Sad story about print books

Sad story on the decline of print books used by students and faculty in their studies or checked out at libraries (over 60% decline). Nowadays digital articles, ebooks, and online reference management software are the main tools for scholarly research. The wealth of knowledge is not lost when switching from print to electronic formats but what I feel we lost is how much we perceive the work done by authors. When we find a book on a bookstore shelf, we not only see the nice looking cover but also notice the volume size. The physical appearance of the book is important for our perceptual mindset – big book means more information regardless of quality. But we we opt for an online version that is both searchable and easily accessible with our computers. With digital books, size doesn’t matter because we are capable of acquiring all sorts of ebooks regardless of quantity (number of pages) or quality (author X vs Y). We then search rather than read cover to cover. By loosing the physical essence of print books, its practical value as a whole book diminishes to us. Discouraged authors will then print less books or write smaller volumes. There is no way around this problem other than appreciating what authors write through #reading and #learning from what they give us.

Read the original article Dan Cohen (2019) “The Books of College Libraries Are Turning Into Wallpaper” in The Atlantic May 26, 2019

Watching car races on TV

When cars were all mechanical and less tech and TVs were black and white with antennas, watching car racing was so memorable. You can’t replay or pause like today. Weather breaking broadcast reception were fans’ greatest fears. Now technology takes over mostly everything at the pit and on tv. Watching races seems to me more like watching a perfectly choreographed movie than watching human intellects and fitnesses compete . Still races are entertaining but are more perfect, enormously digital, and in hidef than the past. Sports technology is leaving lesser room for our imagination. Maybe we are witnessing the last episodes of natural racing before esports fully take over and self driving cars powered with algorithms become the predominant racing entertainment (not sport). Luckily so far we don’t have self driving horses so maybe that type of sports tradition may last longer than car racing, but only if we as human preserve our animal species before advancing AI. Enjoy watching #Indy500 today before robots watch it on our behalf. #technology #sports

Posting course achievements on social media

Lot of social media users tend to publicize their LinkedIn or Coursera course achievements. When we were at college, we would not post on walls that we completed some course. We might get laughed at. Completing a course (free or paid for) should not longer be treated as breaking news. What should be an achievement is what you do with what you learned rather than wait for recruiters to message you. They won’t if you completed X numbers of courses. If every small thing we achieve is posted as an achievement then how could you differentiate yourself from others who took nearly the same set courses? Instead, focus on the outcome. Do something with what you learned. Don’t make it an excuse that you only need your next x-figure salary to apply what learned. That’s bogus. You are wasting your time that way. Avoid publicizing the quantity of course completions and keep the quality of courses you took to yourself. It is also less stressful to you because you won’t have to worry about the likes that you will not get or the recruiters that won’t come. Better to just tap yourself on the shoulder and move on. It is a lot healthier since, at the very least, you are making some physical effort that personally benefits you and not anyone else