Prometheus stole fire from the gods and gave it to humans who achieved so much with it.

This made the gods extremely angry because they were in the middle of trying to rent fire to humans with restrictive DRM.

Show thread

Signs of a dysfunctional academic environment (cont.):

- "financial crisis" + increased investment in money-losing, non-mission-critical areas

- "financial crisis" + more admins & more spending on admins

Sorry, this list just kept getting longer.

(These are just some general observations from some American universities)


Signs of a dysfunctional academic environment (cont.):

- faculty travel & development funds disappear while admins travel & hire consultants

- admin hire consultants to teach them how to admin

- admin "initiatives": ↓ dept & faculty autonomy + ↑ admin numbers & control; never the reverse

- repeated waves of (attempted) "restructuring"

- Thinking Outside The Box never incl ↓ admin portion of budget or ↑ financial transparency


Show thread

Signs of a dysfunctional academic environment (cont.):

- "we will consider providing resources after you demonstrate your new program's success"

- no way for faculty & staff to communicate broadly (e.g. forums, message boards) w/o admin involvement

- faculty senate includes administrators

- admins have closed meetings w no minutes available

- admins will not discuss important issues publicly or in email; only verbal one on one


Show thread

Signs of a dysfunctional academic environment (cont.):

- admin regularly refuse to meaningfully discuss decisions

- admins invoke "confidentiality" for their actions & discussions

- colleagues offer support in whispers or closed offices only

- micromanagement of salaried employees

- requirement to track all sick days, leave, etc. w/o means to track overtime

- benefits listed in official documents must be fought for, with inconsistent results


Show thread

Signs of a dysfunctional academic environment (cont.):

- new faculty warned against asking questions

- new faculty cautioned not to show uncertainty in the classroom

- committees filled w admin-friendly faculty instead of those w domain expertise

- DEI works only for students (esp if complaints against faculty) & hiring committees, rarely/never to protect vulnerable faculty & staff

- admin fights to keep student evals involved in T&P decisions (see above)


Show thread

Some signs you do not work in a supportive (or even functional) academic environment:

- rigid research standards for T&P but no support for research

- student complaints used as leverage to reduce instructor autonomy instead of as information in a thoughtful approach to teaching

- increases to faculty workload (e.g. teaching, advising) w/o demonstrated benefit

- finance & operations info kept from faculty & staff


I don't know what I thought a job coach would do for a person, but as it turns out they help you recognize that you have skills, and they give you hope :)

I had no idea the backlash was like this. These responses are strongly reminiscent of how authoritarian institutions respond to proposals for egalitarian movements that threaten the status quo

via @flourn0


How on earth are we going to prevent commercial interests controlling the data space like they have with publications? We need to own the scholarly commons and push for digital sovereignity


We have to realize that the culture war is downstream from oligarchs' bid for wealth, which they can turn into power, which they can turn into impunity. Lots of oligarchs are bigots of one stripe or another, but even when they aren't, they are still pro-bigotry, because bigotry is how they secure power.


EFF (modified)

CC BY 2.0

Cory Doctorow (modified)

CC BY-SA 2.0


Show thread

Ah, roundtables: a group of amazing academics making speech-like sounds with hints of brilliant insights, none of which I will understand unless they also happen to have Broadway-star vocal projection. Sigh.

"Dear M[a]c[K/k]en[z/s]i[e],"

-- Me, emailing 20% of my students

Tweets about Buffalo mass shooting 

I keep hoping to hear conservative family & friends (to say nothing of politicians and media figures) actually condemn the ideology that drove the murderers. I'd even settle, at this point, for a condemnation of the murders themselves. I hear none of that.

Graph of gun and vehicle mortality in US metro areas 

What are the least lethal places to live in the US as far as gun violence and automobile deaths? Maybe don't take this graph as your final answer, but this take on mortality data suggests Boston is surprisingly OK. Maybe steer clear of the deep , especially the bayou region.

Note: heart disease, diabetes, and COVID are not shown.

Graph about causes of police deaths in USA 

Besides the fact that police don't die very often in the USA, deaths have also gradually gone down since the 1980s. Recent statements by police-supporting journalists and organizations suggest an alarming increase in deaths in the past two years. Yes. Because of .

Years ago I read an insightful paper in which societal/legal treatment of sex offenders was compared to being declared "homo sacer" in ancient .

IIRC homo sacer ~=~ "property of (only) the gods," so you could be abused by others, even strangers, bc if the gods wanted to save you, they would. You're their property.

Just now saw ref to a video essay: "the audience is a god."

Since the US military poisoned our Hawaiian drinking water, sickening thousands, they have now declared it 'cleaned, safe for use'. They lied to us, and their own troops families. Children are still drinking jet fuel.

Show older

Fediscience is the social network for scientists.