Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON
LECTURE ONE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d__In2PQS60
LECTURE TWO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Al7O2puvdDA

ALSO AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ONE THROUGH TEN ON IDEOLOGICAL CRITIQUE



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Monday, February 10, 2014

THE SKY IS FALLING THE SKY IS FALLING

As many of my friends have noted, I am by nature an optimistic person.  I mean, I may be the last Old Marxist on the face of the earth to refer to our current disastrous economic system as "late capitalism," the implication being that it is on its last legs.  But I have just learned something that strikes terror in my heart, and it not even a certainty, just a possibility.

It seems that UMass is transitioning out of its own email system ["UMail"] to gmail.  When this happens for present and former faculty, some time this year, the techie on the other end of the line at the OIT Help Desk informs me that there will be no way for messages sent to the old address to be forwarded to the new address.  This means that everyone anywhere who tries to reach me by email will just get an error message -- "mail undeliverable."

This is a bleeping disaster!  I shall, of course, post my new address on my blog, but there is no way in UMail to send a message to everyone at the same time.  There is, in short, no Address Book of any use.  I can create a distribution list, I suppose, one name and address at a time, but that would take me longer, at eighty, than I may have left on this earth.

Meanwhile, UMass is spending a fortune to build a football stadium adequate to its ambition to have a Division I team.  You might think they could scratch one of the celebrity bathrooms in one of the SkyBoxes and devote the money to a bit of software that would forward the messages, but that, I fear, would require a total alteration in the priorities of the people who run UMass.

aaarrrggghhh!!!

5 comments:

David Auerbach said...

Yes, well, welcome to outsourcing. I've had an email account at ncsu since the late 1970s. (Yes, that's right). A couple of years ago NCSU transitioned to gmail. Our addresses remained the same (google does that for large institutional customers). So auerbach@ncsu.edu I have been and always will, time immemorial. Not sure why UMass isn't able to (or communicating that it can) do the same. (Not that it was seamless or though seemless, as in unseemly, it sometimes was. More glitches in two years than in previous decades. ) A mitigated disaster.

Jim said...

Professor Wolff --

Instead of "late capitalism" I have been using "advanced industrial capitalism" or, probably even more accurate, "advanced technological capitalist society."

-- Jim

Robert Paul Wolff said...

How about post-industrial financial capitalism? Or maybe, since that is a little chewy, just "highway robbery."

Brian W. Ogilvie said...

My understanding, based on my discussions with OIT staff and CIO candidates last spring and summer, is that students are being transitioned to Gmail (in fact, have been), but that faculty and staff are not, because of concerns about the security and confidentiality of our email. We have a local installation of Google Apps for calendaring, file sharing, etc., but not for email.

The plan had been to transition us to a locally installed Microsoft Exchange server, but there has been a lot of faculty resistance to it. In fact, there's a campus-wide meeting tomorrow to discuss email options. I can't go but I'll be eagerly following the results.

So the sky isn't yet falling, but it might need to be propped up. I will raise bloody hell if we transition to @umass.edu email addresses and my old @history.umass.edu address fails, since I have hundreds of correspondents who use the @history address.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Hey, Brian, good to hear from you. As the eternal optimist, I take hope from your report. I hope my former colleagues win the day.