Monday, April 21, 2008

Passive vs. Active Research

I spend a lot of time thinking about how the presence of computers (& Internet access) can and ought to change classroom practices. I had not thought about how the Internet might change comedic invention. Reading this Newsweek interview with my favorite comic Eddie Izzard changed that:
You mentioned Wikipedia. Has technology made you a better or a different comic than you otherwise would have been?
I think a different comic. I never used to research anything. I used to let research come to me. I used to sit there watching telly, and a program about sharks came on and then I'd know about sharks. Now you can say, "Sharks, how do they work?" Then you go online and find out that they haven't evolved in 2 million years—which means they're very happy where they are just killing and killing. Also I can do gigs and just advertise on the Internet. In fact most of this tour was just put out on the Internet first.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Non sequitur

I just got a catalog for Levenger. As someone with a penchant for office supplies, I enjoyed perusing the pages of fancy pens, desk accessories, and their analog-cool note cards-organization system (the FranklinCovey'esque descendant of the hipster pda). But it was their pads of specialized paper -- or more specifically, their argument for its benefits -- that was blog-worthy. Seems interruption (1, 2, 3, 4) is being invoked to shill paper.
Why Levenger paper may help you think better

How tempting it is online to switch from email to spreadsheet to Internet to document, each time interrupting your flow of thought. Paper, on the other hand, has a way of grounding you, even as your thoughts race across the page. Focusing on the paper in front of you—especially well-designed, high-quality stock—can give you more time to stay with your thoughts.

Try the paper method for at least some of your note-taking and see what—and how—you think. It may lead you in new direction.
The paper is cool; it's the argument I don't buy.