Let’s Read the Internet! week 6

Becoming Screen Literate
Kevin Kelly in The New York Times

I am not screen-literate. My first reaction to this article was to think the barrier to becoming screen-literate was still rather high – there’s a learning curve associated with using the video technology Kelly is writing about. Not all that many people are skilled at video editing, but nearly everyone can write. But then I realized that not that many people put much effort into becoming “screen literate”, whereas everyone in America is forced to write extensively in school for many years.

So what are the consequences of “visualcy” dominating over literacy? Is it a Brave-New-World-esque degeneration into overstimulation, short attention spans, and a intellectual hedonism, or a improvement in the efficiency with which we can absorb, process, and create new information that leads to higher levels of creativity, collaboration, productivity, and better life?

The Plan
Jack Handey in The New Yorker

Garrett Lisi’s Exceptional Approach to Everything
Greg Boustead in Seed

They forgot to draw his hair. Also, this story would be more inspiring if Lisi’s work were broadly considered by other physicists to be a meaningful step forward in theoretical physics. His work has gotten far more media attention than attention from his colleagues.

Chicks Dig Scars
Finally, a good reason to cut yourself.

Cool Things the Greeks Did in Astronomy
Dot Physics

How are you supposed to measure the distance to the Sun? Turns out it’s more than a million hot dogs end to end. Of course, hot dogs shrink a little as you cook them by putting them closer to the sun, but still, it’s a lot. How did they count that high anyway?

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