Link Round-Up

Friday Fnord Flippancy Fnord

Or, Jokes for Nerds, Links for Everybody

Some links to kill the time during today’s epic rain:

A quote I want on every flag I wave
Jesus Diaz, “It’s Time to Declare War Against Apple’s Censorship,” Gizmodo, 10 March 2010

Today they censor nipples, tomorrow editorial content.

Rob MacDougall is still a smart guy I often agree with
Shocking, I know. Two thought-provoking posts:

Rob MacDougall, Playful Historical Thinking,” Old is the New New, 8 March 2010

Professional historians can be playful in their thinking. Wineburg notes the “ludic” nature–right down to reading with silly voices–of a skilled historian’s engagement with primary texts. But playful historical thinking diverges in significant ways from the standard professional stance. … I want to make a case for playful historical thinking as a healthy, productive, and even responsible way for citizens of the 21st century to relate to the past.

Rob MacDougall, “Survival of the Funnest,” Old is the New New, 9 March 2010

In the world of historical texts, good stories win. What wins in the world of history games and play?

Fun. The history that is fun will win the day. If it’s also true, or useful, or responsible, great. If it’s false, frivolous, or irresponsible, that may be a problem. But for good or ill, fun is very hard to beat.

At least now the hole we’re in will be well-illustrated
Edward Tufte Appointed to Help Track and Explain Stimulus Funds,” Slashdot, 8 March 2010

“The practical consequence is that I will probably go to Washington several days each month, in addition to whatever homework and phone meetings are necessary.”

Also: Tufte himself explains.

Kids today! Not even good at the computers
George H. Williams, “Digital Natives? Naive!, ProfHacker, 9 March 2010

Try a simple experiment. Ask your students these two questions: “1. How does the Google search engine work? 2. Who owns the exclusive rights to the pictures you’ve uploaded to Facebook?” My guess (and I could be wrong) is that a statistically insignificant percentage of your students will know the right answer.

Esther Hargittai, “Digital Na(t)ives? Variation in Internet Skills and Uses among Members of the ‘Net Generation’,” Sociological Inquiry 80 (1):92-113

People who have grown up with digital media are often assumed to be universally savvy with information and communication technologies. Such assumptions are rarely grounded in empirical evidence, however.

Alas, being a historian means never having to say “supersize me”
Robert B. Townsend, “New Salary Report Shows Little Growth in History,” AHA Today, 8 March 2010

Average faculty salaries in history were essentially unchanged from the previous year, as average salaries for regular full-time faculty at most ranks grew by less than one percent. This represents the smallest average increase in salaries for historians in 15 years.