Thursday, August 08, 2013

Everlasting Realities of the Bohemian Lifestyle

AP7810181441.jpg…or the creative #precariat & the #city, by extension #citymooc. Academic knowledge workers, particularly in the arts and humanities, are explicitly noted as those who, "began adult life as artists and intellectuals only to find themselves 25 years on somehow being mainly a teacher at a D-list college in a place they never wanted to live." Sounds like a Balzac novel, doesn't it? Illusions perdues, in particular, comes to mind. 
NEW YORK -- Is it still possible to be a bohemian in today's New York City, where average rents now surpass $3,000 a month? Or are the rents just too damn high? And -- if they are -- what does this mean for the future of artists and intellectuals of the sort who have long been as much a part of the natural order of the city as pigeons and locust trees?
These are some of the questions provoked by an article in the Spring issue of N+1 magazine on "Cultural Revolution" signed by "The Editors." forward to the closing paragraphs...

[Bohmeian] complaints [in n+1 article ]are far larger than one about the New York housing market, or the academy, as well -- they are about the relation of the intellectual and the artist to society, about the lack of recognition except by "the Happy Few." But the art and literary worlds have always been a total crap shoot, and far too many artists and writers reach old age as impoverished and unknown as when they began. There is nothing new in the failure of that dare. Even those who have one wonderful glorious moment of fame and fortune are rarely set, because a moment is not a life, and life is longer than most forms of renown these days. 
T.S. Eliot worked as a banker. Wallace Stevens was an insurance company vice president. There are others who have carved memorable careers out of evenings and weekends. But there have always been more who began adult life as artists and intellectuals only to find themselves 25 years on somehow being mainly a teacher at a D-list college in a place they never wanted to live. 
I'm not saying any of this is good, only that it is hardly new.
Read the complete article at Everlasting Realities of the Bohemian Lifestyle - Garance Franke-Ruta - The Atlantic

Monday, July 29, 2013

surreal urban landscapes

…reminiscent of the movie Dark City (reviewed by Roger Ebert)…imagined #city for imaginary #mooc#citymooc, The video invites comparison with less than other realistic artifacts, whether advertising, mythic foundings, artwork, allegorical renderings or contested mappings.

Prepare to visit a strange new world in which cityscapes can be spun around like the layers of a Rubik's cube — and where the laws of physics no longer apply.

Filmmaker Chris Kelly writes,
Our understanding of space is not always a direct function of the sensory input but a perceptual undertaking in the brain where we are constantly making subconscious judgments that accept or reject possibilities supplied to us from our sensory receptors. This process can lead to illusions or manipulations of space that the brain perceives to be reality
Read more at io9 and the original at GawkerThis surrealist film treats urban landscapes like a Rubik's Cube

Saturday, May 25, 2013

virtual flânerie chez MOOC

…late in the day or game of my life ~ figuratively speaking, but this flâneuse persona is off on another city jaunt...virtual flânerie in the form of MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses about cities.

The first, nearly over, is Technicity, and the other, in development and yet to start, is City MOOC.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Borges, Paradox & Perception

…+ Heisenberg = irresistible. This was sitting in drafts, earmarked for #introphil, the philosophy course, now over, and the others left abandoned by the wayside. It's time for flâneuse to leave philosophy classes behind and move on. Topically speaking, we're city bound, heading home to the streets. MOOCs have discovered their cousin, the city, no stranger to paradox or uncertainty. More later. For now, let's transition with Cities, MOOCs, Global Networks by Kris Olds, Inside HigherEd.

In 1927 a young German physicist published a paper that would turn the scientific world on its head. Until that time, classical physics had assumed that when a particle’s position and velocity were known, its future trajectory could be calculated. Werner Heisenberg demonstrated that this condition was actually impossible:

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Open Letter from SJSU Philosophy Dept to Michael Sandel

painting by Gandolfi Gaetano
…for more (if not optimum) context, read comments and related article. Optimum context would involve taking the edX course in question, reading up on MOOCs, Sandel, edX. the MOOCing  of HigherEd in general and, in particular, the Gates Foundation driven agreement between San Jose and edX. All that still might not be enough but brings us closer to an informed opinion. Even then there will be more variants and questions than consensus. 
Professors in the philosophy department at San Jose State University wrote the following letter to make a direct appeal to Michael Sandel, a Harvard professor whose MOOC on "Justice" they were being encouraged to use as part of the San Jose State curriculum. (See related article and comments)
Is this philosophy or just more mooc madness?  If philosophy is truly about knowledge, how we know and ways of knowing of the world. Consider this comment in the letter, 
.. the thought of the exact same social justice course being taught in various philosophy departments across the country is downright scary - something out of a dystopian novel.
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