Thursday, January 31, 2008

Let George rejoice with Crassus

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

We see the shinola, where's the shit?

Kia on the sad state of book reviewing; on what it means to educate the book audience; on Cyril Connolly and Marvin Mudrick; on the stupefaction of stupid fiction; on the reasons she reads; on the relation of a news timeframe to a literary timeframe; on Mudrick's method of reviewing and his kind of good judgment; on remembering that "nobody gives a shit about you"; on academic "collegiality":

The great virtue is collegiality, the maintenance of this specious chumminess among people who secretly and violently loathe each other. What brings them together is saying shit about the stupidity of students and grad students and (I suppose) of those untenured phantoms who roam from campus to campus, living on Top Ramen, doing the actual teaching.
on preferring British book reviews to the USian species; on the wellsprings of USian essay tedium:
in order to say anything critical about anything and keep your mass audience you have to play the self-deprecating curmudgeon. “Oh, don’t you mind Uncle Frank. The Katzenjammer Kids set fire to his underpants again.”
on a certain parallel between contemporary essayistic (/blogistic) finery and the somnambulent procession of 19th century Augustanism; on getting "a pretty strong sense of the difference between shit and shinola," among other things.

I've not been reading many blogs lately. And whatever happens on Twitter can stay on Twitter. Who has time for Facebook? But this is like suddenly being hauled out of the ClichéoSphere with a Swiftean smack of sanity. I warmly recommend the whole thing.

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Examplary displacement

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Telling chickenshit artificial scarcification monopoles what to do with it

Cape Town Open Education Declaration:

Unlocking the promise of open educational resources

We are on the cusp of a global revolution in teaching and learning. Educators worldwide are developing a vast pool of educational resources on the Internet, open and free for all to use. These educators are creating a world where each and every person on earth can access and contribute to the sum of all human knowledge. They are also planting the seeds of a new pedagogy where educators and learners create, shape and evolve knowledge together, deepening their skills and understanding as they go.

This emerging open education movement combines the established tradition of sharing good ideas with fellow educators and the collaborative, interactive culture of the Internet. It is built on the belief that everyone should have the freedom to use, customize, improve and redistribute educational resources without constraint. Educators, learners and others who share this belief are gathering together as part of a worldwide effort to make education both more accessible and more effective.

The expanding global collection of open educational resources has created fertile ground for this effort. These resources include openly licensed course materials, lesson plans, textbooks, games, software and other materials that support teaching and learning. They contribute to making education more accessible, especially where money for learning materials is scarce. They also nourish the kind of participatory culture of learning, creating, sharing and cooperation that rapidly changing knowledge societies need.

However, open education is not limited to just open educational resources. It also draws upon open technologies that facilitate collaborative, flexible learning and the open sharing of teaching practices that empower educators to benefit from the best ideas of their colleagues. It may also grow to include new approaches to assessment, accreditation and collaborative learning. Understanding and embracing innovations like these is critical to the long term vision of this movement.

There are many barriers to realizing this vision. Most educators remain unaware of the growing pool of open educational resources. Many governments and educational institutions are either unaware or unconvinced of the benefits of open education. Differences among licensing schemes for open resources create confusion and incompatibility. And, of course, the majority of the world does not yet have access to the computers and networks that are integral to most current open education efforts.

These barriers can be overcome, but only by working together. We invite learners, educators, trainers, authors, schools, colleges, universities, publishers, unions, professional societies, policymakers, governments, foundations and others who share our vision to commit to the pursuit and promotion of open education and, in particular, to these three strategies to increase the reach and impact of open educational resources:

1. Educators and learners: First, we encourage educators and learners to actively participate in the emerging open education movement. Participating includes: creating, using, adapting and improving open educational resources; embracing educational practices built around collaboration, discovery and the creation of knowledge; and inviting peers and colleagues to get involved. Creating and using open resources should be considered integral to education and should be supported and rewarded accordingly.

2. Open educational resources: Second, we call on educators, authors, publishers and institutions to release their resources openly. These open educational resources should be freely shared through open
licences which facilitate use, revision, translation, improvement and sharing by anyone. Resources should be published in formats that facilitate both use and editing, and that accommodate a diversity of technical platforms. Whenever possible, they should also be available in formats that are accessible to people with disabilities and people who do not yet have access to the Internet.

3. Open education policy: Third, governments, school boards, colleges and universities should make open education a high priority. Ideally, taxpayer-funded educational resources should be open educational resources. Accreditation and adoption processes should give preference to open educational resources. Educational resource repositories should actively include and highlight open educational resources within their collections.

These strategies represent more than just the right thing to do. They constitute a wise investment in teaching and learning for the 21st century. They will make it possible to redirect funds from expensive textbooks towards better learning. They will help teachers excel in their work and provide new opportunities for visibility and global impact. They will accelerate innovation in teaching. They will give more control over learning to the learners themselves. These are strategies that make sense for everyone.

Thousands of educators, learners, authors, administrators and policymakers are already involved in open education initiatives. We now have the opportunity to grow this movement to include millions of educators and institutions from all corners of the earth, richer and poorer. We have the chance to reach out to policymakers, working together to seize the opportunities ahead. We have the opportunity to engage entrepreneurs and publishers who are developing innovative open business models. We have a chance to nurture a new generation of learners who engage with open educational materials, are empowered by their learning and share their new knowledge and insights with others. Most importantly, we have an opportunity to dramatically improve the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world through freely available, high-quality, locally relevant educational and learning opportunities.

We, the undersigned, invite all individuals and institutions to join us in signing the Cape Town Open Education Declaration, and, in doing so, to commit to pursuing the three strategies listed above. We also encourage those who sign to pursue additional strategies in open educational technology, open sharing of teaching practices and other approaches that promote the broader cause of open education. With each person or institution who makes this commitment -- and with each effort to further articulate our vision -- we move closer to a world of open, flexible and effective education for all.

Document Actions

There are currently 1160 signatories to the Declaration, including:

Media Alternatives (FMA) (Philippines)
Tony Bailetti, Carleton University (Canada)
James Bosco, Western Michigan University (United States)
Katarzyna Bratkowska, (Poland)
Martin Dougiamas, Moodle (Austria)
Mark Hamlin, University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNC-Asheville) (United States)
Alicja Jania, Grammar school (Poland)
Don Johnson, Rice University (United States)
Maximillian Kaizen, Huddlemind Labs (South Africa)
Mills Kelly, George Mason University (United States)
Kathy Kikis-Papadakis, Foundation for research and Technology-Hellas (Greece)
Anna Klimowicz, National Agency of the Lifelong Learning Programme (Poland)
Lawrence Lessig, Creative Commons (United States)
Kevin McCauley, (South Africa)
ESTELLE MYNHARDT, Better Best Educational Projects (South Africa)
Zuzanna Orzel, (Poland)
Henrietta Otokunefor, University of Port Harcourt Library, University of Port Harcourt, East-West Road, Choba (Nigeria)
Natasha Primo, Association for Progressive Communication (South Africa)
Lee-Anne Prinsloo, African Career Development Centre (South Africa)
Ashoka Samuelson, Indian Institute of Science (India)
Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical (United Kingdom)
Jimmy Wales, Wikimedia Foundation/Wikia (United States)
Nahmsath Yabouri, University of Lome (Togo)
xiuli zhuang, Beijing Normal University (China)

The full list of individual signatories is here. You can also view lists of organizational signatores and the participants in the Cape Town meeting, who were the first signatories to the Declaration.

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stigmergent Media

Story Workshop:
“Sometimes something in our village happens exactly the same as an issue in the play so we just say, like the radio show is called: "Zimachitika." ("These things happen.") - Chinyonga Kapeni, Blantyre Rural

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Fear breeds scum, scum breeds fear

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Underground JSTOR

A JSTOR support system for those in need of knowledge, but outside the sphincteral precincts.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

don't mean a thing

The Tutor might entitle this "Cakewalk with call and response" -

Call: "The bond insurers scare people to death."

Response: It's almost impossible to gauge how much banks stand to lose if the bond insurers are stripped of their AAA ratings.

Call: "Do I have it right that the banks themselves are going to bail out the insurance companies that are providing them insurance, and it's going to cost maybe $5 billion, maybe more?"

Response: America's biggest mortgage bond insurers collectively need a $200 billion (£101 billion) capital injection if they are to maintain their key AAA credit ratings.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

reality-based reality check

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: I believe we can find common ground to get something done mumble mumble get something done mumble big mumble mumble bigness, big dick, dickness, mighty bollock of greensnap mumble mumble really frickin big.

Asia calls bushit

ROBERT KUTTNER: I think the place to start is to recognize why this recession is different from all other recessions. This began and is continuing with a collapse in credit markets, and the collapse in credit markets is, in turn, the result of deregulation gone nuts. And it’s a repeat of a lot of things that happened in the 1920s, where there was too much speculation with too much borrowed money and a complete lack of transparency. The regulators, the public had no idea of what these bonds that had been created out of subprime mortgages really contained, what they were worth. The people who packaged them were not subject to any kind of regulatory scrutiny.

And when it turned out that a lot of these loans were never going to be paid back, the layer upon layer upon layer of bonds and then securities based on the bonds—you know, if you can picture the World Trade Center collapsing floor by floor or you can picture the collapse of the Ponzi schemes of the 1920s, that’s a good—or horrible—analogy. And when you have a credit contraction, it means that banks have less capital against which to make loans, and lowering interest rates doesn’t fix that.

There are two other things that lowering interest rates and an ordinary stimulus package won’t fix. One, you alluded to in your opening comments, Amy, and that’s the collapse in housing prices. At the current rate of decline in housing values, American homeowners—and that’s about 70 percent of Americans—are going to lose $2.2 trillion of net worth this year alone. Well, when you lose $2.2 trillion of savings, you’re not inclined to rush out and do home improvements, you’re not inclined to rush out and buy durable goods. And again, compared to that kind of a loss, a stimulus—and they’re talking about $140–$145 billion, that’s one percent of GDP—that’s a drop in the bucket.

Lastly, this occurs on top of thirty years of increasing insecurity on a whole bunch of fronts: the greater risk of losing your job, the greater risk of having your paycheck not keep pace with inflation, rising energy costs, rising tuition costs, rising health insurance costs. All of the things that make you middle class have become more difficult to attain in the past thirty years. So you’ve got a three-layer cake here. You’ve got this thirty-year history of flat or declining living standards for most Americans, you’ve got this terrible weakness in financial markets, and you’ve got this housing collapse.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

This bit of anxiety copyright MSNBC

Friday, January 18, 2008

The problem with advertising and public relations

Thursday, January 17, 2008

David Lynch, Man of Mystery

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Share the Love

Sunday, January 06, 2008

epiphanic nonentification

But even if they think they have information, which they do not, (not knowing their right hand from their left, THE people cannot distinguish between information and opinion) they would have no place from to and in which to speak.

Blog and twit till you're blue in the face -- people -- not THE people, nothing of platform about it (the platform, cause of our ingesting your stately prairie dog antics, is what makes you invisible and inaudible), just those biomorphs with runny noses silting the lower atmospheric ambient bollocksphere around and about -- still have no voice, and no place to and from and in which to speak.

A friend was telling me tonite of how in her small town in Pa., where there were once two hospitals there now is one. One ER instead of two, one surgery instead of two. It's called efficiency, tho it may not seem so to octogenerians with cancer and great pain who wait until 5 a.m. to be seen in the ER.

Is it not clear yet that before things like healthcare can be addressed, those involved -- not us blogging, but those involved in their locality, the sick, the well, the medical people, the suppliers, instrument makers and installers, money people, maintenance people, illegal aliens, politicians, real estate whizzers, marketeers, cemetery personnel, systems analysts -- all these and more of a place have to look at the problem together, with someone who does not insist with the sycophancy of the tool that USia is the greatest nation on earth and that there are no problems with healthcare, but who listens and helps each place work out a system that makes sense for itself, multiple specific solutions that can then learn from and network with each other, maybe, yepper, if they ever get that that right/left business sorted out and skip the great nation status since nations are dangling teratomatic appendices of a doomed evolutionary trajectory, or worse?

It is also remarkable how Gore Vidal nailed the presidential debates of last evening, but did so a full week before:

via Informant38

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