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Old 01-14-2009   #41
Rex Brynen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John T. Fishel View Post
...others caught up in gender studies nonsense.
Having taught gender and development myself, I would warn about using too large a brush here. My students have gone on to work (in the field, either as practitioners, or researchers, or both) on rape in refugee camps, child soldiers, the disarmament/demobilization of female ex-combatants, and sex-selective killing in genocides—among other things.

It doesn't get much more important or real-world than that.

(And yes John, I realize it was only meant as a casual aside. However, I'm damn proud of what some of them have gone on to do!)

Now back to your regularly-scheduled thread
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Old 01-14-2009   #42
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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
Spot on, John. While not every academic knows what he or she is talking about, I've met my share of practitioners who would be best served by keeping their mouths shut. At the end of the day it all comes down to the individual. A credential or service is no guarantee (or even indicator, IMO) of actual intelligence or capability to innovate. (and thus ends my own rant....)
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Old 01-14-2009   #43
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I have no quarrel with the issue of differential impact of war, custom, and law on the two sexes. That is very, often very unfortunately, real. But I do object to the notion that there ought to be a separate field called "gender" studies. From where I sit, "gender" refers to the nature of words and endings in language - men and women are not different genders, they are different sexes.

Are men and women treated differently by different cultures and by the products of those cultures - war, development, etc? Of course! I recall doing my doctoral research in a Peruvian mountain village where the males had acculturated to the national Peruvian standard at a much faster rate than the females. All the men of the village had adopted either Western dress partially or entirely and all spoke decent Spanish. Hardly and of the women dressed in Western styles even partially. Moreover, very few of the women spoke any Spanish at all. Women were clearly subordinate in that subculture but it was clearly something that was in the process of changing. The development activities of the government, aided by female US Peace Corps volunteers, was deliberately accelerating the changes in ways that would promote significantly greater equality between the sexes. Is this "gender studies"? I don't think so. It is the study of development through a process that involved culture change. I was and remain proud of the PCVs and the local women who took leadership roles in making this happen. And, you have every right to feel pride in your students, as we all should. But let's not muddy the real issues by some (of what I would consider) phony pseudo academic discipline.

Cheers

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Old 01-14-2009   #44
Rex Brynen
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Originally Posted by John T. Fishel View Post
I have no quarrel with the issue of differential impact of war, custom, and law on the two sexes. That is very, often very unfortunately, real. But I do object to the notion that there ought to be a separate field called "gender" studies. From where I sit, "gender" refers to the nature of words and endings in language - men and women are not different genders, they are different sexes.
We'll have to agree to disagree on this. I think there is value in the interdisciplinary field when it is done well (which, as with all trendy academic topics, it often isn't). I also think the concept of gender (rather than biological) has considerable value in signaling the extent gender roles are cultural constructs and not some immutable function of biology.
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Old 01-14-2009   #45
John T. Fishel
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Default As an Athro prof of mine once said

mankind invented culture; mankind can change it

We clearly disagree on the less important things and agree on the ones I think are more important.

Cheers

JohnT

BTW that is the only thing he said in the course that I remember...
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Old 01-16-2009   #46
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You know, John, I've got to agree with Rex on this one; at least as far as the value of conceptually separating gender and sex are concerned. I also agree with Rex's caveat about interdisciplinary fields but, then, I'm biased - I teach in an Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies that has a Sexuality Studies minor !

As to whether or not "mankind invented culture; mankind can change it", I've got my doubts about that! (I know, heresy from a symbolic anthropologist!).

Back to the regularly scheduled discussion...

I've been involved in a lively set of exchanges on my blog, many of which center around the use of "anonymous" sources in journalism, anthropology, online communities and blogs. I've got a rough and ready way of weighting them, but I'd be interested in what other people think.
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Old 01-18-2009   #47
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Default Another Unscheduled Intermission...

Hi Marc. I lost track of this thread and had to dig around for it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by marct View Post
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.
I agree, technology is definitely morphing the dialogue and building bridges in all sorts of ways - SWC involvement in the new Foreign Policy being a pretty strong case in point.

Re. independent scholars, I see that too - or at least, I see the benefit of it, from a personal viewpoint. I'm a full time practitioner with several such affiliations, and they allow me to at least participate on the periphery of academia. It's an interesting position to be in (though pecking order atmospherics can get a bit weird, like in the dept. where I'm actually working on a PhD ).

Rex's earlier comment about his students' accomplishments is a good one, too: academics are practitioners, some practitioners are heavy-hitting scholars, some practitioners have a wealth of first-hand knowledge and experience to share, and between the three there's a useful synthesis that's available, if we're able to spot it when it happens (or wily enough to engineer it ).

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And, just as a note, in my department, blogging does count for academic credit in the tenure system, albeit not for very much.
Do tell. I've never heard of the before. How progressive is Carleton? I wonder how prevalent that is? In developing CTlab, I polled quite a few academics on their view of blogging. Interesting, some junior academics seem terrified of the idea, lest they jeopardize their professional trajectories by doing something as flakey as (gasp!) blogging. Dan Drezner's case (denied tenure at Chicago, some say because of his blogging) was cited more than once (though now his success seems to moot the rest of it). Older, established academics seemed to love the idea as a more effective way of engaging the public more broadly. And then, of course, there are the independent souls who couldn't give a rat's ass about establishment expectations, and do it anyway, under a pseudonym or their own names. Bless'em.

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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.
Fair point, and it rings true. Again, when I was first getting into blogging (not so long ago), and scanning around the web for some insight on how a professional might, errr, blog responsibly, ie. in a way that complements professional activities and standards without betraying the nature of the medium, I came across Research Blogging. It has a pretty interesting approach to things: research blogging, for that community's purposes, is only "research blogging" if 1) the blogger is appropriately credentialed, and 2) is blogging about peer reviewed research. At the time, the Research Blogging community was still sorting out how it wanted to do things, but the big debate, as you might expect, was how to set the parameters of "peer reviewed research". Conference papers? Published articles only? In any self proclaimed "peer reviewed" journal? Or only articles from journals of recognized standard/standing? What about the open source movement in some academic disciplines, and online-only publication outlets? The discussions got into the problems with peer review that both you and John Fishel mentioned. I'm not sure I entirely agree with Research Blogging's full set of criteria, but they set an interesting standard in quality control for blogging, and suggests something akin to what John, Sam, and Bill were getting at,too.

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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.
"Work around" is an interesting way of putting it. Heh heh... I wouldn't put CTlab in the same league as SWJ/SWC (yet!), but both are definitely filling a gap and bridging communities. I'm really looking forward to what they'll evolve into (hint hint...).
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Old 01-19-2009   #48
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Default Similarities along the Digital Divide...

From the blog Press Think

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Migration-which is easily sentimentalized by Americans—is a community trauma. Pulling up stakes and leaving a familiar place is hard. Within the news tribe some people don’t want to go. These are the newsroom curmudgeons, a reactionary group. Others are in denial still, or they are quietly drifting away from journalism. Many are being shed as the tribe contracts and its economy convulses. A few are admitting that it’s time to panic.

And like reluctant migrants everywhere, the people in the news tribe have to decide what to take with them, when to leave, where to land. They have to figure out what is essential to their way of life, and which parts were well adapted to the old world but may be unnecessary or a handicap in the new. They have to ask if what they know is portable. What life will be like across the digital sea is of course an unknown to the migrant. This creates an immediate crisis for the elders of the tribe, who have always known how to live.
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Old 01-21-2009   #49
marct
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Hi Mike,

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Originally Posted by Mike Innes View Post
Do tell. I've never heard of the before. How progressive is Carleton? I wonder how prevalent that is?
Not much, really. Our Dean blogs, at least in the sense of using the technology. There just aren't that many of us who do blog... .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Innes View Post
In developing CTlab, I polled quite a few academics on their view of blogging. Interesting, some junior academics seem terrified of the idea, lest they jeopardize their professional trajectories by doing something as flakey as (gasp!) blogging. Dan Drezner's case (denied tenure at Chicago, some say because of his blogging) was cited more than once (though now his success seems to moot the rest of it). Older, established academics seemed to love the idea as a more effective way of engaging the public more broadly. And then, of course, there are the independent souls who couldn't give a rat's ass about establishment expectations, and do it anyway, under a pseudonym or their own names. Bless'em.
I suspect I fall into the latter category . Honestly, I think a lot of it depends on why you are blogging. I do it mainly to try out ideas before I work them into papers and, occasionally, to vent or (hint, hint) promote CDs from my "other life".

Seriously, though, I've been looking at the HTS quite a bit and the entire culture education thing. Blogging has given me a venue to think things through, have them critiqued, get into conversations with all sorts of people, etc. It has also been useful in terms of networking without having to lay out thousands of dollars to go off to conferences (I'd rather save that money for Choir tours!).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Innes View Post
"Work around" is an interesting way of putting it. Heh heh... I wouldn't put CTlab in the same league as SWJ/SWC (yet!), but both are definitely filling a gap and bridging communities. I'm really looking forward to what they'll evolve into (hint hint...).
Yeah, hint taken .
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Old 01-21-2009   #50
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I've been blogging a long time (defined as dated activities spanning time) from the early 1990s when I posted monthly articles on my website (static, no comments, top rate technology of the time), up until today where I use a fairly standard tool.

Like Marct I usually post things that are thought papers, or ideas "in transit", or things I am trying to create mind share about (poisoning the well sort of), and stuff that just wouldn't be published in academic literature. Since my website/blog is part of my life it is not as single minded focused as other peoples. From cyber warfare, to theory , to archery, and building cars. What I'm interested in floats to the top. I'm not a prolific blogger, and I don't "resuscitate" (<- NOT A MISTAKE IN TERMINOLOGY) the main stream media.

Still my department leaders, and university does not understand the idea of blogging. Though they have decided to "let" me continue.
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Old 05-29-2009   #51
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Default SWJ is Hot? Yep. So Says Rolling Stone...

What do Lady Gaga and Small Wars Journal have in common? One is on the cover of the Rolling Stone and one isn’t – but sure enough both made the Rolling Stone 2009 “Hot List” – go figure.

Quote:
Stocks may tumble and fortunes may fall, but hotness, it seems, is eternal.

There was some concern about compiling our latest Rolling Stone Hot List during an ice-cold era. But it seems that in these uncertain, gray days, we need what our Managing Editor Will Dana called "the sparkly and the sexy, the perfectly shaped diversions America leads the world in creating."

... Since we launched the Hot List in 1986, we've had our share of hits and misses (check our cover gallery to revisit all out past Hot Issues, from Angelina to Giselle to Britney). In 1988, we profiled "Hot Character Actor" Kevin Spacey, and we're particularly proud that in 1990, we introduced readers to a 23-year-old screenwriter named Jeffrey Abrams (you might know him now as Lost and Star Trek visionary J.J. Abrams). Of course, we've also missed the mark — in 1990, we thought Renny Harlin's hot streak would last, and the same issue that featured Abrams also declared Tevin Campbell "Hot Prodigy."

This time, we're banking on an assortment of movers, shakers and muckrakers that runs the gamut from the warfare digest "Small Wars Journal" to Hot Issue cover girl Lady Gaga…
Rolling Stone’s 2009 Hot List - as soon as we grab a hard copy of RS we'll post the SWJ entry - anyone seen it yet and care to share below? This issue has not hit the news stands as yet.
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Old 05-29-2009   #52
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Default Really?

So does that mean we, the community are hot?

I know the Post modern COIN avant-garde want to be "hot" as any group pushing an agenda does, but I no longer see them here on SWJ?

What I see, and why I am still here 2 years later, is a mostly a bunch of hard nosed pragmatists, pretty un-interested in silly "new war" ideas or much of the silly language that goes with it.

In fact, I am far from the only Clausewitian here and you don't get less "hot" than CvC.

Happy being "cool" though.
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Old 05-29-2009   #53
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Wilf, it was the Conspiracy thread that did it....nobody noticed us before
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Old 05-29-2009   #54
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So does that mean we, the community are hot?
... Happy being "cool" though.
Of course "we" - as I said - go figure .
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Old 05-29-2009   #55
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So is Lady Gaga gonna join SWJ? Maybe host a non-virtual?

Maybe a centerfold in the Journal?
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Old 05-29-2009   #56
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Default Cool!

First, I'm TIME's Person of the Year (The American Solsier) and now I make RS's Hot List. Gonna really round out my otherwise pedantic resume!
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Old 05-29-2009   #57
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Default P.s.

Wonder if we can "get our picture on the cover of the Rolling Stone"!

OK so most of you are to young to remember that.
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Old 05-29-2009   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Eagle View Post
Wonder if we can "get our picture on the cover of the Rolling Stone"!

OK so most of you are to young to remember that.
Oh wow man...Rock and Roll!

Quote:
Well we are big rock singers, we've got golden fingers
And we're loved everywhere we go
We sing about beauty and we sing about truth
At ten thousand dollars a show
We take all kind of pills to give us all kind of thrills
But the thrill we've never known
Is the thrill that'll get you when you get your picture
On the cover of the Rolling Stone

I've got a freaky old lady name o' Cocaine Katy
Who embroiders on my jeans
I've got my poor old gray-haired Daddy
Drivin' my limousine
Now it's all designed to blow our minds
But our minds won't really be blown
Like the blow that'll get you when you get your picture
On the cover of the Rolling Stone

{Refrain}

We got a lot of little teenage blue-eyed groupies
Who do anything we say
We got a genuine Indian guru
He's teachin' us a better way
We got all the friends that money can buy
So we never have to be alone
And we keep gettin' richer but we can't get our picture
On the cover of the Rolling Stone


{Refrain}
Rolling Stone
Wanna see my picture on the cover
Rolling Stone
Wanna buy five copies for my mother
Rolling Stone
Wanna see my smilin' face
On the cover of the Rolling Stone

Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show

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Old 05-29-2009   #59
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Default Thanks OE

I didn't realize that I (we) was/were so "hot"/"cool".

Cheers

JohnT
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Old 05-29-2009   #60
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Quote:
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First, I'm TIME's Person of the Year (The American Solsier) and now I make RS's Hot List. Gonna really round out my otherwise pedantic resume!
A little guidance here. Exactly how to we enter this on our resumes?
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