Bow, N*gger

The faithful, in order to be more true to the ‘Jedi Code of Honour’, crouch before each other and duck their ‘heads’ down as a mark of respect before enjoining battle. Some people think that’s silly. I thought it was silly, the first time I saw it. Then I saw everybody was doing it. And then I felt silly not doing it. –Bow, N*gger (Extra Life) This is not just a…

Prolegomenon to a Concise Model of the University

Before proceeding, the reader should fully understand that, within the University, esteem is defined in a special way. If something in held in high esteem, that thing has been judged likely to improve the University’s rank in the greatly feared annual college survey published by US News & World Report. This rank is, of course, of great personal concern to the University’s Administrators; if the University’s rank rises, so too…

Access to the Literature: The Debate Continues [Introduction]

One jarring aspect of proposals to reform scholarly publishing is that, all too often, they implicitly consider ‘journals’ as a single homogenous entity, to which one universal publishing model can be applied. On the contrary, diversity is everywhere. In any discipline, journals range from high quality ‘must reads’ with high rejection rates – which in turn result in higher costs per published paper – to publications which add little value…

Of blogs and wikis

In an online world where bloggers’ frenzied mutual promotion seems increasingly the norm, the Wiki emerges as an oasis of dignified restraint. It was invented in 1995 by Ward Cunningham, who now works for Microsoft. But the underlying idea of the Wiki – a Web page that anyone can edit or even delete – could hardly be more antithetical to the Redmond way. In a sense, the Wiki is to…

Thinking Outside the Box

I’d like to propose a little exercise, so I beseech you, the readers of this blog, my teachers and friends, to think of a cliche` and provide an alternate solution to it. –Neha –Thinking Outside the Box (Wanderlust) I have the image in my head of a chameleon trying to hide on a TV set that’s playing a video of chameleons leaping to their deaths… …and a nervous public speaker, trying…

Blog Three Hundred Four [Blogs and CCCC]

A new development in composition appears and those interested in that development use CCCC as a place to find each other, to learn just how much interest exists in the new development. Often the SIG tries to map the field, figuring out what’s in and what’s not, trying to locate the work in relation to other work. For instance, in 2001, we indexed 32 sessions under the heading “Internet/Web,” but…

Coffee with Gonzalo Frasca

Gonzalo: That‘sbetter. Now, let me tell you something: narratology is a sham. It‘sfor losers who can’t get laid. You know what I‘m saying? Narratologists can go suck it, as far as I‘m concerned. Kiss my sweet ass, Vladimir Propp! You?re not going to put that in the transcript, are you? Walter: Of course not. Well, looks like it‘stime for me to go, now. Gonzalo: Gonzalo ?The Political Games Guy? Frasca.…

Laughter, Freedom and Humor

Gelotology-(root word, gelos (gr) meaning “laughter”) is the psychological study of laughter. More and more, scientists are beginning to realize the value of laughter on a physiological level. For instance, laughter reduces levels of certain stress hormones and contributes to overall strengthening of the immune system. As the field of gelotology grows, practicing “laughter clubs” have grown around the world. Hearts lighten, souls lift, the laughter multiplies, but what is…

Where'd You Put My Laser Pointer, Bart?

Maybe PowerPoint is soo powerful that the mounting of critiques creates some kind of karmic vacuum–PowerPoint skepticism met cosmically by a surge of colorfully-themed shows rushed to the doubter’s inbox. Two shows were sent my way in the past week. One was a self-evaluation for whether or not you (dear reader) would be a fit candidate for teaching courses online. (Slide One: Are you technically proficient with checking email?) The…