Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Wednesday Stuff

Our Favorite Headline of the Week: '
Welcome to America...You're Under Arrest.' A close runner-up: 'I'm Not Lying, I'm Telling a Future Truth. Really.'

Director Spike Lee says "Obama will change everything." But I'm not sure I want to put too much stock in a guy whose next "film" project involves
piecing together various bits of video taken by cellphones. Sounds more like a marketing stunt to sell phones than a movie to me.

Here's How You Can Play Like Lebron. Just follow
his exercise regimen and you'll be on your way. Looks easy enough, doesn't it?

Former Newspaper Guy Picks Up Blogging In Record Time. This fellow just left a staff job at a newspaper after a career spent at a series of such jobs. Judging by
this sublime description of why people blog, we think he took to the blog format in record time. The bad news: he'll soon find out that some, including this hipster who recently took up shaving, think "blogs seem so yesterday." The big thing now is video, or vlogs (that sound you hear is me snoring). So what's a recycled writer to do? We advise against chasing the latest fad. Just make sure it's good, whatever you do. Everything else has a way of taking care of itself.

If Writing Text is So Yesterday, Reading is Too. Apple CEO Steve Jobs caused a small stir not long ago by
saying no one reads anymore. But his Macs certainly are in no danger of dying out. Due to their rising popularity, a geek digest (E-Week) says company IT departments now must deal with what it calls "Mac creep," the growing demands from internal users to accomodate Macs instead of PCs. Anyway, this piece nicely demolishes the absurd notion that people aren't reading anymore. On the contrary, the web has helped launch an explosion of reading and writing by millions of people. The alarmists attempt a nice parlor trick by simply not counting any of that. How convenient, and how ridiculous.


At 7:17 AM, Blogger Jeff Hess said...

Shalom John,

I'm afraid that I have to agree with Jobs; based upon my observation of students over the past 10 years, the percentage of readers is declining precipitously.

You can round up the usual suspects -- recorded music, radio, television and the Internet -- but the key is that it's not necessary to read -- in the sense that you and I might understand the word -- to obtain the minimum information necessary to accomplish the vast majority of tasks.

Students don't read texts, they read the questions they're expected to answer and then scan the text (or search, cut and paste, if the material is online) for the solution.

Stories in recent years about the rise of what are essentially Cliff Notes for bestsellers indicates that the phenomenon extends into generations X and Y as well.

I don't think the shift is bad or good, it just is. How we choose to move forward is the only important consideration.



At 8:40 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Thanks, Jeff. Your perspective is always valuable, but in this case doubly so, because it comes directly from the front lines. Of course, I see some of the same things, as a parent of two teenage boys. I suppose that on this issue, I choose to see and emphasize certain things, and try to ignore or discount others. Guilty as charged. Anyway, thanks again for stopping by, amigo.


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