9:45 am

Is Google Making Us Stupid?

Ignore the provocative title, and read this article from the Atlantic Monthly. I can’t make up my mind whether to be scared or relieved (or both).

I, too, have noticed with some dismay that I spend less time reading books than I used to, and that the books I do read are tending more and more to simple, inconsequential fluff. Mind, I still buy more serious books; they’re just likely to sit on the shelf unread for months at a time. I had worried that perhaps this was a sign that I was getting older, and the ole brain was getting lazy.

If this article is to be believed, though, the fault is not so much in myself as in the reading habits that the Internet has inculcated. Hence my relief.

On the other hand, it’s scary as hell to realize that not only have I willingly, nay eagerly, participated in this effort to dumb down my reading, I’ve even made a career of propagating it! And it’s even scarier to realize that my behavior is unlikely to change greatly even after this has been brought to me attention.

Excuse me now please, while I go pull some weighty tome off my bookcase and see if I can’t start to reverse the process.

P.S. The irony that I found this article on the Internet does not escape me, either.

2:04 pm

New Blog

So, I’ve set myself up this new blog. I created it for two (unordered) reasons:

  • I’d like to keep the focus of Život v Cizine on life abroad, and so I needed somewhere else to put my more miscellaneous postings.
  • I was worried that my webgeekstress credentials were being eroded by my time spent teaching English. So, setting up a WordPress blog, which is really so much geekier than (which powers this blog), seemed like a good move. I like WordPress quite a bit: it’s much more powerful and flexible than blogger, and I may end up moving Život v Cizine over as well.

This new blog is lightly populated with some of the miscellaneous postings that had appeared on Život… It remains to be seen if I’ll be more dedicated to keeping this one up to date.

Why the Name?

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, a commonplace book is “a personal journal in which quotable passages, literary excerpts, and comments are written”. And since I’m using this to keep track of, and occasionally comment upon, (mostly web-based) things, it seemed an appropriate name.

7:29 pm

I'm Voting Republican

From I’m Voting Republican:

I think that my favorite reason is

I’m voting Republican because corporations should not have to pay to clean up environmental damage. The EPA is an outmoded idea. If people want clean water, buy it in a bottle.

Are you registered to vote? I am!

10:47 pm

Brand new Twitterer

Well, I’ve set up an account on Twitter: I’ve resisted this for a while: after all, I already have my blog! But, hey, all the other cool kids are twittering, and I was feeling left out.

Unfortunately, the name puts me in mind of a former and massively unlamented manager. My description of her ignorance, lack of humor, and propensity for parroting the latest management idea du jour prompted my mother to dub her "Twitty". The name was so thoroughly apropos that not only did I adopt it, but several of my co-workers did as well.

I suppose I should feel guilty… it does seem rather childish now. I don’t, though; in fact, I had a subsequent manager whom I think of as "Twitty Two".

9:38 am


From xkcd – A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math and language, we have:
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: all other academic disciplines exist solely because most people aren’t smart enough for Mathematics.

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