Thursday, April 29, 2010

IR 11.0 results

The results are almost done, I have a small stack of papers still waiting for reviews. However, more than 90% are now decided on, so the chance is very big that you will find that the result is already available in the conference organising system. Please check in if you are impatient, I need the afternoon to finish up the last reviews before I send out the notifications.

--- update -----

For some reason, the results are not available to people. The reviewing process was delayed, and at the absolutely final deadline on the 28th the last reviews were still not in, despite the heroic efforts of several extra special volunteers. This coincided with my teaching duties. I am stuck at present, unable to put in the 10 final hours of work needed to get this done.

I can't give a time, since a lot of the things that need to be cleared up does not entirely depend on me, but I will be working on it.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cory Doctorow on Ipads and shared content

Rupert Murdoch can rattle his saber all he likes about taking his content out of Google, but I say do it, Rupert.

Cory Doctorow points to the wonderful conenction between new technology and new content, in this careful explanation of why he doesn't want to buy an Ipad.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

IR 11.0 chairs

No, we don't have a problem with seating for the Internet Research 11.0 conference. I just thought you'd like to see the conference chairs! Here we are, from the left to the right: conference co-chairs Ylva Hård af Segerstad, Ann-Sofie Axelsson, and me, the program chair, in Gothenburg discussing the work that needs to be done before we meet you all in October.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Gaining the upper hand

Another article hits the digital sphere. Training, sharing, cheating is now available to the subscribers of e-learning, the journal. In 18 months it will be free, but until then: Subscribe, or be satisfied with the abstract.

This article gathers a lot of the loose threads of my thoughts through the last years, particularly my experiences from playing in guilds that raid (although casually).

Savnevise - Knutsen & Ludvigsen

Norwegians woke up this morning to hear that "Ludvigsen" is dead. It was - surreal. Not only did Gustav Lorentzen appear to be one of those upbeat, happy people who never would let age touch him, he was in great shape and died as his heart stopped during a cross-country run.

Knutsen and Ludvigsen, the team Lorentzen was a part of, wrote texts that almost all Norwegians of a certain age know by heart. The one above is perhaps the most fitting of all for the occasion, as Øystein Dolmen AKA Knutsen sings about how much he misses Ludvigsen. It is almost too sad - and still wonderful - that they wrote the music that lets us express loss in such a clear and simple manner. Thank you, Ludvigsen, for being there with us. Say hello to the badger as you pass through the tunnel.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

In the air

I love to travel. It doesn't matter how, but the process of being on the way somewhere is in itself desirable. When on a plane, train, bus or boat I relax in ways I otherwise never do. All my time is dedicated to one thing: getting there.

There's a saying in Norwegian "du har bare tida og veien," which means: All you have is the time and the road. What it means is that you can't delay, the time you have now is what you need to get where you are going. You'll also notice this in the response you'll get if you ask for a distance. "How far is it from Ørsta to Volda?" "It's about 15 minuts by car." We won't say how many kilometers, distance is measured in time. This has to do with an intimate understanding about how imprecise a measure distance is, when you want to indicate the effort it takes to travel somewhere. After all, if the distance you drive is 60 kilometers, but you spend half an hour being transported on a ferry, your travelling time isn't 1 hour at 60 kilometers pr hour, but 90 minutes - if you are lucky and get directly on the ferry.

And so the recent events which closed off the Norwegian airspace suddenly changed everything about travel. Rather than Brüssel being 5 hours away, as it was when I started planning and bought the tickets for the upcoming trip with students, it's now 36 hours away. I could have left Volda last night by bus. From there I could get onwards to Copenhagen by train, where I might have caught another train to Brüssel. It would get me there some time tomorrow evening. I should have already been on the way to Oslo to make it.

But while I was travelling, the winds might turn and the cloud of ashes might move. Also, while I could do this, as the college would cover it, my students can't afford it. And why should I sit in Belgium with no students? I have been there before, and while I would love to meet some of the people I have been communicating with this get the trip organised, for instance the wonderfully friendly Consul Géneral Baudouin Lagrange in Antwerp, me going to rub shoulders with people I'd like to see is really not what this trip is about.

Hence, no matter what happens, I'll sit tight here until tomorrow and see if we can get on some planes and out of here, preferably with all my students coming along. And suddenly travel is something other than relaxation, it has become oddly insecure, a responsibility and fraught with tension. While we may not be, our travel plans are - up in the air.

Thursday, April 08, 2010


There's a program on NRK these days called Hjernevask or "Brainwashing." It's creating quite a stir, as a Norwegian comedian is having it out with his old professors, particularly any who have been doing gender research and claimed that gender is cultural, not natural.

The program has caused a lot of good and interesting debate, and I don't really feel the need to expand on it here. But for those who have been following the debate, here's Evolutionary Psychology Bingo:

By way of TL - thanks!

Game of the future

The Norwegian University og Science and Technology NTNU celebrates its 100 year anniversary, and to celebrate they have designed the game Spillet om framtiden or "The game of the future". In this you can be the headmaster of the University, fighting some mysterious female evil bandit (I am not sure what she has done, but she is dressed in black and has short, white hair. Is she perhaps a representative of the humanist- or the social sciences, directions which are not prioritised in Trondheim?), solving several puzzles as (you) he zoomes around the Trondheim campus in his red coat.

Despite the language in the cut scenes (did I mention that this is a technical university, not one with a strong language department?), it's a very funny little game, and I am quite delighted with how it combines playfulness, science fiction, game clichés and information about what goes on at the campus.