AI: the Ziggy Stardust Syndrome | ROUGH TYPE
The idea of a jackbooted superintelligent borg bent on imperialistic conquest has always left me cold. It seems an expression of anthropomorphic thinking: an AI would act like us. Wilczek’s vision is much more appealing. There’s a real poignancy — and, to me at least, a strange hopefulness — to the idea that the ultimate intelligence would also be the ultimate introvert, drawn ever further into the intricacies of its own mind. What would an AI think about? It would think about its own thoughts. It would be a pinprick of pure philosophy. It would, in the end, be the size of an idea.
techforhistorians  Technology 
10 hours ago
choice – Snakes and Ladders
You can’t understand the place and time you’re in by immersion; the opposite’s true. You have to step out and away and back and forward, through books and art and music, and you have to do it regularly. Then you come back to the Here and Now, and say: Ah. That’s how it is.

But maybe 2% of the people you encounter will do this. The other 98% are wholly creatures of this particular intersection in spacetime, and can’t be made to care about anything else.

You can, then, have understanding or attention. Pick.
Books  teaching_history  ayjay 
14 days ago
Efficient Reading - Vast Early America
But to the heart of this brief post.  My method for efficient reading is TICCN.  I’m referring here to reading a book, but I use the same basic method for an article.

T = Title and structure.

I = Introduction.

C = Conclusion.

C = Chapters.

N = Notes.

Title and structure may be self-evident, but I’m surprised how often or how quickly, as critical readers, we pass over a book’s title.  And just as telling, sometimes more so, are the chapter (and section) titles and structure.   Reading an Introduction for the articulation of the thesis is pretty basic, but it’s worth noting that you need to do that intentionally.  This is where the author wants you to know where her argument relates to other scholarship, how it contributes to and challenges work in the field.  Which field or fields does she think her work is best speaking to or with?  How is she positioning her work vis a vis established scholarship?    Emerging scholarship?  Particular methods and theoretical positions?  The conclusion is next for me because I want to know whether the author in fact ends where she meant to end up.
Books  teaching_history 
14 days ago
The Art and Craft of Review - The Scholarly Kitchen
A forensic analysis of Gordon-Reed’s review offers some important lessons beyond the basics. Parkinson’s book is about the ways that, from the very beginning of the Revolution, Patriot leaders made a concerted decision, reflected strongly in newspapers, to construe and to twin their new enemy, the British, with African Americans and Native Americans. The way to win a war was to create “common cause,” which meant finding first an “us” and then a “them”. Common cause among enough white colonists to overcome their longstanding  connection to and affinity for Britain was produced in large measure, Parkinson argues, through identifying common enemies, and no scapegoat was more alluring or more effective than racial and ethnic others. In the course of this three-sentence summary I’ve flattened out a rich, multi-dimensional and deeply researched account of how political ambitions and communication technology harnessed racism in the service of the nation’s founding. Gordon-Reed contends that “it will be impossible to think seriously about the American Revolutionary War — or the revolutionaries — without reference to this book’s prodigious research, wholly unsentimental perspective, and bracing analysis.” But she persuades the reader of the review that this is so, not by walking us through the (long) book, but by illustrating its importance.

I read the review as accomplishing this task in part through careful organization. In much the way that a poem of 12 lines organized into alternating couplets and quatrains will read differently than the same 12 lines grouped into 4 tercets, the visual structure as well as the organization of ideas in prose composition highlights thematic development. Eight sections include paragraphs in this pattern:  3-3-3-3-3-4-5-3.  The key here is the discrete focus of each section, and the echo of the first emphasized by returning to the three-paragraph format in the last after an increase in depth and detail in the second to last and penultimate sections.
Books  teaching_history  Writing 
14 days ago
The Tyranny of Metrics - The Chronicle of Higher Education
Metric fixation, which seems immune to evidence that it frequently doesn’t work, has elements of a cult. Studies that demonstrate its lack of effectiveness are either ignored or met with the claim that what is needed are more data. Metric fixation, which aspires to imitate science, resembles faith.

Not that metrics are always useless or intrinsically pernicious. They can be genuinely useful. But not everything that is important is measurable, and much that is measurable is unimportant. (Or, in the words of the familiar dictum, "Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.") Universities, like most organizations, have multiple purposes, and those which are measured and rewarded tend to become the focus of attention, at the expense of other essential goals. Similarly, many jobs have multiple facets, and measuring only a few of them creates incentives to neglect the rest. When universities wake up to this fact, they typically add more performance measures. That creates a cascade of data — information that becomes ever less useful — while gathering it sucks up more and more time and resources.
higher_education  Technology  techforhistorians 
16 days ago
List: Four Norwegian Immigrants With Their Eyes On the American Dream - McSweeney’s Internet Tendency
Although Norwegian maternity leave was accommodating, Heidi is eager to test her mettle by working in an environment where her pregnancy will be considered a burden to her employer. She is excited by the prospect of shamefully hiding her condition until she begins to show and finally assuring supervisors that it won’t interfere with her ability to do her job, beyond the standard unpaid two months of American maternity leave she is begrudgingly offered.

During the brief leave, Heidi looks forward to answering daily work emails remotely while healing from a cesarean, all while sleep deprived and stressed out about returning to work.
16 days ago
the ed-tech snake-oil salesmen – Snakes and Ladders
SAME here at KSU

"And the university ends up with less information than it had under the previous system! The reason is this: because the data entry is so onerous and slow, faculty typically are not required to enter all the data for their articles, nor to fill in their entire CVs. (As I pointed out to one of my colleagues: if I spent an hour a day, five days a week, entering items from my CV into Digital Measures, I wouldn’t be finished by the end of the semester.) So we enter as little as we possibly can; whereas most of us have, ready to hand, a complete CV in a Word or LaTeX file that is trivially easy to update, to share, and to parse."
ayjay  edtech  higher_education 
17 days ago
Paul Kingsnorth – Confessions… [Feature Review] | The Englewood Review of Books
The response Kingsnorth develops isn’t an abandonment of this given world of which we are members (to borrow from the language of Wendell Berry, to whom Kingsnorth is indebted). It is instead a withdrawal from the movements, the frenetic actions that cloud our understanding of where we are and what is happening and what we are to do. “I withdraw from the campaigning and marching,” he writes, “I withdraw from the arguing and the talked-up necessity and all the false assumptions. I withdraw from the words. I am leaving. I am going to go out walking” (81).
environmental_history  environmentalism  beauty 
24 days ago
Class Size: What Research Says and What it Means for State Policy
Because the pool of credible studies is small and the individual studies differ in the setting, method, grades, and magnitude of class size variation that is studied, conclusions have to be tentative.  But it appears that very large class-size reductions, on the order of magnitude of 7-10 fewer students per class, can have significant long-term effects on student achievement and other meaningful outcomes. These effects seem to be largest when introduced in the earliest grades, and for students from less advantaged family backgrounds.
education  edtech  hied 
25 days ago
Fail better
That sounds very grand: maybe it's better to start at the simplest denomination of literary betrayal, the critic's favourite, the cliche. What is a cliche except language passed down by Das Mann, used and shop-soiled by so many before you, and in no way the correct jumble of language for the intimate part of your vision you meant to express? With a cliche you have pandered to a shared understanding, you have taken a short-cut, you have re-presented what was pleasing and familiar rather than risked what was true and strange. It is an aesthetic and an ethical failure: to put it very simply, you have not told the truth. When writers admit to failures they like to admit to the smallest ones - for example, in each of my novels somebody "rummages in their purse" for something because I was too lazy and thoughtless and unawake to separate "purse" from its old, persistent friend "rummage". To rummage through a purse is to sleepwalk through a sentence - a small enough betrayal of self, but a betrayal all the same. To speak personally, the very reason I write is so that I might not sleepwalk through my entire life. But it is easy to admit that a sentence makes you wince; less easy to confront the fact that for many writers there will be paragraphs, whole characters, whole books through which one sleepwalks and for which "inauthentic" is truly the correct term.
5 weeks ago
When I Lament | belz
When I lament and say to myself,
“You’re nothing but a great big
old Aaron Belz-shaped disappointment,”
the thought often follows,
“Well at least you’re Aaron Belz-shaped.”
And now that I’m 46 I can add:
“At least you’re a disappointment.”
Can I imagine being a huge success,
juggling those plates till doomsday,
feeding the machine of others-opinions
the way a woman waters dying plants
each day in a South Bronx apartment
not knowing that, oh, for instance,
this building will be demolished next year
and most of its once-hopeful tenants
will move back to their home towns
and become surgeons, store clerks,
boxers, talk show co-producers,
small-issue agitants and academics
or at least adjuncts. She doesn’t know,
she keeps watering, and this, I’m saying,
is how I was as a people-pleaser.
When I lament and say to myself,
“Boy, you better smile and get to it,”
I know that it’s okay to ward
off laziness with a little pep talk.
Can’t we just all do our jobs and
stop whining about our circumstances?
7 weeks ago
Secret Sauce | belz
What’s the secret sauce of our group’s a-ha moment?
The difference-maker is teamwork but not just teamwork:
It’s about doing a gut-check with everyone around us.
It’s this philosophy that ideas are not just ideas,
they’re what we do every day—individually and as teams.
What do I mean by teams? You just have to figure out
where each project’s pain point is, and that tells us
who we are and what we’re about both as product managers
and brand owners and as brand managers and product owners.
You see, it isn’t just about the tipping point anymore.
We’re past that. It’s about circling back to regroup
for a deeper dive when we have more time to brainstorm.
7 weeks ago
The Lake Isle of Innisfree by William Butler Yeats | Poetry Foundation
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.
poetry  morrisandsarah 
8 weeks ago
A Lost Cause confession from Georgia’s oldest historical publication | Political Insider
In the GHQ’s most recent edition, the lead essay focuses on E. Merton Coulter, who served as the quarterly’s first professional editor for 50 years, until 1973. “He was a romanticizer of the Old South, the Confederacy, and Reconstruction who contributed to the South’s closed intellectual society and who consciously employed his skills as a historian to bolster the white South’s rejection of social justice for blacks,” writes Fred Arthur Bailey, a history professor retired from Abilene Christian University in Texas.
south  georgia  historical_thinking 
november 2017
xkcd: Logical
I mean, look at the crap these idiots believe!
november 2017
a brief response to responses | How to Think
Les Murray’s little poem “Politics and Art”:

Brutal policy,
like inferior art, knows
whose fault it all is.
Politics  art 
october 2017
(2) Historian Wiliam T. Okie Speaks on How the Peach Became Georgia's Cultural Icon - YouTube
From license plates to billboards, the peach has become the enduring symbol of the state of Georgia yet few know why Georgians have clung to that fruit as its cultural icon. Unpack the story in this edition of The Written Word with historian William T. Okie, author of "The Georgia Peach: Culture, Agriculture, and Environment in the American South."
okie  peaches 
october 2017
A Talk to Teachers » Zinn Education Project
Now the crucial paradox which confronts us here is that the whole process of education occurs within a social framework and is designed to perpetuate the aims of society. Thus, for example, the boys and girls who were born during the era of the Third Reich, when educated to the purposes of the Third Reich, became barbarians. The paradox of education is precisely this—that as one begins to become conscious one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated. The purpose of education, finally, is to create in a person the ability to look at the world for himself, to make his own decisions, to say to himself this is black or this is white, to decide for himself whether there is a God in heaven or not. To ask questions of the universe, and then learn to live with those questions, is the way he achieves his own identity. But no society is really anxious to have that kind of person around. What societies really, ideally, want is a citizenry which will simply obey the rules of society. If a society succeeds in this, that society is about to perish. The obligation of anyone who thinks of himself as responsible is to examine society and try to change it and to fight it—at no matter what risk. This is the only hope society has. This is the only way societies change.
hied  3271  teaching_history  philosophy_of_education 
october 2017
Kant, Immanuel: Aesthetics | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Overview: The Critique of Judgment begins with an account of beauty. The initial issue is: what kind of judgment is it that results in our saying, for example, 'That is a beautiful sunset'. Kant argues that such aesthetic judgments (or 'judgments of taste') must have four key distinguishing features. First, they are disinterested, meaning that we take pleasure in something because we judge it beautiful, rather than judging it beautiful because we find it pleasurable. The latter type of judgment would be more like a judgment of the 'agreeable', as when I say 'I like doughnuts'.

Second and third, such judgments are both universal and necessary. This means roughly that it is an intrinsic part of the activity of such a judgment to expect others to agree with us. Although we may say 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder', that is not how we act. Instead, we debate and argue about our aesthetic judgments - and especially about works of art -and we tend to believe that such debates and arguments can actually achieve something. Indeed, for many purposes, 'beauty' behaves as if it were a real property of an object, like its weight or chemical composition. But Kant insists that universality and necessity are in fact a product of features of the human mind (Kant calls these features 'common sense'), and that there is no objective property of a thing that makes it beautiful.

Fourth, through aesthetic judgments, beautiful objects appear to be 'purposive without purpose' (sometimes translated as 'final without end'). An object's purpose is the concept according to which it was made (the concept of a vegetable soup in the mind of the cook, for example); an object is purposive if it appears to have such a purpose; if, in other words, it appears to have been made or designed. But it is part of the experience of beautiful objects, Kant argues, that they should affect us as if they had a purpose, although no particular purpose can be found.
beauty  horticulture 
september 2017
Response: Teaching History By Encouraging Curiosity - Classroom Q&A With Larry Ferlazzo - Education Week Teacher
Then one day I had a revelation. I walked into the art classroom next door to borrow some supplies and looked at the interaction of the art teacher and his students. I realized that if Tom taught art the way I taught history, then his student would be sitting in rows watching him paint. And so my journey began. Just as Tom was teaching his students how to think and behave like artists, I needed to figure out how to get my students to be the historian.
hied  teaching_history 
september 2017
Equifax’s Maddening Unaccountability - The New York Times
Perhaps the most maddening part of the Equifax breach is that the credit-rating industry is itself unforgiving in its approach to even the smallest error. I’m still dealing with the damage to my credit rating that resulted when I forgot to return a library book and a collection agency was called in (for a paltry sum). The Equifax executives who let my data be stolen will probably suffer fewer consequences than I will for an overdue library book. Even if they do get fired, it is likely that they will be sent off with millions of dollars in severance, which is common practice for executives. (I would like to note that I am available for such punishment any time.)
Technology  capitalism  techforhistorians 
september 2017
In Georgia’s Peach Orchards, Warm Winters Raise Specter of Climate Change | InsideClimate News
It was 1990 when, sitting in an undergraduate biology class at the University of Georgia in Athens, I first heard the term "global warming." I remember only one fact the professor offered that day: if the Earth's temperature continued its apparent rise, peaches would no longer be able to grow in the Peach State of Georgia. Now, 27 years later, it was looking like that prophecy was coming true. Could this year's ruined crop be a harbinger of warmer winters to come?

"I was very skeptical two years ago," Mr. Bob's son Robert says. "But with two warm winters I'm beginning to pay a lot more notice to it."

I ask how many consecutive winters he'd have to experience before he started planting varieties that could handle warmer weather. He laughs, then says, "Maybe one more."
peaches  environmental_history 
september 2017
Timeline of the far future - Wikipedia
Planned lifespan of the Long Now Foundation's several ongoing projects, including a 10,000-year clock known as the Clock of the Long Now, the Rosetta Project, and the Long Bet Project.[131]
Estimated lifespan of the HD-Rosetta analog disc, an ion beam-etched writing medium on nickel plate, a technology developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory and later commercialized. (The Rosetta Project uses this technology, named after the Rosetta Stone).
history  teaching_history  future  progress 
august 2017
Snakes and Ladders – by Alan Jacobs
Ross Douthat once said to people on the left that if they hated the Religious Right, they should just wait to see the Post-Religious Right. We all saw it in Charlottesville yesterday. When political movements paid even lip service to the Christian Gospel, they had something to remind them of commandments to forgive, to make peace, to love. There were stable moral standards to appeal to, even if activists often squirmed desperately to evade their force. I am far more worried about neo-Nazis than BLM — as you should be too — but when people confront one another, or confront us, who don’t know those commandments, or have contempt for them, the prospects for the healing of this nation don’t look very good. I don’t know what language to use to persuade a white nationalist that those people over there are their neighbors, not vermin to be crushed with an automobile.
Christianity  Politics 
august 2017
Dunce’s App | Audrey Watters
ABOUT FIVE YEARS AGO, a cluster of new technologies began to migrate through the nation’s schools like a gaggle of fall geese. Schools have long devised policies and procedures to manage and shape students’ behavior. Sticker charts. Detentions. Referrals. Rewards. Educators routinely point to classroom management as one of the most important skills of being a great teacher, and new teachers in particular are likely to say this is one of their most significant challenges. These novel apps, bearing names like ClassDojo and Hero K12, promised to help by collecting students’ behavioral data and encouraging teachers to project the stats onto their classroom’s interactive whiteboard in order to keep students “on task.” It is, they claim, all part of a push to create a “positive classroom culture.”

The apps come with the assurance of making schools operate more efficiently. But such management technologies don’t simply reflect Taylorism, schoolwork monitored and fine-tuned; they are part of a resurgence of behaviorism in education, and in education technology in particular.
techforhistorians  Technology  edtech  hied 
august 2017
The Fuzzy History of the Georgia Peach | History | Smithsonian
The Fuzzy History of the Georgia Peach
Once a feral resource for planters, the stone fruit got a marketing makeover in the late 19th century—and a boost from the segregated labor market
peaches  okie 
august 2017
Pits And Pendulums | Agweb.com
The peach might seem inextricably linked to the American South and states such as South Carolina, which Titan Farms calls home. But the crop has international roots, and its labor history remains extremely relevant amid modern discussions about migrant labor, says William Thomas Okie, historian and author of the book, “The Georgia Peach: Culture, Agriculture, and Environment in the American South.” 
peaches  okie 
august 2017
The soft tyranny of the rating system | ROUGH TYPE
A sanitized if more insidious version of Shteyngart’s big-data dystopia is taking shape in China today. At its core is the government’s “Social Credit System,” a centrally managed data-analysis program that, using facial-recognition software, mobile apps, and other digital tools, collects exhaustive information on people’s behavior and, running the data through a standardized algorithm, assigns each person a “social trustworthiness” score. If you run a red light or fail to pick up your dog’s poop, your score goes down. If you shovel snow off a sidewalk or exhibit good posture in riding your bicycle, your score goes up. People with high scores get a variety of benefits, from better seats on trains to easier credit at banks. People with low scores suffer various financial and social penalties.
techforhistorians  Technology  Politics  progressivism 
july 2017
How The Peach Became A Symbol Of Georgia | Georgia Public Broadcasting
The Georgia Peach might well be the most iconic fruit to symbolize Georgia. You see it on license plates, billboards, and even government documents. But the peach is actually rare to Georgia, and not native to our agricultural climate.
okie  peaches 
july 2017
The Un-Pretty History Of Georgia's Iconic Peach : The Salt : NPR
During peach season, Georgia's roads are dotted with farm stands selling fresh peaches. Year-round, tourist traps sell mugs, hats, shirts and even snow globes with peaches on them. At the beginning of the Georgia peach boom, one of Atlanta's major roads was renamed Peachtree Street. But despite its associations with perfectly pink-orange peaches, "The Peach State" of Georgia is neither the biggest peach producing state (that honor goes to California) nor are peaches its biggest crop.

So why is it that Georgia peaches are so iconic? The answer, like so much of Southern history, has a lot to do with slavery — specifically, its end and a need for the South to rebrand itself. Yet, as historian William Thomas Okie writes in his book The Georgia Peach, the fruit may be sweet but the industry in the South was formed on the same culture of white supremacy as cotton and other slave-tended crops.
okie  peaches 
july 2017
The Georgia peach may be vanishing, but its mythology is alive and well
This is a tough year for the Georgia peach. In February, growers fretted about warm winter temperatures, which prevented some fruit from developing properly. They were more discouraged in March after a late freeze damaged many of the remaining fruit. By May they were predicting an 80 percent crop loss. Now in July they are lamenting one of the worst years in living memory.
okie  peaches 
july 2017
Prayers for Aimee: July 16, 2017
In this place of fear of losing memories and fear of what the future holds, I am learning to hand it over to God and let Him give me the patience and contentment  for the moment that I have right now. It's been a challenge but a good one in letting the Spirit fill the deep void that's been left with Aimee no longer with me and by my side.  The kids and I miss her singing and dancing around the house.  There was a radiant and beautiful energy with her here and I miss that so much.  It hurts and I wonder why God did't heal her in the way I was really hoping He would.  We had a good marriage and we were best friends and we laughed, cried, prayed, and did everything together.  I cannot understand God's ways but I am learning a lot about Him in suffering.  The strength Aimee had in her crisis is the strength that I now feel in mine.  God's hand is holding mine and by faith I can feel His presence guiding me.

Though sometimes I cringe at the effort it takes to be still and let the Spirit speak, I am learning that He does speak and comfort me in the midst of the pain.  Sometimes I want something so tangible to hold onto and my ragged old Bible doesn't seem like enough but then its pages pour life and hope back into my soul.  In moments of weakness I feel that God is just too invisible but am learning that it is really a matter of perspective.  I envision Aimee now just beholding with her eyes, King Jesus in all His glory!  There is also so much more in this world than meets the eye.
july 2017
My Children | belz
My Children
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
One of my children
flew to Korea.

One started building a picnic table
and then collapsed in a Grand Mal seizure—
and then finished building
the picnic table.

One collected blackberries
and wrote a poem
(she mostly
stays at home).

I’m just saying, you can’t parent
these people. I mean,
you can try.

But they will do as they do,
and that will be
okay with you.

I’ll say this, too.
I love all three so much
I would gladly give my life
so that they could continue theirs,
however unpredictably
they’ll go.

May I diminish
while they grow.
july 2017
the mass defunding of higher education that’s yet to come
Meanwhile, in my very large network of professional academics, almost no one recognizes any threat at all. Many, I can say with great confidence, would reply to the poll above with glee. They would tell you that they don’t want the support of Republicans. There’s little attempt to grapple with the simple, pragmatic realities of political power and how it threatens vulnerable institutions whose funding is in doubt. That’s because there is no professional or social incentive in the academy to think strategically or to understand that there is a world beyond campus. Instead, all of the incentives point towards constantly affirming one’s position in the moral aristocracy that the academy has imagined itself as. The less one spends on concerns about how the university and its subsidiary departments function in our broader society, the greater one’s performed fealty to the presumed righteousness of the communal values. I cannot imagine a professional culture less equipped to deal with a crisis than that of academics in the humanities and social sciences and the current threats of today. The Iron Law of Institutions defines the modern university, and what moves someone up the professional ranks within a given field is precisely the type of studied indifference to any concerns that originate outside of the campus walls.
july 2017
Signals, Smartphones, and Still Small Voices | Comment Magazine
So I am okay with the Internet and the new immediacy of connection—am, as it were, signing a provisional peace treaty with it—for the same reason I accept language itself. Both present thousands, millions of small signals that swarm about real experience. The swarming is inadequate, and often superficial, but that doesn't mean it ought to be rejected. Part of accepting new media, for me, has been coming to terms with the encompassing truth that there's no such thing as "pure" human communication—what Ludwig Wittgenstein termed "ideal language." Language is competent to its task in a basic sense ("Let's meet at seven") but there will always be a fullness that eludes it. T.S. Eliot touches upon this in "Burnt Norton":

Words strain,
Crack and sometimes break, under the burden,
Under the tension, slip, slide, perish,
Decay with imprecision, will not stay in place,
Will not stay still. Shrieking voices
Technology  techforhistorians 
july 2017
PowerPoint Is Evil | WIRED
Applying the PowerPoint templates to this nice, straightforward table yields an analytical disaster. The data explodes into six separate chaotic slides, consuming 2.9 times the area of the table. Everything is wrong with these smarmy, incoherent graphs: the encoded legends, the meaningless color, the logo-type branding. They are uncomparative, indifferent to content and evidence, and so data-starved as to be almost pointless. Chartjunk is a clear sign of statistical stupidity. Poking a finger into the eye of thought, these data graphics would turn into a nasty travesty if used for a serious purpose, such as helping cancer patients assess their survival chances. To sell a product that messes up data with such systematic intensity, Microsoft abandons any pretense of statistical integrity and reasoning.
presentation  techforhistorians  Software 
july 2017
Consider the Peach; Become a True Hedonist - TheStreet
The Georgia peach is a succulent anachronism. Once a symbol of the state's economic and social progress after the Civil War, in 2014 it accounted for only $50 million of the $14 billion in revenue produced by Georgia's agricultural sector. William Thomas Okie tells this story of fruit and place in his new book The Georgia Peach: Culture, Agriculture and Environment in the American South. Okie has a personal familiarity with the subject that helps energize the book. He's a professor at Kennesaw State University near Atlanta, and for more than 30 years, his father Dick was a stone fruit breeder for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Byron, Ga.
peaches  okie 
july 2017
John Roberts Commencement Speech: Read the Transcript | Time.com
Now the commencement speakers will typically also wish you good luck and extend good wishes to you. I will not do that, and I’ll tell you why. From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice. I hope that you will suffer betrayal because that will teach you the importance of loyalty. Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time so that you don’t take friends for granted. I wish you bad luck, again, from time to time so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life and understand that your success is not completely deserved and that the failure of others is not completely deserved either. And when you lose, as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then, your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship. I hope you’ll be ignored so you know the importance of listening to others, and I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion. Whether I wish these things or not, they’re going to happen. And whether you benefit from them or not will depend upon your ability to see the message in your misfortunes.
higher_education  teaching_history  pedagogy  hied 
july 2017
enough already – Snakes and Ladders
Auden once wrote in praise of those who forget “the appetitive goddesses” in order to take the momentous step of pursuing their own weird private obsessions:

There should be monuments, there should be odes,
to the nameless heroes who took it first,

to the first flaker of flints
who forgot his dinner,

the first collector of sea-shells
to remain celibate.
Likewise, there should be some people in our land unsure who the President is, wholly unaware of the latest legislative wrangle — even when such matters directly affect them — because they are absorbed in something else that they love, that they can’t help focusing on, that they can’t manage to turn aside from.
Politics  beauty 
july 2017
OpenAnnotate - Visible Source Browser-based Annotation Tool
OpenAnnotate is a browser-based annotation tool that allows for the creation, viewing and sharing of document annotations. OpenAnnotate currently supports a variety of document types and ECM environments including Documentum, Alfresco and Hadoop. See an example of OpenAnnotate in collaboration mode below.
annotation  video  audio  techforhistorians 
july 2017
ELAN - The Language Archive
ELAN is a professional tool for the creation of complex annotations on video and audio resources.
audio  annotation  techforhistorians 
july 2017
Ekphrasis - Writing About Art
One particular kind of visual description is also the oldest type of writing about art in the West.  Called ekphrasis, it was created by the Greeks.  The goal of this literary form is to make the reader envision the thing described as if it were physically present.  In many cases, however, the subject never actually existed, making the ekphrastic description a demonstration of both the creative imagination and the skill of the writer.  For most readers of famous Greek and Latin texts, it did not matter whether the subject was actual or imagined.  The texts were studied to form habits of thinking and writing, not as art historical evidence.9
Technology  techforhistorians  presentation 
july 2017
Time Bandits | Rick Perlstein
On New Year’s Eve in 1972, a New Orleans television station received this message: “Africa greets you. On Dec. 31, 1972, aprx. 11 pm, the downtown New Orleans Police Department will be attacked. Reason—many, but the death of two innocent brothers will be avenged.” Its author was a twenty-three-year-old Navy veteran named Mark James Essex. (In the 1960s, the media had begun referring to killers using middle names, lest any random “James Ray” or “John Gacy” suffer unfairly from the association.) Essex shot three policemen to death, evading arrest. The story got hardly a line of national attention until the following week, when he began cutting down white people at random and held hundreds of officers at bay from a hotel rooftop. Finally, he was cornered and shot from a Marine helicopter on live TV, which also accidentally wounded nine more policemen. The New York Times only found space for that three days later.

Stories like these were routine in the 1970s. Three weeks later, four men identifying themselves as “servants of Allah” holed up in a Brooklyn sporting goods store with nine hostages. One cop died in two days of blazing gun battles before the hostages made a daring rooftop escape. The same week, Richard Nixon gave his second inaugural address, taking credit for quieting an era of “destructive conflict at home.” As usual, Nixon was lying, but this time not all that much. Incidents of Americans turning terrorist and killing other Americans had indeed ticked down a bit over the previous few years—even counting the rise of the Black Liberation Army, which specialized in ambushing police and killed five of them between 1971 and 1972.

In Nixon’s second term, however, they began ticking upward again. There were the “Zebra” murders from October 1973 through April 1974 in San Francisco, in which a group of Black Muslims killed at least fifteen Caucasians at random and wounded many others; other estimates hold them responsible for as many as seventy deaths. There was also the murder of Oakland’s black school superintendent by a new group called the Symbionese Liberation Army, who proceeded to seal their militant renown by kidnapping Patty Hearst in February 1974. Then, in May, after Hearst joined up with her revolutionary captors, law enforcement officials decimated their safe house with more than nine thousand rounds of live ammunition, killing six, also on live TV. Between 1972 and 1974 the FBI counted more than six thousand bombings or attempted bombings in the United States, with a combined death toll of ninety-one. In 1975 there were two presidential assassination attempts in one month.
historical_thinking  2112 
june 2017
The Oven Bird by Robert Frost | Poetry Foundation
The question that he frames in all but words
Is what to make of a diminished thing.
june 2017
inward isolation – Snakes and Ladders
Are we to live in an age in which every mechanical facility for communication between man and man is multiplied ten-thousandfold, only that the inward isolation, the separation of those who meet continually, may be increased in a far greater measure?
— F. D. Maurice, 1848
Technology  techforhistorians 
june 2017
A Guide for Resisting Edtech: the Case against Turnitin - Hybrid Pedagogy
A funny thing happened on the way to academic integrity. Plagiarism detection software (PDS), like Turnitin, has seized control of student intellectual property. While students who use Turnitin are discouraged from copying other work, the company itself can strip mine and sell student work for profit.

For this bait-and-switch to succeed, Turnitin relies upon the uncritical adoption of their platform by universities, colleges, community colleges, and K12 schools. All institutions that, in theory, have critical thinking as a core value in their educational missions. And yet they are complicit in the abuse of students by corporations like Turnitin.
edtech  techforhistorians 
june 2017
Hey NPR! | The Daily Context
Everything he is talking about is being done, day in and day out, by thousands of historians across the country, in community colleges and Ivies, in small classrooms and large.

Historians have been doing those things for ages because they are the methods of our discipline. Despite the persistent stereotype, I don’t know a single history professor whose ultimate goal for their students is passive memorization and then regurgitation of material. Reading historical texts, analyzing them, writing about them, and discussing them with others is our bread and butter.  Yes, people do still lecture, though many of us do it very sparingly, and lots of historians are working on how to do it more effectively.
history  hied  teaching_history 
june 2017
History News Network | Betsy DeVos Is Making the Same Argument Critics of Public Education Have Been Making for a Century
According the Atlanta Constitution’s report of the meeting, the mayor’s remark “brought Superintendent Sutton to his feet with a trace of feeling.” Sutton’s response is worth repeating:

The Atlanta schools have no frills. If by frills you mean kindergartens, I tell you they are not frills; they are necessities in education made so by popular demand and the conclusions of the best educators in the world. If by frills you mean music in the schools, then an expression of human emotion that antedates speech is a frill; if by frills you mean art, the kind of art we teach in the schools, then every use to which trained hands are put are frills …; if by frills you mean physical education, then the human body itself and the very perpetuation of the race are frills. Education is for more than to teach people to read and write; it is to teach them how to live, for their own happiness and for the development of all mankind.
3271  history  history_of_education  hied 
june 2017
I write on the internet. I'm sorry.
Why do we feel like we're losing? Because the age of being connected to the information superhighway came at the same time so many of us disconnected from everything that is humane, gentle, or life-giving. All those beautiful things in life ask for our attention and reward it. But we're misers at heart, and all the internet asks for is your distraction. Seems cheaper. So we give it. And it rewards us too, in its own way.
Technology  techforhistorians 
june 2017
Freak Weather Has Decimated the South’s Peach Supplies
Tom Okie, author of the book The Georgia Peach, speaks for many Southerners when he tells the paper that those other versions are “just symbols of peaches.”
okie  peaches 
june 2017
Choice review of The Georgia Peach
In this work, Okie (history, Kennesaw State Univ.), who specializes in food and agricultural history, details the history of the peach in Georgia. Not merely about the cultivation of the fruit, what follows is a complex story surrounding Prunus persica that starts long before this fruit and the state of Georgia became connected in the minds of a nation. This history is, necessarily, a story that contends with wider themes of agriculture, business, southern politics, and race and does not forget the beauty and mythology that surrounds this fruit. The work contains a modest number of black-and-white photographs, tables, graphs, and maps. It also contains a lightly subdivided index with a few cross-references and (very rarely) long strings of page numbers. Detailed endnotes include references from a wide variety of sources. There are many works about the history of peach cultivation but none such as this about Georgia. The work is appropriate for institutions with programs in American or agricultural history or programs in agriculture or business. It will be particularly valuable for all public and academic libraries in Georgia.

--J. Cummings, Washington State University

Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above; faculty and general readers.
peaches  okie 
june 2017
The South Faces a Summer With Fewer Peaches - The New York Times
Peach loyalty goes beyond taste, especially in Georgia. The peach helped recast the state’s image after the Civil War and the brutal days of Jim Crow. Savvy Georgia peach growers started sending fat Southern peaches north in the early 1900s, beating Northeastern fruit to market and lifting the reputation of a region that desperately needed it, said William Thomas Okie, a history professor at Kennesaw State University who explores the history of the peach in his book, “The Georgia Peach: Culture, Agriculture and Environment in the American South.”
okie  peaches 
may 2017
How I Research Books | Tony Reinke
In the next six months, my goal is to produce chapters with ~four detailed paragraphs, ~four related points of interest in seed form. Once these major paragraphs are all written for every chapter and the intro and outro, it goes out for initial review at the conceptual level. At this point my goal is to have a 6,000-word draft of major fragments.

Once I see cohesion in these seed paragraphs and I like the way the chapters are organized and structured, and based on early confirmation from others, then I can begin using these paragraphs to “hook” my present and future research discoveries. This is why I have to get seed paragraphs down asap. These paragraphs may move around in the book, but they comprise for me a framework matrix, a skeleton of ideas, for me to pin the bulk of my research work, which is yet to come.

My writing is always driven by curiosity. I want to learn, grow, and know things myself. And because I love to tackle massive problems and get my arms around as many tricky issues as possible, and to get myself in waters too deep for me, I cannot manage full-throttled research until this point. I must have a matrix of core ideas around me. Only now can the bulk of my research, the other 80%, ensue. Once the governor is taken off my research (because I now have places to pin relevant discoveries), those seed paragraphs grow quickly into subsections, with refinements to my own thinking, and with confirmation details (sources, texts) now getting applied to particular sentences as footnotes.

Those growing seed paragraphs will begin asking me questions, showing me gaps in my own thinking, they will help frame my interviews, and they will prove themselves in value simply by helping me decide what WILL NOT fit in the project.
may 2017
Warren Ellis writing a new thing
THE WILD STORM always starts as scribbled pages in a notebook. Technically, I've been working on this next block for months, filling a page or two with notes over a glass of wine at lunch. At the e...
Writing  from notes
may 2017
State government to identify the challenges facing rural Georgia
“This area right here has never had any economy but an agrarian economy,” he said. “We’ve never had a factory that made anything. We’ve never had a railroad track.”

But as farming industrialized, Bluffton’s population and then its importance as a trade center vanished.

“The only reason people stayed here was using up equity in houses,” he said. “There was no store. You couldn’t spend a penny in Bluffton except to buy a stamp.”

Today, people like Will Harris, Hasan Hanks, Trey Anderson, Jim Snyder and Libby Neves and others might have different opinions of where Clay County’s problems came from and how to fix them. But they’re all committed to solving them. If they can, there is hope for all of rural Georgia.

Jean Turn is White Oak’s comptroller and a former Fort Gaines librarian. She’s seen how farming and agriculture helped rural communities grow.

“Agriculture is the girl that brought us to the party and then it went away and the party was over,” Turn said. “And I think the agriculture is bringing it back.”
agrarianism  agriculture  georgia 
may 2017
The Weird Thing About Today's Internet - The Atlantic
It is worth reflecting on the strange fact that the five most valuable companies in the world are headquartered on the Pacific coast between Cupertino and Seattle. Has there ever been a more powerful region in the global economy?
Technology  techforhistorians 
may 2017
fleshers and stoics
The root of what I am calling our Anthropocene moment is the desperate hope that the very technological prowess that has put our natural world, and therefore the bodies of those who live in it, in such dreadful danger may also be turned, pivoted — as it were converted — to safeguard Life; that we may overcome by technical means the vulnerability of those bodies. It’s really the most sophisticated (and potentially insidious) version I know of Stockholm Syndrome.
may 2017
A peach of a good book | Books | Savannah News, Events, Restaurants, Music | Connect Savannah
Kennesaw State University Assistant Professor of History William Thomas Okie has written a marvelously entertaining and informative book on the history of the peach crop in the South, with particular emphasis on his native Georgia: The Georgia Peach: Culture, Agriculture, and Environment in the American South, published by Cambridge University Press.
okie  peaches 
may 2017
Rod Dreher’s Monastic Vision - The New Yorker
The most striking comments came from Randall Gauger, a bishop at the Bruderhof, who, with his wife, had lived for many years in a Bruderhof community in Australia. (They now live in a Pennsylvania Bruderhof community.) A bald man in his sixties wearing a tan sports coat, a black shirt, and a tan tie, Gauger described what he and his wife had done after “withdrawing.” They hung out with their neighbors at barbecues; they babysat and visited elderly shut-ins. Gauger became a police chaplain. Other Bruderhof members became firefighters or E.M.T.s. They collaborated with farmers on sustainable agriculture, partnered with charities, volunteered in “crisis situations,” and hosted thousands of guests, including politicians and Aboriginal leaders. “Would we have done as much as a solitary nuclear family?” Gauger asked. “I doubt it.” He pointed out that capitalist society caters to people with “extraordinary talents”: “Only in a communal church can the old and the very young, hurting military veterans, the disabled, the mentally ill, ex-addicts, ex-felons, or simply annoying people, like myself, find a place where they can be healed and accepted and, what’s more, contribute to life.” His criticism of “The Benedict Option” was that it did not go far enough. “Why stop at Benedict when we can go back to the original source of Christianity? Christians living in full community is how the church began . . . and the early church was far more radical than anything Rod has so far proposed.”
Christianity  culture  community 
april 2017
Small Screens, Big World < Andy Crouch
There is a lot of talk about the ways our devices are distracting us, and that is certainly true. Having spent several weeks away from it all, I’m a bit aghast at how much buzzing and blinking, how many notifications and messages, how much unasked-for stimulation, I’ve let creep into my life over the past few years. But there’s something deeper than just the sheer variety and urgency of data that presents itself to us. The issue is not just cognitive. The deeper danger of our screens, I am coming to think, is flattery.

Our screens, increasingly, pay a great deal of attention to us. They assure us that someone, or at least something, cares. The mediated world constantly falls over itself to tell us, often in entirely automated ways, that we matter every bit as much as we secretly hope we do. They tell us we are liked, retweeted, favorited—that we are significant, useful, and urgently needed. Every generation of devices gets better at this, becomes less a persnickety, recalcitrant technician (does anyone remember the exacting syntax of command-line interfaces?) and more and more an utterly dedicated, ingratiating concierge for our preferred future.

The unmediated world does not flatter us in this way. Stand on a deserted seashore and the creation pays you no evident attention, except perhaps for a few creatures that alter their paths to keep a safe distance. Even our fellow human beings rarely flatter us with the attention we think we deserve. Walk down a street in Hong Kong or Phnom Penh or London or Rome, and unless you are young and beautiful, or possibly rich, no one will pay you the slightest heed. And youth and beauty, even wealth, are fleeting things. I never was beautiful, but I have had some success, enough to know that even at the heights of attention, when the whole room is looking at you, smiling at you, standing and applauding you, the overwhelming experience of life as a human being is smallness and disregard. There is a hunger for attention that all the selfies in the world will never fill, a hunger that only grows as our mediated world breathlessly offers more and more ways to call attention to ourselves.
techforhistorians  Technology  theology 
april 2017
American Carnage by Christopher Caldwell | Articles | First Things
Today’s opioid epidemic is, in part, an unintended consequence of the Reagan era. America in the 1980s and 1990s was guided by a coalition of profit-seeking corporations and concerned traditional communities, both of which had felt oppressed by a high-handed government. But whereas Reaganism gave real power to corporations, it gave only rhetorical power to communities. Eventually, when the interests of corporations and communities clashed, the former were in a position to wipe the latter out. The politics of the 1980s wound up enlisting the American middle class in the project of its own dispossession.
april 2017
Nature’s Metropolis Turns 25: A Conversation with William Cronon
WC: One of the things I actually love about the discipline of history is that historians are narrators. I honestly think we are the last explicitly narrative discipline left in the American academy (with the journalists, as well). Storytelling is no longer, in most disciplines, regarded as a serious undertaking. I believe that storytelling is inherently a moral activity. It’s about organizing events and characters and landscapes and settings so that a series of events becomes explicable in the sequence of relationships that are unfolding over the course of the narrative. And almost always the narrative has some lesson in mind. One of the beauties of history is that, although there have been moments in which historians have argued with each other about whether they are objective or not, objectivity is actually not the phrase most historians use the describe what they do. Our goal, it seems to me, is to be fair to the people whose lives we narrate. That means trying to see the world through their eyes.
Writing  history 
april 2017
of war and the red-tailed hawk - christopher martin
    I have not stopped trying to return, return to the time this place—Kennesaw, Gahneesah, “place of the dead”—belonged to the Cherokee; back to the Trail of Tears; back to the battle, the boys, old men, fathers, brothers, sons in blue and gray, many dying for powers that cared not a thing for them; back to the time I first set foot on this terrain, not long after I moved here when I was in middle school and walked these trails with my parents, who were battling through a divorce, and I noticed the prickly pears, the fence lizards, the red moss and blue-gray lichen, everything close to the ground.
Writing  kennesaw  nature 
april 2017
After finishing my project, I sat it aside and tried to put some space between myself and the distorted visions of Tara that I had photographed over the past year. During that down time, I came across two pieces in The New Yorker. One article described a black lawyer in Montgomery, Bryan Stevenson, who had plans to raise a monument to commemorate the victims of “racial terror lynching” in the South. The other — a 12-minute documentary film — told of a white lawyer, John Cummings, who had reopened the doors of the Whitney Plantation to tell its story of slavery in Louisiana. What struck me most about these two men was their ability to look at our past, warts and all, and enter into a grand conversation about it, so that healing can begin. Our history of slavery, of lynchings, of convoluted ideas about human rights … are we as Southerners supposed to turn a blind eye to all this and struggle through proudly? I think not.
religion  south  race 
april 2017
Article - Berckmans Family Planted Seeds of Augusta Beauty - 2017 Masters Tournament
Louis’ son Prosper Jules Alphonse – known as Prosper or P.J., who was 28 years old at the time of the Fruitland acquisition – quickly became the guiding force when Pearmont and Fruitland were consolidated under the latter name.
“By 1861, Berckmans boasted that Fruitland had, along with 900 apple varieties, 300 grapes, 300 peaches, more than 1,300 named varieties of pears, plus 10,000 ‘unproduced seedlings’ of pomological luminaries …” wrote William Thomas Okie in The Georgia Peach: Culture, Agriculture, and Environment in the American South.
Because of P.J. Berckmans’ European education in pomology under the esteemed Alexandre Bivort and ties to his former home, Fruitland’s offerings were among the very best in the United States. “One could order a Fruitland tree with confidence,” Okie wrote, adding that the nursery was “trading both plant material and expert authority.”
peaches  okie 
april 2017
Kirby: Home of the Georgia Peach a familiar Washington Road address | The Augusta Chronicle
Ever wonder why they call Georgia the Peach State?

Thomas Okie will tell you.

He knows why we put it on signs at the welcome centers, vehicle license plates and souvenir postcards.
okie  peaches 
april 2017
My Fully Optimized Life Allows Me Ample Time to Optimize Yours - McSweeney’s Internet Tendency
Using your favorite bone broth as a base, just add a small handful each of kale, spinach, bok choi, frozen cauliflower, and wheatgrass; half an avocado, a whole, unpeeled kiwi, a quarter cup of filmjölk, skyr, kefir OR plain organic yogurt (depending on your personal mucus type – to learn yours, see my e-book); two tablespoons each of chia seeds, flax seeds, pea protein, fresh pomegranate seeds, dried goji berries, resistant potato starch, turmeric powder, and collagen hydrolysate; one tablespoon each of ghee, coconut oil, coconut water, maple syrup, maca, lucuma, chlorella, spirulina, hemp seeds, moringa leaves, royal jelly, powdered durian fruit, activated charcoal, Manuka honey, ashwagandha powder, shilajit powder, local bee pollen, Irish moss, cordyceps fungus, chaga powder, reishi mushroom powder, matcha powder, and cacao nibs; two drops of lavender essential oil, a quarter cup of sprouted almonds, five soaked cashews, two soaked medjool dates, a Ceylon cinnamon stick, a whole nutmeg seed, four white peppercorns, three peeled and crushed garlic cloves, a cup of organic frozen blueberries, and a pinch of Himalayan salt. To really take it up a notch, add four acacia thorns and a half-teaspoon of Tibetan monk tears. Follow with a high-quality probiotic.
humor  food 
april 2017
Majoring in Discomfort: John Domini Interviews David Shields - Los Angeles Review of Books
There was a wonderful line — the writer Fiona Maazel was teaching dialogue. She told the students, “Some conversation is so banal, it never deserves to be dialogue.” And this one kid pushed back so beautifully. He said, “You’ve got to be kidding. ‘Hello’ is a fucking miracle.”
language  Writing 
march 2017
How ‘Les Misérables’ Was the Biggest Deal in Book History
On the morning of April 4, 1862, part 1 of Les Misérables, called “Fantine,” was released simultaneously in Brussels, Paris, Saint Petersburg, London, Leipzig, and several other European cities. No book had ever had an international launch on this scale. Within a day, the first Paris printing of six thousand copies sold out to the avid queues that snaked around the bookstores. The critics and literati panned it brutally: Alexandre Dumas, inspired no doubt by Jean Valjean’s sojourn through the sewers, sneered that reading the novel was akin to “wading through mud.” Gustave Flaubert privately mocked it as a “book written for catholico-socialist shitheads and for the philosophico-evangelical ratpack.”

But the people absolutely loved it. When forty-eight thousand copies of the “Cossette” and “Marius” volumes went on sale a month later, “Hugonic fandom” had reached such a fever pitch that shoppers in Paris arrived with handcarts and wheelbarrows to whisk away as many copies as possible. A peeved Flaubert delayed publishing Salammbô by six months: the catholico-socialist shithead novel was monopolizing sales.
publishing  Books 
march 2017
My Text Corpus in 2017
I've long used nvALT and Dropbox to maintain my collection of notes on my Mac. The benefit of this system is that so many iOS applications sync with Dropbox. I can search and edit my large collection of notes almost anywhere that I'm sitting. But 2016 brought some new innovations and concerns. The tremendous improvements with DEVONthink on iOS and the secure end to end encryption with their Mac application have made it a compelling capture and reference manager.
workflow  Software  devonthink  notes 
march 2017
Style and Substance | Easily Distracted
What Trump’s speech did in its rhetoric is provide a familiar widget to set down on the conveyor belts of the 24/7 media apparatus and so for one night it ran smoothly. The President did what was predicted, he did what he was told, he read his teleprompter, he stuck to his script. He nailed his set pieces. Up to this point, Trump has been putting strange hand-built, jerryrigged heaps of awkwardly shaped garbage down on those oiled, smooth-running machines. The factory has been clogging, breaking down, smelling of possible fires. Up to this point, Trump has been for the media a bit like Susan Alexander in Citizen Kane, singing the wrong arias while her music instructor watches exasperated from the pit. But all along Trump has been clear: that’s on purpose, that he’s sabotaging the machinery.

Which has been a popular message for reasons that the press both sort of understand and yet also doggedly refuse to understand. They understand that they’re not popular, but they flatter themselves that this is because they’re truthful messengers bringing unpopular news to unhappy recipients. What they don’t want to understand is that they’re also unpopular because they’re seen as a part of the machinery of power. Not town criers carrying woeful news but courtiers and jesters fawning over a succession of kings and dukes. So Trump gets exalted for a night because he gave them something normal to fawn over again. Even some of the usual criticism is a kind of money shot: it lets two or more commenters get paid off for scheduled work on a play-by-play from a game they understand, rather than leaving them confused and speechless at the spectacle of anarchic improvisation.
language  Politics 
march 2017
Defining El Sur Latino | Tore Olsson | Southern Foodways Alliance
Yet to me, “El Sur Latino” also communicates the deep impact that the US South has had upon Latin America. Back in the nineteenth century, southern slaveholders instigated a war with Mexico that seized more than half of its national territory. Later on, southern expansionists envisioned a vast slave-holding empire stretching across the Caribbean and into Central America; only the Civil War squashed such dreams. Into the twentieth century, the South’s influence continued to be felt across Latin America. My own research examines how during the 1940s, rural development experts with experience in the southern Cotton Belt sought to transform Latin American agriculture in the image of the American South, a campaign that would ultimately impact millions of campesinos – peasants – across the western hemisphere. Then, during the Cold War, hundreds if not thousands of Latin American counter-revolutionaries convened for training at the US Army’s School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia – thus embedding the rural South in the tempestuous political violence that plagued Latin America for so many decades.
food  latin_america  foodways  Food_History  south 
march 2017
A Letter to My Nephew - Progressive.org
Please try to be clear, dear James, through the storm which rages about your youthful head today, about the reality which lies behind the words "acceptance" and "integration." There is no reason for you to try to become like white men and there is no basis whatever for their impertinent assumption that they must accept you. The really terrible thing, old buddy, is that you must accept them, and I mean that very seriously. You must accept them and accept them with love, for these innocent people have no other hope. They are in effect still trapped in a history which they do not understand and until they understand it, they cannot be released from it. They have had to believe for many years, and for innumerable reasons, that black men are inferior to white men.
history_of_education  techforhistorians  teaching_history  historical_thinking 
march 2017
Cold weather could take bite out of Georgia's famous fruit - CBS46 News
It’s a story of Culture, and Horticulture, according to a prize-winning Kennesaw State University professor.

He told me the peach’s place in the hearts and minds of Georgians is more than its taste. It's marketing, plus geography.

“Georgia’s was the first peach to make it to market in New York, in Philadelphia, in markets of the north. Georgia's was the first one.”
okie  peaches 
march 2017
The history of Georgia peaches offers lessons - The Newnan Times-Herald
It might seem odd, but a new book tracing the history of the Georgia peach serves as an entertaining and enlightening review of the state’s cultural evolution over the last 200 years and an instruction book for today’s policymakers. Since peaches were a major crop in Coweta County, it is also our local tale.
okie  peaches 
march 2017
No Small Potatoes in Detroit - The Historian in the Garden
Despite the early-Progressive-Era condescension and coercion wrapped into the program, it was a huge success in every possible sense. the first season, Pingree was able to secure 430 acres of land within city limits, which provided plots for 945 families. The citizens of Detroit who benefited from the program wrote letters to City Hall expressing their thanks (most imperfectly or illegibly, since many of them had little education). Most of the unemployed were recent German and Polish immigrants, grateful to this new Mayor and this new program. Beyond the proverbial potatoes, they grew all sorts of vegetables: beans, corn, squash, cabbage, carrots, pumpkins, beets, cucumbers, and more. The city's street sweepings were used as fertilizer, combining the garden program with city sanitation efforts. Newspapers far and wide praised "the Detroit Experiment."
Food_History  food 
march 2017
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