Way Out of the Box

Today’s computer constructs were made up in situations that ranged from emergency to academia, which have been piled up into a seemingly meaningful whole. Yet the world of the screen could be anything at all, not just the imitation of paper. But everybody seems to think the basic designs are finished. It’s just like “Space, we’ve done that!” — a few inches of exploration and some people think it’s over…..Today’s…

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Mother Courage: Kids, Career and Culture

The notion that women want to be with their kids is crucial to the logic of de Marneffe’s argument. With it, she inverts the whole Friedanian case against domesticity. In de Marneffe’s view, it is a mistake to equate staying at home with forgoing an adult identity, because it is precisely in caring for children that an adult identity is forged. (As I write this, my five-year-old twins are marching…

Young America's news source: Jon Stewart

For many under 30, the host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” is, improbably, an important news source. A poll released earlier this year by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that 21 percent of people aged 18 to 29 cited “The Daily Show” and “Saturday Night Live” as a place where they regularly learned presidential campaign news. –Young America’s news source: Jon Stewart (CNN) I…

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Risks of Quantitative Studies

It’s a dangerous mistake to believe that statistical research is somehow more scientific or credible than insight-based observational research. In fact, most statistical research is less credible than qualitative studies. Design research is not like medical science: ethnography is its closest analogy in traditional fields of science. –Jakob Nielsen –Risks of Quantitative Studies (Alertbox) Note… he’s specifically talking about research into design — he’s not saying qualititaive research is always better…

Dinosaur impact theory challenged

Scientists have cast doubt on the well-established theory that a single, massive asteroid strike killed off the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. New data suggests the Chicxulub crater in Mexico, supposedly created by the collision, predates the extinction of the dinosaurs by about 300,000 years. –Dinosaur impact theory challenged (BBC) Other cosmic news: Mars “soaking wet in the past” (according to NASA); Jupiter has a new blue spot (first detected by…

Games, violence, money and the criteria of news

So why this terror of the new medium? I don’t think it has much to do with the concern to protect the weak and feeble-minded potential murderers out there. This is all about money. Television is one of the media which has the most to lose, as statistics show that games take time away not from people’s reading , but from their “screen-time”…. The coke-swilling, hamburger-gobbling habits that the swedish…

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In Praise of Eccentric Professors

The electric shock hadn’t hurt Jeremy very much, but he had bumped his head on a metal leg of the auditorium seats which he fell into. I had told him to ham it up when I applied the electrode of my violet-ray machine to his outstretched hand, but this was much more than I expected. I was using the machine in a lecture on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. (Many of the…