Cartoon of the day


Thank you David Ruccio and Jen Sorensen

occasional links & commentary


Special mention


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The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

Just read ~ the articles speak for themselves


In this week’s Top 5, read a letter from Coretta Scott King and stories by Lizzie Presser, Kathryn Schulz, Michael Friscolanti, and Mitchell Sunderland.

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Tired and stressed? Take a break


…”Contemporary society is tired and stressed because we’ve abandoned two ancient traditions” by Amanda Crowell @aj_crowell. Those would be keeping to a nocturnal sleep cycle and taking a day off. Let the human mind-field lay fallow once every seven days.

It’s exhausting, trying to make it in the middle class. Like a lot of people, I work outside my full-time job in the gig economy. This means that, in addition to being a college professor, I do small, one-off jobs for money such as writing articles and providing professional development to teachers. The appeal of…

via Contemporary society is tired and stressed because we’ve abandoned two ancient traditions — Quartz

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


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


occasional links & commentary


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


critique of mainstream economics

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

class and surplus

epistemology, especially uncertainty



corporations and capital


critique of liberalism

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

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Creating creative digital literacy or creating digital dependency?



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


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


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


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

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.


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.


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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