Monthly Archives: December 2007

History 8C From Leopold to Kabilia: The Bad Twentieth Century in Central Africa

Here’s the last of my three syllabi for the spring of 2008. ——– History 8C From Leopold to Kabila: The Bad Twentieth Century in Central Africa Spring 2008 Professor Burke x8115 Trotter 206 This course is a survey focusing centrally … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Africa, Swarthmore | 5 Comments

Traveller IQ Challenge and Learning

The Traveller IQ Challenge, besides being a great little bit of casual-game design, strikes me as showing how potentially useful certain kinds of instant-feedback quizzes and games could be in a fully wired classroom, while also showing the limitations of … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Africa, Games and Gaming, Information Technology and Information Literacy, Popular Culture | 8 Comments

Z is for Zuma

Jacob Zuma is now on track to be South Africa’s third president. This alone does not worry me too much. Maybe the most frequent question I get from friends, students, and acquaintances about African affairs is how I see South … Continue reading

Posted in Africa | 3 Comments

Accrediting and Information

I have no problem with seeing students as consumers of education, perhaps because I don’t think that the identity of “consumer” forecloses other kinds of relationships. I can be a friend and a customer of a store owner. I can … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 4 Comments

Il Duce’s Teacher Certification Program

According to Crooked Timber, Jonah Goldberg’s new book claims to reveal that the typical “liberal fascist” in contemporary America has studied in Swarthmore’s Education Program. You can’t get angry, exactly, at the shamelessness and silliness of this kind of writing. … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Swarthmore | 52 Comments

Dear Intellectual Property Santa Claus

For next Christmas, please release the following DVDs: 1. The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh. 2. The Six Million Dollar Man, first season. 3. The 1971 animated version of A Christmas Carol, with Scrooge voiced by Alistair Sims. ———- The interesting … Continue reading

Posted in Popular Culture | 8 Comments

Better Movie

It’s got nothing to do with the decision to tone down the references to religion, but the film of The Golden Compass is pretty bad. It suffers from a number of storytelling failures. It doesn’t allow the viewer, particularly anyone … Continue reading

Posted in Popular Culture | 10 Comments

Shorter Mitt Romney

I’m not the only one pointing this out, but here’s the breakdown on Romney’s speech: 1. Religious tolerance is a central value in American life 2. Secularism is a religion 3. Secularism is worthless and has no place in American … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

Hollywood Sells Out, Makes Better Movie!

There are a lot of interesting articles in this month’s Atlantic, but the piece on the film version of Phillip Pullman’s The Golden Compass drove me batty. The film looks promising, and my daughter and I plan to see it … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Popular Culture | 5 Comments