Think: Life beautiful.
So glad am not dead.
If/when I die, do not want Pam lonely. Want her to remarry, have full life. As long as new husband is nice guy. Gentle guy. Religious guy. Very caring + good to kids. But kids not fooled. Kids prefer dead dad (i.e. me) to religious guy. Pale, boring, religious guy with no oomph, who wears weird sweaters and is always a little sad, due to, cannot get boner, due to physical ailment.
Death very much on my mind tonight, future reader. Can it be true? That I will die? That Pam, kids will die? Is awful. Why were we put here, so inclined to love, when end of our story = death? That harsh. That Cruel. Do not like.
Note to self: try harder, in all things, to be better person.
- George Saunders, “The Semplica Girl Diaries”
Few people outside of academia had heard of JSTOR, an aggregator and distributor of digital versions of academic journals, until a young activist named Aaron Swartz took his own life last January. Swartz downloaded, without proper authorization, a great many articles from JSTOR via MIT’s servers—as he had earlier downloaded and distributed millions of federal court documents in the PACER) database—because he passionately believed that information should be as free as possible and as widely available as possible.
Because of Swartz’s particular commitments, and because his death brought so much attention to those commitments, much of the conversation about JSTOR and similar databases since he took his life has been about the value of open access to academic and other scholarly work. And open access is indeed something worth fighting for, and something to which databases like JSTOR—and Project Muse, and the Elsevier books and journals in the sciences, and several other major distributors—are necessarily opposed to. (See this recent contretemps for ample evidence of that opposition.)
But open access is not the only issue here, and if academics ever do manage to achieve an end-run around such distributors, they’ll have to confront some deeply entrenched habits of their own. In fact, those habits strengthen the cause of the distributors, and could make it much harder for open access to win the day.
Read more. [Image: The.firebottle/Flickr]
Green Magpie 蓝绿鹊 (Cissa chinensis), Singapore
photos by KS Kong
Holy crap this bird is beautiful.
I was sitting in my room when the door flew back and in barged Josh, nine-year-old son of one of the people I live with. He’s one of these typical little prepube smartasses with long hair and a big mouth, and he immediately demanded: “Where’d dja get alla records?”
“Cute kid,” thinks I, “maybe I’ll give him a copy of The Electric Company soundtrack.”
“Hey!” he poots. “Yagotenny Vaaaan Morrison or Leeon Russell?”
Awright you little popsicle pecker, I’m getting tired if all this blatant trashing of respect for elders. So I drag out a copy of Transformer: “Wanna hear this?”
“Naaah,” he snorts. “I awready got a copy.”
“Oh yeah. What’s your favorite song on it?”
“‘New York Telephone Conversation.’ But my brother likes the one that goes ‘shaved ‘er legs an’ then he was a she.’” His brother is eight.
Well, then, whattaya think of it?” I was a broken man.
“I think it’s great! We play it all the time.”
So there you are. A bit later I tried to put on an America album and the brat called me a “health food eater.” He’s obviously a prodigal snot, but you can’t ignore the evidence: Lou Reed may be leagues from the peak of his creative powers, he may be a deteriorating silhouette of a star…
But give him a child from the time he’s nine…
Lester Bangs, Deaf-Mute in a Telephone Booth (1973)
P.S. The last line a reference to Francisco Franco. Basically he said that if he could get to a child by the time they were nine, they would be his (i.e. they would be easily indoctrinated.)
Elvis Costello & The Attractions - I Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down
On the Kenny Everett Video Show, 1980 (maybe 1979?).
Originally by Sam & Dave.
It’s amazing how simultaneously cool and how much a dweeb Costello could be,
Look at that nerd,
The Wagnerites by Aubrey Beardsley, 1894.
[Edited: Make sure to read the full terms and agreements, and like most online course sites, do not expect this to act as a replacement for a real-life class unless any specific course you sign up for states it offers transferrable credits. Make sure you know most online-courses will not be recognized as a replacement for any part of any curriculum by credited educational institutions.]
Through Academic Earth, you can take courses in all of the fields below:
- Computer Science
- Social Sciences
- Art & Design
- Test Preparation
- Berklee College of Music
- Carnegie Mellon
- Case Western Reserve
- Dalarna University
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- George Washington University
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- Engineering [Mechanical, Civil, and Electrical]
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- BusinessEnjoy the over-abundance of free educational resources, and never stop exploring and expanding! And if anyone knows of any other great self-education resources, let me know!
Wow! This is actually really great, and most of these classes seem to have sets of videotaped lectures for the classes!
now that is something
This is super rad. I tend to prefer lecture-style classes already, and this is fantastic for that.
Boredom starts with useless effort. You have shortcomings and aren’t what you should be? Boredom is the conviction that you can’t change. You begin to worry about loss of variety in your character and the uncomplimentary comparison with others in your secret mind, and this makes you feel your own tiresomeness. On your social side boredom is a manifestation of the power of society. The stronger society is, the more it expects you to hold yourself in readiness to perform your social duties, the greater your availability, the smaller your significance. On Monday you are justifying yourself by your work. But on Sunday, how are you justified? Hideous Sunday, enemy of humanity. Sunday you’re on your own—free. Free for what? Free to discover what’s in your heart, what you feel toward your wife, children, friends, and pastimes. The spirit of man, enslaved, sobs in the silence of boredom, the bitter antagonist. Boredom therefore can arise from the cessation of habitual functions, even though these may be boring too. It is also the shriek of unused capacities, the doom of serving no great end or design, or contributing to no master force. The obedience that is not willingly given because nobody knows how to request it. The harmony that is not accomplished. This lies behind boredom.
- Saul Bellow, The Adventures of Augie March