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To Fart and Think of Dante

It’s hard not to love this paragraph from an essay on the poet Walter Lowenfels by Jim Burns. Lowenfels was clearly at home in this kind of atmosphere. With a friend, Michael Fraenkel, he started the Anonymous Movement, advocating total anonymity in the arts. The idea collapsed when he thought the authors of the musical, […]

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…and ride Mankind

What boots thy zeal, O glowing friend, That would indignant rend The northland from the south? Wherefore? To what good end? Boston Bay and Bunker Hill Would serve things still: Things are of the snake. The horseman serves the horse, The neat-herd serves the neat, The merchant serves the purse, The eater serves his meat; […]

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Vitruvius (and Lego) Against the Imagination

Perhaps you’ve seen the recent Lego movie. It’s gotten a good critical response based first on the ability of the “digital magicians” to make the action appear as if it were filmed via the manual (literally, by-hand) labor of stop-action animation. Next it is praised for its “parable” of standing against “business” practices and presenting […]

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The Enemy of Idealism

I hope you can recall how many times I’ve castigated, lamented, condemned the role of “business” in education, particularly lemonade stands. If you don’t, let me remind you with some links. Conservatives to Occupy Duty: Cities Must Heed Business Interests Lemons for Lessons: Replacing Childhood with Business Ideology The Child of the Marketplace Metaphor Summer […]

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Arguing All Sides: Propriety and Ethics in Business and Education

Morton J. Marcus is a former Prof of IU’s Business School (it has a corporate sponsorship but I’ll exercise my freedom to ignore it).  He was director of the Indiana Business Research Center (IBRC) for more than 30 years, having retired from the university in November 2003. He is published every Friday in the Bloomington […]

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Nell Scharff and New Visions

Who’s Afraid of Nell Scharff?  (cross-posted at Schools Matter) Now, if you’ve read The Atlantic‘s piece on the “writing revolution” (I’ll review this in another post) you may have picked up on the name Nell Scharff, but you may also have just paid her no attention.  She is introduced in the piece and identified in this […]

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Autism, ADHD, Adaptation and Randomization

Autism, ADHD, Adaptation and Randomization

[Cross-posted at Schools Matter.] I. Some time ago I wrote a piece noting how it seems autism is becoming a useful “disorder” to have.  (I used the quotes for a reason which I hope becomes clear.)  The post, “Autism: the next ‘specialty’ credential,” tried to create a kind of choral effect between an essay by […]

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The Monkey Rope, Or Our Common Umbilical

We live in a kind of false paradigm of “self-reliance.”  I don’t need to blame Waldo for this but perhaps he does bear a good bit of the burden for at the very least his is a kind of Bartlett’s for “individualism.”  Living having been usurped by business interests we are inundated with a sermonizing […]

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The Factory Store

or Telling Lies to Children, or Education in America. So, do you remember when you were a child and someone asked you, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I don’t either, but let me ask differently, have you asked any child this?  This magical, mystical, and ultimately mystifying question was answered […]

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The Seeming Banality

Besides, this Bland, the master-at-arms, was no vulgar, dirty knave. In him—to modify Burke’s phrase—vice seemed, but only seemed, to lose half its seeming evil by losing all its apparent grossness.  (Melville, White Jacket) No doubt evil can be normalized, institutionalized, and even made socially just and proper in its place.  Does Arendt hold Eichmann to […]

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Explanation and Example: Capitalist Nationalism

**Reformist consciousness was famously described by Gramsci as “dual” or “contradictory”; on the one hand accepting the permanence of the […]

Building the Insanity In: Ex Machina

This is not a movie review. This is me thinking about empathy. Last night, lonely little ol’ me sat in […]

Dislodged Giant: Can We Use Stevens to Interpret Dickinson?

You tell me. “I thought that nature was enough” by Emily Dickinson I thought that nature was enough Till Human […]

By Metaphor Alone

Motivation matters. If the scientific method (which we make into the massive all-encompassing abstraction of SCIENCE to compete with the […]

By Force of Law

Nothing new under the sun. Why do you suppose a “Sanders” presidency would change what is described below in Chapter […]

Now You Know What A Horse Is: Views On Education in the 19th Century

Schools are scenes of extreme manipulation and coercion. Our national and state interest in them is less than benign, or […]