Here in the United States, it’s one of those three-day weekends that often stretches a day or two on either side. Here’s hoping that no matter where you are, you’re able to find a little renewal, energy, or focus this weekend. And most of all, of course, that you are able to find some joy for 90 or 120 minutes on Saturday.
Oh, that reminds me: No post on Monday! See y’all Tuesday.
- Donna Laclos has a great post about testing, profiling, and the ways institutions homogenize identity: I want to draw a line from quiz-type testing that offers people an opportunity to profile themselves and the problems inherent in reducing knowledge work to a list of skills. And I also want to draw attention to the risks to which we expose our students and staff, if we use these “profiles” to predict, limit, or otherwise determine what might be possible for them in the future.
- Quinn Moreland interviews Jenn Pelly about her new book about The Raincoats, and this answer has had me thinking: Something Ana says in The Raincoats Booklet is that none of them had much confidence, but they had just enough confidence to put something out. That line—between being so shy but having just a strong enough thread of confidence to be able to put something into the world—is really interesting to me. In a way, it’s more interesting than someone who is super confident and can be loud and brash.
- Jim Groom looks back at edupunk as a label: In the end, EDUPUNK was ed-tech’s Web 2.0 culture war, which admittedly seems quaint after Gamergate. The web’s problems seem far more existential and complex ten years later, but tributary of resistance in edtech might be found in that short-lived fervor around a divisive term would be a breif glimpse into the issues that would come to define the field in 2018.
- Francesca Tripodi has an interesting paper on “scriptural inference,” which intersects with search algorithms to reinforce ideological assumptions: Services like Google and YouTube can unintentionally expose individuals who consider themselves “mainline conservatives” to more radical content, as [Tripodi] finds that “simple syntax differences” in search terms yield different algorithmic recommendations.
- Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei, the co-director of punctum books (among many other things) gave a provocative talk a couple of weeks back on “A Case Study in Scholar-Led Open Access Publishing and a Mini-Manifesto for the Minor Humanities”: I would like to end with a broader consideration of the relation between open-access publishing and what I would call the “minor humanities.” I don’t mean “minor” in the sense of lesser, but in the sense in which it was used by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari: as a resistance to the majority – a majority that in our current times is rapidly acquiring fascist characteristics. The minor humanities, to a large extent, deal with civilizations that have died or are in the process of dying. Nearly all of them are non-Western languages, complicating and queering the precepts of classical and renaissance philology and modern linguistics, ceaselessly interrogating the methodologies that the “major” humanities tend to enforce. At the same time, they provide a paradigm for us to think our current predicament of living in a civilization that is dying, on a planet that is dying. How to deal with a world that is faced with destruction and radical upheaval? Ask the minor humanities; ask the Medieval Nubians.
For this week’s video, and in the spirit of incipient summer, here’s Culture Abuse’s new song, “Bee Kind to the Bugs”: