• Placing the struggle for goodness at the heart of morality:

    The conquest that mattered to Ashoka is self-conquest; power, expressed as control over one’s self-regarding attitudes and emotions, is now to be channelled into moral concern for others.

    Ashoka’s moral empire | Aeon

  • The old directive to save your work regularly ran into a problem I’ve never experienced before: Atom getting beach-balled because of a change made in the Save dialog box.

  • The outcome of a country with a myth of rugged individualism, run by career politicians instead of leaders: social duty becomes an individual responsibility felt only by those who believe in social duty.

    Hold fast.

    Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should | The Atlantic

  • Reading Twitter threads by academics or journalists is like listening to a chiptune version of Kind of Blue: more often a sometimes-ingenious parlor trick within a medium’s ridiculous constraints than a full-resolution exploration of consequential, transcendent thought.

  • He’s scared of thunderstorms, so I found him a cuddle buddy.

  • Homemade brown mustard is one of the simplest, most satisfying things you can do to make sandwiches, rubs, salads, & mustard-centric sauces more your own. It keeps (practically) forever in your fridge & its flavor evolves over that span.

  • This is abhorrent. Althea Bernstein’s response to her attack exhibits remarkable grace, poise, & selflessness:

    I’m glad it was me, and not someone like a pregnant woman, or a child, or someone who doesn’t have the health care that I do or the support system that I do.

  • I’m contemplating historical & temporal empathy today. I wonder how well we have done, not just to situate historical figures as people mired by existence in their particular moment, but to consider we can’t fully comprehend how we measure up in the eyes of our descendants.

  • We don’t have a time machine, but this may be as close as we can get to allow you to sit in the Thomaskirche in 1723 and hear Bach’s music the way that Bach heard it.

    What Did Bach Sound Like to Bach? | National Endowment for the Humanities

  • Norman Van Aken’s Chilean country ribs.

  • Goodbye, back-issue archive.

  • Black Music: A White Listener’s Responsibility

    Prison and bondage have been effectively woven into Black acoustic consciousness.

    A Brief History of the Policing of Black Music | Literary Hub

    I’ve loved jazz more deeply than any other music for most of my lifetime. Jazz is about honoring ancestors, finding your own voice, envisioning the possibilities beyond reality’s seeming limitations, and calling others to share what you see. This piece captures why jazz — and its younger relative, hip-hop — are brilliant artistic responses to 400 years of oppression & violence against Black bodies, Black souls, Black communities, & Black futures.

    If I want to continue to listen to jazz faithfully, I cannot shut my ears, my eyes, or my mind to its core message. I cannot forget the responsibility I have to remember the past, and to support better worlds still waiting to be born.

  • It’s hard to not equate the amount of corporatespeak coming out of a public sector administrator’s mouth with the originality of their thought.

  • No Fall 2020 instruction plan is going to be ideal. My institution’s “Smart Restart” plan seems to maximize disruption in the near term, creates more potential for disruption of instruction later in the fall, and exposes faculty, staff, and students to grave public health risks.

    In the near term, students who have already enrolled will have their schedules altered to adjust for evening and Saturday in-person meeting times. Students whose schedules have been set since April will now likely have to swap & drop courses to mitigate conflicts with other courses, work, practice for ensembles, and so on. Given how long it took to make this decision, this enrollment turnover seems likely to coincide with students new to campus in the fall (first-year or transfer) beginning to enroll in their own schedules.

    Instructors in some courses will be asked to switch their pedagogy mid-semester, once again. Sure, they have more time to plan this change now, but instructors are still being asked to create the infrastructure for both an in-person and online version of these courses. Planning for online instruction to last just a few weeks actually compounds the burden of setting up those courses.

    Students will again be asked to change their own modes of learning midway through the term. This is particularly disruptive for students with accommodations. The University must now develop, test, and fully support accommodations for each course in every format offered throughout the term.

    In the event of a public health emergency on campus, in the local community, or in students’ home communities, adaptations that shift instruction to an online format earlier than Thanksgiving will be disruptive. Despite its stated commitment to testing, the University is taking on a massive risk for community transmission. What happens to a class if a student tests positive? Will it immediately move to online instruction during contact tracing/quarantine period? Or the instructor? Who teaches the course then?

    Suspending in-person instruction after Thanksgiving is a sign that UW’s leadership doesn’t trust students — rightfully so, I think — and doesn’t want to risk an outbreak when students return, post-Thanksgiving. This just begs the question: why do these leaders believe students can be trusted to abide by campus public health guidelines & community standards prior to Thanksgiving?

  • My only option, now that our county has entered Reopening Phase 2, is to quietly fume at the instant slackening of pandemic disciple. Ok, I don’t miss “normal” interactions like others do, but I dislike masks. I don’t want to get someone sick. I don’t want to get sick, either.

  • A dangerous, potentially fatal (for some) fantasy. Who will prove more risk-averse: college students this fall, or university chancellors & presidents after their next budget briefing?

    Expecting Students to Play It Safe if Colleges Reopen Is a Fantasy | New York Times

  • Last night I started reorganizing a bookcase. The question is: Do I now reorganize every bookcase in the house?

  • We sang that melody
    Like all tough sailors do
    When they are far away at sea

  • Socially distanced drinks with friends.

  • Sometimes embarrassment is the price of a good outcome. I’m proud of my faculty & staff colleagues who spoke out against a hiring process that trampled our institution’s standards for shared governance, transparency, and — frankly — good sense. We made our voices heard.

  • Night mode: still amazing.

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