Wired News: The New Old Journalism

Wired News: The New Old Journalism
Because whether we're talking today or 10 years ago, it's not the medium, it's the reporter.
And if "we're talking 10 years from now," it won't be the reporter either. Penenberg's other Wired "Media Hack" contributions have tended to be much more insightful. So either he's getting defensive ("we're still relevant as we teach journalism students to write the same way as we did 10 years ago") or he was a bit lazy in his critical thinking. No, not the buzzword. The actual reflection. I'm sure Penenberg and others see the implications of people's appreciation for the convenience of skipping "reporters" to get critically at the writing itself, whether the author has been trained at NYU's journalism department or did a dissertation in molecular biology in Madrid. It's this thing with journalists: they tend to think that they're better than people at processing information. So instead of helping people use their own variety of perspectives, they delude themselves in the notion that they're the closest thing to "objectivity" that the world can get. Not to mention the fact that they think "objectivity" is an absolute value, in and of itself (they probably never appreciated a tasty old cheese!). Well, the other problem (that we see in blogs, including my own blogging activities) is that people focus on "releasing early" instead of seeing the broad picture. No, it's not about "depth." It's about taking a step back. Very few things are extremely time-sensitive and none of them is covered particularly well by journalists. Hey, it's not their fault. They're trained like that. So I wouldn't ever blame journalists. But I think journalism is more of a problem than a solution. Once in a while, I get the impression that there's hope and that journalists will finally see the light. But then, even the most "enlightened" act reactively. Ah, well...

Stem Cell Research and Morals

Wired News: How Much for a Dozen Human Eggs? How about research outside of the US? Any insight from elsewhere? In fact, hasn't there been an exodus of sorts among stem cell researchers who flew from the US for similar reasons?

(US) National Homebrew Day

National Homebrew Day
In 1979, the American Homebrewers Association originally claimed National Homebrew Day to be the first Saturday in May. On May 7, 1988, Congress officially recognized National Homebrew Day. Homebrewers around the world use the day to celebrate beer and brewing and attract attention to their hobby.
No idea Congress had recognized it. Wasn't 1987 the year homebrewing was made legal again?


Google and Ignorance?

Goal: Communicating Ideas


(Spoof) Science and Hyperbole

The Onion | Amazing New Hyperbolic Chamber Greatest Invention In The History Of Mankind Ever There seems to be a pattern on "foul language" in this issue of The Onion. This item lets us think about how neutral science should sound...

(Spoof) US Foreign Policy

WARNING: Very "inappropriate" and non-PC but quite insightful. The Onion | Report: U.S. Foreign Policy Hurting American Students' Chances Of Getting Laid Abroad

(Spoof) Early Chapters

The Onion | Area Man Well-Versed In First Thirds Of Great Literature You know, not such a bad idea, actually. I like this idea of going against the notion of a book as a complete form. Multiple readings, voices, interpretations, which run against the canon by using the canon. Nicey! Yeah, yeah. It's intended to show that you can't be well-read if you haven't read the whole works. But what's fun with a book is partly that we can do whatever we want with it. If I want to start with the final chapter, so be it. If I want to peruse and browse, catching glimpses of thought-provoking notions, who's preventing me. Let's break free of the narrative structure! Let's go back to excerpts of Greimas, Guattari, Bakhtin, Propp, Genette, Barthes, Gramsci, and Derrida to fight linearity, hegemony, discourse, and dialogue! ;-)

(Spoof) Sturch=State+Church

SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE VANISHES, REPLACED BY NEW ENTITY CALLED STURCH And the joke can go much further while still remaining insightful... I do like the name. Sounds starchy.


Two Radio Pieces on Beer

Chicago Public Radio - Audio Library: Eight Forty-Eight One is partly a repeat from Steve Dolinsky's TV report mentioned earlier but with more contextual information. The other one was originally broadcast in 2000 and features Bob Skilnik (who put up an elaborate excerpt from his book right here). What's interesting about all of this, apart from the situation of Chicago in the world of beer, is that beer seems to connect to several social phenomena. I'll need to read Skilnik's books at one point, especially as he emphasizes the class struggle in the Prohibition movement, but I also think there's a lot to say about what's happening now. For instance, Dolinsky's extended piece here has a more elaborate comment Hopleaf's Michael Roper about "artisan" beer in Belgium. Yes, all beer geeks know about this, but it's interesting to see that these ideas are being brought to a larger audience. As opposed to wine, which tends to be known for its origins, beer is more rarely associated to specific regions or traditions. Well, then again, people probably think of Mexico as a beer producer because of Corona and Sol... ;-) At any rate, two interesting radio pieces about beer, now available online.

Automatic Surrealism

The Prior-Art-O-Matic Not new principle, still fun.


Google Groups : Michiana Brew

Google Groups : Michiana Brew I just set up an informal mailing-list to help people I've met in South Bend appreciate beer and brewing together. We'll see if it works...


Brewing Philosophy, Techniques

Not to wax too philosophical, but brewing can really help people achieve what psychologists call "Flow" experience. It's the way you feel when you're in a situation that's challenging enough without being discouraging. Some people see brewing as "meditation" and there's part of that for some people. Also, there's a huge social part.
Perhaps the most obvious social part is that it's quite easy to make friends when you offer them free beer. If someone's friends like bland beer from macrobreweries, it's still possible to help them appreciate beer for the way it tastes. The best way to do that is to brew beer with that goal in mind. Sure, it's a challenge. It might take a few trials and any given batch might not be that well-appreciated by everyone. But little by little, it's possible to make people understand that binge-drinking on Rolling Rock isn't that enjoyable when you can get tasty beer on the cheap.
Another social aspect is that brewers tend to do things together. Adults of any age or "walk of life" may belong to the same brewclub and, usually, there's a very strong sense of friendship among brewers. I know brewers and brewing groups in a couple of places and could help people make contacts. Even if it's just sampling each other's brews or discussing the amount of diacetyl that's acceptable in an Extra Special Bitter, it can be quite fun.
Now, to get someone started on brewing. Many people start with cans of extract and it's certainly a solution. A cooler method is to use "ingredient kits" (e.g. from Grape and Granary) which include malt extract, grains, hops, and fresh yeast. You steep the grains and boil that solution with the extract. It's easy enough to do and it givessome amount of control. It's not the cheapest way but it works well. The equipment one needs for these types of brewing techniques would mainly include a large kettle, a plastic bucket, a glass carboy, and some tubing. Homebrew supply shops usually sell equipment kits like that but it's easy to get many parts through other ways...
Among homebrewers, "all-grain brewing" is often considered the advanced step. It's not that much more complex and it's usually cheaper to do (especially with bulk grain). It does require a bit more equipment and more time on brewday. The equipment needed can be as simple as two plastic buckets. One has small holes drilled in it and serves as a false-bottom while the other one has a spigot. Some very good brewers use that kind of a system and it works quite well. What I use is the same thing except that the bottom bucket has a heater element in it so I can control temperature. Other people use an Igloo-type cooler with a manifold in it built with some copper tubing in which slits have been cut. Other people go nuts and have a semi-automatic system made of stainless or even copper with all sorts of pumps and heat exchangers. All of these achieve the same results: quality beer. The basic principle remains the same. If you want to brew... You need to mash grain at a certain temperature (150F to 158F, depending on what you want to achieve) for a certain amount of time (20 minutes to an hour or so). You then need to pour hot water in that mash to get all the sugars out. That's the all-grain part and you end up with wort (sweet liquid).
You then boil the wort for an hour or so, adding hops at specific points (for bitterness, flavor, and aroma). You then chill the boiled wort, transfer to a primary fermenter (usually a plastic bucket), pitch yeast, and wait for a while. After a week or two, you transfer from primary to secondary fermenter (usually a glass carboy). After a few weeks in secondary, the yeast should have finished its main job and you can bottle. After a week or two in bottle, the beer is ready to drink. If you have a kegging system (with those 5-gallon kegs that were used for soft drinks), you can get the beer carbonated within minutes instead of weeks. Some beers don't need to be transfered into a secondary fermenter and might even be ready to bottle within a few days. But it's safer and usually better to do a secondary fermentation. Palmer's book (available online) explains most of these techniques well enough. And all the brewing books you could buy will give details on every step of the process. With all of this, sanitation is quite important, especially after the wort has been boiled. But we all do a few things that aren't completely sanitary and scrapped batches are quite rare. Among brewers, the motto is "Relax, Don't Worry, Have a Homebrew!" Again, brewing can be a very nice "Flow" experience. It can be intensely creative and it relies on a scientific basis (enzymatic reactions, use of gravity, etc.). Plus it can be very social. While it's easy to go overboard with equipment or ingredients, homebrewing can be quite cheap an activity. IMHO, it's quite easy to get started for less than 100USD and then get more equipment as we go on. Brewing with other people, it's often possible to cut costs by sharing equipment or doing bulk orders. Without cutting costs too much, I think I can brew a batch for 1USD/gallon, especially if I repitch yeast (use it for several batches). On average, I'm guessing I probably spend about 7–10USD for a 5 gallon batch as I use a bunch of specialty grains, expensive yeast packages, and some spices. The larger the amount brewed, the cheaper the gallon will be, for many reasons (including the cost of bulk ingredients, the energy costs (fairly minimal anyway), and "mash efficiency" (the proportion of sugar extracted from the grain)). Of course, that's not counting the time spent brewing. Some people say it should be counted but then one would need to "deduct" the experience gained and the relaxation coming from brewing... In my mind, it's a very enjoyable activity which has brought me a lot of nice things in the last four years. Cheers! AleX

Beer and Brewing in South Bend and Elsewhere

Been living in South Bend since August, talked to a number of people about beer and brewing. Sent long messages to some of them. Hopefully, didn't scare them off too badly... ;-)
Thing is, there's a lot of resources for/about beer and brewing. Here's just a few to get people started. And once you get started, well, anything can happen.


Relevant for North Central Indiana and some other parts of the MidWest
  • Legends of Notre Dame
  • Beer pub on Notre Dame Campus. The site has their beer menu...
  • Mishawaka Brewing Co.
  • Michiana's only brewpub, at this point. They have some limited brewing supplies.
  • Zeke's Beer pub in Dowagiac, MI.
  • Indiana Beer
  • A site about beer events in Indiana.
  • Great Lakes Brewing News
  • A beer newspaper which is distributed for free at Legends and MBC. Jim Herter, business manager for Notre Dame's food services, writes for the Indiana section.
  • Chicago Beer Society
  • Group of beer lovers and homebrewers. They do cool events like "Thirst Fursday" the first Thursday of each month.
  • Grape and Granary
  • A mail order brewing supply shop which has a good selection and ships to Northcentral Indiana pretty fast. There are other homebrew supply shops, including online, but this is the one that my friends in town have been using.
  • Theta Ridge Coffee
  • Importer of green coffee beans. As other beer lovers seem to enjoy fresh coffee, I thought I'd mention this one.
In my humble opinion, the best liquor store for beer in South Bend is City Wide Liquors' downtown location:
109 E. Jefferson Blvd. (Across from Keybank, down the street from Century Center) South Bend, IN 46601 574-287-8652

General Beer Sites

Lots of information about homebrewing
  • Palmer's How to Brew
  • A homebrewing book available online for free.
  • Papazian's Complete Joy of Homebrewing
  • A good, inexpensive brew book for beginners and intermediate brewers.
  • HomeBrew Digest
  • A mailing-list for homebrewers and a "library" of brewing information. Some of the library's stuff is a bit old but the mailing-list is a cool place to contact brewers.
  • Beertown
  • A site for different brewing associations, including the American Homebrewer Association
  • Real Beer
  • A general site about beer with a lot of information about brewing.
  • Bodensatz
  • A site with lots of info about homebrewing.

Miscellaneous Beer Sites

  • Beer Judge Certification Program
  • The most useful thing, IMHO, are "style guidelines" that are used for homebrew competitions. I hope people won't get too stuck on the details as some of it is very arbitrary. But it's a good way to get information about some styles, like "Irish Red Ale" or "Dunkelweizen"...
  • Rate Beer
  • A site where one can rate beers they try and/or read people's comments about beers. Some of these comments are a bit strange and those people tend to like specific types of beer, but it's sometimes a good way to choose a beer you want to try. Hops are liked by raters and so are strong full-bodied beers but the best-rated beer is in fact a Belgian Trappist...
  • Michael Jackson the Beer Hunter
  • The best-known beer writer, not the youngest member of the Jackson 5.
  • Beer Advocate
  • I mostly use it to look for beer pubs across the US and in other places, especially when I travel. Many places have lists of brew- and beerpubs and may even do pubcrawls for beer geeks...
  • PubCrawler
  • Another site listing beer pubs in the US and elsewhere. Actually, I was confusing PubCrawler with BeerAdvocate. They accomplish similar goals...
  • All About Beer
  • A brewing magazine.
  • Siebel Institute
  • A very serious institute where you can get a degree in brewing technology. Education you can actually use!


Ghanaian Traditions and Intellectual Property

Boing Boing: Ghana nationalizes folklore, threatens jail for folk artists Ghana nationalizing its traditions, making it unlawful to profit from them.

Presentation Artist Phil Jackson

Macworld: Editors' Notes: It’s all in the presentation:
Phil Jackson give the SoundTrack demo during the Final Cut Studio announcement last Sunday, and it was amazing.
Same idea here and here. Now, this sounds really neat. Can't we get the video of that? I mean, just for inspiration into presentation techniques. After all, it's a lot of what we need to do as instructors, even in relatively small classes...


Beer and "Ethnicity"

[Ugh! I lost a first version of this post because of Blogger maintenance... Now I know why people complain...] The very first comment on my young blog is an extensive excerpt from Bob Skilnik's book on beer history. Thanks! The relationship between beer and "ethnicity" is really a fascinating issue. Some say that the movement leading to the federal prohibition was related to anti-German sentiment. Others associate it more closely with the growth in the political influence of some woman groups. The events were probably a combination of both and other causes. Similarly, the MADD lobby group probably had a large part to play in rising the drinking age to 21. All of these seem to relate to what Ruth C. Engs calls Clean Living Movements. Engs also has interesting articles available on health, alcohol, and social issues. For instance, binge drinking is a major problem on some US campuses and seems to be linked to a negative attitude toward alcohol. One concept that I'd like to explore a bit more is that of "moral entrepreneurs" who seem to be at the center of those movements and are trying to get ahead politically. The first exposure I got to the concept was in Mezz Mezzrow's Really the Blues. In that book (on Jazz musicians in the US between the two World Wars), moral entrepreneurs are associated to the change in legal status for cannabis in 1937. A Wikipedia article on cannabis associates the criminalisation of the herb to both DuPont's interest in plastic and to anti-Mexican sentiment (with the word "marihuana" resonating with that sentiment). No idea how accurate this explanation really is (it's always safer to take things with a grain of salt) but the associate with xenophobia is illuminating. Not that the US are the only place where sentiments against foreigners are brought forth. In fact, many parts of the world deal with issues of xenophobia, especially where the notion of a "nation-state" is still believed to mean something. What's interesting about the situation in the US is the fact that xenophobia seems to be so intimately linked with political, legal, and social issues. In a "country of immigrants" which recognizes itself as such, the situation is quite striking.

The Chicago Beer Riots

The Chicago Beer Riots For more context on beer-related historical events...

Iowa "Alcohol Culture"

Easy access to alcohol and an alluring bar scene contribute to a high rate of drinking-related arrests, even by college-town standards A newspaper article full of fallacies, logical flaws, non sequiturs on the association of alcohol-related problems with "easy access" to alcohol. Of course, coming from Quebec which has comparatively loose alcohol laws and even more widespread availability of alcohol (especially for university students) to a dry university where they have more alcohol-related problems, I'm quite ready to challenge this point. Interestingly, they use the number of alcohol-related arrests as a major proof that they have more problems. What's the name of that specific logical flaw? From the article:
Recent studies show that people in the upper Midwest drink more than in other parts of the country and that heavy binge drinking corresponds with less-strict state laws on alcohol.
I'd really like to see those "studies," especially since it seems quite unlikely that the MidWest in general has looser state laws on alcohol than every part of the Northeast. Also, the article keeps saying that those who overindulge come from out of state so their data would in fact support the notion that Iowa has more problems because other places have stricter laws. There's a significant difference. One would hope that, one day, the US will wake up and see that restrictive attitudes toward alcohol compound the problem. It's even a problem for us in Quebec because "college" students from the US go across the border to drink excessively. Also, influence from the US, in some places, seems to make some Quebeckers see alcohol as a way to get drunk as opposed to a part of a normal healthy adult life. Hopefully, we'll keep the focus on responsible drinking and non-judgemental help for those who abuse alcohol for one reason or the other. As the Quebec liquor board says: «La modération a bien meilleur goût» ("responsible drinking tastes better").

Beer: Riot and Diversity

ABC7Chicago.com: Hungry Hound: Extensive beer lists Interesting historical event (alluding to the "ethnic" part of prohibitions). The point of beer diversity does come across, though it's not emphasized so much. Dolinsky seems to be more of a food geek than a beer geek and there are several mistakes on the website (including their misspelling Maibock and Blanche de Chambly) but it's always good to get some recognition from the food crowd.


Edgar Bronfman Jr. and the Music Industry

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > Wipe Egg Off Face. Try Again. Voilà:
'Flows poison like ivy, oh they grimy/Already offers on my sixth album from labels trying to sign me.'
Fairly elaborate piece about the Seagram heir involved in the music industry. What's interesting here for someone who tends to think of music as expression and creation through sound is to get a peep in other perspectives on music. Sure, the first step to achieve their perspective is to see music as a commodity, which seems rather awkward for a musician But there are more steps involved if one wants to get insight into "corporate culture" of The Biz. It's not just money. It's also this notion that "artists" (musicians, mostly singers, with record contracts) create hits or non-hits. Members of that culture seem to think that "hitness" is an intrinsic quality of an artist's output. Of course, they're acutely aware that the way people listen to music is influenced by their own processes. But the point is, the comments of analysts and "insiders" still point, when they talk about "the music," toward music as production. It's good to keep in mind that the model is quite recent. Attali's /Noise/ (read the first edition of the French original Bruits only last year or the year before) describes many steps in the construction of this model...

Plato and Software

ACM Ubiquity - Francis Hsu: "Plato as Software Designer": "Can we duplicate what is within our skulls in a computer's address space?" Much of it is quite naïve but it might still be useful to introduce some computer/engineer types to the basics of philosophy of language, structural analysis, and semiotics.

(Spoof) Tech-Support Caste

The Onion | New Tech-Support Caste Arises In India It's all about social stratification...


African Pop Clips

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6


Centrism in the US

Centrist Quotes: Centrism, Centrists, and The Vital Center in American Politics Let's hope centrism itself won't become too dogmatic and that it will move US politics away from party lines. If only to make US political discourse less inward-looking.


"Flexible Sciences" / «Sciences souples»?

Les mystifications philosophiques du professeur Latour
Les sciences exactes et les sciences "souples" sont effectivement dans le même bateau.
Apart from the debate itself (which I only learned about recently), this notion of «sciences souples» in opposition to "exact sciences" is quite interesting. Surely, others have discussed it but the term isn't sticking yet. I like it, though. It's telling and rather "neutral." Not sure "flexible" is the right word in English. "Soft" would be obvious ("softener" for «assouplisseur») and is used on occasion (I do use it) but doesn't render the same idea. «Souple» is the opposite of "rigid" but "nonrigid" is too negative a way to put it.


Lawrence Lessig on David Carr

Lawrence Lessig's reaction to a New York Times piece
Everyone I've spoken to loved the piece. I think they loved it because it was a piece printed in the Times, and we're a culture that loves attention more than accuracy.
Interestingly, the very same David Carr has written a piece about a specific "music scene" in Montreal that some Montrealers thought was condescending while part of the Canadian media swooned over getting the attention of the New York Times... Funny how it goes.


Les amis de Georges

Les amis de Georges étaient un peu anars Ils marchaient au gros rouge et grattaient leurs guitares Ils semblaient tous issus de la même famille Timides et paillards et tendres avec les filles Ils avaient vu la guerre ou étaient nés après Et s'étaient retrouvés à Saint-Germain-des-Prés Et s'il leur arrivait parfois de travailler Personne n'aurait perdu sa vie pour la gagner Les amis de Georges avaient les cheveux longs A l'époque ce n'était pas encore de saison Ils connaissaient Verlaine, Hugo, François Villon Avant qu'on les enferme dans des microsillons Ils juraient, ils sacraient, insultaient les bourgeois Mais savaient offrir des fleurs aux filles de joie Quitte à les braconner dans les jardins publics En jouant à cache-cache avec l'ombre des flics Les amis de Georges, on les reconnaissait A leur manière de n'être pas trop pressés De rentrer dans le rang pour devenir quelqu'un Ils traversaient la vie comme des arlequins Certains le sont restés, d'autres ont disparu Certains ont même la Légion d'honneur - qui l'eût cru? Mais la plupart d'entre eux n'ont pas bougé d'un poil Ils se baladent encore la tête dans les étoiles Les amis de Georges n'ont pas beaucoup vieilli A les voir on dirait qu'ils auraient rajeuni Le cheveu est plus long, la guitare toujours là C'est toujours l'ami Georges qui donne le la Mais tout comme lui ils ne savent toujours pas Rejoindre le troupeau ou bien marcher au pas Dans les rues de Paris, sur les routes de province Ils mendient quelquefois avec des airs de prince En chantant des chansons du dénommé Brassens

(Spoof) Economy of Life

The Onion | Cost Of Living Now Outweighs Benefits
Taken together, the study results indicate that "it is unwise to go on living."
Those who calculate everything are in for some fun!


Changes in the "Piled Higher and Deeper Community"

There's been a fair amount of discussion about this: Cliffhanger for the "Piled Higher and Deeper" comic strip [Disclaimer: Been reading PhDcomics for about a year, will submit my dissertation draft soon, haven't bought anything from Jorge Cham (the comic strip author) yet, am a musician, and have no training in advertising.] Some really good points were made on the forum. For those who don't get it: no, it's not about having to cough up money for something we take for granted. Most of us aren't angry, in fact. Just taken aback and maybe slightly disappointed. Not by Jorge's choice of strategy. But by the loss of something else. Of course, it's not a new strategy to change a freely accessible site into something from which people can make money. Many online "venues" have gone through something similar. Some of them were in fact based on voluntary contributions and were eventually transformed in commercial products, often relying on exclusive rights or paid accounts (iMDb.com, CDDB.com...). They may all work out fine. But the change implies a cut, a loss. Thing is, we don't know what'll happen with the readership for Piled higher and Deeper. It may in fact go up if the comic books get distributed widely and shipping charges go down. But it'll certainly change. A community was being built and those who have been part of that community are "being reminded that it was all about an artist's desire to get paid for specific work." Part of the magic that tied people together is gone. Yeah, sure, it's the fault of those in the community to believe that fans mattered in the grand scheme of things. It was all an illusion and we got a glimpse behind the curtain. Now, many signs were already there that PhDcomics.com would change. Jorge got his degree. He started this JennyJetpack.com thing which doesn't have a forum yet and is likely to attract a completely different audience. Strips were increasingly plot-driven. And, for some reason, it seems to me personally that the site in general featured more "money-related" links. Well, maybe the Google ads, the Amazon links, and the "What's New" section were always there but they seem more prominent now. Maybe because the site hasn't changed much apart from that (and the strips themselves, of course). Even the strips themselves may have lost part of their edge. Not that Piled higher and Deeper has jumped the shark, but... With an enthusiastic fanbase made of people who are going to graduate and have money soon, with some neat gear that people can buy a little bit more easily (I hope!), and with new books being published by the author, one would think that readers didn't need to be baited more. Many other things could have been done. Stopping the strip after graduating characters and going on to some other endeavors (maybe Jenny Jetpack) would have generated even more goodwill for Jorge on the part of fans. Writing a completely new comic book, distributing it widely, and announcing it on PhDcomics.com would have been a good strategy. Adding new "features" to the book (colour strips, added artwork, commentaries, games, foreword...) may all help. Getting shipping costs down. Getting wider distribution. Creating new merchandise ("gear") to go with the second book. Warning people that Mike's defense would be a bait. Asking people for donations. All of these would have been ways for Jorge to financially benefit from PhDcomics.com without alienating anyone. Well, I might be completely off. But Ubik, Iambicity, n3wb, Nia, Rachel, and others all have great points that seem to relate to similar issues with Jorge's strategy. Some others are very dismissive, which doesn't help. As graduate students (and friends of graduate students), we can (and probably should) have honest discussions without name-calling. No, it's not about complaining. No, it's not about free or non-free. No, it's not about corporate greed. It might be about commodification. But it's mostly about changes in a community model that was based on people's sense of belonging. Ah, well...


Mobilisation collective: une perspective du Nouveau-Brunswick

Grève étudiante au Québec : contre la marchandisation de l’éducation Très intéressant article sur la grève étudiante au Québec, publié dans le journal de l'Université de Moncton. L'article contient certains détails qui ne semblent pas être mentionnés ailleurs. Le lien avec le courant alter-mondialiste est attesté ailleurs, mais d'autres éléments sont mis de côté, entre autres sur l'aspect idéologique du mouvement. Évidemment, il ne s'agit pas d'une analyse exhaustive soulignant toutes les implications sociales de la situation actuelle. Par exemple, dans l'extrait suivant mériterait une analyse plus approfondie:
À l'origine, l’université était une institution qui visait premièrement à former des citoyens responsables, dotés d’un sens critique, capables de questionner le gouvernement en place pour faire progresser la société au complet.
Surtout qu'il semble être mis en opposition avec l'élitisme perçu comme une caractéristique du «modèle américain». Pourtant, les deux fondements de l'éducation en Amérique du Nord sont liés dans l'idéologie pédagogique aux États-Unis. En d'autres termes, la responsabilisation des citoyens est tout autant une caractéristique du «modèle américain» (du moins au niveau idéologique) que le processus de «méritocracie» auquel les universités amércaines font face depuis un certain temps. De la même manière, la mobilisation collective semble surprendre dans une société individualiste. Pourtant, ce type de mobilisation nécessite un certain individualisme. C'est certainement parce que la notion d'«individualisme» a acquis une connotation négative alors que d'un point de vue sociologique, nous pouvons la définir de façon dégagée. Aussi cette conclusion que l'histoire peut prouver que la grève est «le seul moyen d'action efficace pour faire entendre les revendications étudiantes» semble un peu hâtive. Quoi qu'il en soit, un article intéressant. Qui supporte l'idée qu'on peut comprendre un phénomène social sans faire partie de cette société. Sans être observateur neutre, l'auteur de l'article démontre une perspective balancée sur certains aspects de la société québécoise. Passage amusant: «Nos voisins sont peut-être chialeux, mais au moins ils sont efficaces».

Crever de bonheur

«Ainsi va la vie» Sois heureux jusqu’à en crever Comme dirait ma chère mère (j'espère), ils ont tout compris.


(Spoof) Cultural Awareness

The Onion | U.S. High School Gets Raw End Of Student Exchange: his total lack of interest in American culture is unfathomable

(Spoof) Guerilla as Teenage Phase

The Onion | Colombian Teen Going Through Anti-Government Guerilla Phase One can only go through so many ''phases'' in life...


18.687 is it plagiarism if it's plagarism or plagirism? from Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty : Note that the word 'plagiarism' is spelled no less than three different ways in this message -- in addition to the correct way, it is also spelled 'plagarism' and 'plagirism'! (in reference to this post on the same list) It's also spelled "plagiarim" at some point. In my mind, it's part of a radical view against plagiarism in which you're not allowed to spell the same word the same way twice! Sorry, couldn't help it...


Jeunesse politique

Libre opinion: Une génération politique est née Aucune idée si c'est une représentation fidèle de la réalité, mais c'est une perspective fascinante. D'autres en ont parlé dernièrement. Les Québécois entre 18 et 34 ans sont non seulement politisés mais ils entreprennent des démarches politiques.

Anthropological Interdisciplinarity


Humorix | President Bush Has "Faith" In Science

Humorix | President Bush Has "Faith" In Science:
'It's important to keep an open mind, but I think hypothesis-driven science that seeks to support its finding with data is not dead yet.'"
Isn't there a pattern in fake news?

Piece Brewery & Pizzeria

Piece Brewery & Pizzeria | Dine In or Carry Out Their Top-Heavy Hefeweizen was unbelievable. Really like the settings.

Bedondaine & Bedons Ronds

Bedondaine & Bedons Ronds Et ça continue! Un nouveau broue-pub dans les environs de Montréal. Celui-ci est à Chambly et comporte, paraît-il, un musée. Bedondaine lui-même était un membre actif de la communauté des Brasseurs Phoux et Biérophoux.

Humanists and Social Scientists

Chicago Manual of Style - Q&A Responding to a question on "who" and "that":
Although there are humanists who argue to the contrary, we regard social scientists as people. . .
(Published April 1, 2005) Gotta love proofreaders...


In the U.S., April Fool's Day has become a 'third-rate holiday'

In the U.S., April Fool's Day has become a 'third-rate holiday': " 'No April Fool's Day cuisine, no April Fool's Day songs, very few April Fool's Day TV specials or movies and not a single icon, like a Pilgrim hat or a Santa, are associated with the day,' Thompson noted." Measure of cultural significance? Dans quel monde vivons-nous, au juste?

Google Gulp and Gmail Anniversary

Google Gulp:
No personally identifiable information of any kind related to your consumption of Google Gulp or any other current or future Google Foods product will ever be given, sold, bartered, auctioned off, tossed into a late-night poker pot, or otherwise transferred in any way to any untrustworthy third party, ever, we swear."
Yup, they learned their lesson. ;-)

Wilco's Jeff Tweedy on File-Sharing

ZeD - Content Piece - Wilco Interview Some key issues and concepts. I share his perspective, both as a music fan and as a musician. It might be important to expand upon the very notion of copyright as applied to music. Jacques Attali's Bruits discusses this creation and how it was never meant to protect the actual artists.

Data on Beer in Europe

European Beer Guide: Pubs, Bars, Beerhalls, Beer Gardens and Breweries throughout Europe Quite impressive set of data about beer in different European countries, including very detailed information about production, number of breweries, etc.

Grain de sable

Paroles.net - Michel Fugain - Le chevalier des causes perdues ♫:
Il nous a expliqué Qu'il suffit d'un petit grain de sable Pour dérégler la machine implacable Et moi je rêvais d'être ce grain de sable Qui enfanterait un monde formidable...
Moi aussi, j'en rêve! C'est ça, l'effet du papillon social...

Peur de l'ombre

Reçu d'un ami (brasseur et géographe):
À mesure qu'on avance, on s'approche de cette belle boule nourricière. Conséquemment, notre ombre rétrécie. Cela réduit donc considérablement notre peur devant celle-ci.

Sc. Am. April 1st Piece

Okay, We Give Up This one has been making the rounds for a couple of days. A bit political but quite interesting.

What Will History Teach Us?

The Onion | America's Finest News Source™:
History Sighs, Repeats Itself