Tweets for February 13th 2013
How to: write an opening sentence. Break in case of blockage — asserttrue.blogspot.pt/2013/01/how-to-write-opening-senten... #writing #HOWTO Feb 13th, 12am
Questions No One Knows the Answers to, by Chris Anderson and Andrew Park at TED Education, which seems like an interesting video education resource in the Khan Academy mold, even if the TED brand is getting a bit old (here’s one proof).
… should be mandatory in every school curricula (PDF link). Boing Boing
Sorry About My Face. I too share the same problem — often my face reads bitter even if I’m actually daydreaming about nice things. And nobody takes “it’s just my face” for an answer, which leads to episodes in which I feel a significant other is acting like someone in a club suddently asking me “where are you looking at?!” and trying to pick a fight, etecetera. Perhaps I need to find an early XXth century Virginia Woolf-looking girlfriend… ···
A conservative politician calls for science. Despite being mostly on the other end of the conservative-liberal spectrum, I wish there were more politicians like this. Far too many people people — in the left and right alike — believe and act as if the Outside World would fit with their preconceptions. It won’t: because that’s the very definition of Outside. ···
Film is on its way out, as the last 35mm cinema cameras were built. Am I being sacrilegious by saying and it was about time!? Film has its charm, but is wasteful bordering on the insulting — like printing a whole sheet of paper for every word a writer types. ···
Warner Brothers is developing a film based on a Reddit discussion: could a single battalion of US Marine soldiers fight and destroy the entire Roman Empire? This calls for the ghost of Philip K. Dick. The entire episode, not just the film premise. ···
And also speaking of film: Peter Bogdanovich’s Blogdanovich. ···
Lecturefox links to a mountain of free university lectures. ···
The Golden Grid System. This makes me want to redesign this whole thing, dammit! ···
A funny read every once in a while: the problem with n00b time-travellers that keep killing Hitler. ···
Few people care whether you succeed or fail. You are not showing up to class for your teachers or even your parents. You’re not doing these assignments for anyone but yourselves. If you cut classes because your teachers bore you, then you should be dropping those classes (…)
— A teacher’s farewell letter to his students. Worth reading as a new academic year begins.
Free online courses by famous philosophers. Since I’m really getting into watching OpenCourseWare videos (at least until the fifth season of Mad Men starts), perhaps I’ll put some of these on my watchlist. ···
Was Marx Right? A very relevant article, published not in some Pravda but in the Harvard Business Review. Mind you, I think the fact that the author spends the first three paragraphs in apologies and explaining he isn’t a communist is quite revealing about our societies’ mindset. Even if the communist remedies tried in the past were catastrophic failures, that doesn’t necessarily mean the Marxist diagnostic is wrong. For the most part, it is not. ···
Ikea Heights is a soap opera filmed in Ikea stores. While open. And without the staff noticing. Good job! ···
3D computer graphics done in 1972, by one of the founders of Pixar. As impressive as it may be, I still find it short of the awesomeness of Ian Sutherland’s Sketchpad demonstration from nine years earlier. I mean, that one still is pretty awesome today. ···
What People Don’t Get About My Job — from A(rmy Soldier) to Z(ookeeper). An interesting set of testimonials. ···
The evolution of the Web. A cool visualization of the evolution of web browsers and technologies since 1990. Things really got out of hand in the last few years… ···
An infographic about grade inflation, a pretty universal reality in Western universities as insititutions — despite an ambiguous rhetoric of ‘excellence’ — create pressures for higher grades.
Short of putting direct pressure on professors (as it happens in the countries where class averages are taken into account in performance evaluations), sometimes the curricula are designed in a way that encourages low standards; and the system is designed to make it hard to fail students (giving the students lots of second opportunities not to, having the professor go through a bureaucracy to fail a student, etc). That said, while not being fanatical about it, I know the bell curve tends to be a fact of life, so I’m almost always going to give out a lot more ‘B’s and ‘C’s. ‘A’s should really be exceptional.
Here’s something that every true hacker knows: doers know a lot better. ···
Narcissism is on the Rise, and I believe not just in America. This is the thing many so-called ‘liberals’ (in the European right-wing sense) don’t get: late (neo-)liberalism goes way past the economic laissez faire of older days. Since the 1970s or 80s libertarian polics have started to embed very nefarious ideas about merit and individualism; it is extremely tempting for the rich and privileged to embrace a philosophy in which caring for others is considered a bad thing. We are staring at the consequences, yet the belief most people have that they too can become part of the elite and Show Everyone Else The Finger is what keeps the status quo. ···
I haz Stellar — I’ll post some thoughts on it once I’ve got the time to play a little more with it. ···
Arri camera menu simulators. If you want to know how the user interface of hundred thousand dollar cinema equipment feels like. ···
Proper 3D modelling is, like Russian, welding or fencing, the kind of thing I would like to learn in my next life, because I just can’t feel the definite tug of motivation in the current one. But should I suddently feel up to it now, this looks like a good starting point for learning Blender.