Gah, it looks like I may have called an end to my hiatus too early. But we did have a good couple of weeks up-til now, so I’ll count that as a blessing.
Until I have time to pull together all the notes scattered through my several Moleskines (I try to be organised, but I think I am a scatterbrain at heart) into real blog posts, here are some fun things for y’all to read:
- On the US Election front, Marc Ambinder tells us about the physics breakthrough that the Grand Old Party may have discovered — a tear in the space-time continuum that allows one to separate The Real, Pro-American America from The Fake, Anti-American America (Which is Still, Geographically, In America. Maybe):
If you think that’s special, then think about this. Pfotenhauer said that she lives in a place called Oakton, Va. Oakton is located in Fairfax County. Pfotenhauer implied that the country was part of “real America” because it was open to the possibility of electing John McCain. Here’s the problem: Fairfax County, like its neighbors, are in the process of turning colors. (We can detect this with a special version of a mass spectrometer called a “ballot box.”)
- Stephen Fry is Twittering! He’s currently filming a new doco series in deepest, darkest Africa; but apparently they have good Asian food there. Win-Win. He also signs off every post with a kiss (x)!
- Also new on Twitter in the last few days are TurnbullMalcolm, who unfortunately did not beat MalcolmTurnbull (who is much funner) to the better username, and my darling Brit-Brit (we are on nickname-basis).
- The New Yorker‘s Cartoon Lounge had a cartoon-off between TNY’s Farley Katz and XKCD‘s Randall Munroe. Hilarity!
- Speaking of cartoons — if you guys haven’t seen G-G (that’s Garfield Minus Garfield) yet, you mustmustmustmust go check it out.
- The Senate’s Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee is currently doing a review into the levels of bias, plurality and fair-and-balancedness (™ Fox News) in high school and tertiary education. Dr Peter Slezak, a senior lecturer at the school of history and philosophy of science, University of NSW, has written a great op-ed, pleading guilty to the charge of encouraging his students to challenge society’s doctrinal mores:
Like regular charges of left-wing bias against the ABC, the moral panic evident in submissions to the Senate inquiry rests on a certain implicit, though questionable, assumption – namely, that only deviation from prevailing orthodoxy constitutes bias.
Conventional views are presumed neutral, and the possibility is never entertained they may be invisibly, systematically biased in the other direction. It follows that the regular complaints of bias and proposed remedies are a form of harassment designed to maintain doctrinal conformity.
However, the highest educational ideals require precisely the reverse attitude – that is, encouraging the exploration of alternatives to preferred, taken-for-granted views. As Bertrand Russell remarked, education should make students think, not to think what their teacher (or government) thinks.
Found any good web-treats recently? Please share!