"Demarcate and associate". How To Manage the Overload of "Must Read" Publications

#HowTo

Wed, Apr 25th, 2012 12:00 by capnasty NEWS

In his (not too long) essay Too Much to Read, Mark B. Brown notes that the academic world seems to be "carefully designed to maximize worries that one hasn't read enough." If that wasn't enough to make one feel inadequate with their peers, "some journals are trying to raise their impact factor by pressuring authors to pad their articles with superfluous references." Brown's solution? Demarcate and associate. Or, for the laymen, how to bullshit academically.

[...] everyone interprets books differently, and the moment you finish reading a book you start forgetting it. What's most important about a book is not the details of its content, but its place in a cultural discourse. So a person who's recently heard about a book, maybe read a review and skimmed a few pages, could have more to say about it than a person who read it cover-to-cover a few years ago.

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