When the future looks dim, we can attend to the present with furious agency, spinning from task to task, forgetting for days on end to practice forethought. How much of this comes from tech-addled information overload and how much from physiological responses to real impending danger is anyone’s guess.[...]
It makes sense that Superman would take a tolerant view of immigrants and other minorities, given that he himself arrived on Earth as a refugee from the planet Krypton.[...]
Image by Bahn Mi, via Wikimedia Commons
Frank Navarro has taught history at Mountain View High School for 40 years. He’s an expert on the Holocaust, having been named a Mandel Fellow for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1997, and studied at the International Center for the Study of the Holocaust in Jerusalem.
How does censorship come about in advanced, ostensibly democratic societies? In some cases, through institutions colluding in ways that go unnoticed by the general public. As Noam Chomsky has argued for decades, state agencies often collude with the press to spread certain narratives and suppress others.[...]
Image by Daniele Prati, via Flickr Commons
I wish I’d had a teacher who framed his or her assignments as letters…
Which is really just another way of saying I wish I’d been lucky enough to have taken a class with writers Kurt Vonnegut or Lynda Barry.
Knowing the transformative effect an inspired teacher can have on an “unreachable” student, one can only hope that geography and luck will conspire to bring the two together at an early point in the child’s development.[...]
Painting of Asimov on his throne by Rowena Morill, via Wikimedia Commons
In 1980, scientist and writer Isaac Asimov argued in an essay that “there is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been.
Never meet your idols, they say. It can put a cramp in your appreciation of their work. There are always exceptions, but maybe Bill Murray proves the rule. On the other hand, you should always learn from your idols. There’s a reason you admire them, after all. Find out what it is and what they have to teach you.[...]
The chicken-and-egg, forest/trees question for those who produce educational and public service media is really who are we producing our content for.[...]