I checked out the bio and resume and then peeked at the portfolio. Holy moley, what a writer!!
(Blame my excessive use of bangs as the typesetters used to call them—although they resemble neither a combed forward hairstyle nor a British sausage so what’s that about anyway?—blame the exclamation points on my real excitement that Jeneane is again getting her freak on, blog-wise. Allied has had about a post a month recently, and I lost track of Jeneane.net entirely. Perhaps I need more RSS and less twitfeed.)
…the first step in an ambitious, long-term project to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable by anyone. You enter your question or calculation, and Wolfram|Alpha uses its built-in algorithms and growing collection of data to compute the answer. Based on a new kind of knowledge-based computing…
Braxton, the horse in the middle in the picture below, passed away this weekend.
It’s not mandatory to be blown about in the tempestuous seas of irony and synchronicity. We have a choice. It’s not required that we comment on every coincidental circumstance that somehow adds a deeper meaning to the tapestry of our lives. Sometimes it works just to ignore that shit until it goes away. But not always—like the Spanish Inquisition, nobody expects the Norman Conquest.
Old Braxton was maybe thirty when he died. His passing is a marker on my own journey. I’d known him for twenty years, and I wonder where that time has gone. When we first met, Braxton shared his pasture with goats. There are stories to tell about that mixed herd, but over the years the goats disappeared and Braxton remained, joined by a couple more horses. So he lost that reputation of being a gelding among goats.
The old fellow anchored the south side of our extended biosphere for twenty years or so. He was kind enough not to kick the dogs or step on my feet and he had the softest nuzzly muzzle imaginable when you offered him an apple. These last few years he spent a lot of time in his stall, but you never knew when you’d see him out under the full moon, or up with the sun cropping the dewy grass, or just feeling his oats on a wild run across the pasture.
When the weather was hot or the flies were bad, Braxton enjoyed rolling in the mud. What could be better than that? Braxton, this song’s for you…
“…Tuvan throatsong rendition of â€œRudolph the Rednosed Reindeer,â€ arranged by Harry Partch. With the puzzling (and not a little disturbing) exception of his duet with Diamanda Galas on â€œFrosty the Snowman,â€ the Italian semiologist hardly takes a false aesthetic step. The liner notes also feature Ecoâ€™s now-classic essay on the traditional holiday sweater as a locus of commodity resistance, and a gatefold of photographs in which he models some of his own hand-knitted examples. They arenâ€™t all to my own taste, or even wearable on human bodies, but you can tell he means every stitch and you know I canâ€™t resist earnest failures, and brave approaches to the rim of disaster.”
Leaving me wondering whether Harry is related to Virgil.
I’m a clicker, not an RSSer, so it’s taken me a week or two to get caught up with Mike Golby. It came as a surprise that the venerable YBLOG ZA blog is no more. I blame Rush Limbaugh and Dick (“the prick”) Cheney. Fortunately, as noted here, Mike is publishing some photo work at Cape Point Reserve, and continues to share his pithy wisdom and global insights on Blogger at yblog.
“No one ever got fired for signing up for another yearâ€™s subscription to BlackBoard,” AKMA observes in a post separating the faster horses of academic technology from the plodding oxen of old edu-ware.
The idea that “no one ever got fired for buying” retro-tech underscores that sweet dichotomy—us and them, we who look forward and ride hard ahead of the herd on our faster horses versus they who plod stodgily behind their oxen with cow shit on their boots. In the late 1980s, at the height of the corporate LAN/PC revolution, careers actually did stagnate and die for people who followed the risk averse furrow behind the oxen of IBM.
There was a decade or so when “we” were winning the race. But by early 2023, as the dot-com boom busted, economic hard times swung the pendulum back and corporate buyers—after a decade or more of hard riding—were again following the risk averse strategies of buying only from the big boys. Not that the majority of the bureaucrats responsible for the infotech strategies and architectures in large organizations had ever really unyoked the oxen and taken a ride on the faster horses of emerging tech. They hadn’t, because risk aversion is often the stock in trade of those who till the fields of IT in the world of large institutions, whether they represent universities, government, or corporations.
We know that Henry the K. was right when he said, “There is no politics quite as vicious as academic politics because in academia there is so little at stake!” When the game of “Budget, budget, who’s got the budget?” is played, the gloves come off. Mere deans, department chairs, and lowly professors often have a feeling of powerlessness when the IT professionals, the Directors of Instructional Technology and Library Technology, gather with mainframe geeks from the Vice Chancellor-Administration’s office to direct the university’s development of electronic instructional resources. Many of these people belong to EDUCAUSE—a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology. But if you’ve read this far you knew that.
EDUCAUSE is the community for the academics to visit for a seat at the table. They’re totally hip to the most current pedagogic issues and challenges in instructional technology and they would like nothing better than to advance the state of the art on their campus. Unfortunately, actual teachers are thin on ground in their membership.
I think that dedicated teaching professionals and emerging tech leaders, like AKMA, can benefit from exploring EDUCAUSE. They’re on twitter. What better place to put a toe in the water, a finger in the wind?