competition’s failures

Ian Bogost wrote recently "in defense of competition," noting "There is a war on sport and on competition, waged in the name of equity and openness and participation." I agree. In fact, I may even take that defense further, or at least in a different direction. Bogost's defense is primarily in response to video game…

SR/OOO and political outcomes

After spending a week or more catching up on administrivia, I am now trying to catch up on some of the discussion around the issue of flat ethics, politics, and sr/ooo. This is an extended conversation on Alex Galloway's blog and Levi rounds up a number of other posts here as well. Ian also has…

the problem with “robot grading” isn’t the robot

Back on this issue one more time but with a different spin that isn't about the robot at all. The question is why has grading/assessment become such a mass industry that it requires automation? And more importantly what does this say about our attitudes toward writing? The typical composition adjunct earns around $2500 per course,…

the professorial user interface

Cathy Davidson provocatively suggests that "If we (profs, teachers) can be replaced by a computer screen, we should be." The emphasis there is on the if. Needless to day, computer-driven models of instruction are becoming increasingly popular. My daughter received her math education online through Stanford's Education Program for Gifted Youth from 2nd grade through 4th…

Big data and decision-making

The NY Times announces the arrival of "The Age of Big Data." Yes, I know, it's quite the scoop. The article is replete with amusement. But here's one of my favorite lines.  In business, economics and other fields, Professor Brynjolfsson says, decisions will increasingly be based on data and analysis rather than on experience and…

learning to live with digital media

Following on my last post on Horowitz's article in the Chronicle, I want to take up one of the substantive issues he raises. As he writes, and I quoted last time, "The technology issues facing us today—issues of identity, communication, privacy, regulation—require a humanistic perspective if we are to deal with them adequately." I would…

writing’s unnecessary obstacles

Bernard Suits notes that games are structured around unnecessary obstacles. Think, for example, of the rule in bowling that prevents you from just walking down the alley and knocking over the pins. If you want to "bowl" you have to accept certain obstacles. So I've been thinking about writing similarly as a practice where one…

digital revolution?

Jeff Rice offers a critique of the calls for revolution, calling particularly on Cathy Davidson's investigation of why no such revolution has transpired. Like Jeff, my revolutionary tendencies are more Lennonist than Leninist: You tell me it's the institution/ Well, you know/ You better free you mind instead. I agree that "revolution" and "crisis" are both tired terms. In…

the creative community and the digital humanities

Below the digital fold on this post are three Cognitive Media videos featuring Steven Johnson, Jeremy Rifkin, and Sir Ken Robinson. Here are the short synopses of their arguments: Steven Johnson: great ideas emerge from communities/networks over time. Jeremy Rifkin: contemporary human and social sciences demonstrate that Enlightenment notions of humans as fundamentally self-interested are…

CCCC 2010 Recap: on being raised by (one or several) wolves

The Friday panels I saw addressed themes such as time, circulation, meshworks, loops, and channels, but I want to start here with a single image from Collin Brooke's presentation taken from an old cover of the magazine Field and Stream. It was a Rockwellian image of a father and his son sitting in a small…