Monthly Archives: June 2010

Islands in the Mire

Try to imagine, if you will, a person buried alive, growing desperately weak, fighting and struggling… to reach up through the dirt in order to grab some nearby stones to pile on top of his grave. That’s what watching the … Continue reading

Posted in Blogging, Information Technology and Information Literacy, Politics | Comments Off on Islands in the Mire

The Gods That Underachieved

The opening anecdote of this New York Times article on cyber-bullying led me to think about some bigger issues than what middle schoolers are doing on Facebook. The striking thing about the incident that opens the article is that the … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

It’s Complicated

“It’s complicated”. Jon Stewart tweaked Obama last week for repeatedly framing his approach to issues with this phrase, and he’s not the first to do so. That complaint was very likely the reason why Obama felt the need to awkwardly … Continue reading

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Huge Untapped Natural Resources

Many moons ago, in my first teaching gig at a New England prep school’s summer session, I was responsible for a unit on Africa. I poked around in the school’s library and found an old educational film intended for American … Continue reading

Posted in Africa, Politics | Comments Off on Huge Untapped Natural Resources

iFlit? kk: uBore.

One thing you can say for the first wave of blogs: ubiquitious self-publishing was an unintended cure for the tendency of editors or publishers in old-media publications to seize the microphone for their own indulgence. A hundred thousand commenters up … Continue reading

Posted in Blogging, Cleaning Out the Augean Stables, Information Technology and Information Literacy | 8 Comments

Bench Pressing

Here in the heart of my middle age, I keep thinking about living in suburbia. I remember as a college student being sure that’s what I didn’t want to do, but now I have to admit that I find it … Continue reading

Posted in Domestic Life | 18 Comments

Double Consciousness of Double Standards

Ah, the African Renaissance. Can you feel those winds of change? (photo by Chris Nevins) Feels more like a boat becalmed in the middle of the Sargasso Sea with no breeze in sight. Statues that charmingly invoke North Korean aesthetics? … Continue reading

Posted in Africa | 3 Comments

Big-Tent Problems

One of the best experiences I’ve had in my career to date has been participating in a relatively informal group that meets irregularly at Bryn Mawr to talk about complex systems, emergence, and information theory among other topics. I’ve had … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 4 Comments

Imaginary Menaces

The dedicated Kool-Aid drinkers who brought us the entertaining proposition that risks should be made public and any profits that derived from public investment should be made relentlessly private have left a number of curious inversions in their wake. Witness … Continue reading

Posted in Information Technology and Information Literacy, Politics | 2 Comments

Precautions and Paralysis

In response to a prompt recently, I had to try and do a bit of forecasting about higher education. I’ve spent too much time teaching about the history of futurism and prediction to find that a comfortable invitation. No matter … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 7 Comments