Monthly Archives: August 2012

Bad Research and Informational Heresies (Draft Syllabus)

Still polishing this a bit, but I think it’s at the point where we can share it and get comments. I’m co-teaching this with my totally awesome colleague Rachel Buurma in the Department of English at Swarthmore. I’m really excited … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Digital Humanities, Information Technology and Information Literacy, Swarthmore | 12 Comments

Our Mamluks

I’ve been in an interesting conversation at Facebook about steadily rising suicide rates in the US military. Thirty-eight Army soldiers killed themselves in July 2012, the highest monthly rate that the Army has ever recorded. 2012’s grim statistics are just … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

Grading on the Curve Is Always a Bad Idea

Via Teresa Nielsen Hayden, a smart overview and response to an upcoming recent Vanity Fair article about Microsoft’s “lost decade”. The main culprit, according to the article, was apparently the rigid use of “stack ranking” in assessing the work of … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 10 Comments

A Scholar, An Expert, An Intellectual

…walk into a bar and…. More seriously, though, I’ve been thinking a lot about the minimum qualifying attributes of these three roles. There’s a big Venn diagram overlap of all three in the labor they perform and the sensibilities that … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Politics | 14 Comments

The Independent’s Daydreams

For a portion of my voting life, I was registered as an independent. (I’m presently registered as a Democrat, having switched my registration in 2007.) I’ve never been a “typical” independent, if you go by what the political analysts say, … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

Journalism, Framing and Value

I’ve long been skeptical about the strongest claims made about the consequences of framing effects in public media and discourse. Not claims about the phenomenon itself, which is very real, but about arguments by George Lakoff and others who hold … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | Comments Off on Journalism, Framing and Value

Social Networks Then and Now

Reading through the old notes and papers that I’ve stuck in a closet and not touched for almost a decade, compiled from the decade of professional work before that (so the 1990s), is a sobering experience. On one hand, I’m … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Digital Humanities, Swarthmore | 1 Comment

Calling All Librarians, Info Scientists, Digital Humanists

I’m still struggling with how to begin a project that I would like to be a lifelong commitment for the rest of my career. The issues are technical and conceptual. What I want to do is begin publishing and archiving … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Digital Humanities, Information Technology and Information Literacy, Swarthmore | 16 Comments

Hell Is Other Gamers (And Some Games)

Game developers talking about “culture” are often deeply frustrating. Either they are overly credulous about how design directly and symmetrically can create a particular set of cultural practices and outlook within a game, as my friend Thomas Malaby has observed … Continue reading

Posted in Digital Humanities, Games and Gaming, Oh Not Again He's Going to Tell Us It's a Complex System | 1 Comment

A Sample Class Prep

I’m still thinking about ways to put some of my note-taking in my ordinary workflow into a disseminated or published form. More on that soon, as I’m seeking advice. But one other summer project has been to dig into my … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Swarthmore | 1 Comment