URLs of wisdom (23rd August)

URLs of wisdom is a weekly round-up of interesting links about topics at the intersection of people, science and technology.


  • Read receipts“We “play games” as a way of controlling the development of a relationship, so that one person isn’t outpacing the other when it comes to being vulnerable.”
  • Can pseudonyms make better online citizens? – “The difference between being pseudonymous and being anonymous is history,” she says. “For something to truly be a pseudonym, it has to have some kind of history within a particular context,” such as how many times the person has posted on a site, the topics he or she comments on, and what he or she has said.”
  • Microsoft Research Faculty summit: Ethics panel. – Interesting write-up of an ad hoc attempt at an interdisciplinary discussion of the recent Facebook newsfeed manipulation study.
  • Twitter versus Facebook as a news source: Ferguson shows the downsides of an algorithmic filter. – “Then there’s the nature of the community: although Facebook has tried to embrace Twitter-style following, which allows users to see updates from others even if they aren’t friends, in most cases people still use the platform the way it was originally designed — in other words, with a symmetrical follow model that requires two people to agree that they are friends before they can see each others’ updates. On Twitter, users decide to follow whomever they wish, and in most cases don’t have to ask for permission.’

Web/Social media developments

  • Twitter starts to change the central logic of its service Favourites are now appearing in other users’ timelines, much like retweets. “By transforming what a fave does, this feature fundamentally changes what a fave is. Users will have to adjust, and that process will exact communal costs.”
  • This: why Atlantic Media is funding a social platform for sharing links, one at a time “Golis wants This to be the social network users check not in the middle of the workday, but during that lean-back evening time when they might otherwise pick up a magazine. “The idea itself started initially because I was describing to a colleague of mine here my obsession with what I saw as the opportunity to get people link recommendations at 8 p.m. instead of the daytime, desktop bored-at-work community,”


Academia online 

  • Crowdsourced peer review  “And of course no one knows whether crowd-sourced peer-review, even if it could work, would be scale-able or sustainable. The key questions are hence:
    1. Would all (most? many?) authors be willing to post their un-refereed papers publicly (and in place of submitting them to journals!)?
    2. Would all (most? many?) of the posted papers attract referees? Competent experts?
    3. Who/what decides whether the refereeing is competent, and whether the author has adequately complied? (Relying on a Wikipedia-style cadre of 2nd-order crowd-sourcers who gain authority recursively in proportion to how much 1st-order crowd-sourcing they have done — rather than on the basis of expertise — sounds like a way to generate Wikipedia quality, but not peer-reviewed quality…)
    4. If any of this actually happens on any scale, will it be sustainable?
    5. Would this make the landscape (un-refereed preprints, referee comments, revised postprints) as navigable and useful as classical peer review, or not?”


Just for fun


Why academics really use Twitter

Why academics really use twitter - from PhDComics: http://www.phdcomics.com/comics.php?f=1737

Why academics really use twitter – from PhDComics: http://www.phdcomics.com/comics.php?f=1737


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