Do Humanities Scholars Need To Know How to Code?

What does it mean to look at the code not just from the perspective of what it “does” computationally, but how it works as a semiotic system, a cultural object, as medium for communication? How does it organize itself, understand itself, think about its own representations, its own capacities and workarounds? Critical Code Studies is the practice of looking at the code that produces and imagines those digital realities, from…

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Amy Chua Is a Wimp

Is Amy Chua a tiger mother, for forcing her daughters to practice music four hours a day, and denying them sleepovers? ¬†David Brooks thinks not:¬†“Practicing a piece of music for four hours requires focused attention, but it is nowhere near as cognitively demanding as a sleepover with 14-year-old girls.” Chua is applying to her own kids the lessons she learned from her parents, and she is preparing her kids to…

Thoreau’s Cellphone Experiment

When I teach “Intro to Literary Study,” I ask students to review their media consumption, and propose their own “media fast.” It’s not as simple as simply asking them to sign off of Facebook. For instance, I pointed out that I spend far more time on email than Facebook, so giving up Facebook would be trivial and not really all that challenging for me — especially because it’s possible to…

Space Invaders

Type professionals can get amusingly–if justifiably–overworked about spaces. “Forget about tolerating differences of opinion: typographically speaking, typing two spaces before the start of a new sentence is absolutely, unequivocally wrong,” Ilene Strizver, who runs a typographic consulting firm The Type Studio, once wrote. “When I see two spaces I shake my head and I go, Aye yay yay,” she told me. “I talk about ‘type crimes’ often, and in terms…

How should journalists handle incorrect tweets?

One blogging convention that I really like involves making corrections by striking out mistakes, bolding corrections, and adding a parenthetical note or a footnote explaining the change. But when a journalist makes a mistake on Twitter, is it more ethical to delete the post entirely (thus keeping a mistake from spreading) or is it better to leave the mistake as-is, but post a follow-up correction? Poynter.org ran the other on…