A History Department Bans Citing Wikipedia as a Research Source
"…the Middlebury history department notified its students this month that Wikipedia could not be cited in papers or exams, and that students could not “point to Wikipedia or any similar source that may appear in the future to escape the consequences of errors.
With the move, Middlebury, in Vermont, jumped into a growing debate within journalism, the law and academia over what respect, if any, to give Wikipedia articles, written by hundreds of volunteers and subject to mistakes and sometimes deliberate falsehoods." See full article from The New York Times
Princeton has assembled a collection of public affairs lectures, panels and events from academic institutions all over the world. You can find podcasted lectures here from some of the world’s leading thinkers.
As part of Yale’s Tercentennial celebration in 2001, the university presented a series of 15 lectures on the condition and prospects of American democracy. The series, captured in video, features some ofYale’s leading scholars.
This online site, run by the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization, has numerous video interviews with major international leaders and thinkers — for example, Thomas Friedman, Mohamed ElBaradei, Lawrence Summers and former President Clinton.
Here’s a new feature that we’ll do on a regular basis. If you know of goodies (podcasts, videos, etc.) related to what we generally discuss here, and if you think other readers might appreciate them, please drop us an email (or post your tips in the comments section below) and we’ll do our best to post them. Thanks in advance for any contributions.
Below, you’ll find iTunes’ ranking of the top 25 educational podcasts. For your convenience, we’ve included links to the feed for each podcast so that you can access it any way you like. We’ll aim to
update this list twice per month and highlight what’s new and worth listening to.
China is the 800 pound gorilla among the new emerging world powers Its economy, says Goldman Sachs, may outsize every economy except the United States by 2016, and even surpass the US as soon as 2039. There is no point in belaboring things. China will be a force to be reckoned with.
According to yesterday’s New York Times, the hottest language being studied right now by business travelers is Mandarin, and quite rightly so. Mandarin is the official language of China and Taiwan, and it’s also spoken in Singapore. (Cantonese is widely spoken in Hong Kong.) As the Times article notes, speaking a little Mandarin can translate into new business opportunities, and so it could be worth spending some time getting conversant in the language. You could spend $2,500 for a week-long Mandarin course. However, if you’d like to do it on the cheap, we have some solid, free resources for you.
To get up and running, you’ll want to check out the well-reviewed podcast called Chinese Lessons with Serge Melnyk (iTunesFeedWeb Site). Put together by an English speaker who studied Mandarin Chinese for almost 20 years (and who has lived in Beijing and Shanghai for 12 years), the free podcast currently offers 55 lessons that last between 20 and 30 minutes on average. A second option, which also gets very high marks, is Chinesepod.com (iTunesFeedWeb Site). Produced by native speakers, these daily audio podcasts, each 10 to 20 minutes in length, will immerse you in colloquial (read: useful) Mandarin. Both of these podcasts are free, and the freely available material will keep you busy for some time. However, each podcast also offers additional resources for a reasonable fee, although you can certainly get by without them.
Beyond these podcasts, you may want to check out a couple other free alternatives: Think and Talk Like the Chinese (iTunesWeb Site) and Chinese Learn Online (iTunesFeedWeb Site). Also, if you’re looking for more systematic approaches to learning Mandarin, we’ve included some options in our new Amazon store.
Also, one of our readers asked us to through this one into the mix: Chinese-Tools.com
Please see the previous installments in this series:
Most of the outside world didn’t care. They didn’t even know what Steve Jobs was talking about. But within tech circles it was a big deal, a landmark moment. Jobs’ s anti-DRM manifesto, Thoughts on Music, moved us all closer to the day when music would be set free. (DRM = Digital Rights Management. Get more info here.) The reaction in the tech press was, of course, jubilant. Here’s a quick sample reaction from the major tech blog, Gizmodo:
“Steve Jobs dropped a big one on us today, and no it wasn’t a new MacBook. Instead it was his anti-DRM Manifesto, a state of the union for the music industry so to speak. In a nutshell, he advised the music industry to give up on DRM. It won’t work. There are smart people circumventing this stuff, and with all the CDs being ripped in the world, just give up on it.
Amazing to hear the man speak without the PR mouthpiece, without regards to anything but what he feels is right for the world. He even throws the iPod/iTunes monopoly to the wind with these notions.”
Now before we start a petition to canonize Jobs, it seems worth reflecting for a moment on whether St. Steve found religion, or whether Jobs was just being a brilliant CEO … yet again. And that’s why its worth giving a listen to Robert X. Cringely’s recent podcast article DRM Catcher (iTunes – Feed). (You can also read the text version here.) Cringely is a particularly astute observer of how technology trends dovetail with business strategies, and he’s right to see Jobs’ manifesto as driven less by ideals than by what makes the most business sense for Apple at this particular moment. DRM helped put Apple into its market leadership position. Now, having a lock on 75% of the market, the best way to sell more iPods is to drop DRM. It’s smart business thinking that you see at work here, not altruism. You can bet on that.
Give the podcast some of your time, and be sure to listen to the part about Google’s ambitious web strategy, which ties into his recent thinking (see this piece) about the big plans that Google has on the horizon.
If you take even the slightest time to read the newspaper these days, you’ll know that the two
most important emerging powers are India and China. Goldman Sachs maintains that India has positioned itself to become a dominant global supplier of manufactured goods and services, and, in the coming decades, it’s economy will likely grow faster than any other. Within 30 years, you can expect India to have the third largest economy overall, right behind the US and China. Watch out for India.
Among India’s huge population of 1.1 billion people, Hindi is the dominant and official language. Yet it’s important to note that, as a result of Britain’s long colonial involvement in India, an estimated 4% of the populace speaks English. This might not sound like much, but when you do the math, it turns out that you’re actually talking about 40+ million people, which makes India one of the largest English speaking countries in the world. And the impact is only amplified when you consider that English is spoken mainly by the country’s economic elite.
Although the prevalence of English is itself contributing to India’s economic growth (just think of how many American call-center jobs have migrated to India in recent years), and although English will likely remain the lingua franca of the business community, it seems logical to assume that Hindi, spoken by 40% of the country, will become more important as the country grows into the third largest economy.
At the moment, there’s not exactly a plethora of podcasts that will teach you Hindi. However, the most prominent one is perhaps the most conceptually cool. It’s called Learn Hindi from Bollywood Movies (iTunesFeedWeb Site). Bollywood is the informal name given to India’s Hindi-language film industry. And the idea here is that you can pick up some Hindi as they play and explain selected clips from well-known Bollywood films. So far, they’ve put together 21 episodes, which are a bit kitsch, often bizarrely humorous, and not particularly slick when it comes to sound quality. If you want to sample it, check out this segment which will teach you how to get a traveler’s visa. Finally, if Bollywood is your thing, you’ll want to check out this English-speaking podcast, PodMasti – Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Bollywood & India (iTunes – Feed – Web Site).
In terms of other free Hindi language resources, we’d recommend reviewing this web page that has collected and categorized a host of web-based resources for learning Hindi. It will point you in a lot of good directions. Otherwise, if you want a more comprehensive approach, you can take a look at the several items that we’ve placed in our new Amazon store. Given the dearth of free options, these may be worth exploring.
Tomorrow, we end with Chinese, where we have lots of free podcasts in store for you. If you missed Parts 1 & 2, you can catch them here.
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Open Culture scours the web for the best educational media. We find the free courses and audio books you need, the language lessons & educational videos you want, and plenty of enlightenment in between.
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