Stepper: Augmented miners, Academic games, reputational repair and rehearsing the apocalypse

Mix of what I read on the train yesterday and what I read on the stepper this morning;

Bassan, J, Srivnivasan, V. and Tang, A. (2013) The Augmented Mine Worker: Applications of Augmented Reality in Mining CSC Australia

Lots of good stuff here. It’s a bit more complicated than sticking googleglasses on folks and hooking it up to a googledocs spreadsheet, but you get the idea.

“The mining industry is faced with imperatives to improve worker safety and productivity, adapt to skills shortages, high worker turnover rates, and provide more effective maintenantce to new and ever more complicated plant and equipment.”…

Next up Nierenberg, N. Tischinkel, W. and Tshinkel, V. (2010) Early Climate Change Concensus at the National Academy: The Origins and Making of Changing Climate Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences, Vol. 40, (3) pp. 318-349.

Oreskes and Conway had written a piece saying, more or less, that William Nierenberg (big fish physicist) had soft-pedalled on climate change in the late 70s and early 80s. The authors here (and Nicholas never makes clear what – if any – relation he is) more or less blow that out of the water, though the article isn’t perfect itself (could have mentioned other climate studies at the same time – IASSA, Flohn), or actually quoted Helmut Schmidt, etc etc). Only worth reading if you are a history of climate science geek, but this sort of careful detective work is note-worthy and praise-worthy.

Alvesson, M. (2012) Do we have something to say? From re-search to roi-search and back again, Organization 20 (1), 79-90. is bloody brilliant, and I will blog it separately. The tl;dr is that the academic game is a game like all others (trudat, you feel me?) with its rules and rule-breaking, its gaming of the system and system of the game. And Alvesson asks all the right (imho) questions and gives provocative (in the good sense!) answers. Roi-search is “return on investment” academia – writing “gap-filling” stuff for high-impact journals, self-censoring and pre-cutting your cookie so it fits.

This paper is a a solid-gold classic for anyone who met a social scientist and wondered how they got that way.

Gosling,J. And Case, P. (2013) Social dreaming and ecocentric ethics; sources of non-rational insight in the face of climate change catastrophe. Organisation 20 (5) 705 -721.

Just the sort of suggestive daring and relevant research and thinking that (I think) Alvesson would like to see.

It’s better at the outset (what the Crow did) than the end, (what we do), but super-useful for thinking about how to rehearse the apocalypse without descending into zombie films and Mad Max-ness (though I admit to a mild degree of excitement about Hardy and the Return of the Native Max…

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