The Many Errors in Thinking About Mistakes

NY Times: On one hand, as children we’re taught that everyone makes mistakes and that the great thinkers and inventors embraced them. Thomas Edison’s famous quote is often inscribed in schools and children’s museums: “I have not failed. I have just found ten thousand ways that won’t work.” On the other hand, good grades are usually a reward for doing things right, not making errors. Compliments are given for having…

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Command Lines: Dissertation on Interactive Fiction and New Media at WRT: Writer Response Theory

Jeremy Douglass has published a Creative Commons dissertation on interactive fiction. I recently brought a printout into my “Writing about Literature” class in order to help my undergrads (English majors, some of whom want to be professional writers or literature professors) see their homework assignments as points on a scale that includes books and beyond. I ran the PDF through a text-to-speech program, and have been listening to it during…

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Banning Wikipedia at school: good idea or missed opportunity?

Ars Technica: Earlier this month, Pennsylvania’s Express-Times reported on a local school librarian who put up her own “Just Say No to Wikipedia” signs in the computer lab. The entire Warren Hills Regional School District in New Jersey has also blocked access from all school computers. The basic problem, according to officials, is that Wikipedia’s unverified accuracy and ease of use are making it too tempting for students to use…

Amazon's Kindle eBook Reader

Gamers with Jobs reviews Amazon’s Kindle. Now that Jess has finished vampire romance novel number 324, I spend some quality time goofing around with the Kindle. It’s surprisingly easy to get non-Amazon material on it. I just plug it in to the USB cable which perpetually hangs off the back of my laptop, and it shows up as a hard drive. I drop .txt and .mobi files into the “Book”…

Freud Is Widely Taught at Universities, Except in the Psychology Department – New York Times

The article has a great illustration — a defenestrated couch on the ground outside the psych building. Patricia Cohen, NYT. For decades now, critics engaged in the Freud Wars have pummeled the good doctor’s theories for being sexist, fraudulent, unscientific, or just plain wrong. In their eyes, psychoanalysis belongs with discarded practices like leeching. But to beleaguered psychoanalysts who have lost ground to other forms of therapy that promise quicker…