rp_image2-300x187.jpg
1

Criminal Code: Procedural Logic and Rhetorical Excess in Videogames

Great example of the application of well-established humanities critical processes to the analysis of a technological artifact. Of all the possible options in the real world — increasing funding for education, reducing overcrowded housing, building mixed use developments, creating employment opportunities, and so on — it’s the presence of the police that lowers crime in SimCity. This is the argument that game makes, its procedural rhetoric. Naïve though it may…

image

Office Hours Are Obsolete

I have nothing against holding office hours. If no students show up, I just use the time to answer emails or check my gradebook and reach out to students who are falling behind. My office is also in a somewhat out-of-the-way place — at least, so students tell me. A colleague ends the first day of classes by leading all her first-year-writing students from the classroom to her office door,…

Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 4.33.31 PM
1

Even in the U.S., Chinese Students May Have Tiananmen ‘Amnesia’

But now that he was at college in America, someone had mentioned Tiananmen, a friend. And he went online, to YouTube and Google, and pulled up videos and photographs from 25 years earlier, images not easily accessible behind China’s Great Firewall, as its Internet-censoring regime is called. He kept looking at one, he said, “the one.” A photograph of an unknown man, futilely trying to block a column of tanks.…

You Are Not a Digital Native: Privacy in the Age of the Internet

Cory Doctorow tries to wake young people up to the realities of an online world controlled by companies that are hungry for your personal data. Facebook is a company whose business model is based on the idea that if they spy on you enough and trick you into revealing enough about your life, they can sell you stuff through targeted ads. When they get called on this, they explain that…

rp_image15-300x300.jpg

All the world’s an app

A review of three books — The App Generation, Status Update, and It’s Complicated — that explore and critique the function of social media in our lives. I used to ask the internet everything. I started young. In the late 1980s, my family got its first modem. My father was a computer scientist, and he used it to access his computer at work. It was a silver box the size…

image

We Got A Look Inside The 45-Day Planning Process That Goes Into Creating A Single Corporate Tweet

The professionals don’t always spend 45 days designing a single tweet, but this one got just two favorites. Shortly after, Lindsay met with a copywriter and graphic designer to brainstorm tweet ideas for the next month. It was then that the copywriter suggested a tweet centered around the idea that Camembert, a French cheese popular during the spring, was best served at room temperature. The copywriter and designer met the…

Screen Shot 2014-05-23 at 2.03.53 PM
2

Facebook, Now You Remind Me of a Half-Drunk Cocktail Party Schmoozer

Last week, Facebook asked me what sportsing teams I cared about (and helpfully supplied me with a list of the teams I’d be statistically most likely to favor if I had any interest in sportsing). Now Facebook is asking me what TV shows I’ve  watched. Well, yes, I’ve watched episodes of each of these shows, but I have no particular desire to define my online presence (and thus the marketing targeted to…

Show, Don't (Just) Tell

Show, Don’t (Just) Tell (New Example)

I wrote down this example on a student paper a while ago, and thought I’d add it to my existing handout on showing and telling. Winning is important to me. It doesn’t matter to me what I do, so long as I win.  Unengaging and unconvincing. This is like saying “I am a hard worker” or “I am a fast learner.” Anyone can make those claims, but without proof they…

rp_Screen-Shot-2014-05-21-at-4.24.42-PM-300x297.png

What Makes Ohio State the Most Unequal Public University in America?

So while university presidents are making huge salaries, Tom Frank explains, students “borrowed and forked over enormous sums in exchange for the privilege of hearing lectures…lectures that were then delivered by people who earned barely enough to stay alive. It is a double disaster of the kind that only we Americans are capable of pulling off.” The schools that followed OSU on the “most unequal” list were, in order, Penn…