Oh John Carroll

Month: May 2014 (page 1 of 2)

While I’m certainly not a fan of what Amazon is doing in its recent dealings with Hachette, I was happy to see Ben Thompson explain why publishers are doing themselves the most harm in the long run:

The problem with DRM, as Nook owners now know all too well, is that it ties your books to a single company. If you start buying Kindle books, you will always buy Kindle books, because your books will only ever work on a Kindle. The result is that anyone who has bought Kindle books is now more loyal to Amazon than they are to any of the publishers. Not that they were ever loyal to publishers, of course; said loyalty is reserved for specific authors. And that right there is the root of the publishers’ Faustian bargain: unloved by consumers, yet unwilling to give up their position as middleperson, publishers traded away infinite distribution and the truly free exchange of ideas for the yoke of another, infinitely more powerful middleperson – Amazon.

Jesse Singal at New York‘s Science of Us makes a convincing argument for killing the cover letter and résumé:

No job applicant has ever enjoyed the process of assembling a decent cover letter and résumé. There’s the endless scanning for errors and out-of-date information, the pointless attempts to make your materials stand out (are you “well-qualified” for the job, or just “qualified”? “Enthusiastic” or “very enthusiastic”?), and the overall soul-crushing feeling that comes from knowing your application will likely end up in a pile of hundreds of others that look just about identical to it. Employers aren’t fans, either — anyone who has waded through a stack of the things understands how exhausting it is to try to sift fact from fiction, qualification from “qualification.” Despite all of this, the system has been entrenched for a while now. It’s just how it’s done.

Now, though, researchers have finally built up enough solid science about human decision-making to confirm a belief held by many on both sides of the hiring equation: It’s time for the résumé and the cover letter to die.

More on trigger warnings in the classroom, from Jade E. Davis at Talking Points Memo:

I am not what students expect. I am a medium-tone, shortish black female with natural hair that isn’t quite kinky enough to go into an afro. I am hippy. I come across as sweet, and I push my students in ways that make them uncomfortable. Because I am me, students assume that my teaching about media and popular culture, or media and society at large, will take a very specific trajectory. To an extent, it has to. For many students, realizing that, as the professor, I am the person my students who has knowledge and power over them, is traumatic. For other students, though, it is liberating. This is what the recent article in the New York Times misses.

Outside‘s Chris Vogel wrote a seemingly unbelievable story about the disappearance of American David Sneddon:

What most Americans don’t know is that North Korea has been systematically kidnapping foreigners for the past 60 years. Since the Korean War Armistice in 1953, North Korea is suspected to have abducted 3,824 South Koreans (in addition to more than 100,000 taken during the war) and as many as 100 Japanese and 200 Chinese. According to the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, there have been at least 25 additional abductees from countries including France, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Romania, and Thailand.

Vogel’s story takes us on an emotional journey that must mimic what these families have gone through: walking us from “surely this couldn’t have happened” to “surely it happened this way.”

LA Weekly’s Amy Nicholson wrote a great piece about Tom Cruise, Oprah’s couch and his career ever since:

Post-2005, we’ve lost out on the audacious films that only Hollywood’s most powerful and consistent star could have convinced studios to greenlight. Cruise was in his mid-40s prime — the same years when Newman made Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting — and here he was lying low, like the kid who’d run away to London. Imagine the daring roles that he hasn’t dared to pursue. Cruise’s talent and clout were responsible for an unparalleled string of critical and commercial hits. We gave that up for a gif.

After reading Going Clear, the last thing I expected to read about Cruise is a piece that humanized him — his career, at least.

My pals Jamie-Lee and Mingo are running to support the HCM Foundation, who assist families affected by cancer. They’re good people doing a good thing for a good cause. I hope you’ll support them if you’re able.

I don’t read comic books that often, but this interview with Brian Michael Bendis (and the quote below) got me really excited about the idea of reading comic books:

I would like there to be more of a connection between why people read these stories, and how they act. You should see Peter Parker and then want to act like Peter Parker. You shouldn’t want to be Peter Parker because you want to sling webs and punch people. It should be because you want to be someone who lives with the idea of “with great power comes great responsibility.” And that means that the power of the internet and the power of your ability to interact with people, should be treated like a power. You should treat it like a responsibility.

Jennifer Medina of The New York Times writes about a growing trend at American universities:

The debate has left many academics fuming, saying that professors should be trusted to use common sense and that being provocative is part of their mandate. Trigger warnings, they say, suggest a certain fragility of mind that higher learning is meant to challenge, not embrace. The warnings have been widely debated in intellectual circles and largely criticized in opinion magazines, newspaper editorials and academic email lists.

Andrew Swick has a quick, digestible primer on what’s happening with net neutrality and how you can help.

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