forum is a great place to test and refine ideas. It's a good place to spit ball concepts with a group of people whose backgrounds are extremely varied. I think the media and academia are seeing these new online formats for discussion as something far more alien than they are. SWJ is merely a technologically enchanced discussion group, coffee house or bar. We need to stop being so concerned with form rather than substance.

    My point is that whether it is, "- personal, w/academic hat on; or "academic", is not relevent.
    It may not be critical to be considered of academic value to everybody, but as a body SWJ/C has always reached out to a larger audience and to those who are academics it can be overtly, extremely, limiting, but critical the value of the information and how it is considered in academia.

    A view into the world of academia and how an institution might consider blogging and web forum participation.

    1) A dilution of academic time toward trivial pursuits
    2) Possible exposure of University intellectual property (every thing I do)
    3) Violations of internal and external disclousure agreements for grants and contracts
    4) Exposure of intellectual capital in competitive grants processes
    5) Diminution of the academic enterprise
    6) Fraternization
    7) Exposure to censure for unprofessional conduct
    8) Lack of focus or taking the academic pursuit seriously

    Those outside of academia may not recognize the above as issues but just about any junior academic in a research or state University is going to have heard them. Though those who may be affiliated with military programs or established military Universities likely have an edge those of us who have anti-military or peace activists on campus take a real chance even participating.

    I am a technologist and I have a couple really good papers on technology mediated communication for education. I have presented web 2.0 and web 3.0 to the entire faculty and facilitated several programs brining that type of collaboration to their organization. My penchant for web forums is ignored if not formally recognized.

    There were some pretty severe fights up to and including me going to the University Relations Vice Chancellor and explaining my position. I have a formal agreement in place that allows me to participate on web forums and blog (required to shut down my new boss). That gives you an idea of how serious they take this stuff. Now a lot of faculty blog with no agreements. For all of the above reasons they can only claim academic freedom for so long.

    What does my blog and participation on web forums mean?

    1) My ability to cognitively address issues and make them applicable is greatly enhanced
    2) My world views are polished by the abrasion of reality daily
    3) I filled have my available grad student slots in one day based on my blog
    4) My writing is getting better as I am able to narrate rather than dictate as academics so willfully do
    5) I might expect a couple hundred readers of a journal or conference proceeding. I get thousands of a blog entry in days. That is "idea" real estate
    6) When i post on a web forum I might be talking to a high school student or a multiple PhD that kind of audience is almost impossible to generate

    There are a lot of good reason to participate but it likely comes at a cost for us academics. Some may say "so what", but it can be as severe as not getting the next job or worse celebrating "pass over" as a major. All of trying to use the Internet as the engine of collaboration that it was originally designed to facilitate.
    Sam Liles
    Selil Blog
    Don't forget to duck Secret Squirrel
    The scholarship of teaching and learning results in equal hatred from latte leftists and cappuccino conservatives.
    All opinions are mine and may or may not reflect those of my employer depending on the chance it might affect funding, politics, or the setting of the sun. As such these are my opinions you can get your own.

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    Cool Creating an IW Education Pgm at SOCOM

    I've read this blog with interest because I've been tasked to develop an IW education pgm for the Joint Special Operations University at USSOCOM. Our primary audience will be our SOF Community (Operators / Staff / Enablers), but we also must include the spectrum of IW actors to make this thing worthwhile and holistic (IA, Academia, NGO, IO, Multinational, Business, etc...). As a former instructor at West Point and CGSC, I understand the value of brick & mortar classes...but...we're in an age where technology and OPTEMPO requires us to have persistent education through the internet (IMO)(online classes, portals for info / issues updates, blogs, wikipedias, etc). My going in idea is to :

    1) Create dynamic brick and mortar courses that combine progressive adult learning techniques, use of internet resources, films-documentaries, subject matter experts to facilitate maximum learning (JSOU's format is usually 1 & 2 week courses), panels, debates, etc...

    2) Dedicate a portion of the in-class and out-of-class design to teach students how to learn in this current educational/technological environment (Improving memory techniques, speed reading, critical thinking, internet research skills, etc...) With only a week or two, we can only scratch the surface of the intracacies of IW subjects - important to guide students and enable them for self-learning due to optempo issues and preference (younger students are learning more on their own nowadays)

    3) TOUGH ONE: Provide students a concise reach-back, online resource so they can continue to learn after the brick & mortar class. As mentioned in this blog, there are tons of IW Ctrs of Excellence, programs and projects in and out of DOD and internationally - you all know what I'm talking about. I literally run across a new program, website, DOD project every day that needs to be included in our effort. The SWJ definitely will be an integral resource ...but...how do we manage these random "1000 Points of Educational Light" to give our students a focused reachback point of continued learning?

    I sent out an email request two weeks ago to mainly the (US) Prof Military Education folks for assistance in starting yet another IW Educational COI: sharing ideas, curriculums, briefs, articles, etc... I've received good responses so I know there's an interest in supporting this initiative.

    My question or request from the SWJ community is to provide suggestions in the best way to create and maintain this focused, IW learning portal. Going in position is "Don't care who gets credit for this - would love to have a consortium of sponsors / participants all considered equals in this endeavor. I'll be working with folks like JFCOM, Services, DOS, USAID, Brits, Canadians, Aussies, IA (SOCOM has LNOs within most major interagency orgs now), pvt security firms, select NGOs, and the UN for starters.

    If anyone knows someone who is conducting research in this area (Modern Collaboration Techniques), please let me know.

    [B]I'm also looking for participants that have Subject Matter Expertise in the IW areas listed in the IW JOC (Insurgency/COIN, Terrorism/CT, Unconventional Warfare, Foreign Internal Defense, Stability and Support Operations, and "Understanding People" + the other areas to:
    1) Join the cause
    2) Provide access to their materials for the IW educational community
    3) Be willing to be a guest instructor
    4) Be willing to keep the community updated in their particular areas of expertise

    If interested, please contact me via PM for additional details

    De Oppresso Liber!
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-27-2009 at 10:26 PM. Reason: Contact details amended to via PM.

  6. #26
    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Yes I have been involved with "modern collaboration techniques". I am NOT a military instructor though and I may be missing elements of your culture. Go to my blog and look up the category scholarship of teaching and learning. I've got a few academic papers published on Web 2.0 tools for learning, and curriculum topics. To say as specific as your previous statements, the universe of the implications is vast, well is a simplification.
    Sam Liles
    Selil Blog
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    The scholarship of teaching and learning results in equal hatred from latte leftists and cappuccino conservatives.
    All opinions are mine and may or may not reflect those of my employer depending on the chance it might affect funding, politics, or the setting of the sun. As such these are my opinions you can get your own.

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    ISTM a lot will depend on what classification(s) you plan for your portal.

    As for the format, I would seriously consider the wiki model for a few reasons:

    1. As an established, standardized tool, almost everyone understands it. One of my biggest complaints about DoD "portals" of all kinds is that they are all different and many are poorly designed and confusing to navigate. A known standard interface and simplicity should be a priority.

    2. Allows for collaboration among all your stakeholders.

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    Not sure how active this thread is any more, but I thought I'd add my two cents worth anyway. A couple of the posters have suggested that it might be a stretch to consider the SWJ community of platforms a model for future academic work. Rex rightly points out that at least for academics, blogging, forum moderation, etc., count for next to nothing towards the ticket punching that needs to be done for academics to progress.

    Where this sort of thing can be better sold to academia is it's value as an extended seminar or workshop platform, a way of extending influence into the public domain, as "conversation" and "discussion" rather than as "publication". I think where some new media can easily fail is in trying to function as an alternative to peer-reviewed publication, or trying to replicate it in accelerated form, or trying to revolutionize how peer-review is done.

    Why compete? Blogs, discussion fora, online magazines, all offer opportunities to extend debate and enable new and non-traditional voices to be heard - many of them non-academic practitioners with plenty to say. The can also enable academics, who might never be read or hear by any but their own narrow realm of academic peers, to become members of broader communities of interests, to have their work and ideas introduced to previously estranged communities.

    If the management side of things remains focused, and keeps the content focused - as with SWJ/SWC - then the model works, and can be applied in innovative ways.
    --
    Michael A. Innes, Editor & Publisher
    Current Intelligence Magazine

  9. #29
    Council Member Ratzel's Avatar
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    I always viewed SWJ (and the forum) as a place for practitioners of war, and those concerned with war, to trade ideas for use in combat. I'm interested in knowing if anyone learned anything here that benefited them and/or their units in combat? This would be a good survey question. Does this forum have that feature?
    "Politics are too important to leave to the politicians"

  10. #30
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Hi Mike,

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Innes View Post
    A couple of the posters have suggested that it might be a stretch to consider the SWJ community of platforms a model for future academic work. Rex rightly points out that at least for academics, blogging, forum moderation, etc., count for next to nothing towards the ticket punching that needs to be done for academics to progress.
    It's an interesting question / problem set, Mike. I think it is made even more interesting by the shifts that are happening, partly as a result of the new communications technologies, in the very definition and meaning of "academic". For example, one of the major changes that I see happening is a revitalization of the older, "independent scholar" type of academic who may be affiliated with a university (or research unit), but whose career is not controlled by them.

    And, just as a note, in my department, blogging does count for academic credit in the tenure system, albeit not for very much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Innes View Post
    I think where some new media can easily fail is in trying to function as an alternative to peer-reviewed publication, or trying to replicate it in accelerated form, or trying to revolutionize how peer-review is done.
    Hmmm. Back in 1996, I had the chance to sit down with a guy who used to be the main editor of the American Journal of Sociology and talk about this. One of the points he noted, and he had been involved in peer review and editing for about 40 years, was that editing had pretty much disappeared in most journals while peer review tended to be more about theoretical correctness than any type of scientific assessment of the merits of an article. His point was that the heavy pressure to publish when combined with the huge increase in numbers of academics and increasing specialization was what led to this sorry state.

    Personally, I see the development of online, hmmm, let's call them "practitioner communities", can serve as an excellent model of where scholarly research could go (if not "academic" research). Over the past 40 years or so, the pressure to use theoretical models, rather than fieldwork and data, has increased (one of those cost issues), so a lot of social science work has been based on "data" that is increasingly divorced from the field actually being studied. Forums such as the SWJ/SWC and the CTLab () act as a work-around putting practitioners and scholars back in contact with each other.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Innes View Post
    Why compete? Blogs, discussion fora, online magazines, all offer opportunities to extend debate and enable new and non-traditional voices to be heard - many of them non-academic practitioners with plenty to say. The can also enable academics, who might never be read or hear by any but their own narrow realm of academic peers, to become members of broader communities of interests, to have their work and ideas introduced to previously estranged communities.

    If the management side of things remains focused, and keeps the content focused - as with SWJ/SWC - then the model works, and can be applied in innovative ways.
    I think this gets to the divide I was implying between "scholars" and "academics". Academics are, to some degree, locked into an academic career system based out of universities, while scholars are not necessarily so restricted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ratzel View Post
    I always viewed SWJ (and the forum) as a place for practitioners of war, and those concerned with war, to trade ideas for use in combat. I'm interested in knowing if anyone learned anything here that benefited them and/or their units in combat? This would be a good survey question. Does this forum have that feature?
    Hi Ratzel, yes, we can run single question surveys. You would need to start a new thread to do so. Under the "Additional Options" at the bottom, there is a check box marked "Post a Poll". That will generate a multiple choice (max of 10 options) poll question. If you want to run a survey with more questions, shoot me a PM and I can toss one together on my own site and link it through for you.

    Cheers,

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

  11. #31
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    Default As a former editor

    of a peer reviewd journal, I can tell you that in more cases than we care to admit, peer review is less than it seems. I notice that Military Review is now advertizing itself as a peer reviewed journal.

    I don't really know how my department/school at OU sees online publication and blogging since I am not now and don't want to be tenure track. That said, they are full of praise for my online publications and have gone out of the way to publicise them. I also note that a number of academic journals are, in fact, moving to online publication -either as the sole mode or in combination with traditional print. This brings up an interesting practical question: How do we preserve for posterity publications that only exist in the ether? I know, you can't really get rid of electrons and you could archive them electronically. But the reality is that if there is no hard copy, researchers may well have a nearly impossible time finding a document.

    Cheers

    JohnT

  12. #32
    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John T. Fishel View Post
    How do we preserve for posterity publications that only exist in the ether? I know, you can't really get rid of electrons and you could archive them electronically. But the reality is that if there is no hard copy, researchers may well have a nearly impossible time finding a document.
    I suggested at a library sciences meeting (they actually respect information technology people), that we needed a knowledge program.

    Every scientific journal that receives an ISBN should have at least ten archival copies printed and ten national libraries would then accept them as hard copies, microfilm, and long term digital storage.

    That would result in multiple methods of storage for long term. The Internet is a communication mechanism not a storage tool. People forget that for some reason.
    Sam Liles
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    The scholarship of teaching and learning results in equal hatred from latte leftists and cappuccino conservatives.
    All opinions are mine and may or may not reflect those of my employer depending on the chance it might affect funding, politics, or the setting of the sun. As such these are my opinions you can get your own.

  13. #33
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    Default So simple and logical

    will anyone bite?

    Way to go, Sam.

    Cheers

    JohnT

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    Default Connecting the dots

    Sam,

    I like your proposal, but it sounds like quite an undertaking. For those who are vetted academia it may be easier to develop business rules where they submit their documents to a university librarian knowledge manager, but what about the wealth of of other knowledge out there in e-article type format (for lack of a better word)? I imagine we have the same challenge with on-line magazines as we do with on-line studies and books.

    Correct if I'm wrong, but I heard e-archiving isn't exactly easy either. One of the things I read was that the older e-documents can't be accessed by newer forms or versions of software (the pace of software evolution has appeared to slow, but I imagine over time it will still be an issue). The medium you store on whether is a server, floppy disk, CD, etc. is subject to corruption/damage. Finally, I "heard" that electronic media is not stable over long time periods?

    That's why I'm espeically fond of your 10 hard copy suggestion .

  15. #35
    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    Correct if I'm wrong, but I heard e-archiving isn't exactly easy either. One of the things I read was that the older e-documents can't be accessed by newer forms or versions of software (the pace of software evolution has appeared to slow, but I imagine over time it will still be an issue). The medium you store on whether is a server, floppy disk, CD, etc. is subject to corruption/damage. Finally, I "heard" that electronic media is not stable over long time periods?

    That's why I'm espeically fond of your 10 hard copy suggestion .
    From the people I've talked to they say you are absolutely correct. Entire electronic libraries have become unusable due to proprietary formats and systems. Updates can make systems incompatible or corrupt storage mediums.

    Certain types of storage medium are effected by the magnetic field of the earth. Optical storage media can be subject to "rot". There are lots of solutions, but even the library of congress has changed it's mind several time about archival methods.

    There is the "way back machine" or the "internet archive" but it has trouble keeping pace with the storage requirements.
    Sam Liles
    Selil Blog
    Don't forget to duck Secret Squirrel
    The scholarship of teaching and learning results in equal hatred from latte leftists and cappuccino conservatives.
    All opinions are mine and may or may not reflect those of my employer depending on the chance it might affect funding, politics, or the setting of the sun. As such these are my opinions you can get your own.

  16. #36
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    Default Need a "clearing house" ...

    similar to Library of Congress for works which are formally registered.

    I don't know whether SWJ is formally registered - it is copyrighted.

    Anyway, submission of materials from any electronic media should be trivial - and, if its survival is the only question, should be relatively cheap. Sam can answer the technical questions as to how that could be best done - since he is our "smarts" in that area.

    In a sense, Google Books is attempting something of the same for hardcopy. But, that is an expensive scan process.

    In essence, what I would like as a end result would be a Google search which would be permanent - no dead links.

    Hey Sam, now we know what you and I can do when we grow up - But, where do we get the few billion needed to initiate the project. I know !!! - Al Gore - it worked for Google
    Last edited by jmm99; 01-12-2009 at 02:17 AM.

  17. #37
    Council Member Ratzel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    Hi Ratzel, yes, we can run single question surveys. You would need to start a new thread to do so. Under the "Additional Options" at the bottom, there is a check box marked "Post a Poll". That will generate a multiple choice (max of 10 options) poll question. If you want to run a survey with more questions, shoot me a PM and I can toss one together on my own site and link it through for you.
    Thank you, I need to think about how I'd word the question[s]? I should be back soon?
    "Politics are too important to leave to the politicians"

  18. #38
    Council Member Umar Al-Mokhtār's Avatar
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    Default A Tom Odomism

    from an older thread on think tanks: "There are far more informed opinions, thoughts, and better analysis on here [SWJ] than the paid guns at Brookings, AEI, the Heritage Foundation, or the Council on Foreign Relations--most of whom have never engaged in actual foreign relations other than as a pundit, academic, or a student." While the quote was aimed at a different group of "thinkers" I think it also pertains to academia in general per this thread.

    Marct responded to Tom with: "people here have much less "awe" of academic credentials and are more than happy to tell us ivory tower types that we are nuts ; people here tend to prefer experiential knowledge to academic knowledge - the pragmatic over the theoretical - so any theoretical plan or position gets vetted by pragmatists, not the other way around."

    Which is also spot on. We blogospherites have not been properly "vetted" by the lofty academians and I feel we are thus held in very low esteem by those with larger brains and more parchment on their walls.
    "What is best in life?" "To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women."

  19. #39
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Umar Al-Mokhtār View Post
    We blogospherites have not been properly "vetted" by the lofty academians and I feel we are thus held in very low esteem by those with larger brains and more parchment on their walls.
    I think some blogospherites should hold themselves in low esteem. The vast majority of what is written about military affairs on the internet is utter garbage. SWC is an exception because it holds people to rigour.

    RIGOUR is what is mostly lacking. Lack of rigour gave us EBO, MW 4GW and a whole raft of other shaky strategic and military thought.

    Having said that, there are very few academics in this area, I pay any attention to either. If you read some the PhDs that get handed out, or the work/papers that get cited as "insightful" the future is not bright.

    It amazes me when folks, at conferences, come up to me and ask "where were you," as if having an MsC or PhD has anything to do with the credibility of my work.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

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    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
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  20. #40
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    Default Clearly, there is much that is wrong

    with Academia, but neither are the practitioners innocents. After all, it was Colonel T. X, Hammes who popularized 4GW!!!! (Obviously, I agree with Wilf that that is not the best of terms...)

    But, having said that, Academia is a market and, like all markets, is self-correcting over time. I find that my current academic affiliation, the U of OK, is a place of really insightful collegues who seem to appreciate the experience of practitioners as much as the theories of academicians. Of course, there are some old (and not so old) foolish Marxists who have never realized that the communists lost the Cold War and others caught up in gender studies nonsense. But overall, the trend is toward looking at the real world as it is - at least in the School of International and Area Studies. Similarly, I just saw a new program at my alma mater, Dartmouth College (home of our current and future - if taxes don't get him -Sec Treas), that is aimed at bringing classical education and rigor back in.

    The point of this semi-rant is that there are good thinkers in both academia and in the real world. And, while PhDs in PC BS do still abound there are many PhDs in highly relevant subjects and granted to people with practitioner experience - not that that is any guarantee of real smarts

    Cheers

    JohnT

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