Purely a figment of your imagination

What amuses, annoys, concerns or otherwise interests me – Noodlemaz


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On being a “digital academic”

It's me

It’s me

A colleague asked me why I “left science” last year. I don’t really feel like I have; my dayjob involves writing about the amazing research and related goings-on at the place where I completed my PhD. I still feel connected to science; I’m just not at the bench.

Perhaps I’m lying to myself, but I’ll run with it.

While I may not be a practicing academic, many friends and colleagues are. As I now (and, for the last 15-odd years, always have) spend a lot of time online and with social networking, I watched a Google Hangout that was run by jobs.ac.uk today: Being a successful Digital Academic.

People often fear social networks, but I’ve defended them before and will continue to do so. I wouldn’t be in the position I am now without this blog, Twitter and the time I’ve spent on them, as well as the people I’ve met through them.

The hangout contained lots of useful tips for academics who are or might want to venture into the world of online chat, promotion and networking. You can find my notes here on Google Docs and the Piirus blog, too. Continue reading


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Women who eat on tubes make menz cry

This post is to serve a few purposes: a love letter to my former favourite Facebook group – now sadly gone, a plea to fellow Londoners to take a (possibly literal) stand on this issue, and perhaps a bit of a general education to a few people, but I won’t make that objective #1 and I want to keep this short enough that people will read to the end.

I want to describe a phenomenon that’s had a bit of press attention lately, why it’s horrible, what could/should be done about it, and hopefully end on a funny.

Tl;dr: if you find yourself defending people who photograph and ridicule women without their knowledge, stop it. And then tell other people who are to shut up.

What is “women who eat on tubes”?

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FBrape campaign

fc-webicon-facebook

On May 21st 2013, the Women, Action  & the Media group wrote an open letter to Facebook, which was signed by over 100 advocacy groups, asking them to review their policies on permitted content.

Background

There has long been a problem on the site. While its “community standards” seem to be fairly clear:

Facebook does not permit hate speech, but distinguishes between serious and humorous speech*. While we encourage you to challenge ideas, institutions, events, and practices, we do not permit individuals or groups to attack others based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition.

Facebook does not tolerate bullying or harassment.

Sharing any graphic content for sadistic pleasure is prohibited.

Facebook has a strict policy against the sharing of pornographic content and any explicitly sexual content where a minor is involved. We also impose limitations on the display of nudity. We aspire to respect people’s right to share content of personal importance, whether those are photos of a sculpture like Michelangelo’s David or family photos of a child breastfeeding.”

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Confessions Of A Former Misogynist

NB/ there’re descriptions of violence in this, obviously – don’t read on if that’s not something you want to deal with today.

Another guest post for you, readers. This time, my friend Ben recounts his transition from misogynist to feminist. Yes I am happy to call him a feminist; I don’t think one needs to experience a form oppression to disagree with and stand against it. Men can be feminists; many are and they’re valuable allies.

I think this is an important post because it’s from a man who confesses his attitude was wrong, who noticed that, and then changed it over time. That doesn’t seem to happen too often and hopefully it might inspire some people, or at least help us to make sense of why people can harbour these common, irrational feelings of hatred.

NB/ text by Ben; I have added in headings, images and links.

What about the men?

“If I can’t have you, no one can!”

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For A Safer Internet

Today I would like to share a guest post with you, by my friend Colin, who is one of those I.T. people.

Last Tuesday was Safer Internet Day and I asked for a post explaining the importance of the projects that Colin is involved in – hopefully stirring up some interest in terms of staying safe online.

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Reasonable force?

Gonna go all topical today, because why not – and twitter’s 140 character limit is annoying me, which is rare.

You may or may not have heard about the new witch-hunt: a young man who goes by the alias of @Rileyy69 being arrested this morning.

This followed his abusive tweets to team GB diver Tom Daley last night after he and his partner unfortunately missed out on a medal in the synchronised diving.

He started by telling the diver he’d disappointed his dad. What wasn’t known to him at the time was that Daley’s father actually succumbed to a brain tumour last year – so, add insensitive to offensive there. Teenagers, eh?

However, such is the nature of Twitter –  Daley’s sharing of this admittedly vitriolic stuff led to wider awareness of his behaviour and even a mention on Sky News! Mr. 69 was not pleased about this, to say the least, and his timeline turned into a rather sweary, threatening affair, apparently including a wish that Daley would drown in a pool. Could possibly be considered a death threat, though I haven’t seen the actual tweet and whether he threatened to do this himself – or if it was, rather a deathwish (neither of which are pleasant but I’m sure we agree a threat is much worse). [Edit: ok, it looks like a threat]

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Antisocial media

So today I’ve been reading a bit more about:

How social media is destroying our brains!

One of my favourite comics noted a particular divide in society long ago (back in ‘97!); people who love technology and people who… don’t.

Technofear

Highlighted in the Guardian and the Telegraph this week, this is a story that comes up quite a lot lately.

Turkle’s thesis is simple: technology is threatening to dominate our lives and make us less human

Oh, see how teh technomologies are ruining us as a species!! (They write on their laptops, seeing through their glasses, whilst recovering from operations last week or popping an aspirin for that headache).

Give us a break.

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