I've written a small handful of pieces for them over the years and Katina has always encouraged me to do more. Last fall I was inching toward my official retirement date. I knew I wanted to do more writing, touch on some topics of professional interest, some more personal. And I need deadlines. I thought maybe Katina would be willing to let me write regularly for ATG. That's six deadlines a year. As the Charleston conference approached, I considered how to pitch it to her. I thought she'd be receptive but I didn't want to be presumptuous, or set up a situation in which it'd be awkward for her to turn me down.
I went to the Vendors' Showcase, and she was the first person I saw. We talked a bit about how we were each handling retirement. I said I was intending to do more writing and before I could say anything else she quickly said, "Would you like to do a column for Against the Grain? You could write about whatever you want."
So much for me trying to figure out how to pitch it. I'm calling the column "Epistemology." The things that are of most interest to me these days (both within the world of scholarly communication and beyond it) often have to do with notions of what we know and why we think we know it and how we come to have the beliefs we have about what we think we know. And that's epistemology -- the study of knowledge.
In this first piece I go back to some of the issues I wrote about previously concerning beprexit, and try to put those into a broader context. In the June issue, I tackle blockchain and technophilia. I haven't decided what to focus on next, but the deadline is June 25, so I'd better get on it. I'm open to suggestions.