It’s the end of the spring term (finally) at my university in Kyoto, which means I’ll be getting ready for my yearlong sabbatical in Montreal soon. From September I’ll be back at a North American university for the first time since 1997.
Ah, Notre Dame. Mixed lapsed Catholic-cum-agnostic memories. Continue reading
During the first week of May my family and I had a chance to explore ancient Greece.
Well, OK, modern Greece. With some ruins thrown in.
In addition to the museums of Byzantine culture, early Christian churches, old Turkish baths, reconstructed tombs of Phillip II of Macedon and all that, we also wandered around downtown Thessaloniki (Thessalonika) quite a bit. I was struck by the prevalence of half-destroyed, half-rebuilt buildings in various states of disrepair/renewal/disusage/usage. Continue reading
About ten days ago, I started a countdown on my Facebook “wall.”
Some of my “friends” asked if I was going to send something into space.
When I “commented” that I was leaving Facebook as of May 1st, they begged me not to.
The system will police itself, they argued. User complaints and the #deletefacebook movement/backlash would force Zuckerberg & Co. to change their policies.
Hardly. Instead, they’re doubling down.
In fact, Facebook has been terrified for years that its users would eventually find out that it’s nothing more than an online marketing tool for greedy companies – and that Facebook has sold them out.
It took me a while, but finally I decided enough was enough.
I’m leaving Facebook. Here are a few reasons why I hope you will, as well.
On a lark, I signed up for a “BrandYourself” account a few weeks ago.
I’d read about it via a Quartz link and was curious. I’ve been living outside the US Culture Bubble for about two decades now, so I’ve largely missed the “OMG my employer is checking my SNS posts” terror that (apparently) has been sweeping the nation.
My first BrandYourself warning: You have 738 Risk Factors!
OMG. What were they? Was I really putting myself at risk? Continue reading
My friend, you died on Easter morning.
We all knew it would happen sometime soon. But still it seemed sudden.
My grandfather also died during Easter weekend, many years ago. Good Friday, in fact. I was 10. We had to have the wake and funeral right away. The Church said they wouldn’t allow him to be buried on Easter Sunday.
My mother told us that Grandpa went straight to Heaven, because he died on Good Friday. That we would one day see him again.
Terry, you died on April 1st. But it was no Fool’s. It was Easter. You were sleeping, and did not wake. Continue reading
It’s been six weeks since I decided to take a break from Facebook. Back in mid-January I took a screenshot to show students how to figure out which apps they used the most (Line, by far, in case you’re wondering, followed by YouTube… not surprisingly, since my students are all Japanese).
It was a little shocking to see that I was spending over 8 hours a week on FB on my iPhone. My train commute is about an hour and a half each way, and I go to campus four days a week. So basically I spent 2/3 of my train time looking at FB posts.
Yuck. What a waste of reading time. Continue reading
So much for my New Year’s resolution of writing more regularly on my blog.
I can blame “writer’s block,” which is sometimes just a convenient excuse for general laziness and sometimes stems from a genuine fear of being entirely uncreative and uninnovative.
(My software program tells me that uninnovative is not a real word. Well, now it is. So there.) Continue reading