In preparation for those Vancouver lectures, I’ve been reading lots and lots of different takes on Marshall McLuhan’s aphorism, “The medium is the message.” (I think he’s wrong, by the way, but you’ll have to listen to the lectures in November to find out why.) From critiques of McLuhan, I took a rabbit trail into the early days of print and the effect this had on the reading process. And while I was reflecting on how the book changes words, I came across this.
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I would like to introduce myself, if I may. I am a homeschooling mother of two, and have been reading your books for some time. As I was adding your “History of the Ancient World” to my cart in Amazon, I wondered to myself about the extent of religious information given in the book. I will be interested to see if what is covered is the basic outline of Christian history, as told in America usually, or if it may possibly include the history of Christianity from an Orthodox Christian perspective. As you may guess, we are Orthodox ourselves, and I have been curious for some time now as to whether or not you have ever stumbled upon the Orthodox history in your research – and what you may think of it. I have always said that only someone who had a firm grasp on logic and rational thinking could ever truly figure out what Christianity really is at its roots – and then it occurred to me that you would probably find the Orthodox perspective a fascinating one, at the least.
I found your blog through the page “The Well-Trained Mind” which I recently found. I am Swedish living in Sweden and I have two daughters (6, and 9 years old). I’m beginning to feel their regular school is not enough and I’m thinking of starting some kind of schooling beside their regular school. I can’t afford to be home all the time and do home-schooling with them but I’d really like to know more about how to help them learn more. I loved the clip from YouTube with the helpdesk guys and put it up on my blog too.
As a start, I went to the library and borrowed The Iliad and the Odyssee (translated versions for kids) and also books with nice pictures and some text about ancient times both in Sweden, Egypt, Greece and Rome.
I don’t know how to go about this since I too have way too little classical schooling.
Oh, now that’s funny. Thanks for the chuckle this morning.
Having sat through hundreds of software training sessions, I found this video one of the funniest things I have ever seen. Thanks for a little humor to start the day.
Very amusing. Reminds me of trying to teach my grandma how to use a vcr (…forget about the dvd player.)
Hahahahahahaahaaa!!!!! Oh my gosh! Fabulous!
Reminds me of the series of monk themed advertisements that Xerox did in the 70s – 80s.
I can’t help thinking that the easier the means of communication the less thought goes into composing the message.
When dh and I were courting, we were both in the Navy, serving on different ships in different home ports. Sometimes the only communication we would have would be postcards and letters or a telegram or “family gram” limited to 40 words. This was before email, onboard phones for the crew’s use, and cell phones. Each word in one of these “family grams” was selected for maximum communication value.
Now you have Twitter and blogs and Facebook and texting. Even though I will confess to using and enjoying modern communication, I can’t help wonder if we’re losing much of our more meaningful writing and comunication.
I’ve been reading your blog the last few months and saw that
you are reading science and technology books. So has David. As a consequence I have a female author for you: Ruth Schwartz Cowan. She wrote “More Work for Mother: The Ironies of Household Technology from the Open Hearth to the Microwave”. It’s published by Basic Books, 1983. Also, in the Sept. 27, 2010 edition of Fortune magazine, there is an article about Genevieve Bell, an anthropologist who works at Intel to help them understand how people use modern “computers, phones and other gadgets.” Apparently other computer companies hire “social scientists,” too.