Quote of the moment: David Brooks, books vs. internet

July 12, 2010

Wisdom comes in keen insights:

These different cultures foster different types of learning. The great essayist Joseph Epstein once distinguished between being well informed, being hip and being cultivated. The Internet helps you become well informed — knowledgeable about current events, the latest controversies and important trends. The Internet also helps you become hip — to learn about what’s going on, as Epstein writes, “in those lively waters outside the boring mainstream.”

But the literary world is still better at helping you become cultivated, mastering significant things of lasting import. To learn these sorts of things, you have to defer to greater minds than your own. You have to take the time to immerse yourself in a great writer’s world. You have to respect the authority of the teacher.

Right now, the literary world is better at encouraging this kind of identity. The Internet culture may produce better conversationalists, but the literary culture still produces better students.

It’s better at distinguishing the important from the unimportant, and making the important more prestigious.

David Brooks, “The Medium is the Medium,” New York Times, July 9, 2010, page A23


Newseum’s interactive map of today’s headlines

June 2, 2010

This is cool.

Pam Harlow, an old friend from American Airlines, and a map and travel buff, e-mailed me with a link to the Newseum’s interactive headline map.  I can’t get a good screen shot to show you — so you gotta go to their site and see it for yourself.

When it comes up in your browser, it features a map of the continental 48 states, with dots marking major daily newspapers across the nation.  Put your pointer on any of those dots and you see the front page of the newspaper for today from that city.

Using the buttons at the top of the map, you can check newspapers on every continent except Antarctica.

How can I use this in class?

Update:  Here’s a screen shot of the Newseum feature:

Newseum's interactive front-page feature - showing the front page of the Idaho Statesman-Journal of Pocatello, Idaho, on December 15, 2013

Newseum’s interactive front-page feature –  on December 15, 2013


The Communicator communicates

April 5, 2010

What can students do with the web?

Go take a look at The Communicator, the on-line newspaper of Community High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

What could those students do with a history classGeography? Literature? Mathematics?

Photo illustrating story at on-line version of the student publication Communicator, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Photo illustrating story at on-line version of the student publication Communicator, Ann Arbor, Michigan


OK Go – copyright, industry change, culture and technology, and great music

March 13, 2010

You’re internet and culture savvy — you probably already know all about this stuff.

OK Go’s music appeals to many.  The appeal convinced a major record label, Capitol/EMI, to sign the band to a deal.  OK Go worked hard to promote the music of the band, including videos.  Capitol looked at the videos, intensely creative works of art on their own, and pulled in the reins.  Okay to show the vids, the label said, but don’t allow downloads . . .

Minor twist on the old band meets label, band wins label story:  OK Go got out of the contract. They lost the label.

Now they’ve got an astounding new video to go viral, one that simply delights younger viewers and brings in older viewers with whispers of “shades of Rube Goldberg!”  (Who was Rube Goldberg?  Younger readers go here.)

NPR explains:

After the overwhelming success of the video for its 2006 song “Here It Goes Again,” in which its four band members execute a tightly choreographed dance routine built around a handful of treadmills, OK Go has lofty standards to live up to. With roughly 50 million views on YouTube, “Here It Goes Again” stands as one of the most popular music videos of the Internet era.

Not one to shy away from a challenge, the band set about constructing a painstakingly executed two-story Rube Goldberg machine, set to trigger in time to the music for its latest video, “This Too Shall Pass.” Although it starts out small, with a toy truck knocking over some dominoes, the contraptions that make up the machine rapidly get larger and much more complex — pianos are dropped, shopping carts come crashing down ramps, and one band member is launched headlong through a wall of boxes. After assembling a team of dozens of engineers to construct the set, more than 60 takes were needed to get everything working just right during filming.

Toughest part?  EMI, parent of Capitol, didn’t want to allow downloads of the music or video.

The band’s label, EMI, didn’t see things the same way. In an effort to maintain some control over the dissemination of the music video, EMI denied listeners the ability to embed it on their own Web sites and blogs. After receiving a deluge of complaints, the band eventually persuaded EMI to enable embedding. Soon afterward, however, OK Go parted ways with EMI to start its own record label, Paracadute.

NPR’s audio story is six minutes of fun, and learning.  Copyright, embedding and download issues — aren’t these the frontlines of new media legal discussion?

Personal quandary: I’m not sure that I don’t like this version of the song, with the Notre Dame marching band, better than the Rube Goldberg version.  What do you think?

Personal confession: Problems of mishearing lyrics abound.  I listened probably a dozen times thinking the refrain was “When the money comes.”  It makes more sense, and is much less cynical and wooish, with the real lyric, “When the morning comes.”

More:

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Obama hoaxers crawl out of the woodwork, onto the internet

August 31, 2008

 

Dennis at Thinking in a Marrow Bone — not an Obama supporter, mind you — posted a conversation he had with a guy who posted a hoaxed photo of Barack Obama, purporting to show him holding a landline telephone upside down.

This is the hoax photo

Dennis called him on the hoax.  After a few rounds of weak defense, and then moral waffling of significant proportion, the hoaxer deleted the comments from his blog.  Dennis preserved the conversation at TMB.

Moral of the story:  Don’t believe much of what you hear or see, without corroboration.  If a claim casts aspersions on someone, and comes on the internet, check it out before granting credence. Thanks to Dennis, an honest guy, for exposing the hoax and preserving the record of it.

Hoaxers are malicious and will do almost anything to damage Obama, even if it requires bringing down the U.S. and burning the flag.  No wonder George Washington wanted out of this sort of politics.

Question:  What’s the deal with the clock in the doctored photo?  [Oh – it says “3:00 o’clock”]

Honor roll:  Bloggers and others who exposed the hoax:

Dishonor roll, the Little List, bloggers who tried to perpetrate and perpetuate the hoax, or who got suckered themselves:

Special Consideration:

 


Trivia and waste of bandwidth – until it saves your kid’s life

August 31, 2008

Trivial information and internet communication make for bandwidth-wasting and brain-numbing exchanges — friendly, maybe, but your spouse will consider filing papers.

Until it saves your kid’s life with a dramatic diagnosis of a deadly disease across an ocean.

Look at the BBC report on the toddler in Florida whose life was saved by a transatlantic, e-mail suggested diagnosis.  Print story from BBC, here.

A toddler in Florida has been diagnosed with cancer after a Manchester woman saw early warning signs in a picture.

Madeleine Robb, from Stretford, who has never met her pen pal, spotted a shadow behind one of Rowan Santos’s eyes on pictures from her first birthday.

She then e-mailed her mother Megan advising her to get medical help.

The toddler was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer – Retinoblastoma – and underwent an operation and is having chemotherapy.

The two mothers became friends on an internet messageboard after their children were born on the same day.

But when Mrs Robb saw the pictures she said she knew something was not right.

Tip of the old scrub brush to Moments in Time.

[FireFox 3 doesn’t support the old video capture of VodPod; my apologies for sending you to the video, though sending someone to a BBC site is probably a great act of education.]


And now, the Nigerian scam investigation scam

August 22, 2008

A few months ago I posted about a guy who issued a spectacular reply to someone trying the old Nigerian scam on him.

Yesterday that post got this comment:

Levy Says:
August 22, 2008 at 1:56 am edit

I have found good service for check nigerian. It’s
http://www.nigerianscamcheck.com

Go check that site out. If it’s not a scam itself, it should be.  Just what you were looking for, a “good service for check nigerian.”

Especially note the certificate from the “Global School of Detectives,” the membership in “World Association of Detectives” (yes: W.A.D.), and the certificate from the California Board of Collections and Investigatives Services (P.I.s in California now are licensed by the much newer Bureau of Security and Investigative Services). (See the images of the certificates below.)

If you ever post again, Levy, I swear I’ll send your name and address to both the Latter-day Saints and Jehovah’s Witnesses.


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