John Quiggin who kindly links to Cold River and Media Dragon has Three predictions for 2015 and Did the Romans (Tiberius) try QE?
In addition, Paul Krugman on Mongols and the herring trade.
Brendan Greeley has the scoop:
Before she won an Academy Award in 2014 for her role in 12 Years a Slave, Lupita Nyong’o starred in two seasons of the TV drama Shuga. Set first in Nairobi and then in Lagos, Shuga features young, attractive people who sleep with each other. It’s wildly popular and shown on broadcast channels that reach 500 million people, mostly in Africa.
“I would say that it’s an African version of Gossip Girl, but with sexual-health messages weaved through,” says Georgia Arnold, executive director of MTV’s Staying Alive Foundation, which produces the show with the twin goals of promoting safer sex and removing the taboo around HIV. Shuga isn’t a commercial project; it’s sponsored by donors including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Now in its fourth season, the show recently added a new member to its production team: Eliana La Ferrara, a professor at the University of Bocconi in Italy who specializes in a mix of behavioral and development economics. La Ferrara wasn’t hired for her writing talent. MTV and its donors want to apply a more rigorous approach to make sure Shuga’s message actually creates change where it airs.
The students sit in pairs at a computer terminal, and after reading Cullen’s synopsis of a particular argument, they try to map it. The room fills up with whispered suggestions, lines tested and rejected, double negatives made positive. Most of the boxes into which they enter text are red or green. The green ones contain evidence supporting the above premise; the red ones offer arguments against it. No doubt you could achieve a similar effect using brightly colored sticky notes, but it’s much quicker mapping an argument with the help of a software program… which generates the boxes and assigns them colors.
Simon Cullen teaches a freshman seminar called “Philosophical Analysis Using Argument Maps” and has done some highly interesting research about their effectiveness. There’s an article about it here. I asked him to say a bit more about his work with argument mapping, and he kindly sent in the following remarks.
Before we get to that, though, I wanted to draw your attention to an opportunity to join a group led by Michael Hoffman (Georgia Tech), who is applying for a $325,000 NEH Digital Humanities grant “focusing on using web-based argument mapping software to support problem-based learning (PBL) in philosophy argument mapping.” The grant “could pay for course releases or summer salary so that you can find the time that is necessary to participate in workshops,” learn the software, and design a new course (via Nathan Nobis).
An announcement posted at In Socrates Wake explains how to apply.
A bigger and better classical music meta-list (the mega-meta list?).