Clive Thompson on the New Literacy

With this Wired article, Clive Thompson put me into a happy place, and I wanted to share it. He’s quoting Andrea Lunsford: “I think we’re in the midst of a literacy revolution the likes of which we haven’t seen since Greek civilization,” she says. For Lunsford, technology isn’t killing our ability to write. It’s reviving it–and pushing our literacy in bold new directions. The first thing she found is that…

Wikipedia Will Limit Changes on Articles About Living People

Although Wikipedia has prevented anonymous users from creating new articles for several years now, the new flagging system crosses a psychological Rubicon. It will divide Wikipedia’s contributors into two classes — experienced, trusted editors, and everyone else — altering Wikipedia’s implicit notion that everyone has an equal right to edit entries. That right was never absolute, and the policy changes are an extension of earlier struggles between control and openness.–Noam…

Student writing is getting worse- or wait, it's getting better!

Wonderful stuff from Steven Krause. Representing the world champion, the “going to hell in a hand-basket,” the eternal the youth are getting worse and worse, and carrying on the tradition of complaining about students that dates back in western culture to at least Isocrates, I give you Stanley Fish’s “What Should Colleges Teach?” on his New York Times “blog.” Judging by the many comments here that repeat “oh yes, the…

About the Golden Rule for Ed Tech Vendors

Last week, I spent a little while doing the rounds, trying to drum up some advertising customers for the student paper. Ordinarily there’s a student who carries the role of business manager, but when we’re in between student workers, or outside of class time, I try to push things along. There were twenty different things I’d rather have been doing at that time, but the money goes directly to support…

Idea to Implementation

I’ve been sitting on a particular interactive fiction work-in-progress for ten years. Ten years! Every so often I dust it off and add a little more, but I still haven’t finished the chore of converting it from Inform 6 to Inform 7.  And while hiding from this project, I went and released a different project that hinted at a sequel that I haven’t even started on, seven years later. Seven…

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Why did I put away that wireless mouse?

A few years ago, I bought a wireless mouse, used it for a few days, then put it away in favor of my old mouse.  Every so often, like when I’m not feeling the course-prep love and I’m desperately looking for an excuse to procrastinate, I remember that wireless mouse, but can’t remember why I stopped using it. So I dig it out, reinstall it, use it for a while,…

"You don't understand our audience": What I learned about network TV at Dateline NBC

A reprint of a good article that has since disappeared behind the Technology Review subscription firewall. Probably too dated to assign to my news writing students this year, so I guess I’ll just refer to it in lecture. The informational edge was perilous, it was unpredictable, and it required the news audience to be willing to learn something it did not already know. Stories from the edge were not typically…