söndag 30 mars 2014

Articles I've read (April last year)

Last year, I read a whole lot of articles during the first half of the year (Jan-June). Due to a regular and heavy teaching load, I generally don't have time to read articles during the second half of the year (Aug-Dec). Since I'm on a sabbatical right now, I'm at it again!

I decided some time ago - in fact almost two years ago - to write blog posts that summarises the articles I have read "lately", and to also add super-short annotations both as a public service and also for me to remember what the article was about, and if I liked it. Unfortunately, while I came around to writing blog posts about the articles I read in January, February and March last year, I haven't yet written up blog posts about the articles I read in April, May and June last year! This is thus the first of three blog posts about stuff I read last spring(!) - before I tackle the articles I've read this spring. Better late than never.

While I've harboured some remorse over the delay, I have however come to realise that to a you, dear reader, it doesn't much matter if I read the articles below a year ago or if I read them last week...!

Batch/week 1 - texts about the so-called "creative industries"
Comment: I was working on a paper about "Net literature in China" and I read up on stuff I felt could be beneficial to the paper. In the end, neither me nor my co-author could attend the conference in question (it was held in the Netherlands in the middle of the summer), so we unfortunately had to revoke our submission. That also meant we lost our motivation to finish the paper, so this is one of several papers that is "in the pipe". I hope to able to finish it if/when the opportunity arises, e.g. when I have the time and a good venue (conference, journal special issue, edited book) appears. Get in touch with me if you have any suggestions! I could even imagine us cooperating with a third author if that's what it takes to get the paper/article finished!

  • Banks, J., & Deuze, M. (2009). Co-Creative Labour: Introduction for Special Issue of International Journal of Cultural Studies. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 12(5), 419-431. */ "co-creation is used to describe the phenomenon of consumers increasingly participating in the process of making and circulating media content and experiences. ... how should we understand and analyse these value-generating activities?" /*
  • Potts, J., & Cunningham, S. (2008). Four models of the creative industries. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 14(3), 233-247. */ Presents four models of the relationship between the creative industries and the larger economy ("welfare", "competition", "growth", "innovation") and examines/evaluates/compares them. "What we aim to provide here is ... a necessary first step ... in developing the economics of the creative industries." /*
  • Hartley, J., & Keane, M. (2006). Creative industries and innovation in China. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 9(3), 259-262. */ Another special issue in the same journal (see above), this time devoted to the results of "the first-ever international conference held in mainland China on the theme of the creative industries and innovation". This text is the editorial to that special issue. /*
  • Potts, J., Hartley, J., Banks, J., Burgess, J., Cobcroft, R., Cunningham, S., & Montgomery, L. (2008). Consumer Cocreation and Situated Creativity. Industry and Innovation, 15(5), 459-474. */ Yet another paper by the same group of authors about "open innovation", "networks of firms", "consumer-producer co-creation", "digital media", "new business and cultural models" etc. /*
  • Wang, Q., & Li, M. (2012). Home computer ownership and Internet use in China: Trends, disparities, socioeconomic impacts, and policy implications. First Monday, 17(2). */ Statistics about trends of Chinese home computer ownership and Internet use against a background of increased income, urbanization, democracy etc. Not very exciting to read, but contains good background information; "China's total Internet sales increased from about one billion Chinese renminbi (RMB) in 2003 ... and reached 498 billion RMB in 2010." /*

Batch/week 2 - texts about ICT and sustainability
Comment: Not all texts below are situated precisely in the the intersection of ICT and sustainability, but it is still based on my interest in that intersection that I have read all of the articles below.

  • Ehrlich, P. R., & Ehrlich, A. H. (2013). Can a collapse of global civilization be avoided? Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 280(1754). */ "Environmental problems have contributed to numerous collapses of civilizations in the past. Now, for the first time, a global collapse appears likely. Overpopulation, overconsumption by the rich and poor choices of technologies are major drives; dramatic cultural change provides the main hope of averting calamity." Harsh but recommended. /*
  • Tainter, J. A. (2006). Social complexity and sustainability. Ecological Complexity, 3(2), 91-103. */ Analyses the connection between (societal) complexity and sustainability and the answer is not very encouraging. "In human society, complexity is linked fundamentally and inextricably to sustainability, but that relationship is neither simple, nor direct, nor constant." Highly recommended. /*
  • Tainter, J. A., Allen, T. F. H., & Hoekstra, T. W. (2006). Energy transformations and post-normal science. Energy, 31(1), 44-58. */ "A transition from fossil to renewable fuels, would be likely to involve post-normal science, which is science constrained by uncertainty, urgency, high stakes, and public values." Recommended. /*
  • Cramer, B. W. (2012). Man’s need or man’s greed: The human rights ramifications of green ICTs. Telematics and Informatics, 29(4), 337-347. */ Most environmental activists, conscientious consumers and policymakers look to ICTs and see/hope for significant greenhouse gas emission reductions. "there are little-appreciated negative impacts during raw materials extraction and product disposal. Citizens and their leaders often overlook the impacts of these other segments of the item's lifecycle, especially if those impacts are absorbed by peoples and ecosystems in other regions of the world." Good article, I will probably use it in my course. /*
  • Behrens, A., Giljum, S., Kovanda, J., & Niza, S. (2007). The material basis of the global economy: Worldwide patterns of natural resource extraction and their implications for sustainable resource use policies. Ecological Economics, 64(2), 444-453. */ "This paper presents the first comprehensive quantification of the material basis of the global economy ... from 1980 to 2002. ... The results show that annual resource consumption of the world economy increased by about one third between 1980 and 2002." Good background article for my teaching. /*
  • F. Farahmand, Enhancing Rural Connectivity in the Arab World Using Vehicular Wireless Burst Switching Network. The 5th Congress of Scientific Research Outlook and Technology Development in the Arab World, 2008. */ "a growing number of pilot projects have been focusing on bringing connectivity to seemingly unreachable and disconnected rural communities in an inexpensive manner." Interesting project but unfortunately not a very good paper. The implications for future low-cost resilient Internet(s) are very interesting though. Perhaps I should have read this paper by the first author instead: "Vehicular wireless burst switching network: enhancing rural connectivity" In GLOBECOM Workshops, 2008 IEEE /*
  • Raghavan, B., & Hasan, S. (2012). Macroscopically Sustainable Networking: An Internet Quine. */ "The Internet stands atop an unseen industrial system required for its continued growth, operation, and maintenance. ... it's dependencies ... make it vulnerable to disruptions." The authors propose an "Internet quine"; "a set of devices, protocols, manufacturing facilities, software tools, and other related components that is self-bootstrapping". I read this a year ago and have since the met the first author, and, we are working together on a paper. Excellent article, highly recommended! /*

Batch/week 3 - articles from the 5th Engineering Education for Sustainable Development conference
Comment: We were working on writing a paper to the 6th EESD conference and since I attended the previous conference, I decided to read up on stuff I felt could be beneficial to our paper. The proceedings of the previous conference were delivered on a USB stick and are unfortunately, as far as I can see, not available on the internet. I submitted two papers to EESD'13 and attended the conference (half a year ago!). The proceedings from the EESD'13 conference (including my two papers) are available online.

  • de Eyto, A. & de Werk, G. (2010). Activating design and engineering students: Educational strategies for the activation and engagement of students for sustainable design and development – Best practices from TU Delft and IT Carlow. The 5th International Conference on Engineering Education in Sustainable Development, Gothenburg, Sweden, September 19-22. */ "This paper deals with case studies from TU Delft ... and IT Carlow ... that were shown to 'activate' students. This 'activation' was shown in their daily lives as well as their educational and professional spheres. /*
  • Axelsson, A. & Nyström, T. (2010). Taking a new direction: Behavioral interventions in higher education supported by Ajzen’s theory of planned behavior. The 5th International Conference on Engineering Education in Sustainable Development, Gothenburg, Sweden, September 19-22. */ The authors have developed an exercise to support students' in changing their behaviour in a more sustainable direction and report on findings from six higher education courses. "a majority of the students perceived the exercise inspring and motivating, supporting change of behavior in the intended, new direction." We are considering adapting this exercise in our course. /*
  • McMahon, M., Fitzpatrick, C., Fowler, E., Moles, R., Gowan, R., and O’Regan, B. (2010). Shared learning: A multidisciplinary approach to teaching the complexities of sustainable development. The 5th International Conference on Engineering Education in Sustainable Development, Gothenburg, Sweden, September 19-22. */ The paper describes a interdisciplinary, inspiring, but hard-to-coordinate course at the University of Limerick. We found interesting similarities between their description and our own students' reactions to some hard (potentially depressing) facts about sustainability. /*
  • Lozano, R. (2010). Organizational learning as a means to foster societies’ metanoia for sustainability. The 5th International Conference on Engineering Education in Sustainable Development, Gothenburg, Sweden, September 19-22. */ I learned a new word, "metanoia", i.e. "a shift of mindset". How do you create "Eureka" moments [that] can help challenge and break current unsustainable mental models" for your students? Great concept and a great question, but, I unfortunately found the text itself to be muddled and very theory-heavy (i.e. difficult to read and understand). /*
  • Lundholm, C. (2010). Society’s response to environmental challenges. On the interdependence of actors and the role of citizens’ socio-economic knowledge. The 5th International Conference on Engineering Education in Sustainable Development, Gothenburg, Sweden, September 19-22. */ One of the few "real" researchers who have conducted "real research" at this conference (rather than basing a paper on, for example, "personal reflections" etc.). "This paper considers governments' dependency for their mandate on the views of the median voter". Lundholm has examined university students' understanding of sustainability issues (and potential support for political/policy changes). /*
  • Mulder, K., Segalàs-Coral, J., and Ferrer-Balas, D. (2010). How to educate engineers for/in sustainable development? 10 years of discussion, what challenges remain?. The 5th International Conference on Engineering Education in Sustainable Development, Gothenburg, Sweden, September 19-22. */ A meta-review of "main challenges" in the EESD area. The paper is "based on EESD proceedings and participation in the conferences" and it identifies 9 challenges in the area, for example "How to teach normative content in an academic context?". Great paper and very useful to get an overview of the area. /*

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