Science Fiction’s Second Coming: Apropos of the recent end of Battlestar Galactica, (agnostic SciFi?), Benjamin Plotinsky at the City Journal wrote a piece on the the overlap between recent Science Fiction and Christian allegory.
In Front of the Crowd: Lorenz at antropologi.info reported on the The Radical Anthropology Group, who is organizing the protests against the G20 summit meeting in London. Lorenz goes through the news articles and the University of East London’s statements on the summit that two of their faculty, Camilla Power and Chris Knight, are organizing against.
Surf is Down: The Chronicle of Higher Ed ran a piece on laptops in the classroom and the distractions they cause. Some professors interviews believe that the chronic laptop users have poorer grade performance. The article suggests many solutions from outright banning of laptops to documenting correlations between laptop use and grades and convincing students that laptop use (and checking email) in the classroom will cause them to do worse. Of course, that may also lead students to believe that as long as they get good grades, they should be able to do whatever they want in the classroom? (Thanks to Sociological Images for commenting on this story first. Here is there reaction.)
(More) Barthes on Barthes: Benjamin Ivry writes at the Chronicle writes on two unearthed personal diaries of Roland Barthes and mixed attitudes about publishing them.
The Theory that Moveth My Soul: This was a curious letter to the editor of the smart set.
I am a Ph.D. student in a political science program, and I’ve been getting more and more annoyed. Most of the major voices in the field want to pin human behavior down to a series of standardized, quantifiable measures. Not only is this approach terribly boring to read, but it totally ignores the complexity of the individual or society. Is there any way I can use poetry in my work in order to fight these trends
Kristen Hogatt from the Smart Set responds by offering some poetry by Tasmila Nasrin, Andrew Kaufman, and Kay Ryan. Sounds like, if you can’t beat em…
Lolinguisits: Eric Bacovic at Language Log takes on all the haters of LoLCats (did I spell that right? Wait, does it matter?) Oddly enough, the person he takes issue with is an American TIME magazine reporter who finds American English-language version annoying and stupid, but the American imitation of the Russian lolcats to be hilarious? Looks like a little mistranslation can be a good thing.
Who Stole m’ Syllabus? Arggh: So what breaking news in anthropology has everybody talking, from the Chicago Tribune to the Wall Street Journal? (He says in his best page six voice. Does page six have a voice?) It’s Shannon Lee Dawdy’s class on pirates at the University of Chicago. The course, which covers intellectual piracy as well as those traditional seafarers has been picked up several papers. Get your joke in now, because the last laugh is saved for Dawdy, who is quoted as saying: “It is almost too fun for the University of Chicago, so I will make sure they read a bit of theory every week.”