Sunday Links

Now that classes have started, I’m beginning to gain a sense of normalcy again.  Last night I even found time to engage in my annual tradition of watching Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused during the first week of class, which now dates back at least six or seven years (I already considered it a “tradition” in 2004).  I’m not quite sure what purpose this practice serves, but it is a fun way to enter a new semester, perhaps a reminder to slow down a bit.  As usual, I have a couple of blog entries percolating, but here are a few quick links I want to mention:

  • J.D. Lasica has an interesting post on Intel’s launch of what it is calling the “cinematic internet.”  Lasica and Intel executive Eric B. Kim discuss some of the flaws of interactive television as it has been understood for the last decade or so, namely that interactivity has usually been inseparable from marketing (you can buy Jennifer Aniston’s dress), and Lasica and Kim go on to outline the different values that are typically associated with television (ease of use, reliability, etc) and the different values associated with the internet (personalization, etc).  It’s interesting stuff.
  • The New York Times has an article focusing on the role of political bloggers at the 2008 political conventions, comparing the relatively tiny number of press credentials awarded to bloggers at the 2004 conventions with the dozens of bloggers who’ll be at the 2008 conventions.  Obviously it’s very cool that so many passionately political bloggers will be attending the 2008 conventions, but it’s also worth noting that a surprising number of bloggers have managed to raise hundreds of dollars from their readers to help pay their travel expenses.
  • Finally, for whatever reason, I’ve found myself writing more than I ever would have expected about the politics of science, especially when it comes to teaching evolution and global warming.  I was an indifferent student in my science courses throughout my schooling, but in retrospect, I think I was lucky in that I got a straightforward introduction to evolution (the county next to mine, several years after I graduated, notoriously cowed to parental pressure and added stickers defining evolution as just a “theory”).  With that in mind, I was intrigued by this Florida science teacher’s efforts to find creative ways to teach the concepts of evolution to resistant students, some of whom were taught intelligent design in private high schools and churches.  The teacher, David Campbell, came up with some fairly innovative ways to engage students and to invite interested questions.  While it’s less clear that he changed the minds of all or most of his students, Campbell was capable of communicating some of the basic elements of evolution in a creative and informative way.

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