Monthly Archives: November 2005

The Course That Never Was

For the first time in eleven years, a class of mine hasn’t filled enough to be worth teaching: I only had two students sign up for it. I’ve had a few other small courses from time to time, but I … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Africa | 11 Comments

Cry Baby

I was sort of astonished to read in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal that Richard Ferber is coming out with a new edition of his book on infant sleep in which he says that “letting children cry ‘was not meant to … Continue reading

Posted in Domestic Life | 16 Comments

Boycott’s On

I began this blog three years ago in November. One of the earliest things I wrote about was Sony’s internal conflict between its content-producing divisions and its hardware-producing divisions. I like Sony hardware, by and large. However, I’ve decided that … Continue reading

Posted in Miscellany | 7 Comments

Last Stop on the Meme Train

Chris Clarke inflicted this on me a while back and now I finally tackle it. 1. Of all the books that you have eventually finished after many starts & stops, which one took you the longest and how long did … Continue reading

Posted in Miscellany | 3 Comments

Book Notes: Don’t Let’s Go To The Dogs Tonight

Alexandra Fuller’s Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight has been met with justified acclaim. I use this book in my courses quite a bit, and now I’ve suggested it to some Swarthmore alumni reading groups (whose members would be … Continue reading

Posted in Africa, Books | 5 Comments

Dearth of a Salesman

Just to prove I can unload invective as well as sweet reason, as long as my targets are anonymous idiots, I had a fun time today going to pick up a leaf blower (having discovered that our relatively large new … Continue reading

Posted in Miscellany | 10 Comments

Collective Expertise and Source Authority

Via BoingBoing, this discussion of a mysterious technological object purchased by Todd Lappin. I went to a meeting on teaching technological literacy, especially information technology literacy, in liberal arts curricula last weekend, and I’ll probably write more about that meeting … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Blogging | 9 Comments

People Behaving Badly

I have never liked the over self-referentiality of blogs in general, but there are times where it is right to talk about what’s at stake in this form of publication (e.g., Ivan Tribble) or about struggles about the nature and … Continue reading

Posted in Blogging | 25 Comments


Juan Cole spoke here last night, courtesy of War News Radio, and I was fortunate enough to have dinner with him as well. I thought his talk was terrifically clear, informative and useful, basically a great demonstration of what a … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Blogging | 5 Comments

The Union Label

Even back when my political sensibilities were more party-line progressive than they are now, I was always uneasy about the expectation that any given action by a labor union mandatorily demanded unquestioning support. Partly that’s the consequence of growing up … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 14 Comments