Friday, January 22, 2010

The Times to Charge for Frequent Access to Its Web Site

One of my favorite ex-students pinged me with this link from the NYT: The Times to Charge for Frequent Access to Its Web Site. This seems pretty significant, and obvious. I like free content (but I also like quality) so I am mixed in my emotive response here. Thinking through it, I hope this is a step toward rearticulating what the economics of our digital d/Discourse will look like. I certainly hope it's not simply a remediation of our old economic maps. My bet is that what happens with this will determine a lot of what happens in other economic spaces of the literary, from libraries and e-book/book retailers to mass media transitioning to a majority Internet presence.

Monday, January 11, 2010

It's True, Grad School in English is a Dead-End

It's the first day of spring semester classes here at UNC-Chapel Hill and I can't help but think of all the liberating and bogus narratives that we once again begin to propgagate. Here's a link that depicts, pretty damn well, the end result of humanities navel-gazing over the past few decades. If you bristle at this, check your twinge-o-meter cause if it was no big deal and this were nonsense it wouldn't bother you. I especially like this excerpt below.

As things stand, I can only identify a few circumstances under which one might reasonably consider going to graduate school in the humanities:

* You are independently wealthy, and you have no need to earn a living for yourself or provide for anyone else.
* You come from that small class of well-connected people in academe who will be able to find a place for you somewhere.
* You can rely on a partner to provide all of the income and benefits needed by your household.
* You are earning a credential for a position that you already hold — such as a high-school teacher — and your employer is paying for it.