Academic Publishing Rip-Offs, Part XVII??

I’ve just seen more evidence that academic publishing, and the research assessment mechanisms based on it, are fatally broken – yet another over priced journal on a narrow field and three books I should read priced at $180 each. I don’t agree with burning books, but I’ll happily torch some publishers Continue reading “Academic Publishing Rip-Offs, Part XVII??”

Sprawling Wargames

Paddy Griffith is a military historian and wargamer whose work I always enjoy reading. The reporting of his famous Operation Sealion game in 1974 was my earliest exposure to wargaming and his writings on tactics in wars from the 1790s to the 1940s have added greatly to my understanding, and to my teaching.   I was delighted therefore to get my hands on a copy of his Sprawling Wargames, but after reading it, I wish there was more of it. Continue reading “Sprawling Wargames”

Wal-Mart won’t pay you after you’re dead

Nor will any other big company, which seems to me to be a compelling argument that copyright should die with the creator. If the law firm my Grandfather worked for doesn’t have to pay me every time they open one of his files, why should J.K. Rowling’s grandchildren keep getting cheques for the next  century?

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Mind before chicken before matter before egg?

The Secret History of the World, by Jonathon Black, is a book I’ve been looking at in bookshops for a while, and I picked up a copy to stuff in my pocket for holiday reading since it at 550 odd pages it looked like a book that might last a few days. I think I may like some of it, but in his early discussions about mind and matter and physics and metaphysics he gets a bit tied up in a chicken and egg argument about being and existence and God.

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Mocha Book, Grande, with cream?

Good news of the week is that Blackwells have switched on the first Espresso Book Machine in a UK bookshop, in their Charing Cross Road Branch. Pádraig Ó Méalóid called in the Beginning of the End for bookshops? in his Livejournal but I like it. The EBM will deliver Print On Demand books in under 3 minutes. I think it will be a boon for small bookshops.  My retirement plan, after UCC was always for a wee book & coffee shop in a seaside town where I could amble into (more) senility dispensing wisdom, books and coffee to ungrateful customers, and a little POD machine fits in well with that. Continue reading “Mocha Book, Grande, with cream?”

Resistance to terrorism is always also an affirmation of humanism

There is a connection which I’m afraid many people do not make in this quote, from an Adam Kirsch review of the new DeLillo book in the New York Sun. It strikes me as powerful and true, and deserves to be a bumper sticker.

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