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January 22, 2009 - Bill Ackerbauer
As I've mentioned in a previous post, my neighbor and former teacher Bill Pollak likes to go around town like the Johnny Appleseed of the Information Age, handing out "brain food" to whomever will take it. He regularly brings me stacks of magazines, newspapers and other reading material, often with important articles circled in red. I know I'm not the only recipient of his periodical largesse -- Bill delivers "brain food" to people all over town.
Bill would have a lot more stuff to share if he were willing to learn to boot up a computer and get online. Alas, he's no techno-geek. He says he's barely able to figure out how to use his toaster.
I'll never match Bill as a distributor of ink-on-paper media, but I can certainly help to "push back the frontiers of ignorance" (to quote another of my high school teachers, Art Popp) on the Internet.
Here are some links to stuff that I thought was well worth my time:
1.) A short article in the latest edition of Wired magazine by Clive Thompson, on the intentional dumbing down of society: Manufacturing Ignorance
2.) Some of my friends and former Daily Gazette colleagues who have lost their jobs recently are bloggers. David Brickman writes about the Capital Region arts scene, Bob Conner writes about Albany politics, and Hank Fox writes about the environment, the effort to legitimize atheism and secularism, and reflections on his personal experiences.
3.) Smithsonian Magazine, one of my all-around favorite publications, has an interesting feature story about Shepard Fairey: The Artist Behind the Obama Portrait and another on the history of tattoos.
4.) One of the short stories I plan to share with my students at FMCC this semester is All Saint's Day, by Angela Pneuman, a writer I know from UAlbany. It was published in Virginia Quarterly and The Best American Short Stories 2004 before it appeared in her collection of stories, Home Remedies.
The distribution of brain food is not a monodirectional enterprise! If you've got links to share, send them my way at email@example.com.
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