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…

Anglo Irish Bank Fairy Intern Bust

This story brings Facebook shaming to another level. It tells the story of an intern at a bank who emails his bosses about needing to take a day off work in October to take care of some family business in New York City. But his bosses discover a picture of him at a party in Worcester, Massachusetts, uncovering his duplicity. Worse, his boss attach ed the picture to a response…

Does what happens in the Facebook stay in the Facebook?

Uh, no, it doesn’t. Interesting rhetoric, via YouTube. It re-mediates an animation that takes far too long to load, which is credited to Vishal Agarwala, who is apparently an undergraduate at the University of Florida. The presentation is a useful tool for informing young people exactly why Facebook works so hard to get young people to love Facebook. A call for action, it is naive (right up there with the…

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Sword of Mana: Do, don't show

In Game Design Review, Krystian Majewski takes a common creative writing mantra and rips it a new one in a way that I haven’t been able to get out of my head for some time. It seems counter-intuitive but actually, LESS emphasis on some parts of the story create MORE emotional response. This is something which goes well with Rowan Kaiser’s recent article in The Escapist. He suggests applying the…