Are petro-states more aggressive?
In an article in International Organization (here, for registered users), Jeff Colgan claims that states with large oil and gas resources as well as what he calls revolutionary agendas are more likely than “stable” oil producers or non-producing states to start disputes with other states. The article is an attempt to counter the common assumption that having a valuable resource makes a state more vulnerable to aggression from states lacking those resources, one variant of the classic resource curse.
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The scientific publishing deluge, part II

Way back before my inexplicable hiatus from the blog, I wrote a post about scientific publishing. Well, it’s time for another long post in my not-likely-to-be-concluded series of moaning about the state of journal publishing and possible solutions. Part I can be found here. Today, we look at the problem of cost with regards to journal publishing. I had originally planned for it to cover more topics, but this one issue has already made this post long enough.
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The heat is on – Climategate as a peek into scientific controversies

Remember the previous -gate? Not the current one with the leaking cables, but the other one with the climate scientists who got their internal communication leaked to the internet, sparking fierce debate on the possible ideological bias of climate research? That’s right: it’s time to come back to Climategate. Two of my colleagues here at the institute, Tomas Moe Skjølsvold (blog here) and Marianne Ryghaug, have gone through the e-mails that were leaked and looked at what it says about the way a community of researchers relates to the outside world. How do they prepare for criticism, and how do they resolve disputes over methodology?
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Bruno Latour, secret agent

The excellent OrgTheory blog has a post on Bruno Latour where they imagine what the world looks like for a man who rejects anthropocentric agency (but not anthropogenic climate change?). I don’t think these things are easy to talk about, too many pitfalls of language, but I have wondered about the same things (even if I don’t like the way people dismiss this as bullshit out of hand). Quote:

Bruno has gotten so good at practically deploying this new conceptual scheme (along with the radically new ontological partition of the world that it carries along with it) so as to transpose this newly acquired and newly mastered habits of perception and appreciation to discover evidence of the agentic capacities of those entities that were previously thought not to exercise it, in the history of Science and Politics. He has even uncovered evidence of humans being aware of this evidence, but then he noted that they proceeded to hide this evidence by creating elaborate systems of ontology and metaphysics in which non-human agency was explicitly denied, and in which it was explicitly conceptualized as being an exclusive property of so-called “persons” (where persons is now a category restricted to humans) only.

Some of the comments are illuminating in a way the post is not.