Slate: Why didn’t a Rolling Stone writer talk to the alleged perpetrators of a gang rape?
Of note. The authors of this piece don’t say it straight out, but they seem to smell something wrong.
Diane Ravitch Blog: How to Analyze False Claims about Charter Schools.
“An op-ed by Congressman Danny Davis noted that the Noble Network suspends 51% of its students at least once during a school year. This includes suspending 88% of the African American students who attend its schools. It might be hard to understand why a school would want to suspend so many of its students … until you realize that this encourages students to leave. And it specifically encourages the more challenging students, the ones most likely to bring down test scores and college graduation rates, to depart.” Flagged as an important read. Go. Now.
BBC: Richard III’s DNA throws up infidelity surprise.
Okay - repeat after me - “I LOVE science.”
Later: The Guardian has more details on the genealogical ramifications of broken royal lineage.
Archaeology News Network: Secrets of Celtic ‘princess of the Danube’ revealed.
“No one knows whether the mysteries preserved in this astonishing grave will ever be
solved. Archaeologists expect to spend many more years on the case.” Quite cool. I love that they mention waiting for tech to mature, to find out more.
MeFi: Nature will make its articles back to 1869 free to share online.
More on ReadCube.
IBT: Mystery Roman Fertility God Discovered at Sacred Turkish Site Baffles Scholars.
“The basalt stele shows a deity growing from a chalice of leaves. Its long stem rises from a cone that is ornamented with astral symbols. From the sides of the cone grow a long horn and a tree, which the deity clasps with his right hand. The pictorial elements suggest that a fertility god is depicted.” Well, we need some new gods.
CJR: The Texas school board isn’t as powerful as you think.
“‘They [dm! note: speaking about journalists] — how should I say this — they don’t look at the story real closely.’ If they did, they would see that Texas schools do not have to use the textbooks that the board approves. In 2011, a new state law made it possible for school districts to use textbooks that are not on the board-approved list. Many (though not most) districts are already reveling in their newfound flexibility.” I suspected, given the rise of e-texts and other modernizing/computerizing influences, that Texas was ripe for disruption.
Extra good point about certain political groups fanning the flames to increase donations.
Ancient Origins: Archaeologists reveal new secrets of ancient tomb at Kasta Hill.
Archaeology News Network: Occupant of Amphipolis tomb remains unknown.
“I had said some time ago that with a lion on top of such a massive monument, it could be the tomb of a general. [snip] When the skeleton was found, an archaeologist could never say if it is a man or a woman.” Patience.
PS Mag: The Long War Between Highbrow and Lowbrow.
“Shakespeare was The Avengers of the 19th century. To say that Shakespeare was The Avengers, though, is to say, in part, that Shakespeare was not high culture at all. Instead, Shakespeare was popular culture — and treated as such.”
TNR: A Defense of Reason.
Dazed: UK students graduate with even more debt than Americans.
“According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, students will graduate with an average of £44,035 of student debt. America’s class of 2014, on the other hand, will only graduate $33,000 in debt. ” Doesn’t seem so much until you convert Pounds to dollars [scratching on paper ... roughly] $68,900 or so. Double American students’ debt. Shame on you, Britain, for being taken in by capitalist shpiel.
Western Digs: Utah Cave Full of Children’s Moccasins Sheds Light on Little-Known Culture.
Archaeology News Network: Byzantine cistern filled with cement.
Pesky, inconvenient history ... finding more of the Forum of Theodosius would be extremely valuable.
Greek Reporter Europe: Mosaics Revealed at Ancient Greek City of Zeugma in Turkey.
Check this out. Absolutely stunning mosaics.
Slate: “Crappy Gabor paper” - Overly honest citation slips into peer-reviewed journal Ethology.
“Typos and editing mistakes are common on blogs and even in print newspapers, where reporters and editors are working on tight deadlines. But academics typically have weeks or even months to edit a paper before the journal goes to press, and the peer review process means that it has to go through close reads by multiple experts in the relevant field.” Time is no barrier to bad editing or poor proofreading. “Meticulous care” is a trait that is neither respected nor fairly compensated these days. So it’s never taken.
Archaeology News Network: Underground ‘vault’ found at Amphipolis tomb.
Adobe Education: The University of Texas at Austin Develops its First Course App.
“College students utilize mobile devices to consume all their digital content and they prefer apps to websites to access information, engage with their social networks and share their opinions.” Developers take note.
HyperAllergic: What Do Classical Antiquities Look Like in Color?
Tacky and cartoony, with paint. Always made me question Greek ‘classical’ tastes. Must’ve been like living in Las Vegas or a Disney theme park.
New Statesman: Treasure trails - how museums became diplomatic fixers.
Yes. I used to think antiquities should be repatriated; the Bamiyan Buddhas and other events of late have convinced me it is better to take mankind’s common heritage and spread it as widely as possible so we cannot lose it. So I vote ‘no’ on the Elgin marbles now.
BookForum: Innovators Abroad.
“... technological development is also a human story — one that involves politics, war, culture, discrimination, social upheaval, and a great deal of human exploitation thousands of miles down the production line, in Congo’s coltan mines and Shenzhen’s brutal factories.”
Daily Mail.UK: Tutankhamun had girlish hips, a club foot and buck teeth ...
Some interesting theoretical leaps being taken here.
Harvard University Press: The digital Loeb Classical Library is now online.
Here. Students of Latin and Greek rejoice.
Vox: How AP US History classes became the new culture war battleground.
My time in AP History seemed to revolve around the Civil War. The only thing I recall from that course was discussions of the Gag Rule. It really didn’t give me more information than I was already finding through my own curiousity at the public library and my old man’s collection of books (reading materials for his officer’s courses in the Marines). The original three-volume set of Lee’s Lieutenants: A Study in Command, for instance.
Nice Marmot: Blogging like it’s 1999.
Later: Dr Vornov says, “With our symbolic tools of language that abstract the maps into notes, conversations and blog posts, we can get out of our heads and team up with other minds to improve the usefulness of our internal maps, even to the point of knowing things that are beyond any ability to experience.”
This post has been simmering in the back of my head as I’ve been running around town today, and I wanted to expand on it. I think of how fellow bloggers, my readers and others have shaped my perception of reality, my interpretation of events, my interpretations of groups of facts over the years. It’s been invaluable. However, after near fifteen years of blogging, I have to face my own … sluggishness? … to change the mental maps of late. I wasn’t so slow to change in ’99. Today? Glacial by comparison. Is it age? Is it exposure to poor quality articles? Is it comfort in an attractive rut? Is it a reflection of the knee-jerk post-9/11 fear-and-panic in our culture? I know it’s not media-driven - I don’t watch television! Not even Jon Stewart (though he served me drinks at City Gardens in Trenton eons ago). That seems to shock people.
I circle back to something the Barrett boys [Cam and Damien] underlined for me. Weblogs are best when they’re about stories. A good story is from the heart, from the soul. “I lived this.” A good story changes my mental map, because it is a convincing direct experience I can feel. It’s the direct experience I don’t have, but when I hear it from a person I trust, it bends my opinion to the bloggers’ experience. My mental map extends beyond my direct ken.
Why are today’s stories not changing my maps? Why are stories less compelling than they were? I think it’s because there’s a difference between a fellow blogger, posting as a virtual friend, and a stranger posting a story to Medium or other venue. Stories are told at an arm’s length now - even worse, when they’re on sites with no comment areas. There is no interaction. And historical storytelling has always been about adjustments for the audience as the story is being acted out. I think of the famous photo, the elder at the bonfire, spinning out stories to the next generations, animated look on his face. Our old blogger-banter served that need for interaction - that banter, that back-and-forth is largely gone today.
I suppose that’s why I mourn for the ‘old days’ of blogging. And I make a mental note (scribbled on my mental map margin) to tell more stories.