Hieronymus Bosch, virtual pilgrimage, and the memory of the crusades.

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I came across Anthony Bale’s (dta @RealMandeville) blog skimming #MLA17 tweets (the cheap, quick way to do MLA). How could a former closet medievalist resist either “þis & þat. Views mine & Margery Kempe’s” or Hieronymous Bosch? Not me.

Remembered Places

The paintings of Hieronymus Bosch (Jheronimus van Aken, c. 1450-1516) are famously rich in detail, beguiling, and hard to interpret. Amongst Bosch’s enigmatic works, one has been singled out as being especially hard to understand: his Epiphany panel triptych of c. 1495, now held at the Prado Museum in Madrid. The image shows, in the foreground, the Magi visiting the infant Jesus in the stable at Bethlehem. In the distant background is Jerusalem. At the top of the image, in the central panel and at the formal ‘summit’ of the triptych, is the star which guided the Magi. In the side panels, the donors kneel with their patrons saints. There’s obviously a wealth of other imagery here, but in the current context, I’m particularly interested in the Holy Land scene that Bosch sets up here.

Hieronymus Bosch, Triptych of the Epiphany, c. 1495, oil on panel. Museo nacional del Prado, Madrid. Hieronymus Bosch, Triptych of the Epiphany, c. 1495, oil on panel. Museo nacional del Prado, Madrid.

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Themes of 2016

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occasional links & commentary

vrjersq

Looking back over the past year, here are the ten major themes I found in my blog posts:

inequality

critique of mainstream economics

the U.S. presidential election, especially Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump

class and surplus

epistemology, especially uncertainty

utopia

working-class

corporations and capital

academy

critique of liberalism

We’ll see what happens in the current year. . .

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Creating creative digital literacy or creating digital dependency?

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howsheilaseesIT

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 09.54.20 Jisc Digital Capabilities Framework

Digital literacy and in turn digital capability is something that I care a great deal about.

Part of my working life involves supporting and exploring  the development of digital capabilities. The work that Helen Beetham, Sarah Knight and many others at Jisc have done around developing definitions that have evolved into a digital capabilities framework is an essential part of my “digital toolkit.”  I’m always on the look out for other resources that I can add to said toolkit.

Earlier this week  I spotted via twitter  that the NMC had produced a Strategic Brief on Digital Literacy .  Full of expectations my heart sank when I read this:

“Digital Literacy: An NMC Horizon Project Strategic Brief was commissioned by Adobe Systems to explore an increasingly pressing challenge for United States higher education institutions: advancing digital literacy among students and faculty. Unfortunately, lack of agreement on what…

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The Customer Service Representative and the Messiah — An und für sich

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We never encounter customer service directly, only its representatives. Every quest after customer service is a Kafkaesque ordeal, in the purest possible sense. We are all the man from the country, waiting at the threshold to customer service without ever entering. Like the guard, customer service representatives exist to wait us out, to convince us […]

via The Customer Service Representative and the Messiah — An und für sich

Psychology debunks the idea that we’d be happier if we lived somewhere else — Quartz

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Virtually every time I travel to a new place, I find myself fantasizing about starting over there. Mostly the feeling sneaks up on me, as it did this summer while I walked on a coastal trail above the Pacific Ocean in Victoria, Canada. Wandering past giddy children and guitar-strumming buskers and off-leash dogs that never…

via Psychology debunks the idea that we’d be happier if we lived somewhere else — Quartz

‘Farm-to-School-to-Market’ … Cross-Generational Rural Synthesis

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A must read for Mountainair NM and Yuma CO. Are you paying attention?

clay forsberg

A couple of days ago I was having a Twitter discussion with Sandra, from Nebraska. Sandra is hard-core in the ‘farm-to-school’ movement. Actually it really shouldn’t even be called a movement since it’s just common sense. She posted an article from NPR discussing the fact that revenue from farmers markets nationwide have more or less peaked and in some locals even declined. There are areas that are still seeing increases, but overall the trend is not what you’d expect considering all the publicity of the last few years.

The article detailed several of possible causes. According to Sarah Low, a USDA economist and lead author on the report; “Farmers are increasingly using middlemen to sell to restaurants, grocery stores and distributors. With an increasing share of their produce, dairy or meat going to those channels, some farmers may choose to forgo the farmers market.” Simply put, the farmers market phenomenon may just be…

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Walking the Highline in NYC

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Walking the Highline in NYC

NYC and #walking the #city

Teaching for Life

Having recently written about some of the physical challenges I am beginning to have with walking, it seems odd, even to me, that today’s post is about walking. But this is not about walking just anywhere; its about being on the amazing High Line in the heart of the Meatpacking District of Manhattan.

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The Highline is an amazing architectural accomplishment that you can read about online. It was created by two New Yorkers who had a vision for this abandoned, 30-feet-above-ground train track that once served as transport for the products of the meatpacking industry in mid-Manhattan.

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For me, the Highline ranks right up there with the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and Ellis Island as a destination for those seeking the “best” of NY experiences. Created for the public, it now serves millions of visitors annually as it has become one of the most popular attractions in…

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Yuma County, CO Now Live on RealWare!

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re-blogged for the Yuma County Colorado sunset

CCI Software

Matt Smyrl, CCI Project Manager, announced last week that the Yuma County, CO Assessor’s office is now live on RealWare!

Thank you to Yuma County for choosing CCI and for your efforts during the converstion.

Special thanks to the CCI RW team (Jennifer, Chip, James and Maya)!

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Imagining the future of museums: winners from the AAM contest

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Bryan Alexander

What will museums become in the future?
Center for the Future of Museums logoTo explore this question the Center for the Future of Museums sponsored a story competition.  Creators had to imagine what the future of education could look like, with museums playing a leading role: “Tell us a story…about a future of education in which museums play a starring role.”

(Full disclosure: I helped judge the contest)

The resulting narratives imagined diverse futures, including multiple generations using virtual reality, autonomous historical characters, a megadatabase, augmented reality gallery installation testsa new form of robotic displays,   One peered into an inbox 25 years from now.  Click here to see the winners, along with all of the other creative submissions.  That’s a lot of imagination and innovation at work – go explore!

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Non-conformists as change agents

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Minding the Workplace

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ProPublica, the non-profit public interest news organization, recently did a neat little feature on Dr. Adam Grant’s (U.Penn/Wharton) new book, Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World (2016). Here’s the lede by Cynthia Gordy:

In his new book, Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, Adam Grant examines the circumstances that give rise to truly original thinkers and groundbreaking ideas. Throughout Originals, the Wharton School of Business professor shares stories from the fields of business, politics and sports, and his chapter exploring the psychology of speaking truth to power – whether it be federal whistleblowers, or a middle-level employee with an innovative idea – holds several lessons for investigative journalists and the people on which they report.

The feature includes a podcast with Dr. Grant interviewed by ProPublica reporter David Epstein. Here are some of the highlights:

  • On lower-level workers facing backlash for making suggestions: “People often confuse power and…

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