If there's one thing people at elite colleges know how to do really well, it's how to create an in-group. Thus so with memes. The typical meme has been around for ages; I wrote about them in 1999, before the first image meme. These appeared as "I can has cheezburger" in 2007. Since then the format has thrived; sites like Imgur keep the tradition alive. And, of course, so do blogging sites like Tumblr and social media, like Facebook, which of course had its own history as an elite thing. This article is about the latest in-group thing, the campus meme. The idea is that the memes are so obscure you'd have to be a student of the campus in order to get them. But they also become a way for outsiders to look in. "Meme groups have become a mainstay of the United States’ elite universities, and at many schools, there are far more members than students." The meme groups are all in Facbook (natch) and though you have to be logged in to Facebook to view the group home page, you can jump directly to specific images from the listings at the bottom of the article (someone did a lot of work collecting and collating them).
Matthias Melcher diagrams my post on Consciousness and extracts some of the essential elements in an easy-to-follow list of key concepts and ideas. "The greatest takeaway so far," he writes, "was the explanation of the mysterious ‘suddenness’ through recognition, see the last entry of my list."
What is scholarship in colleges and universities? Maybe the best part of this post is the background reading you'll have to do to put it into context. For example, I thoroughly enjoyed Ernest Boyer's long paper (160 page PDF) on Scholarship Reconsidered even though it dates from 1980 describing three major phases of evolution in the U.S. university system (noting, in particular, their original focus on teaching, and the relatively recent focus on research). Boyer's much shorter (12 page PDF) paper of the same name is an outline of the model (discovery, integration, application, teaching). Glassick, Huber and Maeroff's 1997 Scholarship Assessed model (goals, preparation, methods, results, presentation, critique) is also not to be missed (16 page PDF). Felder (2000) offers a nice summary (4 page PDF). The proposal in the METRICS paper is a seven-part model (meta, evaluation, translation, research, innovation, conceptual, synthesis). It seems to me that the elements of service and social change discussed in the longer Boyer paper have all but disappeared from all three accounts (though maybe they're part of translation and innovation). The need for excellence in teaching seems also to be receding as a goal.
Just for the record, my website does not track you when you visit. Even if you sign up for a newsletter, it barely acknowledges that you exist. I like it that way, because there's no data to lose. But my website appears to be the exception. "A new study finds hundreds of sites—including microsoft.com, adobe.com, and godaddy.com—employ scripts that record visitors' keystrokes, mouse movements, and scrolling behavior in real time, even before the input is submitted or is later deleted." As Steven Englehardt reports in the study, "This data can’t reasonably be expected to be kept anonymous. In fact, some companies allow publishers to explicitly link recordings to a user’s real identity." Via Lindsay Muscato.
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Copyright 2017 Stephen Downes Contact: firstname.lastname@example.orgThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.