Monthly Archives: July 2009

Arresting Power

Some years ago, I got mugged late at night at an urban train station. I was pretty stupid: I had a friend drop me off to a nearly deserted train station on the most deserted side. Two guys started towards … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

Red Herrings Overboard

Many of the criticisms directed at information technology in the classroom get hung up on a misattribution issue. Eric Rauchway makes this point very effectively: the problem with bad PowerPoint presentations is often not the software, but the presenter. The … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 7 Comments

A Tale of Two Game Movies

I’m pretty surprised that Sam Raimi has agreed to make a film based on World of Warcraft. I still enjoy World of Warcraft as well as find it intellectually interesting but the idea that its mashed-up, derivative, internally contradictory, heavily … Continue reading

Posted in Games and Gaming, Popular Culture | 7 Comments


I didn’t catch the complaint of some philosophers against a small NEH course-development program called “Enduring Questions” the first time around, but picked up on it via Savage Minds. The NEH program offers a small amount of financial support for … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 9 Comments

Passages to Meritocracy

If nothing else, Sunday’s New York Times story on pricey consultancies helping well-heeled students get into the selective university or college of their choice was memorable for the juxtaposition of a quote from Amy Gutmann, president of the University of … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Swarthmore | 8 Comments

Other People’s Money

Some interesting fallout from the light sentence given to Pennsylvania state senator Vincent Fumo for his conviction on corruption charges, a sentence that the judge in the case justified as recognition of Fumo’s many good deeds. (The 55-month sentence is … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | Comments Off on Other People’s Money

Obama in Ghana

I joined in a conversation in Second Life about Obama’s speech in Ghana over the weekend. Due to some technical snafus, I had trouble participating in the panel early on, so one of the basic reactions I had to the … Continue reading

Posted in Africa, Politics | Comments Off on Obama in Ghana

The Weedy Garden of Familyhood

Before the blog went haywire last week, I meant to comment on Michael Chabon’s essay “The Wilderness of Childhood” in the New York Review of Books. The basic thrust of Chabon’s commentary is spot-on. It’s certainly one of the most … Continue reading

Posted in Domestic Life | 1 Comment

Blog Troubles

I think we have everything fixed now here. Let me know if comments are still broken or links to entries here aren’t working.

Posted in Blogging, Swarthmore | Comments Off on Blog Troubles