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ranman

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  1. I'm binge watching Better Things, seasons 2 thru 4!
  2. I hope you don't mind my trying to resurrect a rather old post, but here goes. In relation to the original post: "Dynamic" seems to be the catchphrase for the neoliberal (I don't use this as a pejorative, just as a signifier). Everything today is packaged and presented as dynamic--the economy, public policy, education, etc. We don't quite know or want to know what ppl mean when they say it. Those who mean well, those without an overt neoliberal agenda, seem to simply mean "innovation," "non-reactionary" when they say "dynamic." Specifically, as far as 21st cent. education is concerned, it seems to mean tech-based solutions, which unwittingly or otherwise prevent education from being universally accessible. Low-cost tech and free tech are solutions, but only insofar as tech is considered the only solution. Education in this century seems driven by the "pay and access" logic. Same with healthcare. Public education is on the wane, unless you consider elite higher education spaces, which push merticoracy to unbelievably competitive standards. This state of affairs is also related to what is valorized and what is marginalized. For instance, we're doing a module on research methodology, and we get readings mailed to us every Friday. It's a three-week module, quite lengthy, but doesn't concern itself with the qualitative/interpretive aspect at all. We've been doing two weeks on the z-score formula (this is an example of the readings we're mailed). Some professors even dismiss interpretive sociological/anthropological approaches as hogwash. Similarly, those on the other side are quick to dismiss quantitative and stats-based empirical approaches as one-dimensional. To me, this is one of the essential aspects of 21st cent. education--this enforced distance between what ppl have taken to calling the soft and hard approaches respectively. Interdisciplinary approaches are at the margins of education today.
  3. If anybody's interested, here's David F Wallace's Rabbit Resurrected--whether this amounts to homage, cheap imitation, or noble attempt is a matter of taste of course https://harpers.org/wp-content/uploads/HarpersMagazine-1992-08-0072766.pdf
  4. Hi, guys! I hope you're all well. Wondering since there doesn't seem to be much activity on the forum. I myself have logged in after what feels like a lifetime. Can't quite remember when I logged in before. Just wanted to add: New Yorker has terrific fiction and poetry podcasts. I use iTunes, which includes apple podcasts also. This is the best subscription I ever signed up for. Other than that, there's The Sun -- I don't quite like the non-fiction here, but some of the new fiction they publish is rich and good, if anyone's interested.
  5. ranman

    New Stuff Worth Hearing

    Greta Van Fleet's a good band! They sound like Led Zep, but not like a cheap imitation band. They've got their own stamp, and they make glorious music. Not sure if this counts as new, but The Parlor Mob is also sort of a throwback to the 60s-80s trend of good rock. They also sound like Les Zep, but again they're not limited or unimaginative musicians.
  6. Currently reading two books: 1. Abandon by Pico Iyer: A very interesting book. Among other things, it focuses on how a secular outlook might allow one to draw from different religious traditions and theological stances, almost a la carte. There is the danger of appropriation, but it is equally important to shed light on how people also see religions as things that converge toward a final unity, the book seems to say. The book focuses on Sufism (particularly the works of Rumi) and Islamic thought and two people's whirling love for each other. If you look long and hard enough at love, you might look at what the Sufi mystics are talking about, the guy seems to believe. He finds out what it is to live, love, and be loved on account of his interaction with several Sufi manuscripts, and of course by being with his beloved, who too is on a quest. Very interesting and stimulating. 2. Economics: Private and Public Choice by Gwrtney, Stroup, et al: The books asks--and of course aims to answer--what makes certain decision-making acts economics. In other words, what constitutes the economic approach to thinking and doing, and how, if at all, is it different from other modes of thinking and doing? Understandably, the book focuses on questions such as rationality, irrationality, and intentionality. Also explores the interplay between a so-called private choice (which may after all not be so localized and insignificant) and the macro side of things. Interesting so far.
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