Category Archives: higher education

Great Poster of Online Communities

I love this!

See if you can find Second Life!

Can you finnd second life?

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Filed under blogging, higher education, Social Networks, technology, virtual worlds, visualization

User Creativity, Governance, and the New Media

Ted and I have a publication out in First Monday. I have enjoyed the broad scope of the journal, and the editing process for an on-line journal is interesting.  The article is part of a special issue called “User Creatviity, Governance and the NEw Media.”  The editors are Bonnie Nardi and Yong Ming  Kow.

Please surf over to the First Monday site to read the paper, “Developing Virtual Worlds: The Interplay of Design, Communities, and Rationality.”

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Filed under digital culture, higher education, organization studies, organization theory, Second Life, virtual worlds

Elaine Pagels and Book of Revelations

Elaine Pagels, the noted  Biblical scholar and author, came to BU this week. I was super excited as I find the early history of Christianity fascinating.  How did such a marginalized sect become so dominant?  I had heard Pagels a few times on the usual suspects: Fresh Air, Bill Moyer’s, and so on.  Add to that the intoxicating aroma of fire and brimstone and I had high hopes for a mind-blowing lecture.

I was not alone!  Trout Hall was packed to the gills.  Curious students?  Nervous Christians?  Wild-eyed present day prophets?  All there!

The lecture was a bit of a flop.  She presented three interesting questions, in this order (which is also the order of interest to me):

  1. What is Revelations about?
  2. How did it make it into the canonical Bible?
  3. What explains its enduring popularity?

The strength of the lecture were her clear explanation of the content of Revelations.  She had several images from Western art from the 15th century to now.  She explained that Revelations was anti-Roman propaganda meant to counter Roman propaganda.  Babylon, in Revelations the source of worldly, political, profane, hedonistic power and society, is a stand in for Rome and is then shown to be an ally or pawn of monstrous, dark forces.    I am not a religion scholar, but I thought this point was already well-established.

As to the other two questions, she did not get very far in exploring or answering them.  All right, that is excusable.  She did say it was a work in progress. She went to Q&A after about 50 minutes or so.  She did not really engage in dialogue with anyone and her response was usually a variation of  “I’ll look into that.”  Disappointing.

You would think someone as visible as she is, writing on such touchy topics as religion and original texts would be used to lots of challenging questions from the folks who take the Bible VERY seriously.  The man asking a question before me really got into his rambling groove.  The long beard and switching between Hebrew (I think) and English added to his modern-day Ezekiel quality.  To me, and most, it was incomprehensible.  I think he was saying that that Ctaholic church is the “whore of Babylon.”  In fact, it is the Catholic Church literally, that the author of Revelations is doing the future and not his own times.  Anyway, the whole audience went from polite indulgence to awkward silence.  I almost asked him to wrap up after five minutes of this before Pagels cut him off.  She needed to step in earlier and politely dispatch him.  Take a page from Obama v Republicans!

The upside of his ramble was it gave me time to formulate my own suggestion to her about the staying power of Revelations.  Caveat: I am not a religion scholar and this is all off the top of my head.  Take it or leave it, but I won’t be doing more witht his than what I write here.

Premise 1: Revelations is full of multi-valent symbolims.  This is part of its appeal.  The reader can see many possibilities in any one image.

Premise 2: Revelations is about the tension between socio-political struggles of this world and how to understand them from a religious worldview.

My assertion: For any present day reader, Revelations DOES NOT MAKE SENSE.  I mean, it can not cohere in its entirety.  It offers the illusion of total allegory with the first two premises.  But it can never really deliver.  So, it’s very nonsensical essence is part of its enduring popularity.

Furthermore, there is a deep resonance with the ultimate incoherence of the text and the inability of interpreting it to reach a final resolution because the socio-political struggles of the messy world of human affairs also never really resolve.  I heard someone quoting some British politician recently who said that all political careers end in failure.  The point: there is never any enduring permanent victory for any side or actor in any of the many struggles that define our wordly existence.

Revelations can not make sense in terms of a final conclusion.  The real world also can not make sense.

But the multi-valent imagery and symbolism invites the reader to try to wrangle coherence out of Revelations, and by extension the real world.  The result is that the act of reading becomes an act of heroic interpretation.   The heroic interpretation then becomes a binding moment.  The reader becomes their own prophet, becomes one who sees the implications of the future in the present.

Revelations is popular because it doesn’t make sense.

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Filed under higher education, religion, Scholars, sociology

SOCNET discussion on miltary and ethics (2 polls)

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Filed under ethics, higher education, Military, Research, Scholars, Social Networks

Blogging and CVs

A very important question raised by Sean over at OrgTheory.

Do you put your blog onyour CV?

Poll.

My response on the flip.

Continue reading

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Filed under higher education

Ethics Pledge at Harvard BS

A Promise to Be Ethical in an Era of Immorality – NYTimes.com
What happened to making money?

I should write more, but a few issues come to mind.  First, it is a student-led program to take an ethics pledge.  Maybe this is a furhter data point of a generational value shift from Gen Xers to Millenials.  Second, surely it has the backing of faculty and administration, so Paris 1968 it is not.    Third, while I agree business should be couched in alrger discussions of common goods and shared prosperity, I am unsure how much tnagible difference a pledge makes.  Is there accountability?  Is there a community of conversation about what it means to enact this pledge to not advance “narrow” self interests?  I have the sense that it adances  a notion of ethical behavior as noble choices to choose rightly between A and B, where A helps starving orphaned baby seals and B is to make $100,000 for the shareholders and $10,000 for ego.

If you want to work to avoid narrow self interests in your company, rather than wiat for forced choices between altruism and enrichment, why not work to change the mission, compensation system, and culture of openness about how to make decisions?

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Filed under activism, Business, higher education

Great Fashion+Hacker Blog

A student of mine for her final project creatded a blog about recycled fashion.

Ditch or Stitch!

Great name!

Happy reading.

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Filed under Creativity, digital culture, Hacker ethic, higher education, Information and Communication Technology

PhD in Social Network Analysis

Maybe there are former students out there who check up on me…

Anyway, here is the skinny on a PhD program staffed with some pretty big names (and nice people to boot!).

LINKS, the International Center for Research on Social Networks in Business at the University of Kentucky, has openings for students in our Ph.D. program in business administration, with an emphasis on organizational research from a social network perspective. The openings are for Fall 2009.

Our research emphasizes examining organizational behavior and strategy from a network perspective, and our faculty and students publish extensively in the major management journals. Students are trained to become faculty at research-intensive business schools worldwide. Network-oriented faculty include Steve Borgatti (theory & methodology; knowledge management); Daniel J. Brass (power, ethics, innovation, technology), Giuseppe “Joe” Labianca (conflict, group social capital), Ajay Mehra ( individual differences; performance), Ikenna Uzuegbunam (strategy and innovation management; entrepreneurship), and Leslie Vincent (marketing and innovation),

The application deadline is February 1, 2008, but early applications are encouraged for full consideration. Please visit http://gatton.uky.edu/Programs/PhDBA/ManagementArea.html and contact Ajay Mehra (ajaymehra1@gmail.com<mailto:ajaymehra1@gmail.com>) to learn more about our Ph.D. program.

Steve Borgatti, Chellgren Chair & Professor LINKS Center<http://linkscenter.org/> for network analysis of organizations Dept of Management, Gatton College of Business & Economics University of Kentucky 550 S. Limestone St., Lexington, KY 40506-0034 Office tel: +1 859 257 2257, Mobile tel: +1 978 394 2787

Email: sborgatti@uky.edu<mailto:sborgatti@uky.edu>, steve.borgatti@gmail.com<mailto:steve.borgatti@gmail.com

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Filed under higher education, organization studies, Orgs Stuff (theory, science, studies), Social Networks

This is Cool- An Innovation Center

Random surfing led to this find: The U MD Innovation center.

Their purpose:

With these imperatives in mind, the Center for Innovation is consulting with and doing research on science and technology in research organizations with the objective of helping them increase scientific technological advances.  The Center is developing theories that concern the process of innovation and the production of knowledge more generally.  Finally, it is developing several models and methods for guiding governments in their evaluations of S&T research.

Then tehy list research tracks:

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Filed under higher education, innovation, Research, technology

Insight into professors

Hilarious PhD comic!

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Filed under higher education, humor