I realized if I made good, informed decisions I could solve problems in both normal and edge cases. Instead of a one-time answer, I could build a framework to answer any question. A mentality. The outcome of finding the answer, solving the problem, sharing the solution—rewards this mindset. A loop. Doing it over and over.
Journalism without effect does not deserve the special place in democracy that it tries to claim.
But rather than the headlines reflecting the most important events, perhaps they should reflect the most pernicious misconceptions. Good journalists already have some sense of this, and every so often we learn of an alarming gap in public knowledge.
Jonathan Stray’s latest masterpiece. As he notes, journalism must be about improving the day-to-day functioning of a society.
A bit about school from an excellent short essay by Jonathan Harris:
The class was a crash course in things that are usually picked up slowly and by accident, like lost coins, over the course of your life. This class was so memorable because it was so little like school, and so much like life. School is basically a way of keeping people occupied — a theatrical set piece designed to take up time and spit out consenting consumers.
Any adult knows that what he really knows he did not learn in school. The gradual accumulation of experience is really how we learn. But unlike school, life is unpredictable, so it would be dangerous to leave the teaching of life to life. Just think how much would get left out of the curriculum, and how hard it would be to standardize tests!
Difficult to pull just one quote from the recent Mark Pesce article but this is my favorite:
we need to think of every educator in Australia as a contributor of value. More than that, we need to think of every student in Australia as a contributor of value. That’s the vital gap that must be crossed.
The article is one of the clearer statements of what we can do in education by incrementally changing ourselves.
A few weeks ago Religion Dispatches published an article about medieval manuscripts and multitasking. The point is that for centuries our minds have referenced texts on multiple levels; the internet did not inherently create this distraction. There is also this gem from a David Brooks column:
The Internet-versus-books debate is conducted on the supposition that the medium is the message. But sometimes the medium is just the medium. What matters is the way people think about themselves while engaged in the two activities.
Here are some scattered annotations on what Pesce discusses:
- The arrival of the web as appliance (14:00)
- The depth of a universally connected world is the individual (~18:00)
- Once meaning is exposed it can be manipulated (20:00)
- Books are standing on a threshold (23:30)
- Personal health and medication management (or, the concept of a device as an interface to ourselves) (28:00)
An interesting project is underway that seeks to create a model for book publishing that can thrive on the web and across devices. More intriguing, though, is that the founders are taking WordPress as their starting point and developing the software through plugins. There’s even been a prototype book release.