digest: a retreat into gated communities and private cars

Here’s some stuff going on.

  • This is a really good post. It raises stuff that’s been raised before in other contexts but is also stuff that needs to be constantly raised again and again because some people simply refuse to get it.
  • It’s also a really long post. Here’s an oddly similar post (or, at the very least, a post in the same spirit) that is shorter and more pointed and, considering the source, directed squarely at the classroom. I love posts like these because I love teaching; and one of the most challenging things about teaching, for me, is figuring out how to adapt my own cultural baggage to best serve the needs of students who come from a wide diversity of learning/cultural backgrounds. This one made me think.
  • I also love this image. It is ridiculous. (Thanks to TBoH, whom I also love. The last two posts? Superb!)
  • Over the last couple of months I’ve been reading Ill Fares the Land by Tony Judt. The book starts off being a wonderfully succinct (and wonderfully written) account of how the world got into the terrible terrible mess that it’s in right now; and along the way, it seems to promise (with chapter titles “What is to be done?”) solutions on how to fix it. I kept waiting for a silver lining that never seemed to come, and I felt downright depressed when I reached the last page. But hopeful, too, because the shape of things to come is young whippersnappers who aren’t as cynical and dispassionate as we like to stereotype them as. So, you know. There’s hope. But, regardless, the book made me think, a lot, not about the obvious ways in which we’ve let the world go to hell (greed, deregulation, etc.) but the less obvious ways like loosing a sense of collective us. A loss of “us,” a retreat into gated communities and private cars, means that I don’t have to think about you, just me. So when it comes time to pass laws I do just that — I vote for things that leave me more money on my paycheck and then I am surprised that the government can’t pay its bills. Anyway. The book gave me a lot to think about, and I highly recommend it, regardless of where you find yourself on the political spectrum.
  • Having finished Ill Fares the Land, I’m now moving on The History of White People. In between all my other reading, that is, in between the stack of Buddhist books currently staring at me from my desk.
  • Speaking of the shape of things to come, I just discovered these guys today. I am very interested in what they’re doing and am looking forward to seeing how their project unfolds.
  • I did my best to have the ol’ htaccess file redirect your feed bookmarks to the new site. But I don’t think it worked. And, quite frankly, with so many other things going on in my life, I don’t have time to fix it. Sorry about that. New RSS feeds can be found in the footer of the site.
  • On a final note, if the Laptop Compubody Sock was too much for you, take note.

That is all.