[hackerspaces-theory] ping

Andrew Schrock aschrock at usc.edu
Sun Dec 9 03:40:40 CET 2012

I think that's a good question: the intention to get credibility? There are very real stakes for those of us in academia to adhere to journals that have a higher reputation. Publishing of research in these journals is connected with better chances at promotion, getting grants, and so on. Scientific research should be open-access, authors are rarely paid, and there are increasingly few reasons to justify the exorbitant fees charged by journals to universities. The stakes are high for academics, but if you're not in that world, the rewards for participating are much lower. 

So maybe we can come back to thinking about what hackerspaces hope to get from a more formalized publishing venue. What would the audience be for such a publication? Would even it need "peer review"? Is the goal to disseminate practical technical information or discuss "theory"? IMHO members have a great interest in the former and a near allergy to the latter. If the test of worthiness is like code (does it run? Is it useful?) is there even a need for relying on a publishing metaphor like a journal? 

Just to throw it out there, one trick from the academic world is to look in cons or other gatherings for interested parties to write articles. Thematically, I am thinking more about topics that are about what hackerspaces do well, rather than think exclusively about empirical science. In which case the audience would be crossover academics/hackerspace members/tinkerers. Topics might include histories (think about a larger scale chapter in the beginning PDF), organizational patterns (what's working and why), case studies of projects, and pedagogy (why is hands-on learning necessary?). 


On Dec 8, 2012, at 3:54 PM, Dr. Glass DPM wrote:

> Our intention with pursuing this was for establishing credibility for the Hacker/maker movement, with the traditional academic world, no?  I don't feel that the traditional academic arena's are 100% flawed beyond hope.
> Good scientific exploration and application is already being done everyday by x-spaces around the world.  Why not organize a publication effort for a standalone science journal?
> Nicholas Giovinco
> Dr. Glass DPM - Video Podcast
> www.youtube.com/DrGlassDPM
> www.drglass.org
> glass.dpm at gmail.com
> On 8Dec, 2012, at 6:47 PM, Jo Walsh <metazool at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Bollocks. There's no such thing as real science. There's only natural history. 
>> For reference management worth looking at openbiblio.net and other projects of the Open Bibliography group of the Open Knowledge Management. For a modern perspective on academic data sharing. Journals are 18th century technology run by a cartel, and plugging into that system ain't going to help it.
>> quemener.yves at free.fr wrote:
>> > From: "maxigas" <maxigas at anargeek.net>
>> i think for most hackers/hackerspace participants it is too much
>> hassle to engage with formal science, which is deemed simply too slow
>> and top-down.  you know the joke that "real programmers don't write
>> documentation".  i would be happy if more of the cool stuff which
>> people make in hackerspaces would be at least documented. :)
>> Well, I am of the opinion, like many open source developers and people
>> I met in hackerspaces, that a project is useless, unless it can be
>> easily reproduced in another place. That usually means to have a 
>> correct documentation. 
>> One of the first question, when a cool video is posted, is : where is
>> the source code
>>  ? What
>> chip/engine/batteries/display are you using? How
>> did you wire that thing? The open source/hacker community do not have
>> clear commitees to accept a project as interesting, but some emergent
>> criterions appeared, and the ability to make the same thing at your 
>> place is a crucial one.
>> De: "maxigas" <maxigas at anargeek.net>
>> when i wrote my first proposal for my phd, several people commented
>> that what hackerspaces do is not "science", so i can't interpret it
>> as a science going against some basic tenets of mainstream science.
>> :)
>> Well it is true : what hackerspaces do is not science, and the tenets
>> opposed by "mainstream science" are actually very good. Typically,
>> hacking projects are just fun things you want to do. That is ok, you
>> don't HAVE to do science. But _some_ projects do f
>>  ollow
>> the basic 
>> steps of science research : 
>> - find existing projects that come close to what you need
>> - try several solution, examine them objectively
>> - choose a final solution, make some tests
>> - propose new projects that can be based on yours.
>> Thing is, today, you get hackers cred by making a cool video, a funny
>> articles and by putting some basic technical informations. Most people
>> see a bibliography and description of the state of the art as boring 
>> parts that few people would read if you put it first (and they are right)
>> If there was an incentive to use such a format however, I think that 
>> several projects could document their work as a scientific article and
>> be recognized as real science. 
>> And all projects documentation do not suck, a lot of the things on 
>> Instructables are actually very detailled. I think that the main thing
>> missing is a references list, and the typical structure of a scie
>>  nce 
>> article.
>> Theory mailing list
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>> -- 
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Andrew Schrock
USC Annenberg Doctoral Candidate
Twitter:	@aschrock
Email: 	aschrock at usc.edu
Phone: 	714.330.6545

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