Text and Hubris |

LaTeX in a Humanities World

Let’s talk about LaTeX for a second. WAIT! Come back! I know we’re going deep into techcomm nerdom for this one, but I think it’s worth talking about. I’ll try not to get too lost in the details, and I promise that this isn’t going to be me telling that the way you write is wrong. I like LaTeX, a lot, but our tools have to be able to adapt to fit our use cases. I’m not sure it does that. LaTeX presents certain challenges to what have become typical strategies for writing and editing documents. This is especially true when it comes to writing documents outside of traditional STEM disciplines. Which is, primarily, what I do.

LaTeX is, essentially, a open system of tools for typesetting and text formatting. It can be a powerful resource for writers and editors. While intimidating at first, once you get a feel for it and the sense of control you have over your page, it is hard to go back. I still remember compiling my first document and thrilling at how everything was exactly where I told it to be. Then I discovered that I was just …

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Daily Writing Progress

Dissertation: RFCs, Publics, and Socio-technical Imaginaries: 300 words

Daily Writing Progress (2018) - #AcWriMo2018 - November 4th

Daily Writing Progress

Dissertation: RFCs, Publics, and Socio-technical Imaginaries: 1060 words

Daily Writing Progress (2018) - #AcWriMo2018 - November 2nd

Rethinking Social Media - Engage or Disengage?

I had a whole post ready to go talking about the attempted bombings by a domestic alt-right terrorist and the role social media played in his actions. That was before the nightmare in Pittsburgh. That was before another mass murderer, his violent bigotry honed through sick communities of hate whose work is actively published on these same social media platforms, stepped into a place of worship and killed innocent people.

So here I am, revising this post as I go, but the question to those of us who still use these sites remains: what do we do in the face of an ongoing tide of hatred on social media? Is it time for us to leave these platforms?

It might not be a big surprise that I don’t interact a lot on social media. Facebook barely exists for me. Except for specific work accounts, I almost never post on Facebook, and I rarely look at my personal messages or my wall. The posts that do go to my wall only go to me. If I do respond (mostly to birthday wishes) those responses are also not shared, and I quickly migrate offsite if the messages continue. I am not …

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A Benefit to the Dissertation

So, I’ve been writing a dissertation, and I am finally starting to enjoy the experience. I have read through the theorists that ground my work1. The research is (mostly) coming together, and I am absolutely savoring the experience of just sitting down and writing. The chapters are starting to really flow, and I am looking at having a full first draft completed by the end of the year. In fact, I am behind on other important work2 because I have been enjoying the process of writing so much.

I think a good portion of my enjoyment comes from the fact that I have made a conscious effort not to allow feelings of guilt or lack to limit me. For a while, I did. I was trying to fit everything in and working very hard to please everyone. I was miserable, but I really didn’t want to face the alternative. It is amazing how difficult it can be to acknowledge and affirm our priorities to other people. This is especially true when those priorities mean that people will be disappointed or upset.

For me, that has been the real benefit of the dissertation. It is a consuming …

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