Monthly Archives: May 2013

IKEA lessons for Higher Ed?

This weekend I spent some quality time at IKEA. We left the store with a new bed frame, desk and nightstand for my 16 year old, an outdoor dinging table, 8 outdoor chairs for said dining table, 3 small side tables, 2 seat cushions, and a duvet. Total cost for all these IKEA purchases – […] … learn more→

The simple logic of self-defense

Guns on Campus, Discouraging News, Addendum 1 The cable news networks, like the newspapers long before them, have turned “tabloid” coverage of crimes and trials into a staple element of their programming. It may have started with the murder trial of O. J. Simpson, but, if the recent ratings for the coverage of the Jodi […] … learn more→

The rise of the megacity

The stupid ones have gathered in a field in the center of the town. Every now and then a truck comes by, and all the men in the field rush to it with their hands outstretched, shouting “Take me! Take me!” Everyone pushed me; I pushed back, but the truck scooped up only six or […] … learn more→

Humans have a long history of coming together to solve a climate crisis

Responding to a crisis often brings out the best in people. Certainly it has in the past, when sudden changes in climate during the Middle Stone Age sparked off surges of cultural evolution and innovation in early modern humans, some 100,000 to 40,000 years ago. The earliest stone tool-making had developed by at least 2.6 […] … learn more→

Teachers and students: Machines and their products?

It startles me each time I hear another person (usually, but not always, a non-educator) adamantly claim that education can successfully follow the same patterns of automation as industry or that it can be structured identically to business. This is nonsense. To be blunt (and has been pointed out for years–to unresponsive ears), it arises […] … learn more→

Three dollar people

The New York Times reports that instructional spending at research universities has risen much more quickly over the last decade than at community colleges. In 2009, community colleges spent $9,300 per student on educational resources, virtually unchanged from 1999 once inflation was taken into account. Public research universities spent $16,700, up 11 percent from 1999, […] … learn more→

Workers’ strikes and Facebook likes

25 January 2011 was the day Egypt’s revolt began. People flooded the streets of cities across the country, calling for an end to the Mubarak regime. Two days later – in a moment unprecedented in history – the government turned off Egypt’s internet, in the hope of quelling massive civil unrest. It didn’t work. Two […] … learn more→

Why it matters whether you believe in free will

Scientific discoveries about how our behaviour is causally influenced often prompt the question of whether we have free will (for a general discussion, see here). This month, for example, the psychologist and criminologist Adrian Raine has been promoting his new book, The Anatomy of Violence, in which he argues that there are neuroscientific explanations of […] … learn more→

How NOT to hand in your PhD

So… It finally happened, I submitted my PhD last week. Feels surreal, amazing, and totally normal all at the same time. But I thought I’d just share the hilarity of the day for posterities sake. I really wish somebody had been following me around that day with a camera, because it would have made for […] … learn more→

Digital Humanities as cognitive dissidence

It\’s hard to believe but it was a year ago that the Primer Encuentro de Humanistas Digitales (First Meeting of Digital Humanists) was held in the Vasconcelos Library in Mexico City (17 and May 18, 2012). I participated remotely via a poster / flyer and a website entitled \”HD/DC\”, which I set up to provide […] … learn more→