Monthly Archives: February 2009

I Do Believe in Fairies! I Do!

I hadn’t heard of Paul Krsek before this NPR segment and a few other NPR pieces about his view of the market and the economy, but I’ll be looking for his name more often from here on out. Krsek struck … Continue reading

Posted in Miscellany, Politics | 5 Comments

Suggestions for the Campus Activist

There’s an old idea in historical research that the material we find in archives often make their authors into “witnesses in spite of themselves”, that what people meant to record or note is often quite at odds with what they … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Politics | 9 Comments

Oh the Humanities

Patricia Cohen has an odd article in the Arts section of the New York Times today titled, “In Tough Times, Humanities Must Justify Their Worth”. It seems odd to me because in substantial measure, you could have published a similar … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Popular Culture, Production of History | 7 Comments

Grades as Information

A bit more on grading. One of the responses to the conversation about grading over at Megan McArdle’s blog was from David Walser, who was frustrated with the idea of flexible or situational grading because he claims that he uses … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 13 Comments

New President

Swarthmore has a new President, Rebecca Chopp, currently the President of Colgate University. You can read a few comments by her on Swarthmore at the Daily Gazette. Also her initial remarks at a reception can be found on the college’s … Continue reading

Posted in Swarthmore | Comments Off on New President

Engine and Caboose, On the Same Track

David Brooks’ column today in the New York Times is a great example of his hackery. I suppose he irritates me even more than your average op-ed shill because he feints at having an interest in ideas and views that … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments


I find both of the poles in the current cross-blog discussion of grading policies a bit weird. There’s the people who say that a C is the average, and thus that should be reflected in the distribution of grades, with … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 12 Comments

Textbook Costs

Lots of cross-blog talk on this subject at the moment: why are textbooks so expensive? The answer is mostly that it’s a racket with some resemblance to some of the weird pricing that happens inside the health care system. The … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Information Technology and Information Literacy, Intellectual Property | 11 Comments

Different Cliffs, Different Bottoms, Different Parachutes

There is a kind of confusion that happens anytime there is a major historical conjuncture where histories of failure and crisis which have independent roots happen to coincide. Because they coincide, they become part of the same “event”, and by … Continue reading

Posted in Consumerism, Advertising, Commodities | 16 Comments

Fish Food

Let me add to the “Stanley Fish is just kind of pathetic” dogpile a bit here. In many ways, Fish’s latest column kind of reveals just how naked the emperor has become when it comes to hack complaints about the … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Blogging | 4 Comments