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A Pedestal, A Table, A Love Letter: Archaeologies of Gender in Videogame History

A thoughtful, informative article on the importance of Roberta Williams, co-founder of Sierra Online (an adventure game titan from the 1980s). Drawing from both media archaeology and feminist cultural studies, this contribution first outlines the function Roberta Williams serves as a gendered subject of game history. The remainder of the essay is organized as three short, non-chronological vignettes about specific objects and practices in the biography of Roberta Williams. Attention…

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Open Source College Math Book

One day last year, David Lippman got an interesting Google Alert. 1,300 miles away, fellow math professor James Sousa had created free video tutorials for almost every example question in David’s basic math textbook. James did all of that without asking for David’s permission: David had already given permission by licensing his work under a Creative Commons license. David loves getting that kind of news. He’s dedicated his career to…

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High Schooler’s Fake Story of Stock Riches Fools New York Editors

“If your mother says she loves you, check it out.” In the most recent edition of New York, its annual Reasons to Love New York issue, the magazine published this story about a Stuyvesant High School senior named Mohammed Islam, who was rumored to have made $72 million trading stocks. Islam said his net worth was in the “high eight figures.” As part of the research process, the magazine sent…

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Google overtakes Apple in the US classroom

Google in US schools, with Chromebook laptop computers overtaking iPads for the first time as the most popular new device for education authorities purchasing in bulk for students. Google shipped 715,500 of the low-cost laptops into US schools in the third quarter, compared with 702,000 iPads, according to IDC, the market research firm. Chromebooks, which sell for as little as $199, have gone from a standing start two years ago…

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Surprise: Humanities Degrees Provide Great Return On Investment

Completing a humanities degree is a good marker for economic success. I regularly tell my students that their liberal arts degree will make them competitive for internships, and that it’s the internships (plural) that will get them their entry-level jobs. The present value of the extra earnings that graduates in humanities majors can expect over their lifetime is $302,400 for drama majors, $444,700 for English majors, $537,800 for history majors,…

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A college tells faculty it’s illegal to speak to student journalists

Congratulations, President Meadows. You have turned the little local squabble you wanted to silence into a very public issue. (See “Streisand Effect.”) Meadows said even though the administration is not prevented from speaking with students about the labor impasse, he had declined to answer [student journalist] Garber’s questions about the dispute. That, Meadows said, means the [student] paper can’t do a fair story even if it persists in speaking to…

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Homeownership in America Has Collapsed—Dont Blame Millennials

Yes, the article is interesting, but I’m blogging it for the Jane Austen reference. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a journalist in possession of a negative statistic must find a way to blame Millennials for it. In 2012, Jordan Weissmann and I observed that young people were turning away from homes and cars, the twin engines of the economy. Two years later, the homeownership rate is still declining…