Weekend Reading: Memorial Day Edition

Memorial Day ParadeIn the US, of course, this weekend is Memorial Day. There are regional variations, though–New Britain, CT, my fair city, has its parade on the actual day of Memorial Day, no matter when it’s observed. So, even though most towns will have their Memorial Day festivities on Monday, ours will be Sunday. Everybody’s gotta be different. Here are five links to start off the weekend:

  • Lukas Mathis argues that the current state of multitouch computing is arguably closer to the command line than people think. (Via Daring Fireball.) Mathis argues: Gestures are often not obvious and hard to discover; the user interface doesn’t tell you what you can do with an object. Instead, you have to remember which gestures you can use, the same way you had to remember the commands you could use in a command line interface.

    Of course, gestural computing seems to be working ok for this guy.

  • Chad Sansing explains why faculty members need to complain less about public education: So long as university faculty continue to bitch and moan about public education instead of taking on their own institutions’ admissions standards, then university faculty can expect to teach more of the same: students prepared to pass multiple-choice tests and to game the weighted high-school grading-systems that serve as gateways to AP courses and higher education.

    (Frankly, I think that this video single-handedly validates public education. :-)

  • Tom Scheinfeldt explains that it’s past time to rethink the CV: I’m ready to accept that the successful operation of the academy requires a vehicle, even a standardized vehicle, for constructing and communicating scholarly identity. But it doesn’t have to be, and hasn’t always been, the CV—certainly not the one we were told to write in grad school. The CV is a platform for constructing and communicating professional achievement and identity, and like any platform, it’s hackable.
  • Larry Sanger, the *other* founder of Wikipedia, explains why the ability to Google everything doesn’t actually help you know anything: If public intellectuals can say, without being laughed at and roundly condemned, that the Internet makes learning (“memorizing”) facts unnecessary because facts can always be looked up, then I fear that we have come to a very low point in our intellectual culture. I fear we have completely devalued or, perhaps worse, forgotten about the deep importance of the sort of nuanced, rational, and relatively unprejudiced understanding of issues that a liberal education provides. (Via Chris Lott on Delicious.)
  • The Geologic Time Viewer locate[s] the present as the middle of geologic time. Neither beginning nor end, the present is where geologic and human forces are in the midst of unfolding and enfolding. The right represents time past, the left, how geologic time has been enculturated by human design in the present. (Via Warren Ellis on Delicious.)

And, your video:

Image by Flickr user marada. / Creative Commons licensed

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