Critical Mass of Browser Tabs

And leftover things emails I should acknowledge:
• I’ve been meaning for a while now to congratulate the inimitable Michael O’Connor Clarke, for his new gig as VP of Marketing at Freshbooks. (To be honest, you probably could imitate him, but if someone knew him they’d be able to tell the difference, and if they didn’t know him, they wouldn’t understand why you were acting that way, so why other trying?)
• The very cool people at Book Oven (led by Hugh ‘Librivox” McGuire) have been nurturing means for crowd-sourcing editing, including private and public proofreading and editing by multiple sets of eyes. They’ve included a neat bit called “Bite-Size Edits” in the most recent iterations of the plan; you view only a sentence at a time, the better to catch misspellings, poorly-placed punctuation, and so on. And you can get points for doing it! (This could be a very useful exercise for stufent writers, practising corrections and seeing whether they stick, and figuring out why or why not.)
• I’m not blogging about iPads again till I devote a full post to them, but they’re a big part of what’s clogging up my browser tabs. Suffice it to say that I see both sides of the aye-or-nay, but I’m positive about the device overall.
• I wish I could compel a number of administrators to read nad take a comprehension test on Clay Shirky’s “The Collapse of Complex Business Models.” Academic administration is one of those areas where the raison d’être for a complex bureaucratic apparatus gradually changes from “supporting teachers and students” to “running every aspect of this institution that depends on us for its very existence, so shut up and be grateful.” What if — and call me crazy here, because I’m spinning off a wild idea — what if you just started with teachers and students, and examined very closely the necessity of any function other than teaching and learning? Especially when it comes to self-perpetuating bureaucracies. OK, enough of that nonsense, I’m sorry, it just slipped out.
Or maybe someone could appoint Clay Shirky president of a college or university. OK, sorry, that’s too implausible.
• I didn’t want to blog about Kelvin’s clever April Fools joke until after Sunday’s sermon, so I’m mentioning it now. And speaking of April Fools, my all-time favorite is the NPR story from 2005, “New England Suffers Maple Woes.” And speaking of Easter, Gordon from the cathedral took some pictures of the Easter Vigil, including several that include me desperately trying to keep the Paschal Candle from blowing out in the drizzly breeze, and one of me as a dark blob in the background holding the Paschal Candle aloft.
• When Pippa visited Glasgow, we went to the annual Art Fair, at which Pippa was somewhat dismissively unimpressed. It turns out she’s not the only one; the promoter of the fair himself is quitting over “a growing impression in the Scottish art world that the standard of the works on show has slumped and the fair was being swamped by cheaper, run-of-the mill paintings.” Not that Pippa’s taste needed to be vindicated, of course.
• Go, Duke (while I sleep)!
• Micah Jackson (whose doppelganger I saw in a coffeeshop on Byres Road last week) sent me to Jimmy Guterman’s perceptive column about giving digital products away as part of marketing.
• And finally, a whole crowd of people have called my attention to Episcopal Priest Barbie, about which I have several observations. First, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a priest with those dimensions. I have contrariwise seen many who were most prominent at the middle and significantly less so as you look to their extremities. Second, I applaud the craft of sewing these miniatures; they’re apparently a satisfying hobby, requiring great dexterity and offering some limited but real educational opportunities. Third — well, those jokes would just sound cynical, and this is Easter season.
Well, that eliminates most of the excess tabs, and brings me moderately close to inbox-zero in my email folder, so I’ll try to clear the inbox tomorrow, and we’ll see when I get around to summarising my responses to iPads. And if Butler wins, well, heck, they’re a cool, tough underdog. But I’m hoping to wake up to a Blue Devil triumph.

3 thoughts on “Critical Mass of Browser Tabs

  1. I agree! “what if you just started with teachers and students, and examined very closely the necessity of any function other than teaching and learning?”

  2. Hey, Mary, look at this, by contrast: “One [College of the Redwoods] trustee suggested that students and faculty members needed to remember that they were only part of the college. ‘You’re part of it,’ he said, ‘but you’re not all of it.’ ”

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