Monthly Archives: May 2007

Online Review Systems and the Service Economy

I’ve already had a couple of recommendations to look at Angie’s List and Checkbook Magazine since posting earlier today about my homeowner blues. There have been some interesting discussions about Angie’s List in the past six months, particularly at Greg … Continue reading

Posted in Consumerism, Advertising, Commodities, Domestic Life, Information Technology and Information Literacy | 11 Comments

Money Pit

Pardon my banality, but what is it with expensive home repairs that causes them to come in waves? Within a week, we’ve found that our water heater needs replacement, we need a termite treatment (they’re not inside the house, thank … Continue reading

Posted in Domestic Life, Information Technology and Information Literacy | 5 Comments

Lloyd Alexander and Moral Instruction

Lloyd Alexander died late last week at the age of 83. His work, particularly his Prydain Chronicles, has been routinely recommended for kids who have enjoyed the Harry Potter series. The Prydain books were among my absolute favorites when I … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Politics | 16 Comments

Ways to Require History

I’m going to be a bit of a bore, and keep going on the question of requirements, if only to see if we can go beyond Withywindle and I exchanging tit-for-tat in the comments on the last post. Because this … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 14 Comments

Enrollments and Requirements

Miriam Burstein and Scott Eric Kaufman have done the necessary close critique of ACTA’s latest report. Considering how much the problems with this document resemble those I’ve identified in past work by ACTA, I’m increasingly wondering whether ACTA has earned … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 22 Comments

Favorites of the Favorite, or the Great Sayings of Chairman Fattah

This has been an interesting and sometimes pretty nasty mayor’s race to watch in Philadelphia. I’m not a resident of the city, but obviously its governance has a big impact on the suburbs as well. The guy I like best, … Continue reading

Posted in Good Quote, Bad Quote, Politics | 3 Comments

Things Change

My grandfather died today. I’m sorry largely for those of us who knew him, as he was a very interesting and charming person, pretty much the definition of a class act. We will all miss his steady presence. Like his … Continue reading

Posted in Domestic Life | 8 Comments

Isn’t It Ironic?

Is it just me, or is this description of an upcoming local talk by Victor Davis Hanson incredibly convoluted? The penultimate paragraph (the one beginning, “In short”) especially baffles me. Or maybe Hanson is just doing a cleverly postmodern bit … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

Reading is FUNdamental?

The History of Reading course I taught this semester for the first time turned out to be one of my favorite classes ever for a lot of reasons, very much including the students in the course. In the middle of … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Books | 35 Comments

Standards, Weekly and Otherwise

Via Crooked Timber, an article by Ernest Lefever in the Weekly Standard arguing that African independence didn’t amount to much. One of the oldest chestnuts around in academic circles is arguing about whether an author is responsible or culpable for … Continue reading

Posted in Africa | 15 Comments