Newest Posts
  •   Back to Chapter 3.  I know you’re wondering about the image. I’ll get there! In this chapter, Lanham explains that ebooks have almost entirely attempted to simply reproduce print books. This is so much the case, that often the ebooks you find for sale are just PDF copies of the original book. Why would this be the case? Why wouldn’t ebooks instead try to leverage elements of their existence that make them unique? Why not draw more heavily on sounds and images, and movement, etc? He suggests a few possible reasons, including the early commercial failure of CD-ROMS that […]

    Economics of Attention Ch4: An Alphabet that Thinks

      Back to Chapter 3.  I know you’re wondering about the image. I’ll get there! In this chapter, Lanham explains that ebooks have almost entirely attempted to simply reproduce print books. This is so much the case, that often the ebooks you find for sale are just PDF copies of the original book. Why would this be the case? Why wouldn’t ebooks instead try to leverage elements of their existence that make them unique? Why not draw more heavily on sounds and images, and movement, etc? He suggests a few possible reasons, including the early commercial failure of CD-ROMS that […]

    Continue Reading...

  •   Back to chapter 2. The third chapter of Economics of Attention is where things start to get really interesting, at least for my interests. Lanham traces the evolution of text in an attempt to understand how it’s been used to convey meaning in ways that are beyond the actual meaning of the words. These include things like shape poetry, 3D letters, or even inserted painted stills in ancient manuscripts. More recently, this would include animated text as well. This is characterized as a way to attempt to efficiently add meaning – meaning through the words, but also meaning through […]

    Economics of Attention Ch3: What’s Next for Text

      Back to chapter 2. The third chapter of Economics of Attention is where things start to get really interesting, at least for my interests. Lanham traces the evolution of text in an attempt to understand how it’s been used to convey meaning in ways that are beyond the actual meaning of the words. These include things like shape poetry, 3D letters, or even inserted painted stills in ancient manuscripts. More recently, this would include animated text as well. This is characterized as a way to attempt to efficiently add meaning – meaning through the words, but also meaning through […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Back to Chapter 1. This chapter explores the art of Warhol and the Dada Movement as part of its argument that {fluff,style,rhetoric} has made a come back and is equally, if not more important than actual stuff: “The lesson was simple and, once learned, tedious. Art is not stuff made out of stuff taken from the earth’s crust. Art is the attention that makes that stuff meaningful,” (p. 43). This summary also applies well to the very chapter itself! The lesson begins with Andy Warhol, whose art and personality both emphasized a focus that did not delve below the surface level – […]

    Economics of Attention Chapter 2

    Back to Chapter 1. This chapter explores the art of Warhol and the Dada Movement as part of its argument that {fluff,style,rhetoric} has made a come back and is equally, if not more important than actual stuff: “The lesson was simple and, once learned, tedious. Art is not stuff made out of stuff taken from the earth’s crust. Art is the attention that makes that stuff meaningful,” (p. 43). This summary also applies well to the very chapter itself! The lesson begins with Andy Warhol, whose art and personality both emphasized a focus that did not delve below the surface level – […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Back to introduction. The preface and first chapter of  attempt to set the stage for what is to come. The author tells us that this book is written to answer the narrow question: “What happens when words move from printed page to electronic screen?” The answer, it turns out, is a transition to the age of the economics of attention, which, for the author, is simply another way of saying rhetoric. He describes this shift in various ways: from sciences to arts and letters, from stuff to what we think about stuff (fluff). The major difference is that we now face […]

    Economics of Attention: Chapter 1

    Back to introduction. The preface and first chapter of  attempt to set the stage for what is to come. The author tells us that this book is written to answer the narrow question: “What happens when words move from printed page to electronic screen?” The answer, it turns out, is a transition to the age of the economics of attention, which, for the author, is simply another way of saying rhetoric. He describes this shift in various ways: from sciences to arts and letters, from stuff to what we think about stuff (fluff). The major difference is that we now face […]

    Continue Reading...

Book Reviews
  •    vs.      In what may be described as an overzealous use of the library, my first trip to Wake County libraries consisted of searching for “Montessori” and checking out every in-stock book that appeared. While mostly successful, a few books that weren’t really Montessori related slipped under the radar, namely Amy WIlson’s  In one chapter, Wilson briefly mentions her child not getting into a Montessori school! Despite the lack of Montessori relevant research material, it turned out to be a pretty hilarious read, and offered a stark contrast to what I was reading in the other Montessori books […]

    An Educational Philosophy Contrast

       vs.      In what may be described as an overzealous use of the library, my first trip to Wake County libraries consisted of searching for “Montessori” and checking out every in-stock book that appeared. While mostly successful, a few books that weren’t really Montessori related slipped under the radar, namely Amy WIlson’s  In one chapter, Wilson briefly mentions her child not getting into a Montessori school! Despite the lack of Montessori relevant research material, it turned out to be a pretty hilarious read, and offered a stark contrast to what I was reading in the other Montessori books […]

  • As a follow-up to the reading of Dewey’s Democracy and Education, I recently read The Montessori Method. Written in 1914, it purports to be one of – if not the first – attempt at scientific pedagogy. The emphasis is on designing education around a method that actually works for the way children behave naturally, rather than the way we would like to make them behave. A quote from the opening chapter drew me in: The situation would be very much the same if we should place a teacher who, according to our conception of the term, is scientifically prepared, in one of the […]

    Philosophy Book Review: The Montessori Method

    As a follow-up to the reading of Dewey’s Democracy and Education, I recently read The Montessori Method. Written in 1914, it purports to be one of – if not the first – attempt at scientific pedagogy. The emphasis is on designing education around a method that actually works for the way children behave naturally, rather than the way we would like to make them behave. A quote from the opening chapter drew me in: The situation would be very much the same if we should place a teacher who, according to our conception of the term, is scientifically prepared, in one of the […]

  •   This week’s meditation from the  is the technique Noting Body Sensations. This is exactly what it sounds like. As opposed to last week when we were listening to the noises outside of us, we’re “listening” to the sensations within our own body. Overall, very similar to last week. They key is to not dwell on the sensation that we’re noting. Try not to think about what the sensations mean or why you’re feeling them. And as always, just try to let thoughts come and go. Note, and release. Let me know how it goes!

    Learn To Meditate: W3D1

      This week’s meditation from the  is the technique Noting Body Sensations. This is exactly what it sounds like. As opposed to last week when we were listening to the noises outside of us, we’re “listening” to the sensations within our own body. Overall, very similar to last week. They key is to not dwell on the sensation that we’re noting. Try not to think about what the sensations mean or why you’re feeling them. And as always, just try to let thoughts come and go. Note, and release. Let me know how it goes!

Film & Philosophy
  • Merry Moral Monday! Several of us—JustHeath included—here at Philosophy Matters are purveyors of the British science fiction series Doctor Who.  In fact, J J Sylvia, the founder of the website, has even written a very good chapter in a  centered on the philosophy of the television program.  This past Saturday night, I happened to catch an episode on MPB, the Mississippi affiliate of PBS that will serve as a starting point for today’s moral dilemma. So, come along [Ponds], and…Geronimo! “The Wedding of River Song” (2011) In the  finale, the show’s main protagonist, the Doctor, has to save the entire […]

    Moral Monday: The Wedding of River Song

    Merry Moral Monday! Several of us—JustHeath included—here at Philosophy Matters are purveyors of the British science fiction series Doctor Who.  In fact, J J Sylvia, the founder of the website, has even written a very good chapter in a  centered on the philosophy of the television program.  This past Saturday night, I happened to catch an episode on MPB, the Mississippi affiliate of PBS that will serve as a starting point for today’s moral dilemma. So, come along [Ponds], and…Geronimo! “The Wedding of River Song” (2011) In the  finale, the show’s main protagonist, the Doctor, has to save the entire […]

  • “There’s everything in this movie, / Everything that fits. / From the Meaning of Life in the universe, / To girls with great big tits. / We’ve got movie stars and foreign cars, / Explosions and the lot / Filmed as only we know how, / On the budget that we’ve got. / We spent a fortune on locations / And quite a bit on drink / And there’s even the odd philosophical joke, / Just to make you buggers think. / Yet some parts are as serious / And as deep as you could wish / But largely it’s […]

    Movie Monday: The Meaning of Life

    “There’s everything in this movie, / Everything that fits. / From the Meaning of Life in the universe, / To girls with great big tits. / We’ve got movie stars and foreign cars, / Explosions and the lot / Filmed as only we know how, / On the budget that we’ve got. / We spent a fortune on locations / And quite a bit on drink / And there’s even the odd philosophical joke, / Just to make you buggers think. / Yet some parts are as serious / And as deep as you could wish / But largely it’s […]

  • Bonjour, mes amis! Well, it’s been precipitating quite a bit here recently in the Golden Triangle region, so I’ve been catching up on the 1980’s reincarnation of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone (TTZ).  Much like Gene Roddenberry’s original Star Trek, TTZ are often a mix of science fiction and morality tales.  We emphasize critical thinking and ethical decision-making a lot here at Philosophy Matters, and TTZ does not disappoint as a topical tool.  I think I’m going to be using more of TTZ episodes in postings because I have found them effective discussion pieces in my classes.  So, get ready […]

    Moral Monday: The Hellgramite Method

    Bonjour, mes amis! Well, it’s been precipitating quite a bit here recently in the Golden Triangle region, so I’ve been catching up on the 1980’s reincarnation of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone (TTZ).  Much like Gene Roddenberry’s original Star Trek, TTZ are often a mix of science fiction and morality tales.  We emphasize critical thinking and ethical decision-making a lot here at Philosophy Matters, and TTZ does not disappoint as a topical tool.  I think I’m going to be using more of TTZ episodes in postings because I have found them effective discussion pieces in my classes.  So, get ready […]