Just take the word out of your name

Picture of a notebook with astronaut cats and a four pack of pens.
Totally worth it.

I spent $24 at the college bookstore today and got one notebook and four pens. What I went for was a book that I’d ordered for my class. For some reason, I decided to order my readings from the college Bookstore and it was nothing short of dismal. See, the college BookStore really deals with apparel and items and the Brand of the college, not necessarily the day-to-day reading needs of its students. It used to, but not anymore. It just can’t compete.

Even with the power of the Barnes & Noble apparatus behind it, the BOokStore is just not a bookstore anymore. When I ordered my books, only a few came in, some were on backorder and they were sent to a “Mystery” pile in the mailroom. I’m not making up that name, “Mystery.” That’s what they told me to tell the attendant when it was my turn. Yet even when it was my turn was a mystery, as the ID card reader didn’t accept my card.

“Grad student?” the attendant asked.

See, grad students don’t have mailboxes at the mailroom, as far as I know. In my department we have mailboxes in the English office. An actual box where I can receive mail and packages. Packages like Amazon packages. Guess what I can’t receive there? Books from the college BOokStoRe.

I walk with a cane. I teach at 7:55am. I spend nearly every minute reading for my exams. Getting down the hill to the BOoKStoRe is not an easy feat. When I can remember that those (some, which?) books are waiting for me (or aren’t), it was a hassle. I kick myself for responding to the email to “Get Your Books at the BOOKSTORE!” Kick!

When I finally got there, they handed me one book, that I needed two weeks ago. They did not have the two books they told me they had. One (the one I need to read) had been sent back, the other, apparently dematerialized. When I got to the office, I bought the ebook.

Sweatshirts are on sale, though.

What about an NFT of a tulip?

“It’s a Ponzi scheme. When there was tulip mania, at least when you lost all your money, you still had a tulip.”

Dennis Kelleher

I watch cryptocurrency drama from the nosebleed seats. I have some shallow understanding of the system and, I’m not ashamed to say, I rely on my students to fill in some details for me if I’m curious and they’re willing. If you keep hearing about FTX and wondering what’s going on, this piece in The Atlantic by Annie Lowrey will give you an idea of the most recent meltdown.

Ultimately, the issue is me, but until I come to terms with that…

I tend to shake up my tech tools and apps when I want to procrastinate. Lately I’ve approached this a bit more maturely, explaining (lying) to myself that I’m trying out something new for a while in the hopes of simplifying my workflow. When I saw our library was offering Zotero free for students, I decided to give it a shot. I’ve been using Paperpile religiously for years and thought it might be good to see what else is out there.

Zotero’s interface, for some, is dated, but I found it endearing. For the last few months I’ve been adding RSS feeds and readings from my comp exams to see how I like its features. Overwhelmingly I loved the ability to mark sources as related to other sources – a big help with the films I’m viewing to see which articles I’ve read in relation to them (their titles are not always clear). What I really hated was their filing system and the inability to add it to my Google Drive without some headaches.

Ultimately, that and the need to be hardware independent was what made me come back fully to Paperpile. While I will miss the relation feature, I spent many years without it and since Paperpile doesn’t seem to be implementing something similar anytime soon, I’ll make it work.

Yeah, that’s it. Not really a review, just letting everyone know what I’m doing instead of reading and writing. 🙂

This is a bad move by DeviantArt and they should feel bad and you should opt out and maybe move your art if you can…

If you hold the banhammer, can you banhammer yourself?

Like, an early subset of Twitter users are Something Awful forum goons — the most prominent of whom is Dril — and they love fucking with people.

Elizabeth Lopatto, “Elon Musk learns the hard way that being a Twitter troll is way more fun than being a mod” at The Verge

Did not think I was going to start my day thinking about the Something Awful forums or flashback to Worth 1000’s Photoshop tournament with them, but here I am.

Looking forward to the “Outliers” episode (there will be one, right?)

This is classic economics-guy thing, where they act like the narratives that they map onto the data, are themselves just as infallible as the data…The idea that there is always something hidden, right, seems to be lurking here…

Peter Shamshiri, “Freakonomics,” If Books Could Kill

I’ve read enough college composition history to know that there is a long stretch of time in the academy where the English department wanted to be more quantifiable, like the sciences, to justify their importance. This quote reminds me that economics is a pseudoscience with a desire to do the type of interpretation with data that we usually reserve for fiction.

Also, great new podcast: If Books Could Kill podcast with Michael Hobbes and Peter Shamshiri

The non-human animal..

Just finished watching Jordan Peele’s brilliant Nope. I don’t do reviews much. I’m no good at them. But I will say that it wasn’t until I looked through my notes for a quote for this post that I realized how this is a movie about animals. That should have been obvious, but the nonobvious is how we think we must descend to them. Ah. I have some thoughts.

One thing is for sure, I will never not look suspiciously at a cloud.

Screenshot from Nope