The Blessay

My own pedagogical term for this is “richly-linked blog post” — emphasizing the value of hyperlinking to sources, evidence, definitions, counterpoints, etc.  (Thanks for the link, John S.) Sorry, I don’t have a better name for it, but I feel it needs a succinct name so we can identify and discuss it. It’s not a tossed-off short blog post. It’s not a long, involved essay. It’s somewhere in between: it’s…

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Diamonds Are Bullsh*t

I did propose with a diamond ring, for which I paid a substantial portion of my income, but since I was in grad school at the time, my income was very modest. The next time you look at a diamond, consider this. Nearly every American marriage begins with a diamond because a bunch of rich white men in the 1940s convinced everyone that its size determines your self worth. They…

Forget the Cellphone Fight — We Should Be Allowed to Unlock Everything We Own

As long as Congress focuses on just unlocking cellphones, they’re missing the larger point. Senators could pass a hundred unlocking bills; five years from now large companies will find some other copyright claim to limit consumer choice. To really solve the problem, Congress must enact meaningful copyright reform. The potential economic benefits are significant, as free information creates jobs. Service information is freely available online for many smartphones from iFixit…

The Effect of Tragedy on Journalists

College is already pretty stressful, and journalism culture is not exactly relaxed, either. The psychological strain of trying to do justice to a newsworthy story, while also respecting the suffering of members of your own academic community, while also suffering as a member of that community, is no picnic. The stereotype of the hard-hitting journalist is someone who chases ambulances and sticks cameras and microphones in the faces of traumatized…

Washington Post to begin charging regular website, mobile app. users for digital subscriptions

The Washington Post says it will begin selling digital subscriptions this summer, asking frequent visitors to its website and mobile apps to pay a fee supporting the company’s journalism. The Post announced plans Monday for a metered subscription model. It will require a paid subscription after the viewing of 20 articles or multimedia features per month. The company hasn’t announced how much it will charge. –Washington Post to begin charging…

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CNN Reports On The Promising Future of the Steubenville Rapists, Who Are Very Good Students

Excellent analysis of the emotional impact when TV journalism shows gripping footage of convicted rapists breaking down in tears while the victim, whose identity is protected by privacy laws, remains anonymous and invisible. It is unlikely that Candy Crowley and Poppy Harlow are committed rape apologists; more likely they simply wanted a showy, emotional angle at the close of a messy and sensationalized trial. Since the identity of the victim…