Except that we have a number of safety factors in cars, like mandatory seatbelts and the like, which, amongst other things, reduce the likelihood of someone’s head impacting the dashboard or windscreen.
Probably more importantly, however, is that just because one mode of transport can be considered unsafe, that doesn’t tell us anything about whether we should take precautions with respect to some other mode of transport.
That's my thought exactly; those don't seem like good reasons at all to not wear a helmet. Helmets give you a level of protection your skull does not natively have (seriously, head injuries are alarmingly easy to procure) and it's not just some added protection from being swiped by a car; people get injured on bikes all the time without the additional worry of car drivers.
As a cyclist (well, a newly reborn one after about twenty years of not getting on a bike), I’m really curious about the psychology of people not wanting to wear helmets whilst riding. I know a fair number of cyclists who wear helmets but complain about it whilst I, on the other hand, won’t get on a bike without one because I’m petrified about damaging my brainmeats.
I’m also not agin the idea of wearing hi-viz material whilst riding; I don’t at the moment because I’ve not yet procured any (which is why I’m wary of riding at night, even with lights on my bike) but I can see that the high-viz recommendation seems to have an element of blaming the rider, rather than the appalling driving standards of most New Zealanders.
Well, there's no money for us academics in being an editor or peer reviewer. The journal publishers, though, seem to make quite a bit of money from the enterprise.
The problem, as you say, is very much the model. As best as I can tell, the Gold model essentially props up a moribund industry that has no idea how to evolve to cope with the needs of todays academics. The Green model, would keep that industry alive for a short while - though when sufficient material is open, they would be forced to innovate and cut their costs to something reasonable or die. Though of course that still leaves the problem of the back catalogue that 81st state pointed out.
Precisely. We can be for open access but be quite suspicious of this model of open access. (and by this I mean "any model which supports Gold OA").
The back catalogue material is, itself, it's own kettle of worms, in part because it's costly (although increasingly less so) to convert into accessible content and, in part because the copyright of a lot of the material is a) confusing (even though institutions paid for the research the copyright often belongs to the publisher (and sometimes the author) and sometimes who owns the copyright now is hard to trace) and b) is subject to different copyright rules in different parts of the world.
The first problem you outline is an accounting problem. The university has to stump up with the money either through a journal description or a paying for papers to be published. If chunks of the subscription charges were funnelled through departments, this wouldn't be a problem. They're currently not, this needs to be fixed.
Well, yes and no. Part of the problem is that if you have a very successful department (with respect to publishing, like Philosophy at Auckland), you might get a situation where the cost of paying for open access publishing is close to the cost of journal subscriptions. Add to this the problem that, at the moment, the money spent on publishing (which, as Luke pointed out, doesn't necessarily go to the editors or reviewers) mostly still goes to the same oligarachs who control the closed journals.
I'm not against open access. I am, however, very suspicious about the current model of OA. It still seems to the same people making a profit off of publicly-funded research.
Let me add my somewhat considered thoughts here (considered because I'm currently submitting material to academic articles); the "open access" moniker is a bit troubling at the moment precisely because of the cost, for researchers, to make their articles open access.
The "Gold OA" class of journals really do charge you quite a wack of money (the ones I've seen are in the hundreds of pounds/US dollars range) and thus a lot of my (former, previously fellow, colleagues (hello, unemployment)) continue to submit to the traditional journals because:
a) the OA journals often (but not always) want you to pay for publication. Individual academics don't want to pay those fees themselves and Departments often don't want to pay those fees on behalf of their staff because it takes money away from other activities (for example, the Department of Philosophy at Auckland, despite being one of the largest departments at UoA and one that does extremely well in the PBRF, is chronically underfunded at the moment; paying to publishing would really be hard to justify in this climate given there are free options (the Library's purchasing power for journals is separate from the Department's spending, so you can't move the money from one ledger to another)).
b) in research-based institutions, like Auckland, not all journals are equal. Academics, if they want continuation (what we call "tenure" now), need to publish in big name journals with high impact factors (A and some B grade journals), and, in Philosophy at least, there are very few A and B grade OA journals.
So, the problem for open access is that sometimes it's only open in a very limited direction; it lets other see your research more easily but it can (for the Gold OAs) actually limit your ability to get your research into the land of the peer reviewed. For example, I'm now an unemployed philosopher who is trying to publish in order to get another academic post within the next few years. I cannot, currently, afford to pay for publication, so I'm aiming my work at closed journals.
Russell, you're not telling the full story (or you failed to read the subtext); when I said this wasn't an example of a conspiracy I also said I was delivering that comment on a new MacBook Pro (the screen really is lovely; I normally use a dual monitor setup but the external monitor is hardly being used at the moment). Obviously I'm in cahoots with Apple (think of me as the new "Stephen Fry") and thus I can't be trusted to weigh in on matters to do with Cupertino.
I'm quite deliberately not conflating expertise with being an eye-witness; experts in a subject area can offer eye-witness accounts just like any other kind of person. Perhaps you would prefer the term "informed testimony" for the eye-witness accounts of experts. The question then is "Is informed testimony any better than eye-witness testimony?" The answer is "Yes, but..." where the "...but..." clause ends up saying something like "In certain conditions such informed testimony is better but often it suffers from the same systemic issues that typical eye-witness accounts do."
If you want references to this I'll just point you to the work of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. Their work in heuristics (and the attendant biases) was pretty groundbreaking in the 1970s.
The other factor I should note comes into play here is the time between the person witnessing the event and then their recall of the event. Experts tend to better at identifying things in the moment but typically suffer the same issues the rest of us do with respect to recall, leading questions, et al.