Monthly Archives: April 2008

Obama Everywhere in PA (song)

Lewisburg, thanks to Earl Pickens, punches above its weight…

And, yes, they are all real towns in PA.

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Filed under activism, participatory technology, Politics, Power, Activism

Organizing Christmas- A Festive Symposium

OTists with a sense of humor!

Organizing Christmas- A Festive Symposium
Organizing Christmas – A Festive Symposium
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Warwick Business School 15th-16th December 2008

Organizing Christmas is a one day symposium taking place at the University of Warwick between the 15th and 16th of December 2008. A truly international, and indeed trans-hemispheric event, it is being jointly organized by colleagues from Warwick Business School in the UK, the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, and the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia.

The aim is to bring academic colleagues together in order to discuss the true (organizational) meaning of Christmas. We invite proposals for papers and presentations from all those who might share our interest in this increasingly excessive festival of indulgence and mass-consumption. Be it working at Christmas, shopping at Christmas, or even simply trying to organize a happy Christmas, we are keen to encourage a range of perspectives and interests as the basis for this event. Of course, just because it is a period of holiday and frivolity – well for many of us anyway – we don’t expect you to leave your academic integrity and critical faculties behind in favour of an easy eggnog. But hopefully fun and meaningful academic debate can go hand in hand at this time of goodwill to all.

Please feel free, therefore, to browse the website and perhaps consider dropping us an abstract. Further details of the event will appear here as they become available, and remember, like the promotion round, Christmas comes but once a year so submit early and beat the rush.
Papers/presentations are invited in relation to any aspect of the symposium theme, but suggested topics might include:

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Filed under conferences, organization studies, organization theory

The variable jumping-off point: some meta-thoughts on writing theory

From early morning, post-espresso mental house-cleaning…

  • As younger scholars, we suffer from a limited horizon problem. When we look backwards for cues or jumping off points for theory, we take for granted a particular jumping off point without absorbing or acknowledging its jumping off points. This is one source of theory drift. For example, Neo-instit was determined to take down rational actor models. Hence its focus on isomorphism made the case that the environment was absolutely critical and single organizations were over emphasized as the unit of analysis. But, if, as a student of orgs, you start with DiMaggio and Powell, then you overlook or take for granted the point about stability. You start with the idea of micro-macro linkages between cognition and broader forces. And you start theorizing how those dynamics change or start to vary. Voila– a different problem-of-interest arises because the younger scholar has a different jumping-off point. There is no solution, of course. If you start going back to each jumping off point, you’ll just end up recreating the totality of all human knowledge.
  • So, I guess, a la Weick, successful theorizing is about strategic forgetting.
  • Another way to say it: I feel like we are all marooned in particular time streams of accumulating theory. This is the reality hidden beneath a presumptive world of seamlessly organized and coherent theory development. The title, the premise- “frontiers of Org Science” is one face of the presumptive world. These time streams of theory have different start points, end points, and paths. Some paths overlap, some streams merge or divide. But each scholar is on her own, _makes_ her own.

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Filed under organization theory, social theory, writing

Update…

Friday. Dreary Rain. Massive archeology of org theory- examining the buried foundations of my worldview.  Time for Radiohead!

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Filed under writing

Hope for me! Willpower can be trained.

Wow!  Hope for me.  The article does state two contradictory results.  In the short term, you should avoid wearing out your will power.  If you try hard not to eat ice cream, later you  will eat something else.  So, avoid exposure to the ice cream.   In the long term, exercising willpoer increases capacity.  So, if ou wnat oa void eating icecream today and tomorrow, keep avoiding it until you can avoid ice cream and cookies afterward.  That seems logically problematic since avoiding will power today will make me susceptible to impulses tomorrow.  Maybe you build up will power in different arenas, like, going to the gym then helps you control the impulse to eat ice cream and cookies in a month.

Tighten Your Belt, Strengthen Your Mind – New York Times
In psychological studies, even something as simple as using your nondominant hand to brush your teeth for two weeks can increase willpower capacity. People who stick to an exercise program for two months report reducing their impulsive spending, junk food intake, alcohol use and smoking. They also study more, watch less television and do more housework. Other forms of willpower training, like money-management classes, work as well.

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Filed under psychology

My first try at a wiki…

The need to better sort and aggregate a raft of free writing between me and a collaborator (Ted over in Singapore) led us to try wikis.  This is after collating 19 pages in a word file of emails back and forth.

On the surface, I see the big advantage being the ability for each wikipage to be a persistent text that can be more easily edited and modified than email threads.  The hyperlinking also seems like a nice feature.

As I have been fretting over how many different areas of research and schoalrly literature I draw on, and finding myself stymied by the lurking sense that I know less than I have forgotten or let go rusty, I thought it might be an effective way to organize my own core knowledge for use in classes and research writing.  I had been day dreaming about my own private encyclopedia.  Maybe a wiki would function similarly.

Wikispaces, which we used because OSWC had used it, has blog integration (cool).

I wonder if select pages can be made public?

Mine is private for now, but maybe I will go public if it seems valuable or worthwhile (and not crap).

For a title, I played with networks-movements- organizations.  So its called netmoveorg for now.  Lame probably, but oh well.

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Filed under participatory technology, Research, writing

From the Cyborg Desk: Warning sounded over ‘flirting robots’

Warning sounded over ‘flirting robots’ | Beyond Binary – A blog by Ina Fried – CNET News.com
A program that can mimic online flirtation and then extract personal information from its unsuspecting conversation partners is making the rounds in Russian chat forums, according to security software firm PC Tools.

I hope there is a way to test yourself. Seems further proof that alst year’s sci fi is next year’s sci reality.  Hal must be smiling wherever he slumbers.

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Filed under Living Web, technology

Critical Realism and Network Theory

SOCNET brouught this symposium across my screen.

“Against The Flow: Critical Realism and Critiques of Contemporary Social Thought.”

Too bad it is in the UK.  :<(

I would particualrly liked to have seen :

Jonathan Joseph,
“A Critique of Networks and Flows”

AND

Nick Hostettler,
“Dialectical Critical Realism, Marxism and Critiques of Network theory: On Continuity and change in the theory and reality of civil society.”

Maybe I can hassle authors for papers.

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Filed under Networks, Research, Social Networks, social theory, sociology