Critical Linking: May 9, 2012

In another experiment, people who went through this experience-taking process while reading about a character who was revealed to be of a different race or sexual orientation showed more favorable attitudes toward the other group and were less likely to stereotype.

It feels true because it is true.


In the digital age, websites and other online publications will expand the scope and influence of book reviews and might encourage more creative criticism. Hyperlinks will allow web reviewers to educate readers about and connect them to literature and culture.

Thanks, The Atlantic, for this piece on online book-reviewing. I think it might have been relevant in 2005.


In a handsome new website called The Hemingway Papers, the Toronto Star has collected the columns that Ernest Hemingway wrote for that newspaper. In doing so, it sheds much-needed light on a little-known aspect of the great writer’s career, and does so in a sleek, inviting and easy-to-navigate format. 

Very, very cool.


Teaching teaches us to learn from failure, certainly. No course is 100-percent effective for 100-percent of our students, and we tweak the syllabus, the assignments, the policies every semester, trying to get closer to perfect. But that’s an important difference between computer science and the humanities. When a program runs and produces a good result, it’s perfect. It’s awfully hard to define success the same way in the humanities. What we do, teaching or writing, can always be better. The program will never simply run.

As I tell my students: “You spend your life learning how to write and then you die.”


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