This post is the previous post warmed over 
In an epicycle of self-promotion, I am profiled by the UAlbany College of Arts and Sciences because my open access logic textbook was adopted at Cambridge. Also, according to Google Scholar, forall x is my ninth most cited publication.

When I couldn't sort out a time to have a picture taken for the story on the website, I got permission from Matt Slater to send them this photo which he took at the Metaphysics&Philosophy of Science conference last year.




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It takes a village to write a book 
My open access logic book, forall x, is going to be used this Fall for the first year logic course at Cambridge. I was contacted by a librarian there, who said that the course leader had edited a version especially for their course. So, she wanted to know, how should the book be listed and how should I be credited?

My reply, below the fold.
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No clever title, this 
Here is a despairing rant about the cost of textbooks and how my attempts to do something about it have been frustrated by bullshit:

I wrote forall x because existing logic textbooks were ridiculously expensive and were rapidly reissued in new editions so as to kill the market for cheaper, used copies. My book is written to be a physical book. It has practice problems, solutions in the back, reference tables, and content which is best accessed by thumbing back and forth between various sections. So I allowed students to buy it as a course packet, paying only the printing cost.

Because other people beyond just my students might want to use it, I made it available for download on the internet. Faculty at dozens of schools have used it as a course text, and lots of people have used it for independent study. To reiterate, electronic availability was just for distribution to the broader world.

When the copy shop across the street from campus closed, I let the campus bookstore sell the course packet. The first semester I did this, they charged a reasonable $10. The second semester, they jacked that up to $20 without letting me know. So I started using the copy center on campus instead. Last year, the copy center closed. The only place that will sell course packets off campus is several miles away, and students grouse if I ask them to schlepp over there.

So for this coming semester, I asked the campus bookstore to determine how much they would charge. The answer: $27.15. For 160 pages. That are covered by an open license. I was told, "That price is solely based on production costs."

My reply: "The course packet service you are using simply lies about production costs. It's the worst kind of bullshit."

So I am just going to point students to the PDF and encourage them to print their own copy. Many of them won't, which will be a mistake. They would do better in the course if they had the textbook in an accessible form. Working practice problems on scratch paper is easier with a workbook than in front of a computer screen. But they could pay 15 cents a page for printing and still save money over what the bookstore would have charged.

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x 1.28 
Last week I released a new version of forall x: 1.28. It corrects several typographical errors, some of which make a substantive logical difference.

The blurb description on the back page still says 'assistant professor', although that is only accurate for the moment. My tenure is waiting only on the signature of the university president, which I'm told is a formality. I have even signed the relevant employment paperwork for the change to associate.

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Meet the new book, same as the old book 
I uploaded the first new version of forall x in over a year. There are plenty of corrections, but no substantive changes. For uninteresting reasons, this new version is 1.27 - three increments later than the previous version 1.24.

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