Briefly Noted for May 27, 2021

I read Zach Carter’s magisterial biography of John Maynard Keynes, The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes. Not only is it a super-readable education in economics and a sweeping history of the 20th century told through the prism of one of its most important intellectual and political figures, it alsoContinue reading “Briefly Noted for May 27, 2021”

Sourcery: “Disruption,” Austerity, Equity, and Remote Access to Archives

I’ve spent the last 24 hours thinking about and responding to Mark Matienzo’s recent post about Sourcery and its response on social media. I’ve enjoyed engaging in the concerns Mark raises and I’ve learned a lot from the conversation it has spurred. Everything Mark wonders and worries about in connection with Sourcery are things weContinue reading “Sourcery: “Disruption,” Austerity, Equity, and Remote Access to Archives”

Correspondence Course

During the depths of the lockdown in March, I imagined a course for our times that would be completely free of digital technology. I was frustrated with administrative rhetoric that seemed to put means ahead of ends in stressing how best to “go online” over how best to “deliver a quality distance education” regardless ofContinue reading “Correspondence Course”

Farming in the Suburbs

I write bad poetry from time to time. I use this space to record it. I wrote this one in August, when the days were longer, social distancing easy, and online school a fading memory. Please feel free to skip it. We got some heirloom kale seeds in MarchIn egg carton planters seedlings stood tenContinue reading “Farming in the Suburbs”

Rethinking ROI

This semester I’ll be co-chairing our President’s “Life-Transformative Education” task force, a signature initiative to rethink undergraduate education at UConn. Part of a coalition of similar efforts at other universities across the country, the basic idea of LTE is that an undergraduate education should change (or at least actively reconfirm) the worldview and life trajectoryContinue reading “Rethinking ROI”

Collaboration and Emergent Knowledge at Greenhouse Studios

Crossposted from Greenhouse Studios Since the 1970s, scholars in fields as varied as sedimentology, ornithology, sociology, and philosophy have come to understand the importance of self-organizing systems, of how higher-order complexity can “emerge” from independent lower-order elements. Emergence describes how millions of tiny mud cracks at the bottom of a dry lake bed form largeContinue reading “Collaboration and Emergent Knowledge at Greenhouse Studios”

Briefly Noted for August 10, 2018

Hugh Trevor Roper on specialization in history… Today most professional historians ‘specialise’. They choose a period, sometimes a very brief period, and within that period they strive, in desperate competition with ever-expanding evidence, to know all the facts. Thus armed, they can comfortably shoot down any amateurs who blunder… into their heavily fortified field… TheirsContinue reading “Briefly Noted for August 10, 2018”