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KSU | News - History professor earns best book award from Georgia Historical Society
KENNESAW, Ga. (Nov 28, 2018) — William Thomas Okie, associate professor of history and author of “The Georgia Peach: Culture, Agriculture, and Environment in the American South,” was honored Tuesday with the Bell Award from the Georgia Historical Society, becoming one of two individuals recognized in 2018 for books published in 2016 and 2017.

The Bell Award is the highest publication award given by the organization and recognizes the best book on Georgia history published in the previous year. The award, established in 1992, is named in honor of Malcolm Bell Jr., and Muriel Barrow Bell for their contributions to the recording of Georgia’s history.
okie  peaches 
11 days ago
Killer Tulips Hiding In Plain Sight - The Atlantic
We have missed the connection, they say, because we do not pay attention to things too close to notice: the crops in fields, the flowers in gardens, the soil under our feet.
4plants  attention 
25 days ago
the instrumentalist chain – Snakes and Ladders
This is the pitfall of all instrumentalist thinking — even when it’s properly instrumentalist. By which I mean that there are some things it’s perfectly okay to think of as means to other ends. I exercise so I can be healthier: if I don’t love exercise in itself and for itself, that’s not a problem — unless I fail to pay sufficient attention to what I’m doing when I exercise that in the end I don’t improve my health as much as I want. The way for me to fix that is to start focusing on the exercise itself. Wanting ever more intensely to be super-healthy doesn’t actually help me.

Many of my students don’t care about the quality of the work they’re doing. They care about the grades they get, and they care about grades because the grades will determine whether they get into med school, and they care about getting into med school because that will determine whether they get to be doctors, and they want to be doctors because … well, who am I to judge? My point here is just that there’s a lengthy chain of instrumentalist motivation here, acts that are meaningful only because they lead to other acts that are only meaningful because they lead to still other acts, in regressive links that I can’t see the end of. But the only way people are ever going to get to their goal, whatever that happens to be, is by starting to care about the work they’re doing today.
education  hied  teaching_history 
10 weeks ago
Earth-Moon Fire Pole
My son (5y) asked me today: If there were a kind of a fireman's pole from the Moon down to the Earth, how long would it take to slide all the way from the Moon to the Earth?
science 
11 weeks ago
Book Review of 'The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings' by Philip and Carol Zaleski - The Atlantic
In this nearly magical room, amid fire-crackle and clink of glass, you can hear them talking. Pipe smoke is in the air, and a certain boisterous chauvinism, and the wet-dog smell of recently rained-on tweed. You can hear the donnish mumbles of J. R. R. Tolkien as the slow coils of The Silmarillion glint and shift in his back-brain. Now he’s reading aloud from an interminable marmalade-stained manuscript, and his fellow academ
Books 
september 2018
how change happens – Snakes and Ladders
Second, it inclines us to forget that the greatest of social changes tend to happen, as Edward Gibbon put it, insensibly. Even when they seem sudden, it is almost always case that the suddenness is merely a very long gradual transformation finally bearing fruit. There’s a famous moment in Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises when one character asks another how he went bankrupt. “Two ways,” the man replies. “Gradually and then suddenly.” But the “suddenly” happened because he was previously insensible to the “gradually.” Likewise, events are always appearing to us with extreme suddenness — but only because we are so amnesiac that we have failed to discern the long slow gradual forces that made this moment inevitable.

And so we float on, boats with the current, borne forward ceaselessly into an ever-surprising future.
thinking  culture  lament 
august 2018
Earth's Lament: Suffering, Hope, and Wisdom - The Other Journal
Earth’s Lament

Perhaps an image will help. What I have said about philosophy’s task resonates with a sculpture that stands in the Board Room at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto.[18] When the artwork is displayed in optimal lighting, one sees a brilliantly illuminated sculpture standing on nine blocks of wood. A young corkscrew willow has been cut off before it could flourish. Its dead leaves have been removed, its bare branches disassembled. Now it stands forcibly reconstructed, twisting through a skeletal cage of whittled maple. The willow’s branches, carved into spears, are rejoined with sharp wooden rivets into the simulacrum of a tree. Snakelike, they writhe through each other as their trunk rests rootless in
beauty  nature 
august 2018
In Praise of Email | Dan Cohen
Most email systems do not signal to others that you are online, and such signaling is not part of the email protocols themselves.
Filtering (e.g., spam filtering) is a separate system, and you can choose different filtering systems. Those filtering systems can do many things, including blocking, muting, suppressing images, sorting, and responding — all at the discretion of the user.
Although some email systems algorithmically sort email by priority or importance, that is not part of the email system itself. Again, this can be added, or not, by the user, and the default is strictly chronological.
techforhistorians  Technology 
july 2018
The Writing Life | belz
And it is a certain winsome threadbareness
of the blazer with the one seam pulled
of rumpled cotton shirt and denim pants
and out of fashion boots
Writing 
july 2018
Department of Anthropology: Writing Across Boundaries : Tim Ingold - Durham University
I am saddened by the rule, observed in my own institution as in most others, that requires students to produce work in a standardised, word-processed format. I am told that one reason for this rule is that it allows work to be checked for originality, using anti-plagiarism software. From the start, students are introduced to the idea that academic writing is a game whose primary object is to generate novelty through the juxtaposition and recombination of materials from prescribed sources. Word processors were expressly designed as devices with which to play this game, and it is one that many academics, having been trained in its conventions, are only too keen to carry on. But the game is a travesty of the writer's craft. Contrary to university regulations, I encourage my students to write by hand, as well as to draw, and to compare their experience of doing so with that of using the computer. The response has been unequivocal. Handwriting and drawing, they report, re-awaken long-suppressed sensibilities and induce a greater sense of personal involvement, leading in turn to profound insight.
Writing  techforhistorians 
july 2018
a position in life – Snakes and Ladders
It happens that I have practically some connexion with schools for different classes of youth; and I receive many letters from parents respecting the education of their children. In the mass of these letters I am always struck by the precedence which the idea of a “position in life” takes above all other thoughts in the parents’—more especially in the mothers’—minds. “The education befitting such and such a STATION IN LIFE”—this is the phrase, this the object, always. They never seek, as far as I can make out, an education good in itself; even the conception of abstract rightness in training rarely seems reached by the writers. But, an education “which shall keep a good coat on my son’s back;—which shall enable him to ring with confidence the visitors’ bell at double-belled doors; which shall result ultimately in establishment of a double-belled door to his own house;—in a word, which shall lead to advancement in life;—THIS we pray for on bent knees—and this is ALL we pray for.” It never seems to occur to the parents that there may be an education which, in itself, IS advancement in Life;—that any other than that may perhaps be advancement in Death; and that this essential education might be more easily got, or given, than they fancy, if they set about it in the right way; while it is for no price, and by no favour, to be got, if they set about it in the wrong.

— John Ruskin, Sesame and Lilies.
higher_education  education  Humanities  ayjay 
july 2018
Progress in Philosophy
But if philosophical thinking is getting better and better—more precise, truthful, articulate, deep—why should we still read Aristotle or Maimonides? The reason we need to do the history of philosophy is precisely that philosophy has made massive amounts of progress in Tyler’s sense of the word: it has filtered into, shaped and organized commonsense, ordinary thought. Indeed, it constitutes much of that thought. Recently a historian of philosophy named Wolfgang Mann wrote a book called The Discovery of Things. He argues, just as the title of his book suggests, that Aristotle discovered things. It’s a bookabout the distinction between subject and predicate in Aristotle’s Categories—between what is and how it is. You may not have realized this but: someone had to come up with that! Many of the things that seem obvious to you—that human beings have basic rights, that knowledge requires justification, that modus ponens is a valid syllogistic form, that the world is filled with things—people had to come up with those ideas. And the people who came up with them were philosophers.

So you are pretty much constantly thinking thoughts that, in one way or another, you inherited from philosophers. You don’t see it, because philosophical exports are the kinds of thing that, once you internalize them, just seem like the way things are. So the reason to read Aristotle isn’t (just) that he’s a great philosopher, but that he’s colonized large parts of your mind. Not everyone is interested in learning about the history of philosophy. But if you are the kind of person who is not happy about having delegated some of your most fundamental thinking to other people; if you want to go back and retrace those steps to make sure you are on board; if you want to take full ownership of your own mind, well, in that case the history of philosophy might be for you.
ayjay  Humanities  reading  Books 
june 2018
On Beginning Without the End in Mind
I take great comfort and great confidence in the truth that the writer doesn't make meaning. The writer recognizes meaning and gives voice to it. Sometimes you recognize that meaning before you start writing (sometimes, indeed, that recognition is what sets you to writing). But I encourage you to be open to the likelihood that the most important recognition will happen only after you've written for a while. Be willing to begin without the end in mind.
Writing 
may 2018
There Is No Such Thing as Conversation. It Is an Illusion. There Are Intersecting Monologues, That Is All | Quote Investigator
There is no such thing as conversation. It is an illusion. There are interesting monologues, that is all. We speak; we spread round us with sounds, with words, an emanation from ourselves. Sometimes they overlap the circles that others are spreading round themselves. Then they are affected by these other circles, to be sure, but not because of any real communication that has taken place—merely as a scarf of blue chiffon lying on a woman’s dressing table will change color if she casts down on it a scarf of red chiffon.
teaching_history  Politics  thinking 
march 2018
Boomerang Effect | The Weekly Standard
This is an important qualifier, which some reviewers of Protestants Abroad, alas, have failed to note. (John Kaag, reviewing the book for the Wall Street Journal, describes it as a “comprehensive history of American Protestant missionaries abroad.”) But it is also a bit misleading. In fact, even as you take in Hollinger’s explanation for focusing on the “missionary-connected men and women” who went to “Amherst, Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke, Oberlin, Princeton, Swarthmore, and Yale”—hence positioned to be influencers—rather than those who went to “Bob Jones, Calvin, Mercer, Westmont [from which I graduated, by the way], Wheaton,” etc., it may occur to you that by largely excluding evangelical missionaries and their children from his account, Hollinger is excluding evidence that would complicate his thesis. Protestants Abroad is not simply a study of the impact of mainline Protestant missions on American public life; it is the latest in a loosely linked series of books in which Hollinger has recounted and celebrated the rise of cosmopolitanism and the decline of “sectarian” convictions, especially Christian convictions
missions  reldev  progress 
march 2018
RETHINKING THE SHITTY FIRST DRAFT by George Dila • Cleaver Magazine
Imagine building a house using Miss Lamott’s pour-it-all-out strategy.

The builder has all his materials on site. He begins pouring cement for the foundation, it is uneven and the cement is somewhat watery, but he can’t stop to fix it. He begins hammering the walls up. They are cockeyed, and a bit shaky, but no problem, he can fix them later. He begins working on the roof. Oops. Forgot the electrical wiring. Well, he’ll get it later.

You get the idea. The builder would end up with a pretty shitty house; so shitty it would probably be easier to tear it down and start over, maybe a little more carefully the next time.

Well, I am here to speak out for we careful builders, we obsessives, we writers of short fiction who write slowly, laboriously, painstakingly, and with no apologies, constantly fixing as we go.
Writing 
march 2018
Liberal Arts Majors Are the Future of the Tech Industry
College students who major in the humanities always get asked a certain question. They’re asked it so often—and by so many people—that it should come printed on their diplomas. That question, posed by friends, career counselors, and family, is “What are you planning to do with your degree?” But it might as well be “What are the humanities good for?”

According to three new books, the answer is “Quite a lot.” From Silicon Valley to the Pentagon, people are beginning to realize that to effectively tackle today’s biggest social and technological challenges, we need to think critically about their human context—something humanities graduates happen to be well trained to do. Call it the revenge of the film, history, and philosophy nerds.
hied  history  liberal_arts  higher_education  techforhistorians 
february 2018
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 
february 2018
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 
february 2018
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 
february 2018
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 
february 2018
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 
february 2018
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.
february 2018
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 
february 2018
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 
january 2018
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 
january 2018
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.
Writing 
january 2018
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?
january 2018
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.
language 
january 2018
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 
december 2017
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!
thinking 
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.
poetry 
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.
higher_education 
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.
poetry 
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
Orion Magazine | Paul Kingsnorth | Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist
I am twelve years old. I am alone, I am scared, I am cold, and I am crying my eyes out. I can’t see more than six feet in either direction. I am on some godforsaken moor high up on the dark, ancient, poisonous spine of England. The black bog juice I have been trudging through for hours has long since crept over the tops of my boots and down into my socks. My rucksack is too heavy, I am unloved and lost and I will never find my way home. It is raining and the cloud is punishing me; clinging to me, laughing at me. Twenty-five years later, I still have a felt memory of that experience and its emotions: a real despair and a terrible loneliness.

I do find my way home; I manage to keep to the path and eventually catch up with my father, who has the map and the compass and the mini Mars bars. He was always there, somewhere up ahead, but he had decided it would be good for me to “learn to keep up” with him. All of this, he tells me, will make me into a man. Needless to say, it didn’t work.

Only later do I realize the complexity of the emotions summoned by a childhood laced with experiences like this. My father was a compulsive long-distance walker. Every year, throughout my most formative decade, he would take me away to Cumbria or Northumberland or Yorkshire or Cornwall or Pembrokeshire, and we would walk, for weeks. We would follow ancient tracks or new trails, across mountains and moors and ebony-black cliffs. Much of the time, we would be alone with each other and with our thoughts and our conversations, and we would be alone with the oystercatchers, the gannets, the curlews, the skylarks, and the owls. With the gale and the breeze, with our maps and compasses and emergency rations and bivy bags and plastic bottles of water. We would camp in the heather, by cairns and old mine shafts, hundreds of feet above the orange lights of civilization, and I would dream. And in the morning, with dew on the tent and cold air in my face as I opened the zip, the wild elements of life, all of the real things, would all seem to be there, waiting for me with the sunrise.
environmental_history  environmentalism  local_culture 
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.
Writing 
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
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