I have to first thank the lovely Juliëtte van Bavel for gracing our Journal in this issue. Her art is so captivating, but her story is even more captivating! Imagine knowing you are an artist at four years old! You can read more
about Juliëtte's life in Drs. Eva Mennes' short piece about her art (a picture of Juliëtte is to the left) (to find all articles, see Table of Contents below). I hope you will enjoy meeting her art as much as I have this past month while putting together the Journal. Heel hartelijk bedankt, Juliëtte!!!
Again, Laston Kirkland knocks it out of the park with his short story His One Chance. I imagine a lot of things about the future, but Laston imagines things that, well, I could not imagine! Janie Fox has created an entirely new genre! Fables set in the future! I do not want to give anything away, but I feel certain that we will all be talking about people as either "citizens" or "hardcopies" from now on! Check out King Avatar's Cookies to see what I mean.
In a very different mood, Heather Lee Schroeder brings us a poignant story on a subject that I feel we are avoiding: what happens to all those people who have been fighting these past ten years in our wars of choice? How are they adapting to life in general, much less the hyperchange of The Social Era? What happens to their families and siblings who have no idea what they've been through? Heather writes with a very light and elegant touch about experiences that are anything but, in Rules of Engagement.
In the essay department we have been given some pretty heavy writing hitters! David Amerland writes about semantic search in a way that is so unexpected, I don't want to give the plot away. Even though it is a practical essay that will help those who are trying to figure out how to do great things on the Internet, The Search for Meaning in a Connected Web will not just inform about semantic search, but I think the reader gets a little extra value added about what just exactly it means to want to find one another through language. His book on this same subject is coming out shortly, so be sure to check our site to see where to get a copy.
Leland LeCuyer is an amazing thinker, someone who can penetrate into areas where lesser souls as myself fear to tread: he has been able, in his short essay, to discover a completely new way of looking at The Internet. I know you will enjoy Inside Out.
I am pretty sure that because I am the editor, my own contribution to this issue is way too long; however, it was reviewed twice and I was given a go-ahead that what I have to say is important. I hope so! We really do need to understand (again) the purpose of education. My "history" is a story within a story, but mostly a history of how universities came to exist, why they are important, and how I got very lucky in my education. Finally, I hope it will be a place to begin a conversation about how to make higher education better and cheaper in the future. Things really are "All Mixed Up Like a Dog's Breakfast!" (That was my dear departed mother's favorite saying when things were just a mess!) I hope you will enjoy reading it.
As many of you know, I have been working in higher education for quite a while and been an online course designer and teacher for over ten years. I am not sure how we have deserved the highly scholarly work of Dr. Cathy Anderson, but she has created something that many people in the education field, especially online learning, are going to be very happy about: she has written an annotated bibliography of journal articles that are, for the most part, behind pay walls! In other words, using the best ethics of scholarly review, she is also making it possible for those of us without access to those journals to become aware of what is being written in this field that is important to know. Thank you Cathy for fulfilling the highest principles of The Social Era! Access to information!
You may have met Dr. Flores-Acuna in the last issue when she wrote about some of the more brutal human rights abuses that it is her life's work to try to prevent. (The most memorable for me being the one she described, "This is where the government started a policy of rape against lesbians in order to 'heal' them." (So horrifying!)) In this issue, she shares an opposite experience, a surprising place in Thailand that exhibits the very freedom we hold to be so dear; and from which we can learn an important lesson in tolerance. I won't ruin the surprise for you, but do read her description of her recent trip to Thailand in Gangnam Style and Harmony: Lessons from Krabi, Thailand.
Giselle Minoli has outdone herself in what is essentially a manifesto against the idea that feminists have gotten anywhere so far. Her argument is sure to cause a firestorm of controversy, but read it yourself and see if you don't think she's on to something! A Woman's De-Liberation: There Never Was a Sexual Revolution. Fireworks are sure to follow! Speaking of which, Roz Hussin writes a brief, but very dramatic, true story that would be perfect to read after reading Giselle's essay!
To share the entire site on any social media, there are links on the Homepage for your convenience. I'm sure most of you know that there are more than a few people who are not mentioned here because they prefer to work in the background and they know who they are.
My gratitude knows no bounds.
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