Oh look capitalism is bad for scholarly research

Ending profiteering from publicly-funded research

This is a mildly interesting and somewhat confused report from the Australia Institute. It's interesting in that the absurdity of scholarly publishing is now becoming a salient public policy debating point in Australia. Unfortunately the report itself offers up a fairly standard grab-bag of “solutions” that don't address the problems it accurately identifies, and don't address the incentives and pressures on researchers that drive the current system. It's all very well to identify that RELX and friends are “greedy” (they would say “maximising shareholder value”), but “greedy publishers” isn't much of an analysis of what drives the system.

Producing more but understanding less: The risks of AI for scientific research

May contain traces of the infamous “Giant rat dick” illustration. You have been warned.

Many AI tools reawaken the myth that there can be an objective standpoint-free science in the form of the “objective” AI. But these AI tools don't come from nowhere. They're not a view from nowhere. They're a view from a very particular somewhere. And that somewhere embeds the standpoint of those who create these AI tools: a very narrow set of disciplinary expertise—computer scientists, machine learning experts. Any knowledge we ask from these tools is reinforcing that single standpoint, but it's pretending as if that standpoint doesn't exist.

Indexing the information age / The birth of our system for describing web content

Over a weekend in 1995, a small group gathered in Ohio to unleash the power of the internet by making it navigable

Libraries and Learning Links of the Week is published every week by Hugh Rundle.

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