Screen Shot 2014-05-17 at 1.18.41 PM

A Classicist Goes to Work in Silicon Valley

Kristina Chew writes about what her friend called “the most creative career change ever.” It turns out a humanities Ph.D. can provide you with precisely the opposite of what people think—skills that are applicable and even useful outside the academy. Graduate training provides one with well-honed research and analytical skills as well as the steadfastness to soldier on with a project in which progress comes slowly and with little immediate…

Robo Grader

Standardized-test robo-graders flunk

“According to professor of theory of knowledge Leon Trotsky, privacy is the most fundamental report of humankind. Radiation on advocates to an orator transmits gamma rays of parsimony to implode.’’ ANY NATIVE speaker over age 5 knows that the preceding sentences are incoherent babble. But a computer essay grader, like the one Massachusetts may use as part of its new public school tests, thinks it is exceptionally good prose. –Standardized-test…

Unknown
2

Dear organization from my past that just sent me a scolding email…

Dear organization from my past that just sent me a scolding email for missing an “important deadline” for making your job easier: How nice that you have “arranged a deadline extension” for me so that I can “finalize this important… project by verifying [my] data.”  Perhaps this is all a “critical concern” to you, but in the time it could have taken me to call your toll-free number, I have instead…

20140321-154614.jpg
3

English teaching: Johnson: Talking past each other

When I got to college, I had already learned complex grammar fairly well thanks to 3 years of High School Latin. At the University of Toronto during grad school, I took a history of the English language course, which helped tremendously when I later took a medieval drama course. It was very clear during that language course that a good portion of my classmates were hearing much of the grammar…

20140221-103650.jpg
2

Justin Bieber and the Beatles: They both liked to rhyme the same words.

A good example of a computer-native, data-driven news feature, which Slate calls an “interactive.” Apparently using the adjective “interactive” as a noun is now a thing, according to Slate. While most artists draw from a common bank of rhymes and use the same rhymes frequently, there are some artists who appear to go out of the way to avoid common couplets or rhyming in general. Queen only used do/you as…

3

Utility Tactical Waist Pack Pouch Military Camping Hiking Outdoor Hand Waist Bag: Sports & Outdoors

Really. These things aren’t at all associated with nerds. Look at the manly color. Look at the size of those straps. Guys who wear this use metal filings as toothpaste. Chuck Norris wears these in memes! For God’s sake, would you look at the keywords! There’s no reference to how convenient these pockets would be for SD cards, extra batteries and cables, LED flashlights, or slide show remote controls. No, I’m not overcompensating.…

20140209-075517.jpg
1

Learn to code? No: Learn a real language

I don’t see learning to code as a substitute for learning another human language. True, computer programming is learning a “foreign language” in the sense that you are trying to map how you give instructions in your native tongue to how a digital recipient recognizes what you’re trying to say in its highly structured vocabulary and syntax. That’s great for honing logical thinking, accomplishing tasks and maybe even making a…

Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 1.57.08 PM

The Period, Our Simplest Punctuation Mark, Has Become a Sign of Anger

You text your girlfriend: “I know we made a reservation for your bday tonight but wouldn’t it be more romantic if we ate in instead?” If she replies, we could do that Then you can ring up Papa John’s and order something special. But if she replies, we could do that. Then you should probably drink a cup of coffee: You’re either going out or you’re eating Papa John’s alone.…

Screen Shot 2013-12-27 at 1.56.32 PM

This Is What It Is Like To Be Deaf From Birth

Ultimately, I got sick and tired of both groups trying to tell me how to live my life. The deaf culture advocates tell me I should fling away my [cochlear implant (CI)] and make my home within the community. The CI advocates tell me that I should give up using [American Sign Langauge] and become fully immersed in the hearing world. My experience in the firestorm of the culture wars…