Academics are almost always working. We love what we do and, I believe, many of us are like me who cannot stop thinking about my research. At the same time, academic institutions put us into a competition that can be extremely stressful even for the winners who need to keep cranking out papers in the never-ending tournament of top journal publishing.

I often hear arguments that the system is unfair to those who cannot dedicate their whole life to research and publishing. Some need to take care of their dependents or just want to have a little bit of ‘normal’…


I am not the first one to write this post (see here and here) and hopefully not the last.

Recently, I started receiving requests from Academia.edu to review papers for their Academia Letters publication. The requests are seemingly generated by an algorithm as they state in the emails: “While we verify all returned reviews for author qualification, on rare occasion our algorithm will misidentify a member’s research area.” As such, it is not surprising that the company tries to automatize the labor intensive involvement of humans and speed up the review process. …


There are many problems in this world for which we do not have a proper solution. Climate change is a good example of such a problem looking for a solution or, more accurately, a solution that could be easily implemented. If the market economy functions well, the recognition of problems by entrepreneurs will eventually generate a flurry of entrepreneurial activity that gives us the solutions.

Yet, in a world enthralled by new technology, we are often given what is best described as a solution looking for a problem — a new technology that excites people’s collective imagination with its perceived…


This is a short summary of data science concepts I wrote for undergraduate students at Temple University.

Data are records that contain facts about some phenomenon. The data can be unstructured such as natural language writings and images or structured such as weather readings and stock prices. The structure of the data is stored as metadata, that is, data about data. Metadata can often be found as a data dictionary that describes a dataset by defining a label, data type and a short description for each column (variable) in the dataset. …


Image: Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons (modified)

Every now and then one comes across the idea that academics should be paid for doing peer reviews. The reasoning goes usually something like this — peer reviewing takes up a fair amount of an academic researcher’s time; therefore, paying for peer reviews would be fair and could help particularly younger researchers who have low income and little job security. Yet, paying for peer reviews is a pretty bad idea in practice.

An easy objection to the idea of paid reviewing is that by doing peer reviews you ‘pay’ for others to review your papers. Every time you submit your…


I am a liberal, well-educated global citizen who would never vote for Trump even if I had a chance. Yet, I have an issue with my fellow liberals who in their righteousness are too blind to admit how Trump has taken them for a ride — big time.

Trump, for sure, loses every moral argument you raise against him in your mind — and yet you lose the war. Ask yourself, do you really think moaning about his latest undertaking to your liberal followers will make any dent in his popularity?


Having to spend lots of time indoors recently? Take the opportunity to educate yourself with a timely selection of virus outbreak/zombie movies.

Train to Busan

Contagion. The most realistic; don’t watch if you are easily depressed.

Train to Busan. Beautiful zombie movie. Is that possible?

Resident Evil series. Who needs a plot when you have Milla Jovovich mincing zombies in skimpy clothes.

Outbreak. Bit over the top but good actors make it decent entertainment.

Braindead. Totally over the top by Peter Jackson with memorable “Party is over!” scene.

World War Z. Fast zombies? Fucking blasphemy. If you like Brad Pitt, watch 12 Monkeys.


Coronaviruses
Coronaviruses
Photo: CDC/Dr. Fred Murphy

I am not an epidemiologist; I don’t know what the best response to the COVID-19 epidemic would be. This has not stopped me sharing my opinions just like so many other academics and generally smart people, who are usually just as under-qualified to analyze epidemics as I am.

However, as a management scholar who has also ran businesses I know something about decision making. And, it strikes me that many smart ideas on how to deal with the epidemic ignore the fact that decisions (that is, the actions that they unleash) are often effective only during a specific time window…


with Marta Stelmaszak (originally published at LSE Management with Impact)

Organizations are increasingly turning to ‘people analytics’ — using vast amounts of data about their employees — to gain insights into their workforce and to introduce more evidence-based decision-making. Our research into the use of big data analytics for performance measurement suggests that these efforts may easily backfire.

Today, companies hope to use measures such as clicks, views, transactions and many other online operations to accurately capture employee performance on top of traditional performance evaluation systems that are perceived as subjective or biased. However, employees become easily aware of data…


Academic writing is an act of storytelling. A research paper must follow many boring rules and norms of the scholarly community — and yet it is useful to view academic publishing as telling of engaging stories. Let us start from the beginning.

Opening section. A good research paper tells a good story that is set in motion in an introductory section, right from the first paragraph and sentence. A good story starts from an issue or topic that your reader can relate with and allows to proceed quickly to your own plot. It is often particularly difficult to get the…

Aleksi Aaltonen

Entrepreneur, MIS scholar and thinker with thirty years of experience in digital technology — www.aleksi.info

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