Down Another Few Pegs

A student emailed me yesterday to note that somehow — in the blurb department of Baylor UP (for whom I commended my mentor and absent colleague Richard Hays’s recent book) or at Amazon — my identity was contorted so as to represent me as “A. K. M. Adamb” who teaches at Bowdoin College. Contrariwise, I…

Mark of the Geek

I woke up in the middle of the night and had a hard time falling asleep because I couldn’t call to mind the official typographic name for the “@” symbol.   As it turns out, that’s because there isn’t an official fancy typographical name like “ampersand” or “guillemot” for it. It’s just called the “commercial…

Catching Up

I’m fine-tuning my notes for a lecture to Duke Divinity’s NT Intro class tomorrow morning, and while I was prepping, spring training seems to have started. When was that?   Larry Lessig blasts John Conyers’ dreadful “Fair Copyright in Research Works Act,” whose intent is to prevent the National Institutes of Health from stipulating that…

Preach!

You may have heard recently about Lady Greenfield’s presentation to the House of Lords, in which she argues that digital technology infantilizes us (“[T]he mid-21st century mind might almost be infantilised, characterised by short attention spans, sensationalism, inability to empathise and a shaky sense of identity”) and causes autism (about 12:45 into the interview). In…

Durrrr

So, I went to download the new U2 album from Amazon, for their (one-day?) special price of $3.99. The Amazon site asked me to download their special proprietary downloader, but I already had it, in an up-to-date version. So I started their downloader up, made sure it was current, and re-started the buy-this-album process. Again,…

Facebook Moments

Alex questioned the practice of friending your students on Facebook, but I relish the opportunity to see a status report and comment that go as follows (names pseudonymized): Willibrord: 9/10… why is the last page always the hardest one to write? Wilgefortis: thats because normally we run out of things to make up by page…

Kiting Academic Checks

Like many people of my vintage, I’ve developed the habit of drawing on (and repeating) a repertoire of slogans as shorthand expressions of points for which I can give a fuller account if an unwitting victim asks for one. For example, I often tell preachers, “Don’t write checks you can’t cover,” by which I mean…