I would propose here that every teacher must be a history teacher. To teach, for example, what we know about biology today without also teaching what we once knew, or thought we knew, is to reduce knowledge to a mere consumer product. It is to deprive students of a sense of the meaning of what we know, and of how we know. To teach about the atom without Democritus, to teach about electricity without Faraday, to teach about political science without Aristotle or Machiavelli, to teach about music without Haydn, is to refuse our students access to The Great Conversation. It is to deny them knowledge of their roots, about which no other social institution is at present concerned.
Neil Postman – Technopoly.
Some co-workers at Automattic are taking this week to blog about what a typical day at work looks like. Everyone’s using a shared tag so you can read through all the posts over here.
So far Marcus, Ben, Andrea, Wendy, Erica, and Bryan have all written posts. At the end of her post, Erica sums it up nicely:
It seems surreal, still, and I never imagined myself here, but I’m grateful. All the perks of travel are cool, but what Automattic has really given me is confidence. Here, I’ve done things that I never thought I could do. For my first few months, I was convinced someone made a mistake and would fire me. Three years later, I realize there are no mistakes, my opinion is valuable, and as this company has grown, so has my admiration for my colleagues.
That really mirrors my own experience of the last 4.5 years. If you read through those posts and want a work day like what’s described, we’re hiring.
New mural is in-progress down the street from my place.
I’ve been reading a lot more recently, about a book every week. This should keep me busy for a while; a benefit to living three blocks from Powell’s.
As an aside I find it really beneficial to read one fiction book in conjunction with one non-fiction. Ensures I have reading material no matter the frame of mind I’m in.
The Elon Musk Interview. Aeon Magazine talks with Elon Musk about space exploration and pushing humanity in to a multi-planetary future.
But disentangling is what historians do. We are trained to balance different forms of data against each other, to be alert to the complexity of causality, to consider how long-term structures interact with short-term determinants.
How history forgot its role in public debate.