Pattern recognition is a critical literacy. This video makes it clear why, with vivid examples of how hard it is to close your account, and how easy it is to pay money. Companies use tactics like 'roach motel' and acculturation in order to persuade you to take actions that work against your best interests. The term 'dark pattern' was coined by in 2010. Here's a Hall of Shame from Harry Brignull's 'Dark Patterns' website. "Our best defense against the dark patterns is to be aware of them." Via How-To Geek. More really good media analysis from Nerdwriter: this bit on vlogger Casey Neistat, this analysis of a Louis C.K. joke, this explanation of why the Prisoner of Azbakan is the best Harry Potter, this insight into a Goya painting.
I haven't been hearing the term 'fake textbook' used in copyright coverage, so I'm wondering whether its use here signals a change in strategy. It certainly leaves me wondering what makes a face textbook fake. I assume it's not like fake news, which is news that's not true. The facts in fake textbooks are presumably the same as the ones in the original textbooks, otherwise they wouldn't be accused of copyright infringement. Is it that the original textbooks use higher quality electrons? or is some publicity mill just muddying up the use of the word 'fake' in an effort to accomplish, well, something. It's typical of traditional media that they would accept the new terminology and use it in their articles without even a murmur. Image: Amazon.
This was an interesting read, which is why I posted it. It's also noteworthy how similar this story is to that so so many others, including my own. How often do we read things like this: " Senior management need to trust their staff and to demonstrate that trust for any large scale change to occur." It also reminded me of a thing I did years ago called Moulin Ching, based on the ideas of Truth, Beauty, Freedom and Love (for old time's sake I tossed the coins and got 1-1-1-0: "Friendship. Acceptance and understanding").
My own observations about academic philosophy - and academia in general - are similar to those offered here by Rachel Williams. "Academic papers usually end up popularity contests, a game of who’s-who where the goal is to develop incestuous citation networks so that your impact factor will look better for hiring and/or tenure committees." But to be honest, I probably would have stayed. I'm not going to kid myself. Staying in academia would have allowed me to focus on philosophy. Happily, this also is true: "I don’t need academic philosophy to do philosophy. My blogging over the past ten years has reached a larger audience than I could ever hope to achieve through the traditional academic journal system."
Williams also talks about the propensity of philosophy to do work that doesn't matter, contrasting rarefied work like metametaphysics with the urgent demands of social and ethical issues. My concern was different. What I disliked about professional philosophers was that their work didn't matter to them. It really is just a game to them, a job they set aside when they leave the office. To me, then and now, it matters. It was never about getting a job (which is ultimately why the line in the c.v. didn't bother me as much as it perhaps should have). It matters what truth is, it matters where we get our knowledge from, it matters how we understand our place in the world. The rest of it - the whole publishing / job seeking / reputation building thing - is dross.
This is a follow-up to the Erin Bartram story, the history PhD who couldn't find a position and left the field, writing a letter about her departure that everyone read. I wrote about it back in February. The Chronicle also published a short abridged version of her article. The original is much better and we know this because the comments that follow from the academic crowd that reads the Chronicle are, well, brutal and unsympathetic. Today Bertram writes, "Academe isn’t even fully honest about the bleak conditions of its own job market — perhaps because to describe it accurately still feels like hyperbole to some. Giving Pollyannaish advice doesn’t help those leaving the faculty career path any more than it does for those remaining." No kidding.
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