Did the playoff beard originate with the 1980 Islanders? A quantitative assessment

A few years ago, I had the great pleasure of being at dinner with former Montreal Canadiens goalie Ken Dryden (and Daniel Weinstock and Karl Moore, if I remember, but since even they will agree that they are slightly less cool than Ken Dryden, I am sure they’ll understand if I put them in brackets). …

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The NFL’s anthem protest decision: Myrdal would recognize the pattern

The NFL just announced that kneeling for the anthem will not be allowed this year. Somewhat lost in the coverage, and sometimes presented as a weakly related or unrelated development is the following: "In recent months, the league has worked toward a reported $90 million social justice partnership with the Players Coalition, using the NFL's…

What Open Access doesn’t mean

In the wake of all the noise about corporate backed Open Access (OA) initiatives, this week brings a lively and somewhat colourful discussion on what it means to be OA. I very much like James L Smith’s distinction between technically OA and ethically OA. It proves useful for reflection. There is definitely a push from…

The evils of Open Science

The ever-reliable Jon Tennant brings our attention this week to Philip Mirkowski’s recently published essay on the evils of Open Science (capitalized here for dramatic effect). At first, I found the paper baffling. The first baffling aspect is that it is a pay-walled paper about open science. To summarize his complaint: Open science equals neo-liberalism.…

Springer Nature has told us everything we need to know about the future of academic publishing: Disintermediation is here

Springer Nature’s recent stock initial public offering (IPO) ultimately failed, but it provided the academic community with plenty of information about the company’s and the academic publishing industry’s philosophy, as well as its anxieties. In fact, the prospectus that accompanied the IPO reads like an extended, dire warning about the dangers facing traditional academic publishers…