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robertogreco : classics   44

Christina Torres on Twitter: "writing about "the canon" today. I have grown A LOT in thoughts on it. "well those old white dudes did say some good stuff..." no one is saying they didn't write great stuff. The problem is that it's all we've had, which perp
"writing about "the canon" today. I have grown A LOT in thoughts on it.

"well those old white dudes did say some good stuff..."

no one is saying they didn't write great stuff. The problem is that it's all we've had, which perpetuates idea that ONLY white dudes write great stuff.

honestly I bless @ChimamandaReal's name nearly every day for this TED talk so I can just link to it tbh https://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story

really I'm just reading myself in this piece

... and not really writing because I'm on here instead lol
Still, over the past year, I've really sat with that question: how much am I actually dismantling systemic oppression in my work if I'm still teaching within the confines of its language?

yup I'm putting together a chart folks. Send me arguments you've heard in favor of the canon and your rebuttal! https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1CaQ7OhhZlY1V_0xfoDxtzk0QtOjzuW8TKgttoGNfxH0/edit?usp=sharing

also: anyone interested in this, please know that #disrupttexts has been doing this work and got me on this train so mad props to them

https://twitter.com/DulceFlecha/status/1116459497768275969
ever since seeing Julia Alvarez and Elizabeth Acevedo I've been thinking about how kids of color are conditioned to write for white audiences, too. who do we teach young writers to prioritize.

and its perpetuated over and over, through canon, through college admissions, through the whiteness of the profession. I keep meaning to write about it.

https://twitter.com/juliaerin80/status/1116458774405971968
For me, one of the deepest issues is that folks defend it using the words "tradition" and "shared knowledge" ignoring the fact that it centers only SOME traditions and SOME shared knowledge.

https://twitter.com/juliaerin80/status/1116460583350669318
I cannot state this enough because a "shared cultural heritage" dominated by one culture at the exclusion of so many others is damaging and not a heritage I will choose to claim as my own. "Educational malpractice"...

https://twitter.com/triciaebarvia/status/1116638447484190720
Yup. And reminds me of what I think @Ready4rigor wrote (paraphrasing) about how all teaching is culturally responsive—it’s just a question of whose culture we’re responsive to. 🤔 #DisruptTexts

https://twitter.com/juliaerin80/status/1116458934582304768
So, we need to all circle around whiteness and protect it by making sure kids learn MOSTLY about it for the sake of tradition? Nah, fam...

https://twitter.com/UmmJuwayriyah1/status/1116516073673842688
Definitely, nah! As an indigenous American Muslim author, I see it happening on this side of the pond, too! Asian and/or Middle Eastern and mostly male narratives are amplified for inclusion in the canon. While Black/Brown American Muslim narratives sit outside the door.

https://twitter.com/MelAlterSmith/status/1116461945731858437
Hard to believe there are still teachers out there who have “canon defender” in their bio. Actually, it’s not hard to believe at all... sigh. 😩

#DisruptTexts #THEBOOKCHAT & #TeachLivingPoets are growing- I hope we can help to make some serious change in complicating the canon

https://twitter.com/javramgoldsc/status/1116809046437183489
Covered Octavia Butler in class this yr (tbf I'm in Uni), but I think the hopepunk canon will be a major catalyst

https://twitter.com/Altair4_2381/status/1116091237281533954
I’m a white woman, and even I felt like my tastes were mostly ignored in HS, except when we read something like Pride and Prejudice (optional because we can’t make the boys read about women!).

https://twitter.com/biblio_phile/status/1116092299669229568
right?!?! honestly it was a few white women I was battling this out with. I wanted to be like-- if you were given books ONLY by men, you would have been ticked. Why is that okay when it comes to race/sexuality/class/other non-canon perspectives!??!?!

https://twitter.com/Altair4_2381/status/1116093753641644033
It makes me wonder how much the canon-lovers read. If they had experienced more variety, some classics by other types of people, some modern books, some great graphic novels, maybe they’d be more open to teaching more variety.

https://twitter.com/NaomiH_nothing/status/1116603199605989378
"History is written by the victors"~Churchill
Yes! Great stuff was written & said by victors:
“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created.." (only ~200 years before MLK was murdered)
"Liberty and Justice for.." [embedded: https://twitter.com/NaomiH_nothing/status/904754635222663169 ]
"Land of the.." etc.
thecanon  canon  christinatorres  2019  inclusion  inclusivity  tradition  chimamandaadichie  juliaalvarez  elizabethacevedo  admissions  colleges  education  inequality  universities  culture  heritage  exclusion  gender  race  racism  sexism  octaviabutler  hopepunk  sexuality  class  diversity  classics 
april 2019 by robertogreco
Ask Dr. Time: Orality and Literacy from Homer to Twitter
"So, as to the original question: are Twitter and texting new forms of orality? I have a simple answer and a complex one, but they’re both really the same.

The first answer is so lucid and common-sense, you can hardly believe that it’s coming from Dr. Time: if it’s written, it ain’t oral. Orality requires speech, or song, or sound. Writing is visual. If it’s visual and only visual, it’s not oral.

The only form of genuine speech that’s genuinely visual and not auditory is sign language. And sign language is speech-like in pretty much every way imaginable: it’s ephemeral, it’s interactive, there’s no record, the signs are fluid. But even most sign language is at least in part chirographic, i.e., dependent on writing and written symbols. At least, the sign languages we use today: although our spoken/vocal languages are pretty chirographic too.

Writing, especially writing in a hyperliterate society, involves a transformation of the sensorium that privileges vision at the expense of hearing, and privileges reading (especially alphabetic reading) over other forms of visual interpretation and experience. It makes it possible to take in huge troves of information in a limited amount of time. We can read teleprompters and ticker-tape, street signs and medicine bottles, tweets and texts. We can read things without even being aware we’re reading them. We read language on the move all day long: social media is not all that different.

Now, for a more complicated explanation of that same idea, we go back to Father Ong himself. For Ong, there’s a primary orality and a secondary orality. The primary orality, we’ve covered; secondary orality is a little more complicated. It’s not just the oral culture of people who’ve got lots of experience with writing, but of people who’ve developed technologies that allow them to create new forms of oral communication that are enabled by writing.

The great media forms of secondary orality are the movies, television, radio, and the telephone. All of these are oral, but they’re also modern media, which means the media reshapes it in its own image: they squeeze your toothpaste through its tube. But they’re also transformative forms of media in a world that’s dominated by writing and print, because they make it possible to get information in new ways, according to new conventions, and along different sensory channels.

Walter Ong died in 2003, so he never got to see social media at its full flower, but he definitely was able to see where electronic communications was headed. Even in the 1990s, people were beginning to wonder whether interactive chats on computers fell under Ong’s heading of “secondary orality.” He gave an interview where he tried to explain how he saw things — as far as I know, relatively few people have paid attention to it (and the original online source has sadly linkrotted away):
“When I first used the term ‘secondary orality,’ I was thinking of the kind of orality you get on radio and television, where oral performance produces effects somewhat like those of ‘primary orality,’ the orality using the unprocessed human voice, particularly in addressing groups, but where the creation of orality is of a new sort. Orality here is produced by technology. Radio and television are ‘secondary’ in the sense that they are technologically powered, demanding the use of writing and other technologies in designing and manufacturing the machines which reproduce voice. They are thus unlike primary orality, which uses no tools or technology at all. Radio and television provide technologized orality. This is what I originally referred to by the term ‘secondary orality.’

I have also heard the term ‘secondary orality’ lately applied by some to other sorts of electronic verbalization which are really not oral at all—to the Internet and similar computerized creations for text. There is a reason for this usage of the term. In nontechnologized oral interchange, as we have noted earlier, there is no perceptible interval between the utterance of the speaker and the hearer’s reception of what is uttered. Oral communication is all immediate, in the present. Writing, chirographic or typed, on the other hand, comes out of the past. Even if you write a memo to yourself, when you refer to it, it’s a memo which you wrote a few minutes ago, or maybe two weeks ago. But on a computer network, the recipient can receive what is communicated with no such interval. Although it is not exactly the same as oral communication, the network message from one person to another or others is very rapid and can in effect be in the present. Computerized communication can thus suggest the immediate experience of direct sound. I believe that is why computerized verbalization has been assimilated to secondary ‘orality,’ even when it comes not in oral-aural format but through the eye, and thus is not directly oral at all. Here textualized verbal exchange registers psychologically as having the temporal immediacy of oral exchange. To handle [page break] such technologizing of the textualized word, I have tried occasionally to introduce the term ‘secondary literacy.’ We are not considering here the production of sounded words on the computer, which of course are even more readily assimilated to ‘secondary orality’” (80-81).

So tweets and text messages aren’t oral. They’re secondarily literate. Wait, that sounds horrible! How’s this: they’re artifacts and examples of secondary literacy. They’re what literacy looks like after television, the telephone, and the application of computing technologies to those communication forms. Just as orality isn’t the same after you’ve introduced writing, and manuscript isn’t the same after you’ve produced print, literacy isn’t the same once you have networked orality. In this sense, Twitter is the necessary byproduct of television.

Now, where this gets really complicated is with stuff like Siri and Alexa, and other AI-driven, natural-language computing interfaces. This is almost a tertiary orality, voice after texting, and certainly voice after interactive search. I’d be inclined to lump it in with secondary orality in that broader sense of technologically-mediated orality. But it really does depend how transformative you think client- and cloud-side computing, up to and including AI, really are. I’m inclined to say that they are, and that Alexa is doing something pretty different from what the radio did in the 1920s and 30s.

But we have to remember that we’re always much more able to make fine distinctions about technology deployed in our own lifetime, rather than what develops over epochs of human culture. Compared to that collision of oral and literate cultures in the Eastern Mediterranean that gave us poetry, philosophy, drama, and rhetoric in the classical period, or the nexus of troubadours, scholastics, printers, scientific meddlers and explorers that gave us the Renaissance, our own collision of multiple media cultures is probably quite small.

But it is genuinely transformative, and it is ours. And some days it’s as charming to think about all the ways in which our heirs will find us completely unintelligible as it is to imagine the complex legacy we’re bequeathing them."
2018  timcarmody  classics  homer  literature  poetry  literacy  orality  odyssey  walterong  secondaryorality  writing  texting  sms  twitter  socialmedia  technology  language  communication  culture  oraltradition  media  film  speech  signlanguage  asl  tv  television  radio  telephones  phones 
january 2018 by robertogreco
////////// from “Commitment from the Mirror-Writing Box,” Trinh T. Minh-Ha, Woman, Native, Other
"Nothing could be more normative, more logical, and more authoritarian than, for example, the (politically) revolutionary poetry or prose that speaks of revolution in the form of commands or in the well-behaved, steeped-in-convention-language of “clarity.” (”A wholesome, clear, and direct language” is said to be “the fulcrum to move the mass or to sanctify it.”) Clear expression, often equated with correct expression, has long been the criterion set forth in treatises on rhetoric, whose aim was to order discourse so as to persuade. The language of Taoism and Zen, for example, which is perfectly accessible but rife with paradox does not qualify as “clear” (paradox is “illogical” and “nonsensical” to many Westerners), for its intent lies outside the realm of persuasion. The same holds true for vernacular speech, which is not acquired through institutions — schools, churches, professions, etc. — and therefore not repressed by either grammatical rules, technical terms, or key words. Clarity as a purely rhetorical attribute serves the purpose of a classical feature in language, namely, its instrumentality. To write is to communicate, express, witness, impose, instruct, redeem, or save — at any rate to mean and to send out an unambiguous message. Writing thus reduced to a mere vehicle of thought may be used to orient toward a goal or to sustain an act, but it does not constitute an act in itself. This is how the division between the writer/the intellectual and the activists/the masses becomes possible. To use the language well, says the voice of literacy, cherish its classic form. Do not choose the offbeat at the cost of clarity. Obscurity is an imposition on the reader. True, but beware when you cross railroad tracks for one train may hide another train. Clarity is a means of subjection, a quality both of official, taught language and of correct writing, two old mates of power; together they flow, together they flower, vertically, to impose an order. Let us not forget that writers who advocate the instrumentality of language are often those who cannot or choose not to see the suchness of things — a language as language — and therefore, continue to preach conformity to the norms of well-behaved writing: principles of composition, style, genre, correction, and improvement. To write “clearly,” one must incessantly prune, eliminate, forbid, purge, purify; in other words, practice what may be called an “ablution of language” (Roland Barthes)."

— from “Commitment from the Mirror-Writing Box,” Trinh T. Minh-Ha, Woman, Native, Other

[See also PDF of full text in a couple of places:
http://www.sjsu.edu/people/julie.hawker/courses/c1/s2/Trinh-T-Minh-ha-1989.pdf
https://lmthomasucsd.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/minh-ha-reading.pdf ]
trinhminh-ha  rolandbarthes  literacy  clarity  writing  language  taoism  zen  buddhism  persuasion  authority  authoritarianism  power  control  tradition  poetry  prose  canon  rhetoric  grammar  rules  expression  classics  communication  subjection  instrumentality  beauty  style  genre  composition  correction  improvement  purification  speech  vernacular  schools  churches  professions  professionalism  convention  conventions 
november 2017 by robertogreco
Mary Beard · The Public Voice of Women · LRB 20 March 2014
"There is more to all this than meets the eye, however. This ‘muteness’ is not just a reflection of women’s general disempowerment throughout the classical world: no voting rights, limited legal and economic independence and so on. Ancient women were obviously not likely to raise their voices in a political sphere in which they had no formal stake. But we’re dealing with a much more active and loaded exclusion of women from public speech than that – and, importantly, it’s one with a much greater impact than we usually acknowledge on our own traditions, conventions and assumptions about the voice of women. What I mean is that public speaking and oratory were not merely things that ancient women didn’t do: they were exclusive practices and skills that defined masculinity as a gender. As we saw with Telemachus, to become a man – and we’re talking elite man – was to claim the right to speak. Public speech was a – if not the – defining attribute of maleness. A woman speaking in public was, in most circumstances, by definition not a woman. We find repeated stress throughout ancient literature on the authority of the deep male voice. As one ancient scientific treatise explicitly put it, a low-pitched voice indicated manly courage, a high-pitched voice female cowardice. Or as other classical writers insisted, the tone and timbre of women’s speech always threatened to subvert not just the voice of the male orator, but also the social and political stability, the health, of the whole state. So another second-century lecturer and guru, Dio Chrysostom, whose name, significantly, means Dio ‘the Golden Mouth’, asked his audience to imagine a situation where ‘an entire community was struck by the following strange affliction: all the men suddenly got female voices, and no male – child or adult – could say anything in a manly way. Would not that seem terrible and harder to bear than any plague? I’m sure they would send off to a sanctuary to consult the gods and try to propitiate the divine power with many gifts.’ He wasn’t joking.

What I want to underline here is that this is not the peculiar ideology of some distant culture. Distant in time it may be. But this is the tradition of gendered speaking – and the theorising of gendered speaking – of which we are still, directly or more often indirectly, the heirs. I don’t want to overstate the case. Western culture doesn’t owe everything to the Greeks and Romans, in speaking or in anything else (thank heavens it doesn’t; none of us would fancy living in a Greco-Roman world). There are all kinds of variant and competing influences on us, and our political system has happily overthrown many of the gendered certainties of antiquity. Yet it remains the fact that our own traditions of debate and public speaking, their conventions and rules, still lie very much in the shadow of the classical world. The modern techniques of rhetoric and persuasion formulated in the Renaissance were drawn explicitly from ancient speeches and handbooks. Our own terms of rhetorical analysis go back directly to Aristotle and Cicero (it’s common to point out that Barack Obama, or his speech writers, have learned their best tricks from Cicero). And so far as the House of Commons is concerned, those 19th-century gentlemen who devised, or enshrined, most of the parliamentary rules and procedures that we are now familiar with were brought up on exactly those classical theories, slogans and prejudices that I’ve been quoting. Again, we’re not simply the victims or dupes of our classical inheritance, but classical traditions have provided us with a powerful template for thinking about public speech, and for deciding what counts as good oratory or bad, persuasive or not, and whose speech is to be given space to be heard. And gender is obviously an important part of that mix."



"These attitudes, assumptions and prejudices are hard-wired into us: not into our brains (there is no neurological reason for us to hear low-pitched voices as more authoritative than high-pitched ones); but into our culture, our language and millennia of our history. And when we are thinking about the under-representation of women in national politics, their relative muteness in the public sphere, we have to think beyond what the prime minister and his chums got up to in the Bullingdon Club, beyond the bad behaviour and blokeish culture of Westminster, beyond even family-friendly hours and childcare provision (important as those are). We have to focus on the even more fundamental issues of how we have learned to hear the contributions of women or – going back to the cartoon for a moment – on what I’d like to call the ‘Miss Triggs question’. Not just, how does she get a word in edgeways? But how can we make ourselves more aware about the processes and prejudices that make us not listen to her."
2014  marybeard  classics  feminism  gender  voice  communication  women  speech  ancientgreece  ancientrome 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Mary Beard Takes On Her Sexist Detractors
[Alt URL: http://www.newyorker.com/?p=2715385 ]

"Finally, Beard arrived at the contemporary chorus of Twitter trolls and online commenters. “The more I’ve looked at the details of the threats and the insults that women are on the receiving end of, the more some of them seem to fit into the old patterns of prejudice and assumption that I have been talking about,” she said. “It doesn’t much matter what line of argument you take as a woman. If you venture into traditional male territory, the abuse comes anyway. It’s not what you say that prompts it—it’s the fact that you are saying it.” Such online interjections—“ ‘Shut up you bitch’ is a fairly common refrain”—often contain threats of violence, a “predictable menu of rape, bombing, murder, and so forth.” She mildly reported one tweet that had been directed at her: “I’m going to cut off your head and rape it.”"



"Beard’s ancient world can seem, at least on the surface, rather like the more urban and liberal parts of our own. Her Rome is polyglot and multicultural, animated by the entrepreneurialism of freed slaves in overcrowded streets. At the same time, Beard warns against the danger of smoothing away the strangeness and foreignness of Roman life. Her latest book, “Laughter in Ancient Rome: On Joking, Tickling, and Cracking Up,” which has just been published, is an engaging exploration of what made the Romans laugh—bad breath, among other things—but it also explores dimensions of Roman sensibility that have become elusive to us. Beard observes that there is no word in Latin for “smile,” and makes the striking suggestion that the Romans simply did not smile in the sense that we understand the social gesture today. […] Beard’s popularizing bent is grounded in a deep knowledge of the arcane, and she gives new insight into the hoariest of topics, according to Elaine Fantham, a well-known Latinist who is a generation Beard’s senior. “If you are a Latinist, you are always being asked to talk about Pompeii,” Fantham says. “When Mary does something, it is not old hat. It becomes new hat.”"



"Gill’s review of “Meet the Romans” had been a turning point, Beard explained. “That is when it became kind of a personal calling, because I spoke out and said, ‘Sorry, sunshine, this is just not on,’ ” she said. “The people who read the Mail are middle-aged women, and they look like me. They know what he’s saying. For all the very right-wing, slightly unpleasant populism that the Mail trades in, its readership is actually people who know an unacceptable insult when they see it. They’ve got gray hair. He’s talking about them.”"



"In another highly publicized incident, Beard retweeted a message that she had received from a twenty-year-old university student: “You filthy old slut. I bet your vagina is disgusting.” One of Beard’s followers offered to inform the student’s mother of his online behavior; meanwhile, he apologized. Beard’s object is not simply to embarrass offenders; it is to educate women. Before social media, she argues, it was possible for young women like those she teaches at Cambridge to enjoy the benefits of feminist advances without even being aware of the battles fought on their behalf, and to imagine that such attitudes are a thing of the past. Beard says, “Most of my students would have denied, I think, that there was still a major current of misogyny in Western culture.”

Beard’s zest for the online fray seems indefatigable. If there is a newspaper comments section excoriating her, readers may be surprised to come across comments from Beard, defending herself. If there is a thread praising her on Mumsnet, a popular British site for parents, she may pop up there, too, thanking her admirers. When she feels that she has been misrepresented in a newspaper article, she takes to her blog to explain herself further. If she gets into a Twitter spat, it is likely to be reported on by the British press, to whom she will give a salty, winning quote. When asked by the BBC what she would say to her university-student troll, she replied, “I’d take him out for a drink and smack his bottom.”

There is, she acknowledges, an irony in the imbalance of power: as a prominent scholar, she does have a voice, however unpleasant the threats to silence her may be. Most of her Twitter detractors are grumbling to only a handful of followers, at least until she amplifies their audience. She has discovered that, quite often, she receives not only an apology from them but also a poignant explanation. After she published the genitalia photograph on her blog, the man who ran the site where the image had originally appeared wrote her a long letter. “He explained his personal circumstances—he was married with kids—and he said how he should never have done it, in a way that was very eloquent,” she told me. After a “Question Time” viewer wrote to her that she was “evil,” further correspondence revealed that he was mostly upset because he wanted to move to Spain and didn’t understand the bureaucracy. “It took two minutes on Google to discover the reciprocal health-care agreement, so I sent it to him,” she says. “Now when I have a bit of Internet trouble, I get an e-mail from him saying, ‘Mary, are you all right? I was worried about you.’ ”

The university student, after apologizing online, came to Cambridge and took Beard out to lunch; she has remained in touch with him, and is even writing letters of reference for him. “He is going to find it hard to get a job, because as soon as you Google his name that is what comes up,” she said. “And although he was a very silly, injudicious, and at that moment not very pleasant young guy, I don’t actually think one tweet should ruin your job prospects.”

At the same time, Beard questions a narrative in which her troll is recast as her errant son and she takes on the role of scolding but forgiving mother—a Penelope who chastises Telemachus for being rude, then patiently teaches him the error of his ways. “There is something deeply conservative about that reappropriation of errant teen-ager and long-suffering female parent—it is rewriting the relationship in acceptable form,” she says. “If I said to my students, ‘What is going on here?’ and they just came out with a happy-ending story, I would be very critical. I would say, ‘Haven’t you thought about how the same sorts of gender hierarchies are written in different forms?’ ” Despite this analysis, she feels emotionally satisfied with the outcome. “Some of these adjectives we use, like ‘maternal’—try putting ‘human’ in there instead,” she told me on one occasion. “If being a decent soul is being maternal, then fine. I’ll call it human.”



"Her wrongness lay not in her political position, she explained to me, but in the language she chose to express it. Beard believes that there was a very brief moment after 9/11—“a kind of extra-ordinary rhetorical aporia”—when there was not yet a consensus about how to define the attacks, and that this gap had firmly closed in the interval between her composing her contribution and its publication, two weeks later. In the years that followed, she added, “we have constructed a series of ways in which we can disagree about 9/11 without it being hurtful.” Beard remains in occasional contact with some of the people who were angered by the L.R.B. essay, and feels grateful to all those who engaged with her rather than demonized her. Through listening, she made herself heard."



"I was an intellectual control freak, and Greek was quite good for that—you could be good at it. You could master it.” She appreciated the ancient languages precisely because nobody spoke them anymore. She told me, “Part of the pleasure of knowing Latin is that you don’t have to learn to say, ‘Where is the cathedral?’ or ‘I would like a return ticket, second class, please.’ You actually get to the literature. You don’t always have to be making yourself understood.”"



"As Beard continued through the basement, her eye fell on a dozen Roman tombstones arrayed against a wall, in a gloomy half-light. They were from a site on the Black Sea, and each was engraved with a standardized image of the dearly departed. “They look horrible, don’t they?” she said. “It’s good to come along and say they are awful. You are so trained to admire them. At school, the older the object is the more respect you were supposed to give it. But you can look at them there, all piled up, and they appear to be what they are: mass-produced, not very good gravestones. Thank God the ancient world was democratic enough that it turned out crap.”"



"In “Oh Do Shut Up Dear!,” Beard’s lecture at the British Museum, she referred to one of the very few occasions in Roman literature when a woman is permitted a public voice. After Lucretia, the wife of a nobleman, Conlatinus, is raped by Tarquin, a royal prince, she denounces her rapist, then kills herself to preserve her virtue. This rape story, as told by Livy, sets into motion the founding of the Roman Republic: Lucretia’s defenders swear that hereditary princes will no longer assume privileges through violence. In her lecture, Beard acknowledged that it is easier to document ways that women have been silenced than it is to find a remedy to their silencing. (Virtuous suicide is not an option.) The real issue, she suggested, is not merely guaranteeing a woman’s right to speak; it is being aware of the prejudices that we bring to the way we hear her. Listening, she implied, is an essential element of speech."
trolls  internet  twitter  listening  feminism  rape  academia  gender  history  ancientrome  2014  commenting  web  online  socialmedia  materalism  empathy  civility  behavior  grace  humanism  discourse  classics  ancientgreek  latin  hibrow  lowbrow  culture  democracy  cultureproduction  power  marybeard 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Nassim Taleb: my rules for life | Books | The Observer
"Modern life is akin to a chronic stress injury, he says. And the way to combat it is to embrace randomness in all its forms: live true to your principles, don't sell your soul and watch out for the carbohydrates."

"You have to pull back and let the system destroy itself, and then come back. That's Seneca's recommendation. He's the one who says that the sage should let the republic destroy itself."

"The "arguments" are that size, in Taleb's view, matters. Bigger means more complex, means more prone to failure. Or, as he puts it, "fragile". "

""Antifragile" is when something is actually strengthened by the knocks."

"In Taleb's view, small is beautiful."

"[He] claims that a janitor also has that kind of independence. "He can say what he thinks. He doesn't have to fit his ethics to his job. It's not about money.""

"He's also largely an autodidact."

"Between 2004 and 2008 were the worst years of my life. Everybody thought I was an idiot. And I knew that. But at the same time…"
math  teaching  fasting  diet  paleodiet  living  life  seneca  classics  war  thomasfriedman  honor  vindication  deschooling  autonomy  unschooling  anarchism  chaos  randomness  principles  honesty  freedom  academia  banking  money  ethics  socialmisfits  cv  independence  blackswans  failure  probability  antifragility  antifragile  small  fragility  autodidacts  2012  books  nassimtaleb 
november 2012 by robertogreco
Fiction Writers Review » Magic and Music Steer this Vessel: On Jorge Luis Borges’s This Craft of Verse
"In this lecture, Borges famously declares that laziness kept him from writing novels. I wonder if this is the same “happy indolence” that Billy Collins has described as his modus operandi. Borges, like the ancients, defines the poet as “‘a maker’—not only as the utterer of those high lyric notes, but also as a teller of a tale."

"“Thought and Poetry” finds Borges asserting over and over again that metaphors should both resonate and unsettle."

"Borges’s humility should be admired but what must also be considered here is the incredible challenge—one may even describe it as a daunting, accusing mountain—that faces the writer. Those “tolerable” pages arrive from labored and conscientious output, through the uncertain process of trial and error, and through the making of, the awareness and recognition of, as well as the correction and ultimate learning from, mistakes."
cervantes  donquixote  bible  beowulf  wittgenstein  2009  books  writing  novels  johnmadera  music  odyssey  homer  poetry  classics  literature  borges 
january 2012 by robertogreco
PRE-Texts § Cultural Agents Initiative
"PRE-Texts© is an instructional program for teachers in schools and after-school centers to adopt and adapt techniques that enhance higher order thinking through hands-on engagement with literature. The program offers units of instruction that invite economically disadvantaged students to explore literature as recyclable material, re-writing classic texts through creative techniques that incorporate visual and performing arts. PRE-Texts© also encourages students to display their work in public performances, art exhibits, and entrepreneurial activities that involve the local community and feature dialogue between established writers and young people. It  is an ever-evolving program, and its underpinnings have been tailored to both a professional development curriculum and an after-school program for a range of students, from elementary to high school."
via:joguldi  literacy  literature  recycling  argentina  bookmaking  classics  performingarts  art  culture  classideas  curriculum  teaching  highschool  tcsnmy  k12  pre-texts  community  entrepreneurship 
november 2011 by robertogreco
The Believer - Interview with Kenneth Goldsmith
"My books are better thought about than read…insanely dull & unreadable…But they’re wonderful to talk about and think about, to dip in and out of, to hold, to have on your shelf. In fact, I say that I don’t have a readership, I have a thinkership. I guess this is why what I do is called “conceptual writing.” The idea is much more important than the product.

My favorite books on my shelf are the ones that I can’t read, like Finnegans Wake, The Making of Americans, Boswell’s Life of Johnson, or The Arcades Project. I love the idea that these books exist. I love their size and scope; I adore their ambition; I love to pick them up, open them at random, and always be surprised; I love the fact that I will never know them."

[via: http://snarkmarket.com/2011/7470 ]

"Nam June Paik said once that the internet is for everybody who doesn’t live in New York City. Living here—with its saturated wealth of concerts, readings, and events—can easily give you the illusion that everywhere is like this, but, sadly, for most people this is nowhere near reality. For instance, on UbuWeb I’m often contacted by engaged viewers who live in small towns or who are unable to travel due to economic or social circumstances, who find a place like Ubu to be an absolute cultural and educational lifeline. It would be silly and snobbish of me to claim to prioritize warm, live human interaction over what happens on the web just because I have the ability to go to Anthology Film Archives, Issue Project Room, or the Stone any night of the week. So, in short, I think that the richer and deeper documentation is on the web, the better off we all are."
poetry  writing  cv  books  reading  classics  finneganswake  lifeofjohnson  themakingofamericans  thearcadesproject  conceptualwriting  thinking  ideas  howwework  howwelearn  unschooling  deschooling  conceptualpoetry  referencebooks  pataphysics  ubuweb  newradicalism  kennethgoldsmith 
october 2011 by robertogreco
Favorite Books of the Secretly Jerky | The Hairpin
"Secretly Planning to Cheat on You: On the Road, Jack Kerouac.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it. This book is straight up terrible. It's a bunch of rambling about eating some sandwiches and driving around while eating sandwiches, and driving around, and then making some more sandwiches, which you will then eat while driving around. It is the universal favorite book of commitment-phobes. And please don't quote me that paragraph about how the only people for you are the mad ones who pop like roman candles. You know what’s better than a dude who pops like a roman candle? A dude who can keep it in his pants, rent his own apartment, and cook you something other than a sandwich once in a while."
books  humor  reviews  classics  catcherintherye  ontheroad  jackkerouac  jdsalinger  atlasshrugged  aynrand  huntersthompson  fearandloathinginlasvegas  americanpsycho  breteastonellis  literature  via:timcarmody 
july 2011 by robertogreco
High School Teaches Thoreau in the Woods : NPR
"The Walden Project is an alternative program focused on environmental studies and on the teachings of Henry David Thoreau, who did some of his best thinking outdoors at Walden Pond.

Life Consists with Wildness

Matt Schlein, a New York native, is 50 percent of the staff at Walden. After years teaching in a traditional high school, Schlein started a foundation that raised the money to buy the 260 acres that the Walden Project uses as its classroom.

Two or three days a week, Schlein drives through the farmlands around Vergennes, Vt., parks his well-used Toyota next to a 200-year-old barn, grabs some vegetables from a garden he maintains and walks nearly a mile through the woods.

On one school day in early January, Schlein gets to a spot where 19 students sit on a motley collection of old chairs and benches. Schlein starts to read from Thoreau's essay "Walking."…"
alternative  education  thewaldenproject  schools  schooldesign  tcsnmy  thoreau  lcproject  highschool  vermont  smallschools  society  humanism  classics  classideas  via:leisurearts  unschooling  deschooling  nature  projectbasedlearning  interdisciplinary  identity  crossdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  inquiry  inquiry-basedlearning  2008  pbl 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Walden: Introduction « Willowell Foundation
"student…is asked to distill this info & create a cohesive picture of the world. While it is undoubtedly true that many students have achieved success w/ this model, it is also clear that this model does not work for everyone. Creating a sense of one’s place in world, through education, is a highly individualized affair. To that end, it is important that we offer students a variety of ways to wrestle w/ the important questions of learning, where there is a natural thematic connection linking the fields of study. There is a historical precedence for this type of interdisciplinary education.

On the following pages, you will read about TWP…a model based upon this idea…each academic discipline is discussed & its relationship to the VT Framework of Standards is detailed…program itself is designed so these distinctions are blurred. While students will undoubtedly gain the skills in each academic discipline, these skills will be developed as part of a broader mode of inquiry."
alternative  education  thewaldenproject  schools  schooldesign  tcsnmy  thoreau  lcproject  highschool  vermont  smallschools  society  humanism  classics  classideas  via:leisurearts  unschooling  deschooling  nature  projectbasedlearning  interdisciplinary  identity  crossdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  inquiry  inquiry-basedlearning  pbl 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Outside In: The Walden Project Helps Students See the Forest for the Trees | Edutopia
"not school in the traditional sense. It is a community of 19 students & 2 teachers who use this former farmland for what the founder calls a "great, living template for education." They spend three days a week outdoors, through fall, bitter winter, and spring. On Tuesdays, for Field Sociology class and writing, the students visit government offices, nonprofit organizations, & other institutions in Burlington, a college town of 40,000 located 20mi away.

On Fridays, they work at internships in their areas of interest, such as Web design or photography.

Matt Schlein, who had taught English, drama, & psychology at VUHS for 6 years, founded the project in 2000 with a vision of authentic, student-directed learning based in nature. He created a small foundation, Willowell, and collected grants and donations to buy the 230 acres Walden Project participants call simply "the land" -- a swath of sloping fields spotted with woods & ringed by the Green Mountains."
alternative  education  thewaldenproject  schools  schooldesign  tcsnmy  thoreau  lcproject  highschool  vermont  smallschools  society  humanism  classics  classideas  via:leisurearts  unschooling  deschooling  nature  projectbasedlearning  interdisciplinary  identity  crossdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  inquiry  inquiry-basedlearning  funding  pbl 
june 2011 by robertogreco
The Walden Project
"The Walden Project is an alternative learning program through Vergennes Union High School. It focuses mainly on science and literature while exploring the relationship between humans, society, and the natural world. Walden encourages students to take their education into their own hands and make it their own."
alternative  education  thewaldenproject  schools  schooldesign  tcsnmy  thoreau  lcproject  highschool  vermont  smallschools  society  humanism  classics  classideas  via:leisurearts  unschooling  deschooling  nature  projectbasedlearning  interdisciplinary  identity  crossdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  inquiry  inquiry-basedlearning  pbl 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Salvatore Scibona: “Where I Learned to Read” : The New Yorker
"As long as nobody had assigned the book, I could stick with it. I didn’t know what I was reading. I didn’t really know how to read. Reading messed with my brain in an unaccountable way. It made me happy; or something. I copied out the first paragraph of Annie Dillard’s “An American Childhood” on my bedroom’s dormer wall. The book was a present from an ace teacher, a literary evangelist in classy shoes, who also flunked me, of course, with good reason. Even to myself I was a lost cause."

[Salvatore Scibona's summer reading list: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2011/06/what-im-reading-this-summer-salvatore-scibona-1.html ]
2011  reading  learning  autodidacts  readiness  classicaleducation  stjohn'scollege  education  colleges  books  classics  salvatorescibona 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Chris Moss on Psychoanalysing Argentina | FiveBooks
"all about Buenos Aires & feature duals, mythical figures, places w/ patios & grilled windows, & are full of a sense of his native Palermo. He sets ‘The Gospel According to St Mark’ out in the province, another region he loved to imagine. Borges’s fiction amounts to a metaphorical universe & he evokes a place I dream of visiting when I’m homesick for BA…Infinity beguiled him & the metaphor of the labyrinth expresses that. Of course, that comes from Greek classical literature but I think it might also be a simple way of articulating the grid-like layout of Buenos Aires, a city surrounded by the infinity of the Pampas, an urban labyrinth. He doesn’t write strictly topographically about BA but distils it into a metaphoric landscape."

"You have to remember that Argentina is one of the biggest meatpacking nations in the world & the sense of that goes beyond cows to the humans too. It’s a carnal nation with a history based on slaughter – that’s why the theme is so important."
argentina  chrismoss  borges  estebanecheverría  marianoplotkin  robertfarristhompson  tango  exequielmartínezestrada  history  culture  psychology  psychoanalysis  meat  palermo  violence  cities  buenosaires  fiction  music  nonfiction  elmatadero  literature  labyrinths  classics  urban  urbanism  landscapes 
august 2010 by robertogreco
A Walk Through the Ancient World
"When the first immersive 3D games came out, I asked a programmer if he knew of anyone who had used that technology to create a Virtual Ancient Rome or Ancient Athens. I loved the idea of walking around in a place whose current face was changed out of all recognition from its golden age. He shook his head. Creating virtual worlds was way too time consuming and required too much specialist knowledge and so was too expensive. A virtual Rome wouldn't create the profit that Doom did.

Fast forward a decade and the programming necessary becomes easier to do and the number of people who know how to do it have increased substantially. The costs involved in creating a virtual world have decreased at the same time that academic and scholarly institutions have become much more willing to invest in it.

Now that it's quite a bit easier to find a virtual ancient city to stroll through, I thought I would survey a few options and provide you with a short virtual atlas of the ancient world."
ancient  ancientrome  classics  archaeology  middleages  history  ancientgreece  3d  virtual  tcsnmy  classideas  ancientcivilization  ancienthistory  ancienchina  china  rome  athens  mexico  ancientmexico 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Encyclopedia Mythica: Pronunciation guide [via: http://ayjay.jottit.com/links_for_students]
"This pronunciation guide is mainly for English speaking readers. The pronunciation of Greek and Latin words in other languages, such as Dutch or German or Spanish, is quite different. We can expect that the pronunciation of some words will remain highly disputable and we will never get consensus about. The main function of this guide is to give readers at least some idea of how to pronounce the names of the various deities mentioned in this encyclopedia."
tohare  tcsnmy  ancientgreece  pronunciation  greek  greece  mythology  myths  literature  classics  ancient  srg 
july 2010 by robertogreco
10 Literary Classics That Should Be Videogames | GameLife | Wired.com
"Dante’s Inferno proves it: Classic literature is a videogame gold mine.
games  gaming  literature  classics 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Main Page
"The Ancient and Modern Sourcebooks have a different role: since there are already ample online repositories of texts for these periods, the goal here is to provide and organize texts for use in classroom situations. Links to the larger online collections are provided for those who want to explore further. The distinctive feature of the Sourcebooks' layout remains here - the avoidance of images and multiple "clicking" to find texts."
archaeology  ancienthistory  research  reference  literature  rome  mesopotamia  primarysources  ancient  mythology  greek  education  culture  history  books  resources  religion  philosophy  greece  egypt  classics  worldhistory  tcsnmy  ancientcivilization  socialstudies  classresources 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Codex Sinaiticus
"Codex Sinaiticus is one of the most important books in the world. Handwritten well over 1600 years ago, the manuscript contains the Christian Bible in Greek, including the oldest complete copy of the New Testament. Its heavily corrected text is of outstanding importance for the history of the Bible and the manuscript – the oldest substantial book to survive Antiquity – is of supreme importance for the history of the book"
codexsinaiticus  manuscripts  online  history  greek  ancient  digitization  classics  christianity  bible  religion  archives 
july 2009 by robertogreco
The Benefits of a Classical Education - O'Reilly Radar
"[Question] 1. Tell us about a time when lessons learned from the ancients contributed to your success. [Answer] As John Cowper Powys noted in The Meaning of Culture, culture (vs. mere education) is how you put what you've learned to work in your own life, seeing the world around you more deeply because of the historical, literary, artistic and philosophical resonances that current experiences evoke. Classical stories come often to my mind, and provide guides to action (much as Plutarch intended his histories of famous men to be guides to morality and action). The classics are part of my mental toolset, the context I think with. So rather than giving you a single example, let me give you a potpourri."
classics  timoreilly  marktwain  education  culture  future  history  homeschool  philosophy  thinking  productivity  greeks  romans  alexanderthegreat  tcsnmy 
june 2009 by robertogreco
The Baldwin Online Children's Literature Project...Bringing Yesterday's Classics to Today's Children
"The Baldwin Project seeks to make available online a comprehensive collection of resources for parents and teachers of children. Our focus, initially, is on literature for children that is in the public domain in the United States. This includes all works first published before 1923. The period from 1880 or so until 1922 offers a wealth of material in all categories, including: Nursery Rhymes, Fables, Folk Tales, Myths, Legends and Hero Stories, Literary Fairy Tales, Bible Stories, Nature Stories, Biography, History, Fiction, Poetry, Storytelling, Games, and Craft Activities."
children  tcsnmy  books  free  audiobooks  classics  reading  stories  ebooks  online 
october 2008 by robertogreco
'The Odyssey' and 'The Iliad' are giving up new secrets about the ancient world - The Boston Globe
"But thanks to evidence from a range of disciplines, we are in the middle of a massive reappraisal of these foundational works of Western literature. Recent advances in archeology and linguistics offer the strongest support yet that the Trojan War did take place, with evidence coming from the large excavation at the likely site of Troy, as well as new analysis of cuneiform tablets from the dominant empire of the region. Insights from comparative anthropology have transformed studies of the society that created the poems and allowed us to analyze the epics in a new way, suggesting that their particular patterns of violence contain a hidden key to ancient Greek history - though not necessarily the key that Homer's readers once thought they were being given."
classics  greece  ancientgreece  homer  literature  myth  archaeology  history  tcsnmy  classideas 
october 2008 by robertogreco
Unsucky English, Lecture 1: On Gilgamesh | Beyond School
"Let’s start with the oldest story ever told (at least that we have written down), the first story in the history of this whacked and wonderful species we all belong to, the story whose title will make your eyes roll and your feet head for the exit door the minute you hear it, because it’s associated with your lifetime of aversion to schooly suckiness."
clayburell  classics  literature  gilgamesh  tcsnmy  deschooling  unschooling  academia  writing  bible 
august 2008 by robertogreco
In search of Western civilisation's lost classics | The Australian
"The unique library of the Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum, buried beneath lava by Vesuvius's eruption in AD79, is slowly revealing its long-held secrets"
history  libraries  epicurus  ancient  pompeii  herculaneum  archaeology  civilization  classics  tcsnmy  books 
august 2008 by robertogreco
J.K. Rowling Commencement : Harvard Magazine - "Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not...
"...and therefore the fount of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathise with humans whose experiences we have never shared."
jkrowling  failure  risk  empathy  blogosphere  human  innovation  gamechanging  invention  inspiration  education  learning  activism  success  poverty  harvard  harrypotter  philosophy  classics  society  relationships  psychology  wisdom  imagination  creativity  identity  life  motivation  commencementspeeches  commencementaddresses 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Read at Work
"Read At Work turns your desktop into a full screen, realistic PC looking desktop with folders, start button, recycle bin, the works. The kicker is the all the folders contain writings of famous authors and New Zealand locals."
reading  books  literature  subversion  desktop  ebooks  fiction  classics  applications  humor  simulations  satire  powerpoint  parody 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Mythography | Exploring Greek, Roman, and Celtic Mythology and Art
"Explore mythology and art with information about the classic stories of heroes and gods...from the myths of ancient Greece and Rome, to the legends of the Celts. Mythography also presents resources and reference materials about mythology - including reco
mythology  greeks  greek  history  myth  myths  literature  reference  heroes  encyclopedia  classics  gods 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Greek Mythology
"This site is devoted to the heroes, gods and monsters of Greek mythology."
mythology  greeks  greek  history  myth  myths  literature  reference  heroes  encyclopedia  classics  gods 
may 2008 by robertogreco
ManyBooks.net - Free eBooks for your PDA, iPod, or eBook Reader
"Browse through the most popular titles, recommendations, or recent reviews from our visitors. Perhaps you'll find something interesting in the special collections. There are 18,875 eBooks available here and they're all free!"
audiobooks  ebooks  books  literature  online  free  fiction  classics  download  projectgutenberg  podcasts  publishing  mobile  n800  iphone  publicdomain 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Bookyards.com » Library to the world
"Our goal is to be "The Library To The World", a web portal in which books, education materials, information, and content will be freely to anyone who has an internet connection."
audio  biographies  books  ebooks  publicdomain  free  literature  libraries  downloads  classics 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Colleges and Universities - Education and Schools - Corporations - New York Times
"How are college students treated in this brave new academic world? Not very well, at least not if this year’s spate of bad news articles is any indication."
education  colleges  universities  business  trends  society  learning  schools  age  students  teaching  research  money  reform  change  classics  us 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Thomas Jefferson Education - Leadership Education
"After reading A Thomas Jefferson Education, I realized that I was one of those who received this type of education. What do I mean by "conveyor-belt" education? Oliver Van DeMille states there are three types of education."
homeschool  education  learning  curriculum  jefferson  history  classics  books  leadership 
september 2007 by robertogreco
In search of lost time | Review | Guardian Unlimited Books
"From chemistry sets to homemade face scrubs - following the success of The Dangerous Book for Boys comes The Great Big Glorious Book for Girls, with anthologies from children's classics Look and Learn and Ladybird on the way. What does the popularity of
books  nostalgia  childhood  children  literature  classics 
august 2007 by robertogreco
mike love : genealogy of influence
"a graph of biographical entries at Wikipedia with connections denoting creative influence"
mapping  networks  people  religion  wikipedia  visualization  information  history  education  culture  classics  art  interactive  ideas  graphics  graphs  maps  networking  relationships  reference  biographies 
november 2006 by robertogreco

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