What's the most intellectual joke you know? is Slate's summary of this Reddit thread (for once, the comments are worth it!), with more good comments in this Marginal Revolution discussion. Of course, we can do better...
Quirky (previously) is a design and manufacturing website for inventors. In 2010, one of their users, Bill Ward, came up with an idea for a dustpan called the Broom Groomer with a comb-like edge for cleaning off all the dustbunnies and stuff that builds up on your broom. Turns out, gadget company OXO came out with a very similar design in 2012 called the Upright Sweep Set. Last week, the folks at Quirky staged a protest and paid for a billboard that accused OXO of ripping off their design. OXO responds on their blog with a mini-lesson on patents and international intellectual property rights.
The fake intellectual invites you to conspire in his own self-deception, to join in creating a fantasy world. He is the teacher of genius, you the brilliant pupil. Faking is a social activity in which people act together to draw a veil over unwanted realities and encourage each other in the exercise of their illusory powers. The arrival of fake thought and fake scholarship in our universities should not therefore be attributed to any explicit desire to deceive. It has come about through the complicit opening of territory to the propagation of nonsense. An essay by Roger Scruton from Aeon magazine.
Clifton Fadiman's Lifetime Reading Plan, 3rd Edition (not to be confused with Clifton Fadiman and John S. Major's Lifetime Reading Plan, 4th Edition) [more inside]
The Urban Homestead®: Where sustainable urban living and intellectual property collide. Previously on mefi we learned about some urban homesteaders in Pasadena, CA calling themselves the Dervaes Institute. According to the OC Weekly Blog Stick a Fork in It: "In October of last year, the Dervaeses successfully registered the terms "Urban Homestead" and "Urban Homesteading" with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. But only in the past couple of weeks have they been sending cease-and-desist letters to organizations and blogs using the terms without their permission, successfully asking Facebook to shut down groups using those terms as their name." [more inside]
History of Western Philosophy, illustrated in huge scroll-down timelines. Kevin Scharp at OSU made these, based on work by Randall Collins, and they are great. Includes the influence of the Muslim world. He also has separate diagrams on a few specific issues, eg paradoxes, theories of truth, etc. This link goes to his fast-loading index page, where you can click to load the (big) charts. [more inside]
Click here? Was structuralism, the big idea of Claude Lévi-Strauss, more cult than science? Apostolos Doxiadis, Alecos Papadatos and Annie Di Donna – the team behind the bestselling graphic novel Logicomix – investigate.
Unqualified Reservations is a fascinating ongoing commentary on society and governance in postmodernity. He's currently on about the pwning of Richard Dawkins, after writing about Mediocracy and Official Journalism. It might be best to first read his earlier posts in which he defines the self-invented terminology he's fond of using, like: Formalism, The Iron Polygon, Universalism, Neocameralism, and The Rotary System. [more inside]
Commercial exploitationTube? Creative Commies-Tube? Plagiarism® ? "…you hereby grant YouTube a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the User Submissions in connection with the YouTube Website and YouTube's (and its successor's) business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the YouTube Website (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels…" moc.ebutuoy whata circlejerk... Now where's my aeroflot and reversed copyright Tee-Shirt! and Negativland, Tape-beatles, EEC records. I'm ready for a copyfight !
Northwestern engineering professor Arthur R. Butz has over 6,000 signatures denouncing his commendation of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's assertion that the Holocaust is a myth. Rumor has it the university was going to stop hosting faculty sites instead of singling out Butz. His (lousy) university webpage is still up though. Prompted in part by prev discussion here
President Jonah --an essay/history lesson/bible lesson/etc by Gore Vidal. ...We have also come to a point in this dark age where there is not only no hero in view but no alternative road unblocked. We are trapped terribly in a now that few foresaw and even fewer can define ...
Another year, another list of top 100 intellectuals of our time from Prospect Magazine and with Foreign Policy. Self-confessedly anglocentric, but with an effort "to include thinkers from outside the west", it raises the perennial 'where are the women' question (now in good company with 'where are the scientists') and sanctions the decline of: the left, France, Europe, psychology, psychiatry and philosophy. The ever present Germaine Greer says "these lists are always so right-wing" and her inclusion is "absurd and completely unjustifiable". You can vote your 5 favourites and suggest other names.
In Technology Review, Lawrence Lessig and Richard Epstein are debating intellectual property, free software, and digital rights management. Shamelessly lifted, verbatim, from a post by Reason's Jesse Walker
Top 100 British...Intellectuals? Rock bands, schmock bands. Who are currently the cream of British Intelligentsia? Prospect names 100 of (supposedly) the UK's finest and asks you to vote for your top 5, plus a write-in. The list is discussed further here. Some entrants may make you wonder, some may make you gasp, most you just won't have a clue about!