Ode to the epub

is that an epub?

Once a format I loved to read,
but now a monster that I must feed

More than a bee,
thou art the yogi’s knees:
bendy, malleable, and free –
all things I thought a file should be

Yet raindrops in a thunderstorm
could said to be more uniform
Continue reading “Ode to the epub”

Lurching toward equality

Is the glass half empty or or half full?

In discussing whether the world is improving or getting more awful every day, it’s quite common for people to state their belief in the latter. In part this is because it’s easier to begin a conversation from the common ground of what two or more individuals reject. Defining what we are not can be a much quicker path to camaraderie than defining what we are. Avoiding danger is a survival mechanism, the neural wiring of which leads us to give more weight to the negative despite realising that positive focus is better for long-term health and happiness. Continue reading “Lurching toward equality”

“so here goes…”

A nascent blogger (and classmate) expresses her feelings about joining the blogosphere.

Continue reading ““so here goes…””

Fools, tricksters, iconoclasm, and culture jamming

Have you heard of the Great Wikipedia Hoaxes of 2008 and 2012?  They were deliberately instigated by Professor T. Mills Kelly of George Mason University as part of a class exercise.  It was a great experiment in information exchange and trust within communities.  (Go have a quick read.  I’ll wait.)

I’m a big fan of accuracy and am usually one of the first people in a group to check Snopes (which has issues of its own) and other resources.  Having been online since the early 90s, back when it was all text-based BBS boards and 56K baud modems – if you were lucky – I think my skepticism has had a chance to develop and expand over the years.  I’m not immune from falling prey to some whoppers, but am, perhaps, less likely than the average user. Continue reading “Fools, tricksters, iconoclasm, and culture jamming”

Humanitize me!

We are studying “outcome-based learning”, in part by examining the Bologna process.  Since I usually nod off or get antsy trying to read dry, factual stuff – I learn facts better by listening – I’ve fed it through a text-to-speech program.  It’s functional, though like most robotic voices, has some issues.

“Bologna” is not pronounced “bo-LOHN-ya” as it should be, but “bo-LOHN-ee”, like the sandwich meat.  So when we get to phrases like “Implementing Bologna in your institution” it turns hilarious. Continue reading “Humanitize me!”

Sharing is fun.

Among other things, digital humanities involves collaboration. To this end, we (the class of 2014-2015 at UCC, not the royal we) are dipping our collective toes into several software applications. The first one is Evernote.

Since we haven’t started creating things together yet, there was little of substance in my notebooks. I created an empty folder and simply copied over a page of notes from a different class.  I thought that was a bit dull, so I replaced it with a graphic:

You rang?

Yay for collaboration!

A-blogging we will go.

“Humor is reason gone mad.”

~ Groucho Marx

And then came India. TourAbsurd.com was my baby, my happy place, my reason for moving forward. For four years I nurtured it, educated myself about the workings of social media, and built an international network of friends and contacts within the travel industry. After 6 six weeks in Mumbai, Goa, and Kerala, however, I was done. It was the trip that broke my wanderlust.

It seemed odd that it should evaporate – *poof!* – just like that, but there you have it. The quiet that seeped in to fill the void was only disconcerting in that it was …not at all disconcerting. I felt I should be more upset by the absence of something I’d used define myself for so many years. Yet I was secretly content. I knew whatever came next would be great. Continue reading “A-blogging we will go.”