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Walt Crawford

Walt Crawford

Mostly retired library person/researcher/writer/speaker. All original FF contributions CC0 (public domain).
Learned yesterday that I'm really, truly not Tuned In To The Internetz--only heard about llamas & dresses hours later, and still didn't care. Hope to retain that ignorance of What's Really Important.
@astrokatie wins the internet: - John Dupuis
the tweet was fine, but good Gaia, the string of responses... - Walt Crawford
Lot going on. 1. So a big publisher is making it clear that its role is to profit from the relics of a fading model by adopting that as its name (albeit badly shortened to RELX)? Good: honesty never hurts.
2. The Beallster's making it clearer that his primary focus is anti-OA/pro-subscription, by posting about a legit OA journal fading away, which of course subscription journals NEVER do... again, honesty never hurts. - Walt Crawford
3. KA's leaving Skitch, with a grand final post that includes so many half-truths and simplifications about OA and business models that, tempted as I am to comment there, it would take more time to prepare than I'm ready to spend. - Walt Crawford
4. Time to put the computer to sleep and continue my daily tribute to the host of Cosmos, as I'm degrassing our front lawn. See y'all in an hour or so. - Walt Crawford
Strange local politics: A special state Senate election ('cuz the incumbent won some other office). Four candidates (all Democrats). About a third of the mailed flyers are *against* two women who are both former state Assemblyfolk. Why against? Because both of them took per diem when they were in the assembly.
Apparently that's offensive to some "Bipartisan Committee of Companies" or some BS group like that. "How DARE you take the money you're guaranteed when you win an election!" (There's also a fifth candidate on the ballot, a Republican who's already withdrawn, but too late.) - Walt Crawford
For that matter, a man running for the seat made his name by attacking public unions, so he's one of your really core Democrats... - Walt Crawford
As far as gender's concerned: the withdrawing Republican is also a woman, and the fourth Dem has "Terry" as a first name, and I know nothing about him or her, including gender. The mystery candidate: Not one mailer or other bit of info. - Walt Crawford
Probably useless "small business" idea I had when looking at so many OA journal sites: Offer an English-to-English editing service, not for articles but for journal websites. Say $50 for a quick evaluation--which would include the apparent ethics of the site--and estimate, probably $100-$200 to clean up a typical site.
Problems: 1. No way to reach the journals that need it (mostly but not all non-U.S.). 2. No way to convince them their sites aren't already in good English. 3. The American-vs.-British issue (that one's minor). So I don't plan to actually pursue this, although there are certainly hundreds of non-apparently-sketchy gold OA journal sites that could use it. - Walt Crawford
Come to think of it: 4. No way to convince them that I'm capable of doing the job, given lack of advanced degrees, institutional affiliation, recent experience in copyediting... - Walt Crawford
A writer I work with has been trying to figure out how to market herself to overseas medical writers as a "native English speaker to read your manuscript and clear up sentence structure, etc" ... definitely a lot of need out there! - Hedgehog
Oh yeah, there are whole companies out there to do English-to-English for journal *articles*--although I'd guess some of those companies are shells for the journals themselves--but for the journal sites, it's a specialized market. And, as your friend's probably finding, difficult to market yourself in. - Walt Crawford
The more I talk to my friends who own small businesses, the more I realize how ill-equipped I am for such work. - laura x from iPhone
You're not the only one. - Walt Crawford
Walking the talk: Last week, some time after I posted the anonymized OA-journal-analysis spreadsheets on figshare (CC-BY automatically), somebody built a little page that lets you see graphs of journal starting dates by subject, source, other limits.
After a five-second "Gee, that should be my site" reaction I had the appropriate reaction: "I would never have done that. Isn't it great that somebody else used my data to provide new information." I'm old, but I can learn, eventually. (Sigh: And now I can't locate the app.) - Walt Crawford
Here's the app. No opinions as to quality, etc., since I didn't build it: - Walt Crawford
[OK, I *do* have an opinion about calling software "apps" when it's not for tablets/smartphones, but I don't think my opinion is meaningful. I wrote programs back in the day, not apps. Waves cane, chases kids offa the lawn. Which I'm removing, square foot by square foot: true story.] - Walt Crawford
"One of the world's ten Most Admired Knowledge Leaders, [Person X] is an esteemed author who has dedicated his life to educating others about organizational knowledge, leadership, innovation, and radical management." Sorry I'll miss that; I'd especially like to know who crowns the ten MAKLs. Or, for that matter, what the hell a Knowlege Leader is..
There's only one person in google's first 20-30 results for the phrase "One of the world's ten Most Admired Knowledge Leaders"... I guess points to him for branding. - Andrew C (✔)
The real lesson from this guy is that you have to repeat your damn catchphrases All. The. Time. - Andrew C (✔)
Isn't that how you write Highly Important Business Books? (And why they're so insanely easy to summarize into 17-page summaries, which could themselves probably be summarized into, oh, a paragraph or two...) Well, repeated catchphrases and, crucially, cherry-picked case studies presented as The Truth. - Walt Crawford
The good news: I'm 90% (I think) done with a piece on the economics of open access that will be the April 2015 Cites & Insights, and--although it's scattered all over the place (it's a roundup, but with a lot more of my own comments than I originally expected)--I think it's pretty good.
The bad news: with another seven articles to go, I'm already at 29,000 words, which would make this essay run to 38 or 40 pages or more. Not sure I want that big an issue; I've been aiming for 24- to 28-page issues this year. Oh well, maybe I can edit the s**t out of it. - Walt Crawford
(The worse news: I had to include at least one piece by Joseph Esposito--of three I'd tagged--and am realizing just how...well, I find the word "snotty" applies--his writing actually is. Much more so than Kent Anderson, for example.) - Walt Crawford
That is a good word. For me, he comes across as a know-it-all. - Joe
You mean he doesn't know it all? You'd never guess. I started out with "condescending," but the ledes in two posts pushed me over the line. - Walt Crawford
Just read a Media Life headline "Here are the shows rich people like"--and find its definition of "rich people" (later "wealthy") fascinating, esp. living in the Bay Area: $100,000 *household* income.
"Above average" or "reasonably affluent," maybe--but "rich" or "wealthy"? - Walt Crawford
Sounds rich to me. - m9m, Crone of FriendFeed
I guess it depends on location. That's less than the *median* family income in San Mateo, Santa Clara or Marin County-and less than 2/3 of median household income in Menlo Park, where we lived for several years and which never seemed especially wealthy. It's just over median in Alameda County, which includes Oakland, rarely accused of being a bunch of rich folks. - Walt Crawford
[I would note that our family/household income is not that high, not even close, but then we're both pretty much retired. And we were always in the library business.] - Walt Crawford
Income is so widely spread that I think it's hard to draw those lines no matter where you are. I had a lifelong argument with my grandmother on whether we were upper middle class (my take) or middle middle (hers). I'm sure $100,000 isn't luxurious in the Bay Area, but it sure would seem that way if you were at the poverty line. - laura x
Laura: Absolutely right. And I'd say "rich" or "wealthy" should be WAY above upper middle class--at least twice the median household income for a given county, say. (I'd guess most people think of "wealthy" as "having twice [or X multiple] as much money as I do," no matter what that amount is.) - Walt Crawford
Hell, objectively, many people in Africa and India would regard people at the U.S. poverty line as being wealthy. - Walt Crawford
Actually, I think of "wealthy" largely as a synonym for "having access and privilege," which is only partly a function of having money and which is why I will always think of myself as upper middle class verging on wealthy, no matter whether I'm living paycheck to paycheck or have savings. - laura x
Different people have different definitions, and I think "wealthy" is trickier than "rich." - Walt Crawford
Neat Sunday. Livermore Heritage Guild had a "love Livermore" (or something) event, centered at what used to be Livermore's Carnegie Library (built 1911, the library until 1966) and is now the Heritage Guild and Art Guild. Included 90 minute walking tours of historic downtown buildings--done by a retired teacher who (a) really knew her stuff...
(b) had a Teacher's Voice, so the dozen of us on the tour had no problems hearing/understanding, (c) had a beautifully organized set of oversized picture blowups to provide historic views. Learned more than I would have expected. (Livermore's *first* public library dates to 1901, apparently one of the, if not the, oldest in California.) - Walt Crawford
I probably wouldn't have paid attention to this except that my wife, the actual librarian, has been cataloging the Heritage Guild's collection and is now printing out and applying call numbers... - Walt Crawford
A correction on Livermore's first public library: The library actually began in 1879--which for California, is pretty damn old--but wasn't fully tax supported until 1902, when legislative changes made that feasible. - Walt Crawford
Just got email, *not* caught by Google spam filter, congratulating me for all my awesome articles and sure that I'd want to write about some charger-cable-related kickstarter thing that still has a couple of weeks to run. Because I publish so many articles each week related to things that require charging. Or not.
As a man, I sometimes have trouble understanding "mansplaining." Working on a C&I essay on OA/journal economics, on the "transparency" segment, got to Jenica Roger's 11/2013 SAGE post and to T Scott's comments. And I'm beginning to understand the term better, I think.
*smiles* ayup. - Jenica from iPhone
I mean, I always knew it was something that happened, but a couple of sites seem to regard *any* male comment as mansplaining, and I knew that was wrong. T Scott, though: boy, the term just sprang right into my mind. Even with his lengthy "apology." - Walt Crawford
Y'all must have heard about that crazy hippie Marin mother with her measles parties, with Salon frothing at the mouth about the sheer idiocy? Except that nobody actually checked with her: it's all bullshit. Somebody offered the idea, she turned it down immediately, there have not been any known "measles parties."
Here's the SFGate link (although I'll admit the whole thing's still a little fishy--either the KQED reporter left out a key fact or the woman's dissembling. Still: no actual measles parties). - Walt Crawford
Cute if unsurprising: the premium outlet mall Livermore worked hard to make possible (the largest outlet mall in the Bay Area) is being renamed the San Francisco Outlet Mall, in a nice "F*You" to local efforts. Well, hell, SF's only 40 miles away... (Yeah, I know, "San Francisco" 49ers also. But at least they *were* in SF.)
I suspect most Livermorons (or Livermorians for those who drive sanely) sincerely hope the city will find a way to undo any tax breaks or other special deals the outlet folks got. - Walt Crawford
Briefly stepping outside my comfort zone: I wonder whether those who objected to "hate crimes" penalties--on the basis that all violent person-against-person crimes are hate crimes--were right? Yes, the tag is useful to enhance penalties for "minor" personal attacks (because the U.S. just doesn't have enough people in prison for extended periods)..
...but it strikes me that arguing over whether multiple first-degree murders are or are not hate crimes is odd. They're *always* hate crimes, even if they don't involve religious/ethnic/gender/etc. categories. - Walt Crawford
Before I go into editing mode (the text for the LTR; I've already made changes in many of the tables and figures), I really should credit the three folks who reviewed the draft and provided ****VERY***** helpful comments and suggestions, resulting in (I'd guess) larger changes to the ms. than they might have expected.
Just as examples: grade "B" because of $1,000+ APCs is now grade "A$" (I've been public about that one); four APC levels for a summary table are now based on actual quartiles of APC-carrying DOAJ journals; I'll find a way to avoid four bullet points beginning with spelled-out numbers...and more, both layout-related and content-related. - Walt Crawford
I believe it will be a significantly stronger/better publication as a result of their help. Thanks, Stephanie, John and Cameron. (Oh, and Cameron, sorry, but you won't get histograms, for a couple of reasons, one of them being lack of color printing. You will get an asterisk and footnote for each 2014 half-year article count column.) - Walt Crawford
I'm beginning to get a sense of how much effort it's worth spending to spell arΧiv that way rather than just arXiv, and "nobody notices or gives a damn about the difference" starts to look like a winner.
Ha! - Meg VMeg from Android
I just use an X instead of a chi I don't think it's worth it - Christina Pikas from iPhone
Well, based on the total lack of any feedback at all about my post (and WordPress' insistence on substituting X for &Chi or the Unicode equivalent!), I'm beginning to wonder--it plays into my Library Tech. Reports, where if I spell it correctly I probably need to alert the publisher. (Altho' maybe not; I think they use Palatino Linotype, which appears to be a full Unicode typeface.) - Walt Crawford
I'll note that my first comment here actually does use a Chi in the first instance...for what it's worth. - Walt Crawford
"My post" refers to a Walt at Random post showing three instances of the term and asking for judgment as to which is which. No responses at all. I even used BIG TYPE to make it clearer: - Walt Crawford
It never occurred to me to use a chi. I don't know why, I guess it got flattened in my head because it's a URL. - Meg VMeg from Android
I can tell the difference between the characters in your blog post, but I can't on FF. I also can't tell which one is an X and which one is a chi, and I majored in Greek and my dad both taught Greek AND was into letterpress printing... so yeah. - laura x
I wonder whether there are other Unicode typefaces with larger differences; as far as I can tell, the only difference in Palatino is a slight difference of thickness in one of the two diagonal strokes. And it's slight: at 12pt. or less, it's pretty nearly invisible. - Walt Crawford
Time warp 1 (indications that I've somehow fallen into 2010 or maybe 2005): "Are Wikis the Wave of the Future?"
wait, what? - ellbeecee
Except, they're talking about the American Concrete Pavement Association. And wikis may very well be new to them, even if they're not for us. - ellbeecee
I know: I need to start blogging again. But, as others would say about Twitter or FB, friendfeed is just so *easy*...
Time warp 2: A new book that apparently assumes print is dead (not even will be at some unknown future point), asserts that (all?) libraries should stop buying print altogether--now--and is published by Elsevier. If "libraries" includes public libraries, a suitable subtitle might be "A guide to institutional suicide."
Reminded why we watch almost no current sitcoms last night: In a promo for two different shows, the "laughter" throughout was so incredibly similar that I'd swear it was coming from the same machine in all cases.
Gotta admit, I'm getting royally sick of "Because X BIG MORAL CRISIS therefore x little moral issue shouldn't even be mentioned" false equations. (Not here, but most definitely on FB and Twitter.) I should look up the particular logic error that is.
And yes, for this week at least I am thinking of a non-Fox TV "news" anchor who seems to have memory problems. (The scare quotes are because I think pretty much all TV "news" deserves scare quotes, *possibly* excluding PBS. Possibly.) - Walt Crawford
Don't know what rhetoricians would call it, but in internet-speak it's often a subset of concern trolling: pretending to be concerned about BIG MORAL CRISIS in order to stop people talking about little moral issue, when you never actually pay attention to BIG MORAL CRISIS in any other context let alone do anything about it. --Oh, or it could be a subset of derailing. - Deborah Fitchett
I think it is a subset of derailing, but I suspect the Big List O' Named Logic Errors has a specific name for it. Unfortunately, I don't have the BLONLE. (Wayne B-T probably does and could probably nail this one from heart.) - Walt Crawford
I have thought it would make an interesting legal defense tactic (and has doubtless been tried): "We stipulate that our client shot a man in Reno, and that his motive was just to watch him die--but given the hundreds being massacred in [name country here], is this really such a big deal?" Or, "Yes, he embezzled a million dollars, but compared to Bernie Madoff he's a saint, so don't punish him." - Walt Crawford
Could it be this? Fallacy of relative privation – dismissing an argument due to the existence of more important, but unrelated, problems in the world. - Joe
Joe: That sounds right. Never thought about Wikipedia as a place to find logical fallacies...thanks. (That last sentence could have more than one meaning.) - Walt Crawford
They have a nice list at I use it to try to figure out why various arguments fail when discussing OA. I'm sure other fallacies can be found scattered around the site. - Joe
On a forum which shall go unnamed (where I had no choice but to read, to do something else, but couldn't write), one of the big minds involved offered their spelling of a particular seafood stew that originated in San Francisco: "chippino."
Omit needless syllables. I'm sure that's the theory there. - laura x
I like that theory...except "cioppino" only has three syllables. And, given the context, the person *had* to have actually seen the name on a menu no more than six hours previously. - Walt Crawford
I'd go for "fewer letters" but that doesn't actually work either. - Walt Crawford
I was assuming lazy pronunciation. - laura x
Oh, sigh, and I see the first Epicurious recipe calls for king crab. Because it's not like San Francisco restaurants would use locally-sourced Dungeness crab or anything like that...(In this case, Wikipedia gets it right.) - Walt Crawford
Laura: I think you're right, or just lazy typing. Or...well, given the content of that chat stream in general, "dumb as a rock" may be another option. - Walt Crawford
Well, those of us who live in large swaths of the country have no crab at all locally,* so we take what we can get. (*Donald Kaul did always think we should make Des Moines into a seaport, but sadly, like many of his ideas, that has yet to be realized.) - laura x
I understand that, but a regional recipe should *start* with the local product, then offer alternatives (that is: cioppino is properly made with Dungeness crab, but if that isn't available, use king or whatever *is* available). [The canal required to make Des Moines a seaport would be an interesting construction project...make the "snow pipeline to California" look trivial by comparison.] And now I have to look up Donald Kaul. - Walt Crawford
Walt, I think you'd like him. He's one of my all-time favorite newspaper columnists. - laura x
I am now slightly more informed about Kaul--including the fact that some of Wikipedia's high holies don't think he's notable enough to be included. Jerks. (I suspect if anybody here tried to emulate Germany in adding a modest Wikipedia entry for me--or the more notable Walt Crawford in the midwest, for that matter--it would be deleted so fast you'd never have known it was there. NOT... more... - Walt Crawford
And, Laura, I suspect you're right. My favorite local columnist--who's always been considered too local to be syndicated--does a fair amount of modest satire (Jon Carroll) and is one of the few writers I know who've written extensively about their previous bottle-and-a-half-a-day alcoholism. That was a while back; he's been an abstaining alcoholic for decades now. And, to be sure, he's the editor (at UC) who told me I'm not funny, saving me a LOT of grief. - Walt Crawford
I've always liked Jon Carroll's column when I've read it, which is not that frequently, because syndication. - laura x
It's strange: The Chronicle *did* syndicate Herb Caen's ultra-local column, but apparently they think Carroll's too much of an acquired taste. They may be right. I suspect you can always get the column at SFGate, but that site's become such a hellhole that I'm reluctant to recommend it. Not sure what it is with newspaper websites, but it ain't promising... - Walt Crawford
Love Jon Carroll, I read him at SFGate. -- but he's behind a paywall now :( - Stephen Mack
Didn't realize they'd moved Carroll to their paysite. Probably part of making SFGate less useful so people will cough up the $5/month (or whatever). I read in in the Chronicle itself--er, the $6/month Kindle version. - Walt Crawford
A tiny little post to test visual discrimination--in the course of preparing which I discovered a "friendly" aspect of WordPress' editor--it autotranslates certain glyphs based on visual similarity no matter how you enter them.
Now *that*'s strange: Just happened to look at the sidebar of my blog and find that I wrote more posts in 2013 than in any other year. This comes as a surprise...
In case it doesn't repost: Just announced the availability of Cites & Insights 15:3 (March 2015)...which includes the availability of anonymized datasets (on figshare) for the DOAJ and Beall subsets of my State of OA project.
...and, after reviewing comments from one of the reviewers of my LTR ms. revised the DOAJ dataset to move 580 journals from "B" to new "A$"--that is, the only issue with those journals is the $1,000-and-up APC. Won't revise C&I for that change; will revise the LTR ms. (only affects one chapter). - Walt Crawford
And, thanks to figshare tweeting about it, more than 100 views of the DOAJ dataset...but only two downloads so far. - Walt Crawford
I just added two OA journal spreadsheets to figshare. Could one or two of you take a quick look at these to make sure that other people can actually see them and that they're at least plausibly sensible? URLs in the next two comments.
They're both public, so should be accessible. - Walt Crawford
I can see them - RudĩϐЯaЯïan
Thanks; that's really all I needed to know. The links work and public means public. - Walt Crawford
Am I being paranoid in thinking it's sensible to convert anonymized xslx spreadsheets of OA stuff to .csv (comma-separated-values) to assure that erased/personal info is *really* not there? (No formulas, and .csv is more compact, so doing it anyway, but...)
it's also good practice re: long term data storage, sharing in non-proprietary formats too :) - Hedgehog from Android
I don't think you're being paranoid. Metadata has a way to sticking to places you don't expect. - bentley
Sounds like a good idea to me - Christina Pikas from iPhone
Thanks. In this case, not just metadata: The wrong Undo could undo a whole lot of anonymizing... The 30%-40% savings in space is a nice extra. (And, of course, I could open the files in Word to verify that there's NOTHING in them except the data.) - Walt Crawford
Followup: Looks like I'll wind up uploading in .xslx form so that I can include a data_key sheet for coded values--but the data's already made a roundtrip to .csv, and Excel actually has a set of inspection features that allow you to delete all metadata. I anticipate uploading these to figshare tomorrow. - Walt Crawford
I wonder whether any bakery or pizzeria plans to have a special sale on March 14, starting at 9:26 a.m., selling little pies for 54 cents each. And with that, it must be time to sign off for the day...
I'm either not geeky or not mathy enough to get this. all i get is the 3/14 part. clearly I need help. - ellbeecee
(and I don't know whether it's geeky or mathy that I'm missing here. I suspect mathy, but I'm not sure) - ellbeecee
Pi is 3.141592654 (rounded up) - Johnny from iPhone
see, I knew it was probably something so simple that I'd be embarrassed for asking. and I was right. Thank you. :) - ellbeecee
elbee: Sorry, I was off most of yesterday. It's not "so simple"--I'm just one of those nerds who somehow accidentally memorized Pi to exactly that many decimal places a very long time ago, and since 3/14/15 happens this year, it just seemed natural. More likely, even damn near certain: Some places will sell pie--a slice or the whole thing--for $5.36 starting at 9:26 a.m., but it's possible nobody will be clever enough for that. (That's rounding to one more decimal place.) - Walt Crawford
I'd say it's geeky, not mathy; pi is just a constant and has almost nothing to do with math outside of geometry. - Walt Crawford
Joe was there first. This is not surprising. - Walt Crawford
hey, anyone who want to bring me pie for my birthday would be totally welcomed! - RudĩϐЯaЯïan
The little pies for 54 cents is still a great idea. - Joe
Checked our house on (which I do maybe once a year). Supposedly worth 25% more than we paid for it 5.5 years ago--and that sounds about right. (The dip in housing prices pretty much corrected itself over the past 5 years.) The good news: Our friend who moved to Livermore at the peak is now finally above water and can refinance.
The weird news: Also looked at Trulia. Which says our house is worth nearly 20% more than Zillow says it is. To which, looking at actual recent sales in the neighborhood (which pretty much match the Zillow price), I say the folks at Trulia must have their hands on some seriously good stuff to be that messed up. - Walt Crawford
Noting that this is all a little abstract, other than pretty much assuring that our property taxes will keep going up the maximum 2% a year; we both hope to stay in this house until we're carried out on the way to the crematorium. - Walt Crawford
For those who don't follow John Scalzi on Twitter and know anything about, well, let's call it Golden Gate just to stay out of trouble:
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