academics making life difficult ?

Making life difficult by complicated, complex thoughts …! – This is the image academics have the bear with quite often – the absent-minded professor is the common proposition.

So the scene:
Imagine there is a train station, you receive a mail message on the phone and it is important enough to receive immediate attention: you want to download it on your tablet, allowing you to work on the issue while travelling. Free internet available as service of the train station, so you try … the annoying process of registration (big data needed, even from a small aunt like you)  … the connection fails … – well, that’s life and you have to assess the text (some peer reviewing) later, other work to do during the train journey.
Sitting in the train, a few minutes later, a mail on your phone tells you the user name, different from the one sent via SMS.
As you are still in the area of the train station  you want to connect … – big data, all is connected in the global village … – but now you are required to register for another network, not the train station int the railway company …, of course registration is free, zero marginality, the time you spent doesn’t count, i.e. the value of your time is considered to be equal to zero. Curiosity lets you do stupid things – so you register again, fail again …

… The voice out of the speaker reminds you in a very clear, not to say sharp and loud – voice: keep your mobile phones low level, don’t upset your neighbours … – pick and choose, the announcement is made n different languages, all in the clear and loud voice:


Isn’t this something that has to bring the day’s trinity to my mind, the one is the presentation heard earlier, dealing with data robbery and the working customer as new type of consumer, and the Un(der)paid Innovators: The Commercial Utiliza- tion of Consumer Work through Crowdsourcing.

The other thing coning to mind is a phone call made earlier, chatting with a Hungarian friend about the near-to-impossibility of living globally in a narrow-minded world where national sentiments are put higher than moral sentiments, even conflating them under the hegemonic meaning of the idea of a “commonwealth” of the Wealth of the Nations.
The dream you still have and of which you receive with all this the confirmation that it is a dream, something you just imagine, thus being a bit interpreting the world without (having the power to) changing things.

Escaping the world of dreams, of the supposed holiness of the trinity capturing your mind, you add a fourth element (which actually leaves father, son and Holy Spirit behind, overcoming them): a beautiful day, a beautiful landscape through which you pass, and possibly some readers from different countries wondering if this is a story that happened in the “own” country, wherever this might be … and where the only “academic” to the little tale was that the train left exactly 15 minutes later than scheduled – the academic quarter. – Perhaps to is not about academics making life complicated but the injustice of a narrow-minded system, extremely “diversified” = uncoordinated by privatisation, a world that  suggests sharing as means of encapsulating (within) large “social networks” that loose their democratic dynamics.


confusing distinctions

Fetters …. – is there a difference between legs and brain?

Somebody – from the field of youth and social work – proposed to me that, in order to overcome a clash of events, I could post my lecturers as video online, thus being able to be in a way present in two locations. Later the issue came up the other way round, and I proposed:

You can deal with the problem of bringing a “client” to the municipality by utilising modern technology – e.g. electronic footcuffs ensuring that the person goes to the municipality – so you do not have to accompany the person and can be vIrtually present in two places.

But, if I may ask, is the difference between electronic footcuffs, e-registration forms, and e-calculations and payments of penalties and benefits, forcing “clients”, cynically classified even as users, to walk and think and behave according certain standards and electronic braincuffs of video teaching, highly standardised contents and multiple choice exams, forcing students to walk and think and behave according certain standards?

Click one of the following for a possible answer?

Strange … – or simple alienation

Walking along, moving on a narrow lane, along a wide line – wide, as in the Russian term Ясная Поляна, which cannot be translated , with its inherent link to wide and bright … white …, as witty? .. Imagine it is not an imagination but you move in a space that really transcends time and you and you live in a time that does not refer to any space … – where The Stranger is actually not a stranger anymore as we all are truly and everywhere and anytime at home.

the latest issue of The International Journal of Social Quality

A bit of advertisement – the copy of a mail I received via a mailing list:

Dear Colleague,

We are pleased to announce that the latest issue of The International Journal of Social Quality has recently been published by Berghahn Journals. 

In this issue, the articles consider multiple approaches as they address societal issues such as the challenge of sustainability, gender parity and equality, the digital revolution and its effects on labor markets and Corporate Social Responsibility. This issue also includes an article by Steve Corbett that examines the 2016 Referendum on the United Kingdom’s (UK) European Union (EU) membership. This article will be free to access until March 15!

Please visit the Berghahn website for more information about the journal:

Current Issue: Volume 6, Issue 1

Editorial: Brexit, Sustainability, Economics, Companies’ Responsibilities, and Current Representations

Free Article – until March 15
The Social Consequences of Brexit for the UK and Europe: Euroscepticism, Populism, Nationalism, and Societal Division
Steve Corbett

Humanosphere Potentiality Index: Appraising Existing Indicators from a Long-term Perspective
Takahiro Sato, Mario López, Taizo Wada, Shiro Sato, Makoto Nishi and Kazuo Watanabe

Gender Parity and Equality in the Sultanate of Oman: A Case in Education for the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries
Faryal Khan and Maricel Fernandez-Carag

Social Quality: Regaining Political Economy
Peter Herrmann

An Exogenous Path of Development: Explaining the Rise of Corporate Social Responsibility in China
Ka Lin, Dan Banik and Longfei Yi

How Our Collective Representations Affect the Future of the European Union
Jan Berting

Be sure to recommend IJSQ to your institution’s library:

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Sharing economy …

… or being Pawlowian dog?

There are so many “likes” and endorsements and people one “knows”, i.e. with whom one is “friends” or to whom one is linked in, gated in a research “community” …, and one gets frequently messages about having been found or people following you on academic sites while you are yourself googling around the world … – it really sometimes suggests that we are all brothers and sisters now — such a joyful time os sharing being endorsed and not alone: yes, somebody …

… has endorsed you …, and likes you … and was interested in y0ur work … and wants to be linked to you and be part of your network and … there are all these messages about your achievements, and how many people read your articles and quoted it and watched your videos

… and there are at least two things that may makes us especially think, two remarkable facts even if we state that the figures are actually correct (though I do know for sure that they often are not):

First, there on the WWW (as well as in the traditional print media) the reported figures are actually often remarkably low. Second, there is a misconception by high figures: for instance publishers sell “packages” to libraries, and if one is “lucky” enough to be part of such package, one benefits from the package numbers – something I currently suspect: For instance, I contributed to a book titled KONDRATIEFF WAVES . Juglar – Kuznets – Kondratieff which has high scores. I am seriously wondering if any of these reading brothers and sisters even recognised the title of my contribution in the book (the downloads of the entire book brings the scores …), dealing with Indicators – More than Evidence and Maths – well, this probably is not the only contribution that drowned in the floods of contributions.

But the Pawlowian dog begins for me at another point, and lets me ask if I am part and guinea pig of any larger test scenario.

People endorsing me for several things – and I am of course most grateful. And then people do this not I know that they do not know what I am working on AND they can know that they are endorsing me for something I hardly know anything about, let alone deserving to be endorsed as expert.

So may be that the question underlying big brothers test is the following: How much expertise do people accept on there shoulders, even if they are not experts at all?

Latest when somebody endorses me for …believing everything — I will turn the endorsement down – may be my biographer(s) can add little notes here and there – before the work will emerge as biography and pos to print, saying probably more about the biographer than about the biographee.
Ma grazie lo stesso ….  è molto gentile, mi obbligando molto …

Uncivilised people

Much had been, will be and can be said about tax evasion. One point is that there is an obvious link between paying taxes and civilisation, which, if turned around, demands to conclude that those who evade paying taxes, and of course especially those who do it on  a lagre scale for personal enrichment, are simply uncivilised people. A link that is also confirmed as being “legally relevant”, even the US-law considering in some way civilisation as legal(ly relevant) issue. the issue in question had been raised by judge Holmes, in the case

Compania General de Tabacos v. Collector, 275 U.S. 87 (1927) – Compania General de Tabacos de Filipinas v. Collector of Internal Revenue (U.S. Supreme Court, No. 42, Argued October 18, 19, 1927, Decided November 21, 1927, 275 U.S. 87)

Holmes stated there that

Taxes are what we pay for civilized society, including the chance to insure.

The Quote Investigator came up with several other occasions and perspectives on bringing up this link  between civilisation and  payment of taxes.

And it is surely worrying then to see how many uncivilised people are occupying positions not only in big business it also in governments and national and international governing and  governance bodies. However, mind ….