Another day of links

July 23, 2021

Trying again to deliver the high-quality content you have all come to expect of me...


This is spot-on: what does reality have to do with our appetite for disaster movies?  After all it was the late 90s when comets began to hit earth, in Asteroid and Deep Impact, and American audiences were happy because they had (I wager) no other real threats on earth to face.  Nowadays?  Maybe not so much.  I have intentionally avoided watching the movie Contagion in this time, but I know I want to show it to my family once this is over, because it is to my mind the most effective, because most banal, presentation of a pandemic that I know.  It wasn’t a huge hit when it came out, but I think it’s going to have a long tail.  In fact, I think I will believe the pandemic is over when I show my family that movie.


I really like this, on patience and attention in education.  The presenter, Jennifer Roberts, argues that the role of the teacher is increasingly one of

“creating opportunities for students to engage in deceleration, patience, and immersive attention…Every external pressure, social and technological, is pushing students in the other direction, toward immediacy, rapidity, and spontaneity—and against this other kind of opportunity. I want to give them the permission and the structures to slow down.”

This is terrific, too: “access is not synonymous with learning. What turns access into learning is time and strategic patience.”


Killer robots are real, and they’re getting better, and it’s terrifying.


Fascinating—what Vietnam remembers and tells itself about the “American War” is in large degree premised on the Pentagon papers, because official Vietnamese state papers remain secret.


“Porn trains.”  In the sense of disciplines and educates--not in the sense of choo-choos.  An interesting interview with Amia Srinivasan, a philosopher at Oxford, on her new book on sex.


The destruction reminds me of Yugoslavia’s break-up in the 90s.  The archaeological, documentarial, and historical damage is incalculable.


Be well, everyone.  A pretty and cool day again, here in Virginia; next week, though, it's going to be very, very hot.