The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it — namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain. If he had been a great and wise philosopher, like the writer of this book, he would now have comprehended that Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do, and…

The Birth of WikiNews

None of these dedicated reporters and editors is paid for their efforts. In fact, most of them don’t know the first thing about professional journalism. All however are as passionate about their craft as the top earners at the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, Fox News or the BBC. What’s more, they’re convinced they can offer better journalism than anything professional news organizations currently supply; one stripped…

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The 'We're Smart, You're Dumb' Principle

Professors see the world in terms of experts and students: “We are smart; you are dumb.” That’s the Infantile American Principle in a nutshell. Now go play with your toys and don’t bother me. –David Gelernter –The ‘We’re Smart, You’re Dumb’ Principle (LA Times (will expire)) The article is really a critique of Democratic philosophy, but I thought I’d post this quote about professors as a reminder that I should stay…

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Distracting visuals clutter TV screen; viewers less likely to retain content

Robert Pittman, who created MTV, attributed the station’s success to the ability of viewers in their late teens and early 20s to process multiple facets of information simultaneously. In television, success brings imitation…. “When Mary Lynn Ryan, who was CNN’s producer at the time, did this the news ratings skyrocketed,” Grimes said. “So it appeared as though Robert Pittman was correct: if you are from 12-22 years old, your brain…

Time for a change: The Associated Press as Napsterized news

AP started as a cooperative. Today, it is a cooperative in name only. It’s time to take a lesson from music swappers and invent the new AP – a digital cooperative, a Napsterized news service. The 21st Century news business needs a peer-to-peer network that lets local operations drive cost out of their non-local news packages, divert resources to local web content creation and operate on a level playing field…

Pick Up Ax Link-O-Rama

Pick Up Ax Link-O-Rama (Jerz’s Literacy Weblog) This year, I’ve taught Anthony Clarvoe’s play Pick Up Ax in two of my courses — Intro to Literary Study and Media Aesthetics. If you’re just itching to find out what my students had to say about this play about geeks who listened to rock music that was recorded before they were born, here’s a Google search for ‘Pick Up Ax’ on blogs.setonhill.edu. A…

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Rewrite some banal instructions in the style of some famous writer

A gauzy Skein of Propylene – That sways with slightest Breath – This bag holds smocks — and Bread and Milk But — in its folds — lies Death. It sways and puffs — this Thistledown, Balloonlike in its joy – Each tiny mouth a perfect fit — This bag is not a toy. – Emily Dickinson –Rewrite some banal instructions in the style of some famous writer (Washington Post) Not.…