I've been away from NZ too long to judge the reliability of this, but is the information about Mark Weldon collected here at all accurate? Because, if so, and adding Barclay's and Hooton's comments to the mix, it's hard not to conclude that there's at least some level of party politics at play here.
That Thunderclub track is great: kind of Holy Fuck-ish while still being totally its own thing.
Finally got to Latitude this year. I was at a conference in the States last year, so missed out (though my wife got to go). Was a little underwhelmed by the lineup initially, but in the end was completely blown away by Slowdive:
Somehow, I never really connected with their albums though I’ve always loved the sound. This time, though, getting to the Radio6 tent just as the set was starting and hearing that guitar tone and those pulverisingly beautiful breaks of pure sound, I couldn’t hold it together. I was in tears, swaying, from the first track. I’ve heard shoegaze done louder (Death in Vegas; MBV) but never with such depth of emotion. Just … unforgettable.
Other highlights: Goat. What made it even more memorable was the group of English teenage boys who showed up in the tent just as the show was starting. They looked like your average set drifters, dropping by randomly for a sample, but once the band started up, they started dancing with each other – frenetically; relentlessly – and carried on that way for the entire set until they were just drenched in sweat and it was clear they knew all the songs and their presence was anything but random. English teens dancing in unison with anonymous bemasked Swedish women while all hell breaks loose behind, on the stage, everyone lost in the music. Again: unexpected.
And we got to see Teeth of the Sea, Esben and the Witch sound tracking La Antena, Tame Impala, Tinariwen, Mogwai, Siobhan got to boogie down to Hall and Oates and of course we got to experience Albarn in the middle of a ludicrously intense lightning- and rain-storm.
A++ would spend four nights in a tent in a muddy bit of rural Suffolk again.
Is it just me, or is this report being held to much higher evidential standards by the Very Serious People than supply side economics itself ever was, or “austerity” is now? The Laffer Curve was a freaking napkin doodle, and it continues to hold sway. To see the appalling smugness and unexamined assumptions of the comfortable elites who admire and deploy the Curve, have a read of this. It’s truly a different world if you’re arguing on the side of money.
"Inequality" would be my WOTY.
I also want to nominate the digram "white people," used in an othering sense, which I'm seeing everywhere ATM and which I find interesting.
Birthday present for my Dad. He'll love being able to read Lange's speech, I think. Thank you for doing this, Russell!
And also when it comes time to getting work published…they of course will always go for the most prestigious title. We need to come to some kind of agreement to confer prestige in other ways.
Yes. But early career academics are socialized into this right from the very beginning, so it’s going to be hard to shift this culture. And the pressure to publish in a REF/PBRF-dominated system never really ends. When job search committees, your own academic colleagues and mentors, and your university’s research support staff are all using the same “acceptance into prestigious Wiley/Taylor & Francis/OUP/Elsevier journal = ACADEMIC PROMISE” shorthand, it’s a hard mentality to separate yourself from. Especially if none of the other ECR academics you’re competing with for jobs and funding look like breaking out from under the model either. Like you say, we need to work towards new ways of measuring academic prestige beyond the Impressive [Expensive] Journal Article/Monograph. But how do we build that movement? And what shape is that new prestige system going to take?
Do you get the sense that NZ universities encourage faculty to act in a way that furthers open availability of research they produce?
Interestingly, in the UK any journal publications arising out of research directly funded by one of the big funding councils (RCUK) have to be available on open-access. (The mandate doesn’t extend to monographs … yet.) And word is (though I don’t think there’s been a final decision made on this) that any publication being put forward for the next REF round (the UK’s PBRF equivalent) will also have to be available via OA (again excluding monographs). What this boils down to is that universities are now putting aside funds to pay the article processing charges to buy their “REF stars’” publications out from behind paywalls. Of course, this money has to come from somewhere, and it’s probably going to be … existing research budgets. So there’s going to be less money available for research and more money thrown at already hideously profitable commercial publishers as a result of the government’s policy on Open Access. UK academic Daniel Allington has recently laid out some of the probable consequences of this “mixed model” version of Open Access:
By making research findings available in this expensive way, and taking the money out of existing research budgets, it will reduce the amount of research that actually gets funded ...
By providing the money as a block grant to institutions that have attracted large amounts of research funding, it will (a) increase concentration of funding among those institutions that already receive the most of it, (b) take the choice of where to publish articles away from researchers (since it will be up to the university hierarchy to decide whether to pay the article processing charge for any given paper), and (c) severely reduce the options available for publication among funded researchers at those institutions which have been less successful at attracting funding in the past (since they will be required to publish with open access, but will receive no funds to help them do so) ...
By enabling the UK research elite to have its cake and eat it (i.e. to continue to publish in the manner to which it has become accustomed with extra funding so that its articles will become open access), whilst at the same time leaving other researchers to choose between (a) free journals, almost all of which are low-impact (i.e. little read by other researchers), and (b) high impact journals in which they will be unable to afford to publish on an open access basis, it will make the work of the elite more citable, reinforcing the illusion that it is ‘better.’ Especially in those disciplines that use citation metrics as a direct index of quality, this will create a feedback loop that increases the relative likelihood that well-funded researchers and institutions will receive high levels of funding in the future.
And that’s not even getting into the issue of whether highly technical journal articles in which academics essentially talk to each other are the appropriate format in which academic research should be publicly accessible in the first place. Allington talks in some detail about this and the other problems of Open Access here.
I thought Matthew Dentith has the single best take on why #dirtypolitics never seems to get any traction with either the mainstream media or “ordinary New Zealanders":
Dentith … has a clear line on why Hager’s revelations did not have the electoral impact many on the Left expected.
It can be explained by the assumptions we all carry around with us about the world in which we live.
“For people on the Left, Dirty Politics should have been a crushing blow to the National Party,” Dentith says. “But people on the Right say that this is just how politics works these days. Politics is like a business and when you’re engaged in a business, you’ve got to engage in a certain amount of dirty politicking in the background because that is what businesses do to advance their particular interest. ‘National Inc’ is advancing the interests of the ordinary New Zealanders they represent.”
For those who believe National is doing a good job, Dirty Politics backfired on Labour and the Greens. National voters shrugged and asked: “Why are they making a fuss about how politics should actually operate?"
Truth is, there is a sizeable bloc of New Zealanders (I’d say it comprises the majority of National’s core support) who not only believe politics ordinarily is run along these lines but should be. They embrace authoritarian rule and corruption because it works out well for them. House and dairy prices keep going up. There’s footie on the weekends, no one has to think too hard, and there’s someone who looks and sounds like them in the PM’s office. What’s not to like?
For the Left, of course, it’s the unpleasant sensation of discovering that the mentality of “Rob’s Mob” is still very much with us.
Maybe we need to hear from the economic departments of our universities, these guys should be wonking hard. Get them columns.
Yes. What has happened to the esteemed Dr Greg Clydesdale?