It's hard to get much lower-tech than the laboratory of psychologist Sam Putnam at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. The equipment here is strictly five-and-dime--soap bubbles, Halloween masks, noisemakers--but the work Putnam is doing is something else entirely. On any given day, the lab bustles with toddlers who come to play with his toys and be observed while they do so. Some of the children rush at the bubbles, delight at the noise toys, squeal with pleasure when a staff member dons a mask. Others stand back, content to observe. Others cry.The next paragraph begins with a description that rings true:
Those differences are precisely what Putnam is looking for. What he's studying during his unlikely playdates is that elusive temperamental divide between those of us who thrill to the new and those of us who prefer what we know--those who seek out the unfamiliar and those who retreat into the cozy and safe. It's in that divide, many scientists believe, that the mysteries of shyness may lie.
Few things say "forget I'm here" quite so eloquently as the pose of the shy--the averted gaze, the hunched shoulders, the body pivoted away from the crowd.That's me, and I know that it is some of you, though I know also that some of you are raving extroverts too... Such a spread is part of the wonder and joy of being human. Made in God's own image, but with such surprising variety!
As Battaglia puts it: "Shyness is simply a human difference, a variation that can be a form of richness." Scientists studying shyness never tire of pointing out that Abraham Lincoln, Mohandas Gandhi and Nelson Mandela were unusually reserved people and may have achieved far less if they'd been otherwise.Amen, God made me shy, and I'll thank you brash extroverts to leave me my peace! As the actresses Bette Davis and Marlene Dietrich are reported to have said: "I want to be alone. Though actually maybe Greta Garbo got it right when she corrected the record on her own identification with the phrase:
Garbo once commented, "I never said, 'I want to be alone.' I only said, 'I want to be left alone.' There is all the difference in the world."PS to all the lovable extroverts I know well, including my wife, this rant does not mean you, it means the system, the culture, that keeps consistently showing bias against us shy folk.
I'm writing to introduce my new website, www.localtranslation.com. Localtranslation offers a plain white-label translation utility for webmasters to include on their sites for free.Wow, that'll make life easier for all my non-anglophone readers. Or at least those who speak "French, German, Spanish, Italian and Japanese".
I'm interested in this discussion because it's not a pattern I am seeing with my own undergraduate students, who do prefer electronic resources over print ones, but tend to be accessing articles listed on the NT Gateway, or which are linked on my reading lists and course materials. This includes things like scholars' homepage reproductions (e.g. Fredriksen, Kloppenborg), but also repositories of on-line articles on given topics like The Paul Page -- I see increasing numbers of students finding sites like the latter their hunting grounds of choice. In other words, their thinking is less journal-based than it is author- and site- based.This fits the accessibility theme, such selected collections of links are both accessible and convenient. But the link collections that AKMA's students are accessing may not only be his own, other people's course materials and bibliographies (including webliographies) can easily be thrown up by a Google search.
just that I can't help thinking that someone with divides expertise and enthusiasm could make such a useful contribution to the blogosphere, and my guess is that he would enjoy the interaction that's possible here. But I may be wrong, and I've been presumptuous enough already.I think both my esteemed colleagues are right! David should keep up the themed email and its regular publication to the web, they offer a really useful resource. But if possible he should get a blog, for more immediate "Hey, this is interesting!" stuff, which might later get incorporated into a TT mailing, perhaps after others have added information to the original idea...
They need a media literacy course. They need to know how to handle this flood of information and to pick out the real information.Kids may be digital natives, but like many indigenous peoples they are not critical, and here those "older and wiser" have a critical role to play...
* The vast majority of children in advanced economies spend less than 30 minutes a day on computer games. The main demographic for computer games players is in fact 20-35 year-olds.That do not seem to me cogent.
* The notion of a teenager tied to the phone calling their friends as an illustrative concept pre-dates the mobile phone (see 1960s US sitcoms). Most adults can afford to use voice rather than the cheaper SMS. Also 76% of adults in the UK have mobiles phones - this does not seem to indicate a major generation divide.
* Professional adults actually make more significant use of the different capabilities of ICT than anyone else - think of architects or accountants or zoologists. Examine sales figures and marketing strategies of any major systems vendor.
* From the US: the highest usage of the internet at home is among 35-44 year-olds (29.2%).
Judging from my students papers, one of the most prominent journals in the field of biblical studies would be Bibliotheca Sacra, a publication of Dallas Theological Seminary a source whose theology almost all of Seaburys students would reject out of hand....
Stephen Carlson took up the issue, pointing to an older post where he reiterated Steve Lawrence (now a 404) research showing that articles that were freely available online got cited more often. Stephen argues:
If you want the benefits of getting your work cited more frequently, it is best to not rely on the fickle business models of journal publishers but put up your own open access, on-line copy of your articles on your own home page (preferably with your own domain-name unless you can predict that where you are now is where you will end your career). Many copyright agreements with journal publishers already permit this.I can't help wondering if this would be a really good service for "someone" (perhaps SBL) to provide, a stable reliable URL for an online post-print repository of Biblical Studies articles. I know that Mark at NT Gateway does a fine job of keeping up with listing what is available in that field and that the OTGateway tries to do the same, but neither has the searchability and ease of use of a repository.
Reticulation rocks ::
Sean McGrath with his absurdly titled blog post that led to an intriguing article "Gmail, Technorati, WinFS - cogitating reticulation" pointed me to one of those simple, “obvious” truisms that change the way you think.
Arthur Koestler (The Ghost in the Machine) is widely credited with recognising the complementarity of hierarchy and networking. He called these processes "arborisation" - making tree structures - or hierarchies and "reticulation" - making interconnected networks - or web structures.Paper and writing technology made hierarchy easy; lists are a natural way to organise thought in the medium of text. By contrast, some have claimed, networking does not seem as easy on paper, indeed Sean seems to think that reticulated thought is less immediate for most people:
If your head works the way most people's heads work, your first port of call in organizing raw information of any form is to put it into a hierarchy.
He goes on to remind his readers that such simple systems soon break down.
There comes a point however, where you find that hierarchies are not enough to capture the rich structure of information. You start to join bits of hierarchies to each other in complex ways.Actually at this point I disagree, in my folk psychology there are two sorts of people:
[Incidentally I’ve another theory, of interest to bibliobloggers, that list people like Greek, while web people take to Hebrew better… But that's another story...]
Either way – whether humans are list people who must reticulate, or whether some are aborializers and some reticulators – organised thought needs both. Text was better at hierarchy, hypertext (or at least the HTML that demonstrates hypertext to most of us) makes webbing more obvious and easy.
BUT organised thought needs both.
And here Sean draws Gmail and the rest into the discussion. And, at last, I understand why there is all the fuss about folksonomies and metadata. And even WinFS ;) Apparently Gmail allows people to classify mail into more than one place at a time. No longer will the good programmers who created Thunderbird force me to decide if Elaine’s message about library acquisitions with the note at the end about a conference in Sydney go under "research", "library", or "Biblical Studies Department" it can go in all three at once!
That’s almost a good enough reason to use webmail! (So if any of you who offered me Gmail accounts still have invitations to spare, at last I might be ready…) Certainly it’s a feature I hope my favourite mail reader emulates, soon, please, please…
But much more importantly, it explains why folksonomies are important, and why I must think some more about how/if we can one day build such ideas into the Hypertext Bible Commentary and Encyclopedia project…
No matter how heroic, humans cannot save themselves or others, but that sacrifice and recognition of ones helpless need can bring redemption.Would "make preachers' jobs way too easy". I'll just stick by what I said, by "in a nutshell" I don't mean that it contains everything about the gospel, but I do mean that it carries the essential elements!
to bring people together to think about and refine ideas. This exciting new project can break down barriers and enable people–from different countries and very different backgrounds–to collaborate in a vital exchange of ideas.They have begun with three articles.
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