Party Blog

Leader's Update: 2016 - Call to Action

David Elston's picture

Hello fellow Pirates!

Happy New Year to you and apologies that you've not heard from the party in a while. As I am sure that you realise with a number of people stepping down from the NEC without people stepping up to replace them, it left a void at the top of the party for the last few months. However, with a New Year comes a New Start - and as a party we appear to have done that classic tech admin thing of 'turn it off and turn it back on again' with a fair degree of success.

As far as members go - we have beaten our previous high and as of 31-Dec had over 760 members - so thanks to each and every one of you for supporting the party and getting involved. One of our plans for the year ahead is to have a much more distributed workload and to utilise volunteers much more - having a distributed support means that we really need to use that to our advantage, so get in touch to see how you can get involved.

One of the ways in which to get involved is to join the NEC, the group which coordinates and plans the work of the party. There are vacancies in a number of roles:

Opinion: infer ad Infinitum

Danfox Davies's picture

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Danfox Davies / Southampton / 15.1.2016

 

“A wise man knows that confidentiality equals profit” - The 30th Ferengi Rule of Acquisition, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

 

Deputy Leader Nomination

David Elston's picture

Hello once more fellow Pirates

I am again nominating myself for the Deputy Leader position. I already have my seconding and I am lucky enough this time around to have several people who are happy to second me. My official seconder is our former Leader, Cris Chesha.

Since joining the party in May 2014 I have learnt a lot. As a party we burn through people far too quickly and we need to get better at delegation and sharing the load otherwise things grind to a halt. If that happens, getting the party moving again can be tricky to say the least.

There are a lot of positives to draw from, the Board of Governors is full. We have Deputies at the ready for the NEC . Membership for 2015 is at a record high and climbing. Volunteers are coming forward to fulfil support roles.

Economic Commons Sense

Danfox Davies's picture

2007 Todmorden Boundary Walk

This picture is by me, from 2007 Todmorden Boundary Walk. (Sun, 06 May 2007  11:46:51). The Boundary Walk is held annually as a symbolic reminder of those who trampled the enclosures - and theoretically for the purpose of doing so again, should the need arise, though the commons' boundaries have remained fairly stable for some time now. This particular image shows the tiny figure of a hiker by the Stoodley Pike Monument (built in the time of the 1800s' disputes about commons enclosure) on Langfield Common, from the vantage point of a road forming the boundary on the other side of the valley. The marked difference between the medieval fields, the larger later enclosures with their straight edges on the hillsides and the remnant, one-time acid rain damaged common peat & millstone-grit moorland above, is striking.

 

Three hundred years of piracy: why academic books should be free

George Walkden's picture

I think academic books should be free.

It's not a radically new proposal, but I'd like to clarify what I mean by "free". First, there's the financial sense: books should be free in that there should be no cost to either the author or the reader. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, books should be free in terms of what the reader can do with them: copying, sharing, creating derivative works, and more.

I'm not going to go down the murky road of what exactly a modern academic book actually is. I'm just going to take it for granted that there is such a thing, and that it will continue to have a niche in the scholarly ecosystem of the future, even if it doesn't have the pre-eminent role it has at present in some disciplines, or even the same form and structure. (For instance, I'd be pretty keen to see an academic monograph written in Choose Your Own Adventure style.)

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