Link Round-Up

An Exchange Rated Excellent

Or, Some Links to Stuff I’m Excited About

Yes, it's an otter. No, I don't know why.
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  rsambrook 

The Exchange, with the delightfully old-school subtitle of “The Business History Conference Weblog,” offers a more-or-less daily posts describing items of interest to business historians and others of their ilk.

If you haven’t already, it’s well worth adding to your rss feeds; no one else is as up-to-date on the scholarship and happenings in the field.

Recently they’ve introduced me to a bunch of neat things, to wit:

Steven Mihm’s new project over at, Echoes, which connects current economic news to the past

“Railroads and the Making of Modern America”  a digital history site at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, which “seeks to document and represent the rapid and far-reaching social effects of railroads and to explore the transformation of the United States to modern ideas, institutions, and practices in the nineteenth century”

…and some exciting new books, of which the following especially caught my eye:

Also by way of the The Exchange, I found Civil War Book Review, which is my new go-to (alongside H-Net) for timely reviews.

Finally – though you’ll pardon me for mentioning what is likely old news to any reader of this blog –  the folks over at Digital Humanities Now have re-grouped and re-vamped that aggregation as a Press Forward publication with a multiplicity of feeds to meet the needs of every infonaut / digital humanist. See this post by CHNM’s Dan Cohen for a more lucid (and accurate!) explanation of how the new edition works.

And now off to read…

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.

Link Round-Up

Silent Sunday Scanning, Scrutinized

Or, Some Links About The Future of Publishing

Not a proper link-round up — too focused for that — but some food for thought about the coming media revolution. Enjoy.

Dan Cohen, “The Social Contract of Scholarly Publishing,” Dan Cohen’s Digital Humanities Blog, 5 March 2010.

Can we change the views of humanities scholars so that they may accept, as some legal scholars already do, the great blog post as being as influential as the great law review article? Can we get humanities faculty, as many tenured economists already do, to publish more in open access journals? Can we accomplish the humanities equivalent of, which provides as good, if not better, in-depth political analysis than most newspapers, earning the grudging respect of journalists and political theorists? Can we get our colleagues to recognize outstanding academic work wherever and however it is published?

I believe that to do so, we may have to think less like humanities scholars and more like social scientists.

Mark Sample, “Loud, Crowded, and Out of Control: A New Model for Scholarly Publishing,” Sample Reality, 6 March 2010.

I love this Updike passage. It’s so perfectly stated that I find myself nodding in agreement even as I recoil on the inside. We need go no further than the line I have italicized to see some of most pernicious misconceptions influencing what Dan calls the demand side of the publishing.

Craig Mod, “Books in the Age of the iPad,” @CraigMod, March 2010

Print is dying.
Digital is surging.
Everyone is confused.


1.) “Coming” because it’s not yet clear who will be first up against the wall. Someone, certainly … and hopefully not me.

Image Cite: FeatheredTar, “Monarchial Scrutiny,” Flickr, CC License

Link Round-Up

Lightning-Quick Linkfest of Laffs

Or, Finally Clearing Out the ‘Ole Folder

Some things you might have missed:

Image cite: kfkirsch1, “Lasso of Light,” Flickr, CC License