Sunday, March 22, 2015


  1. Michael Gordin in Aeon: Absolute English. "How did science come to speak only English?"

  2. Noah Berlatsky in Pacific Standard: What Is the Point of Academic Books? "Ultimately, they're meant to disseminate knowledge. But their narrow appeal makes them expensive to produce and harder to sell."

  3. Gillian Tett in The Financial Times: A degree of creativity. ‘Vocational degrees provide skills that can become outdated or be replaced by robots.’

  4. Attention Decay in Science, a paper by Pietro Della Briotta Parolo, Raj Kumar Pan, Rumi Ghosh, Bernardo A. Huberman, and Kimmo Kaski. Here's the abstract:

    The exponential growth in the number of scientific papers makes it increasingly difficult for researchers to keep track of all the publications relevant to their work. Consequently, the attention that can be devoted to individual papers, measured by their citation counts, is bound to decay rapidly. In this work we make a thorough study of the life-cycle of papers in different disciplines. Typically, the citation rate of a paper increases up to a few years after its publication, reaches a peak and then decreases rapidly. This decay can be described by an exponential or a power law behavior, as in ultradiffusive processes, with exponential fitting better than power law for the majority of cases. The decay is also becoming faster over the years, signaling that nowadays papers are forgotten more quickly. However, when time is counted in terms of the number of published papers, the rate of decay of citations is fairly independent of the period considered. This indicates that the attention of scholars depends on the number of published items, and not on real time.