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We have snap circuits. And a child home sick from school. And a desiccated grasshopper in a spider web. The hypothesis-testing possibilities here are almost infinite.
Toggle Commented Sep 25, 2013 on Plague of locust at a little pregnant
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Oh no. That sounds terrible, and your reaction sounds completely normal. Being in a car crash with my kids in the car is one of my worst nightmares and I think you should be gentle with yourself, physically and emotionally. I hope you're feeling better very soon.
Toggle Commented May 30, 2013 on The Car Crash at narrating kayoz
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Cute, MH. I have no idea why it flagged me that way. As I'm typing now, it says I'm signed in as Jody, just as it did half an hour ago.
I'd like to see median teacher salaries compared to median overall salaries, I mean. It looks like I'd have to settle for averages.
A new teacher in NC will make $30,800 a year in base pay; after 20 years, without a master's degree or national board certification, that salary rises to $42,820. There are local supplements ($5,627 in Charlotte-Mecklenberg; $6,031 in Wake, just under $6k in Durham and Orange County) -- those supplements are provided to address cost-of-living disparities (and informally to recruit the best teachers). Having a master's degree gets you just over $3k more a year. Its extremely dangerous to talk about teaching salaries as if all of us lived in the Northeast, or as if teachers salaries were not linked in some way to median local income. I'd love to see that chart, in fact: how does the average teacher's salary compare to the average median income by state.
I do not live in an intellectual bubble (having been made aware of the potential for the Internet to do this, I took steps to redress it -- not to mention, Facebook friendships with anyone at all from my extended family and/or high-school alumni group would solve the like-associations problem immediately) nor do I ignore the strongest arguments against gay marriage. I simply find them so contradictory and irrational as to be incoherent. And I'm not more convinced by the idea that legislatures should decide on civil rights for LGBTQ people than I am by the idea that legislatures should decide on civil rights for African-Americans. Either we have a fourteenth amendment or we do not.
Toggle Commented Mar 27, 2013 on The Supreme Court and Gay Marriage at Apt. 11D
AmyP: YES. We have two twelve-year old girls and a twelve-year old boy so YES. My sample size is small but YES. Once I had to start filtering for a hormonal 12yo girl, I stopped writing.
Toggle Commented Mar 22, 2013 on Teenagers! Ugh! at Apt. 11D
bj, she had been reading, a very little bit. She thought it was sort of funny and charming. And then she didn't anymore. Thank god I at least used pseudonyms instead of real names.
Toggle Commented Mar 22, 2013 on Teenagers! Ugh! at Apt. 11D
One of my daughters went from "vaguely amused but uninterested in that blog thing" to "omg you spent years violating my privacy and I will now find every word you wrote to use in arguments with you" about 2 months before her 12th birthday. I had to lock down the blog until I have time to put back everything not-kid related. I trust your report on Jonah so I share this story just because I have no place to post it (the new schema suggests that anything I write about myself that even indirectly relates to the daughter is unforgivably rude), not because I think it's something you need to consider. It was just a big surprise to me, the sudden and fierce change in the child's feelings about the blog.
Toggle Commented Mar 22, 2013 on Teenagers! Ugh! at Apt. 11D
I am going to try to re-state my argument and then get back to my real work of the day. I must admit that I made my case poorly, but I hope you will give me a second shot. First, JSTOR is not only non-profit but not operating under the same business model as Elsevier. They are, for the most part, trying to increase access to their databases while also covering their costs. They were at the forefront of digitizing materials in the 1990s precisely because they did want to increase access, and they have said as a group that they were sorry to be drawn into the mess about content. The fact is, it costs them real money to maintain their collective servers (and they realize real economies of scale when they collect all the very small journals together), and they have to cover their costs in some way. I just don't think that, if you want to highlight the evils of the current content/information/journal model, you go after JSTOR. Second, no one in academia thinks the current journal-access model works. Librarians want free and open access to information; they have spent at least the last five years trying to find alternatives to Elsevier et al. At the least, university and public libraries cannot cover their operating costs, and the journal cost model makes things worse. Every year, subscription charges rise, sometimes by five and six figures at a time, and because of the existing models, if libraries stop paying for a subscription, they not only lose next year's content, they lose access to all the past digital content for which they've already paid. As bj and laura have pointed out, we the public paid for a lot of that content via public grants. The whole situation is ridiculous and untenable. That all having been said, if the solution were easy -- if all it required was that universities start publishing open-access journals and everyone stopped needing metadata because hey, Google will take care of that -- then the solution would already have been adopted. No one on the budgetary side of this likes the status quo; no one is just doing what's always been done because it hurts too much to think about change. It hurts more to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in database subscriptions. People are hard at work trying to find a way to change the system but it will take time, effort, and serious investments in money. How much extra cash do your state universities have on hand? Ours have had double-digit percentage cuts in budgets for the past five years. And like it or not, legislators will pay something (albeit less and less) for library services but they tend to think that universities are spending too much on "overhead" already, so getting them to understand that spending money on IT and network access is worth it hasn't necessarily been wildly successful. There's also the problem of tenure, publishing, and journal prestige. Assistant professors have a lot of problems, and adjuncts have more. Asking them to stop publishing in the high-impact factor journals and to take a chance on open access requires a campaign. It requires tenure committees (especially the ones at the university level, who don't make the time to understand discipline-specific publishing trends) to change their paradigms. This takes time. No one knows if it will work. And we really haven't discussed the medical and hard sciences at all, fields where fast turnaround times and high levels of scrutiny increase the publication costs. So the situation sucks. The solutions are not clear-cut or easy. And in the meantime, it's worth checking to see if your local librarians have any work-arounds for you, because librarians hate this situation. They hate that their subscriptions often require them to deny remote access to non-affiliated patrons. They hate that they can't afford to buy the journals their patrons need. As a group, they are trying everything they can to change the situation. Unfortunately, just having universities take back the process does not necessarily top anyone's list for the most workable alternative. Whether you find the cost arguments compelling or not depends, I guess, on the numbers you use.
(a) In many cases (all of the ones I know about), assistant editors are paid by the journals, not by the universities. In economics and the sciences that I've encountered (as a temp at Yale in the late 1990s), these editors are always associate professors or higher. No one would ever advise a non-tenured professor, let alone a graduate student, to take on the arduous tasks involved. Not to mention the fact that no one would respect a desk rejection from a graduate student. (b) People have done the math. The cost of increasing IT capacity -- staffing, space, electronics -- is not met by the savings in yearly subscription fees in many cases. (c) Subscriptions to most journals are now part of broader agreements that include access to the underlying databases. This has led to many debates about the imposition of packages: librarians cannot choose to subscribe to XYZ journals without also buying access to the PDQ journals packaged with it. Librarians cannot decide they need print copies of X and Y but not Z. This is one of many ways that commercial publishers have used their control of the market to impose decisions to their advantage.
Oh, and also, assistant editors -- who manage the entire process of vetting the journals, finding reviewers, getting those reviewer to respond, etc -- are paid. They are not paid much, but they are paid. And even digital journals require paid staff to publish their work online. And those servers and routers and IT buildings do not maintain or upgrade themselves. It's simply not true that "going all digital" is frictionless or cost-free.
Yes, I have done this -- the resource is called NC Live -- and yes, it would constitute a reasonable (although not perfect, because they don't spend as much so they have fewer of the esoteric databases) alternative to the access I currently enjoy at UNC-Chapel Hill. I can log onto the system at any time with my public library card, which was easily obtained. f I were doing academic research after leaving UNC, I could return to the university and get access as a state resident, and then log on from home. Seriously, I'm not around here much anymore but I wouldn't be an asshole for the fun of it. I'm sorry that other states don't have better programs in place but JSTOR is in fact a nonprofit and you'd be better of targeting Elsevier. There are indeed numerous alternatives to the commercial publishing system now in the works (my spouse will be stopping work as an asst editor with an Elsevier-published journal in March because his academic association has decided to break their affiliation with Elsevier and begin a new journal), and authors need to take a stand against giving up copyright (it's often a violation of one's publishing contract to provide PDFs of one's published paper to people who ask, which is of course ridiculous) and I would bet money that the academic publishing world looks very different in the future than it does now. But I am also not being an asshole when I say that it costs vast sums to maintain computer servers and the routers by which people communicate with those servers, and people have done the math on the savings from going paperless versus the costs of electricity for cooling the buildings and keeping the power on for those servers/routers, and if Stanford and UChicago and Harvard are doing the hard work of creating alternative storage sites for academic publishing, it's in no small part because they are not dependent on state legislatures for their funding. There are no easy answers here and I'm sorry that my point has apparently been lost.
Google Scholar cannot now handle the advanced search algorithms and metadata coding that the academic databases currently provide. Maybe Google can do that someday, but they will want to profit from their labors, too, and the costs may be less immediately visible to the institutions who want to use their search engines. Which will make getting the necessary funding from state legislatures that much harder. Universities spend millions of dollars a year on their IT infrastructure: please identify the ones who are prepared, financially or politically, to spend millions more on the server capacity, maintenance, and upgrades necessary to host worldwide access to journals? I agree that the academic publishing process is flawed, possibly broken. I am not convinced that JSTOR is the best target for your ire, and I utterly reject the argument that universities can become the new online publishers of academic journals at no cost. It was to reduce costs that the various academic journals signed agreements with commercial publishers in the first place. There's a vast library-science literature on the costs and benefits of the current academic publishing model and the working models for its replacement. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in this question. I also recommend you check with your local public library, because almost every state in the nation has a state-library-funded program to allow public access to academic databases and journals. Usually all that's required is a library card.
Oh, Julie. I'm tearing up. That is such wonderful news. Congratulations.
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Happy Birthday! (I'm facing down eleven and the details of the day haven't faded yet. Make of that what you will.)
Toggle Commented Nov 28, 2011 on Seven at a little pregnant
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I can't add anything that you don't already know or that people haven't already addressed. I strongly suspect that you'll figure out what to fight for a lot sooner than it feels like, right now. Then you have to fight the machine. From everything I see, that's when the fun begins.
Toggle Commented Jun 22, 2011 on Letters in the mail at a little pregnant
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Well done, Charlie.
Toggle Commented Jun 13, 2011 on The great thing at a little pregnant
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I am guessing her awesome mama had a lot to do with it. But clearly she's brought a lot of the awesome on her brilliant own. Congratulations on graduating kindergarten!
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Welcome back!
Toggle Commented Apr 26, 2011 on Tabula Rasa at Uncommon Julia
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Whatever river you're on, you're there with Charlie, no throwing involved. I'm wishing you a strong raft as you hit this stretch of rapids, and smoother waters on the other side. Also a healthy percentage of comments from people without a metaphor-related disorder.
Toggle Commented Apr 15, 2011 on A crowbar at a little pregnant
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My FIL was a bus driver for four years after involuntary retirement from his first job, and my kid got into trouble two years ago for pretty much this same situation (friendly rough-housing, as confessed by both kids, that the driver wrote up formally), and I'm surprised at the protocol lb describes, because I thought bus infractions required a formal process. As in, there's really no discretion when it comes to consequences -- first write-up gets THIS, second write-up gets THAT, third write-up gets you banned from the bus. We might not have heard from the principal right away when we had questions about the situation, but we heard within 24 hours, and there was a written report and a bus director willing to talk about the situation, too. Regardless of what's going on with M, you and Charlie deserve to know the formal process. People depend on the bus to make their lives work -- districts can't be in the business of acting arbitrarily when it comes to access. And under no scheme, formal or informal, should a KINDERGARTNER be banned from the bus without prior discussion with the parents. That's just ridiculous.
Toggle Commented Apr 7, 2011 on The bus at a little pregnant
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