The Price of Silicon Valley’s "Disruption" — Is It Possible to Now Have Responsible Information Economics?

As we’ve absorbed and adopted the information economy assumptions peddled by Silicon Valley, social isolation has increased, the definition of “fact” has become slippery, and the scientific record has become more superficial, less reliable, and more transitory. In fact, confirmation bias seems to have become our main operating principle. Maybe a change in economic incentives and greater skepticism across the board could help — all driven by more humans at the controls.

Embrace the Bubble…or Burst it?

Along with recent hair-pulling about fake news has come renewed awareness of the concept of “filter bubbles,” as many of us acknowledge the risk of political information “bubbles” following the US presidential election. Where we once bemoaned “filter failure” – […]

The Future of Authorship

Dismayed by the loss of trust in facts, and seeming preference for half-truths that appears to be driving our political present, Robert Harington decided to catch up on his reading over the weekend, and stumbled across a stimulating article in Publishers Weekly, entitled How to Sell Nearly a Half-Million Copies of a Poetry Book, by Anisse Gross.

Economics, Silicon Valley, and Information Warfare — Is Accuracy Becoming a Luxury Item? Or a Casualty?

Information warfare is both tactical and strategic, with much of its success stemming from the weakened economics of the current information economy. Scholarly publishers have experienced this in many ways, from Google Scholar to predatory publishers to pre-print archives — all answers to the calls for “free information” and all revealing tactical and strategic vulnerabilities as accuracy and facts become luxury items in the information war.

How’s That "Abundance" Thing Working Out For You?

The age of information abundance may have fundamental flaws — barriers to entry that create false equivalence; dissemination tools that conflate fake information with responsible sources; self-reinforcing loops of conspiracy and paranoia; and social fragmentation that makes societal disruption more likely. What can be done? Here are a few ideas.

What We Can Learn from Fake News

Fake News is making headlines as questions about how dubious stories may have influenced the US election. This post explores the damage done to reputable news organizations and what scholarly publishers could learn from the whole thing.

How Wrong Is Greta Van Susteren about Libraries?

Is Greta Van Susteren right in taking universities to task for building “huge libraries” and in characterizing them as “vanity projects” that have been obviated by the growing online availability of books and other scholarly resources? Obviously not — that’s the position of an ignorant philistine. Except…