Sunday, November 28, 2010

Robots may be able to help you.

From the NYT, letters to Michelle Obama:

Dear Michelle Obama,
Hi, we are 10 and 9 years old. We live in Boston. We hope you send letters back to us.
I think that you should shut down cigarette and liquor companies and try to keep drugs off the streets. Robots may be able to help you. We all appreciate your hard work to make America better.
— AIDAN SHEILL-LOOMIS, age 9, and NICOLAS ALLEN, age 10, Boston
From K., who's always recommending robots.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


"Blitzkrieg Bop," vocal track only!  Via Cynical-C


Monday, November 15, 2010

You did me business ethics propsal for me

Hired guns in higher ed.  The Chronicle's got the confessions of professional writer of essays for the underprepared, unequipped and lazy.

I've written toward a master's degree in cognitive psychology, a Ph.D. in sociology, and a handful of postgraduate credits in international diplomacy. I've worked on bachelor's degrees in hospitality, business administration, and accounting. I've written for courses in history, cinema, labor relations, pharmacology, theology, sports management, maritime security, airline services, sustainability, municipal budgeting, marketing, philosophy, ethics, Eastern religion, postmodern architecture, anthropology, literature, and public administration. I've attended three dozen online universities. I've completed 12 graduate theses of 50 pages or more. All for someone else.
You've never heard of me, but there's a good chance that you've read some of my work. I'm a hired gun, a doctor of everything, an academic mercenary. My customers are your students. I promise you that. Somebody in your classroom uses a service that you can't detect, that you can't defend against, that you may not even know exists.
I work at an online company that generates tens of thousands of dollars a month by creating original essays based on specific instructions provided by cheating students. I've worked there full time since 2004. On any day of the academic year, I am working on upward of 20 assignments. 
Stunning.  Not surprising, exactly, but interesting to learn about the business of cheating.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Follow through

More of the hot stuff from The ACBs.

Can't wait for the album.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Culture, on a long leash

I tend to consider the equation of modern art and modern weaponry as hyperbolic and hortatory.  But, maybe I shouldn't.

Modern art was CIA 'weapon'
Revealed: how the spy agency used unwitting artists such as Pollock and de Kooning in a cultural Cold War
For decades in art circles it was either a rumour or a joke, but now it is confirmed as a fact. The Central Intelligence Agencyused American modern art - including the works of such artists as Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko - as a weapon in the Cold War. In the manner of a Renaissance prince - except that it acted secretly - the CIA fostered and promoted American Abstract Expressionist painting around the world for more than 20 years.
The connection is improbable. This was a period, in the 1950s and 1960s, when the great majority of Americans disliked or even despised modern art - President Truman summed up the popular view when he said: "If that's art, then I'm a Hottentot." As for the artists themselves, many were ex- com- munists barely acceptable in the America of the McCarthyite era, and certainly not the sort of people normally likely to receive US government backing.
Why did the CIA support them? Because in the propaganda war with the Soviet Union, this new artistic movement could be held up as proof of the creativity, the intellectual freedom, and the cultural power of the US. Russian art, strapped into the communist ideological straitjacket, could not compete.
Via my lady in the trenches, K. 

Monday, November 1, 2010