Why Google Isn’t Making Us Stupid…or Smart - Chad Wellmon

IASC: The Hedgehog Review - Volume 14, No. 1 (Spring 2012) - Why Google Isn’t Making Us Stupid…or Smart - Chad Wellmon: As historian Ann Blair has recently demonstrated, our contemporary worries about information overload resonate with historical complaints about “too many books.” Historical analogues afford us insight not only into the history of particular anxieties, but also into the ways humans have always been impacted by their own technologies. These complaints have their biblical antecedents: Ecclesiastes 12:12, “Of making books there is no end”; their classical ones: Seneca, “the abundance of books is a distraction”8; and their early modern ones: Leibniz, the “horrible mass of books keeps growing.”9 After the invention of the printing press around 1450 and the attendant drop in book prices, according to some estimates by as much as 80 percent, these complaints took on new meaning.

The Avengers: A Review

Robert Ebert ends his review of this movie as follows:
"The Avengers" is done well by Joss Whedon, with style and energy. It provides its fans with exactly what they desire. Whether it is exactly what they deserve is arguable.
In the immediate aftermath of watching the movie, with all of the amazement and awe at the sheer scale of it all, I wanted to throw this back into Ebert's face: "How dare you question this movie?" It's remarkable what Whedon did - he took a bunch of different characters and made them interact and fight in a way that cinematically gelled. The movie is full of moments - Hulk providing many - and will doubtlessly be remembered for many of them, from arcade games to the ship they were played on to an AMAZING tracking shot of the heroes united.

This movie could have been a massive screwup - the script might not have worked, and the was substantial opportunity to fail in a work that combined so many type-A characters and their A-list. (Joss Whedon apparently mollified Downey by following his suggestions and showing Downey that they wouldn't work.) It's not a screw-up; in fact it is an entirely solid and entertaining film, but in retrospect I miss a few things:
  1. The music isn't memorable. See Iron Man got that right. What about musical motifs for each character?
  2. All of the characters are basically invincible, espeically the two "normal" humans that never seem to be injured. There's no arc of "damage," possibly because all of the other films involve that.
  3. I could have been more clever than a split up > ship> city structure.

The Maddow Blog - Romney takes credit for Obama policy he condemned

The Maddow Blog - Romney takes credit for Obama policy he condemned: Just at face value, it takes a fair amount of chutzpah to face a crisis, get it wrong, then whine about the way in which the other guy got it right. But it takes truck loads worth of chutzpah to condemn the other guy then take credit for his success.

George Hotz, Sony, and the Anonymous Hacker Wars : The New Yorker

George Hotz, Sony, and the Anonymous Hacker Wars : The New Yorker: A California district court granted Sony the restraining order against Hotz, preventing him from hacking and disseminating more details about its machines. It also approved a request by Sony to subpoena information from Twitter, Google, YouTube, and Bluehost, Hotz’s Internet provider, including the Internet Protocol addresses of anyone who downloaded the instructions from his site—a move that further incensed digital-rights advocates. Sony also gained access to records from Hotz’s PayPal account. In some circles, the rebel leader was becoming a martyr. As one fan of Hotz’s posted: “geohot = savior of mankind.”

The argument for college.

One argument about the usefulness of college is that studying history, racism, the US after 9/11, plants, chemistry, and so on gives us a strong basis as workers, as citizens, in a way that is "objectively" useful. But that seems to cheapen the other argument - that experiencing the liberal arts is, in itself, the good - the endpoint.

That we might have a collegiate experience that embraces the earth, sky, and the vast ranges of humanity between.