Thursday, March 31, 2011

Time (for those at state universities?) to switch e-mail accounts

While I've successfully resisted urges to return to blogging, I wanted to point to something.

For those who might have missed this, I encourage you to go read William Cronon's newish blog Scholar as Citizen right away.  William Cronon is a Professor at the University of Wisconsin - Madison who has had the Wisconsin Republican party issue a Freedom of Information Act request for his e-mail (specifically, those using a fairly wide array of common terms and some names), apparently in response to an editorial he wrote that they did not like.  He set up the blog to discuss what he is going through.  

He makes the case that this is an attack on academic freedom.  I'm very inclined to agree (but of course you judge for yourself).  And following "First they came..." principles I want people to know about it, so you can if you want find ways of expressing your opinions on the subject, to the people of Wisconsin or to the administration at your own university. 

Or, I'd recommend getting a private e-mail account and using that for most of your e-mail. 

On a (somewhat) lighter note, you might want to check Crooked Timber's post on "With Notably Rare Exceptions", which as they describe is an amusing phrase that comes from a rather unfortunate recent choice of words by Alan Greenspan.  While several of the comments may make you laugh, for readers of this blog, the phrase to remember is (comment 40):

With notably rare exceptions, noise is Gaussian distributed.