delicious Zeitgeist (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Power of Photo and Hair

A glimpse of this iconoclastic photo triggered today a remembrance of how much I liked Helmut Newton’s powerful photo style in the 80’s. Now, I’m reminded of the model, Elsa Peretti, whom was a top-model at the time and is now a celeb in the high-fashion jewel-design business in New York. But, thanks to some googling, I’m also pushed into that lost world of not only photography. And I dig other Newton photos. And suddenly I see that in that not-so-cleansed-up-world, we (meaning men and women) were not afraid of hair; au contraire, they were -as they always have been- a forceful erotic charge. But, in the present times of refusing human odors and hair, we westerners somehow lost something.

DRAGON: Helmut Newton / Elsa Peretti,

See this other Newton’s photo, for instance, so expressive and true.

Portrait of Violette, Paris 1979, Helmut Newton.

From the Australian Art Auction Records

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Where Do I Come From?

In this TED video, Jim Holt, philosopher and author of the book “Why Does The World Exist?“, which I read and loved, says that the God solution to the title riddle is a bit unsatisfactory. Thus, he proposes an intriguingly comic scenario when God, thinking aloud on His Own Existence, asks himself “Where Do I Come From?”. A Woody-Allenesque question, wouldn’t you say?

Jim Holt: Why does the universe exist? | Talk Video | TED.com

Why is there something instead of nothing? In other words: Why does the universe exist (and why are we in it)? Philosopher and writer Jim Holt follows this question toward three possible answers. Or four. Or none.

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I Love Babylon

Plaque with face of the demon Humbaba | Babylonian | Old Babylonian | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

I love Babylon.

This image, together with 400,000 more is available as a free resource for non-commercial use. Here.

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Another (Catholic) case against MOOCs.

On A Catholic Case Against MOOCs by Jonathan Malesic (Chronicle of Higher Education, September 16, 2013).

The continuing discussion pro and against MOOCs produced (one year ago) a piece like this, where the case was made of a beneficial disconnect between MOOCs and Catholic schools (at least in the US). Interesting case, and strong language and thought. You can agree without being Catholic!

Catholic universities can be true leaders in higher education. Instead of following the hype, they can reassert the belief that education is a moral enterprise that develops human dignity and promotes social justice.

MOOCs not only fail to accomplish those goals; they undermine them. And if large Catholic universities pursued strategic aims through MOOCs, they could end up pushing smaller Catholic colleges, including ones sponsored by the same religious orders, out of business, weakening Catholic higher education as a whole.

“MOOCs not only fail to accomplish those goals [promoting ed as a moral enterprise etc.]; they undermine them.” I wonder whether this may stop possible developments and temptations on the route to MOOC-ifing Higher Ed at my own University.

Instead, we need “Massively Better Courses”!!

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