In a recent article, Daniele Fanelli and Vincent Larivière test the common claim that contemporary academics are publishing more papers than scientists used to publish. They conclude, contra the myth, that “contemporary science is not suffering from a salami-slicing of papers.”
This is compatible with the observation that journals receive more submissions than they used to, because the overall number of scientists has increased. Moreover, as they note, scientists in non-anglophone countries may be feeling more pressure to publish in anglophone journals.
It is also compatible with the observation that scientists’ CVs list more papers than CVs of earlier times, because coauthoring is more common and the number of coauthors per paper has increased. Part of Fanelli and Larivière’s analysis is to abstract from this effect.
Because of their methodology, their results don’t directly address philosophy. It is still plausible that philosophers are now pushed to publish more than philosophers back in the day, especially since there has been a shift from expecting a book for tenure to expecting some congerie of papers. I also wonder whether the growth of co-authorship in philosophy isn’t partly an adaptation to that demand.
I find that I’m more productive when I’m blogging regularly, although the causal connection is unclear. Maybe I blog more because the stars are aligned properly for me to be productive. I think that at least sometimes, though, the act of working out my ideas in a blog gets me thinking in productive ways.
Several times recently, I’ve thought of things that I wanted to blog about while walking around but didn’t write about them when I got home. Again, the causation is unclear. One factor, though, is that my old blog is running on archaic, unsupported software. Another is that nobody comments there any more. Most discussion seems to have moved over onto Facebook, but Facebook is no substitute for blogging. Although there may be more attention and comment on a post when it happens, the post gets buried. Instead of crystallizing a moment of thought, the post and the whole conversation around it are impossible to find a month later (unless Facebook’s cryptic algorithm promotes it to the top).
Last year, I set up a WordPress blog to ameliorate these problems. I never really moved over to it, but today I finally sorted out a plug-in which should post to Facebook when I post at the blog. This very post is a test of it.
This is a poem written several years ago, back in May 2011. I came across it while looking through some old files. It resonates just at the moment, when my Facebook feed is flooded with paeans for Prince.
At the Palais Royale
Anyone can use these words in any situation.
These words are in no way special.
You kind of have already been there.
Say yes or no, uninterrupted.
This guy is, but that is not.
Prince is destroying
the minds of our Christian children,
because he was sexually deviant.
You know Superman.
That was racy.
My background was askew.
There were always fights,
but the bus driver didn’t care.
One of my first memories.
The craziest shit —
it was stamps, too.
We’d alternate mornings.
I can tell you every top ten soul song from that year.
It’s really not about making the music.
Sade disappoints me
Beautiful, it reminded me of a concentration camp.
It reminded me of the moon.
I confirmed my suspicion by comparing the glyphs against the file on my computer, and then checked to see where else it showed up. It’s just the Netflix title card. The original uses Korean letters, and Hulu uses a different font.
It’s been over a year since I disabled the blog-like news box on my home page. Sometimes I want to post something that’s not about philosophy or games, though, so I’ve finally gotten around to starting a blog.