A thought-provoking attempt to upend hyper-efficient, data-driven learning models that’s hampered by a limited viewpoint.

DIGITAL DREAMINGS

THOUGHTS ON LIFE, DEATH AND TECHNOLOGY

Gomez’s (The Nomad’s Labyrinth, 2013) philosophical treatise that asks cleareyed questions about technology.

In short, interconnected aphorisms and anecdotes, the author, who describes himself as “a painter, lawyer, writer, musician and father,” aims to get readers to interrogate the ways that digital learning shapes their understanding of the world and one another. His far-ranging argument addresses various ways of learning, including oral storytelling, music, dancing, and art; along the way, he offers a generalized discussion of Indian drumming and tackles composer Arvo Pärt’s minimalist tintinnabuli music. Throughout, Gomez expresses concern about how the digitization of communication has flattened the ways that people share information, hindering the types of knowledge and connections they can build. Instead of indulging in enriching pastimes, he says, technology has increasingly tethered people to their jobs, turning them into “information shepherds that manage data.” This book is filled with astute observations, including musings on cell phones’ incessant data-gathering, as in fitness apps that track one’s walking and slumber patterns: “Slowly we’re taking the leisure out of walking and the rest out of sleep.” However, his free-flowing style also results in non sequiturs that come off as naive (“Just drum together, then see what the results are”) or curmudgeonly (“Emoji’s [sic] reflect a bipolar psychology, all nuance is forgotten and only the green or the red pill is available to express and cope with the vicissitudes of everyday life”). Gomez’s self-reflections produce some fascinating insights, but there are moments in which his work might have benefited from a wider lens. At one point, for example, he shares his experience at a Verizon store, where he scrolled through a display iPhone to find an article in The Atlantic on meditation. The experience strikes him as ironic, but it doesn’t complicate his technological cynicism. Gomez’s argument also takes a sharp turn when he asks millennials to “set aside their phones to get out and march”—a plea that seems to ignore recent, youth-led movements, such as Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street.

A thought-provoking attempt to upend hyper-efficient, data-driven learning models that’s hampered by a limited viewpoint.

Pub Date: June 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-71917-644-6

Page Count: 96

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2018

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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