Everyone speaks text message: Is technology killing indigenous languages or saving them? Well, you may soon be able to text in N’Ko. Dennis Baron on how to save an endangered language. What if we occupied language? A movement that challenges the power structure of language could help foster the sort of equality the protests aim to achieve. Is this the future of punctuation!?: On the misuse of apostrophe's (did your eye just twitch?) and our increasingly rhetorical language. Gary Girod on the decline and fall of the French language. Resistance may be futile: Are there alternatives to Global English? Google Translate already speaks 57 languages as well as a 10-year-old — how good can it get? A review of Is That a Fish in Your Ear?: Translation and the Meaning of Everything by David Bellos (and more). Tea leaves and lingua francas: Why the future is not easy to predict. From Language on the Move, Ingrid Piller on the politics of subtitling. Linguistic arrow of time: Recent work in linguistics strongly suggests that almost all of the 5000-odd current human languages may have been derived from a single ancient proto-language. A review of German: Biography of a Language by Ruth Sanders. What’s the language of the future? As English takes over the world, it's splintering and changing — and soon, we may not recognize it at all. A review of Babel No More: The Search for the World’s Most Extraordinary Language Learners by Michael Erard. From Mental Floss, a look at wonderful words with no English equivalent (and more). Here are 10 common words you had no idea were onomatopoeias.
Samantha Barbas (Buffalo): How the Movies Became Speech. From nonsite.org, Bernie Rhie (Williams): Wittgenstein on the Face of a Work of Art; Magdalena Ostas (BU): Wordsworth, Wittgenstein, and the Reconstruction of the Everyday (and a response to both essays). How Luther went viral: Five centuries before Facebook and the Arab spring, social media helped bring about the Reformation. Of foxes, hedgehogs and the art of financial forecasting: Professional pundits are not usually paid to make correct forecasts — they are paid to sound convincing. Was Freud really a rationalist? Lie back and let Alfred Tauber convince you. It’s time to return to the smoke-filled rooms of political bosses: Political parties and party discipline have gone the way of the pterodactyl. From Regulation, James Bessen, Jennifer Ford, and Michael J. Meurer on the private and social costs of patent trolls: Do nonpracticing entities benefit society by facilitating markets for technology? Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates: Who's the bigger genius? The ingredients in the modern app phone — camera, GPS, compass, accelerometer, gyroscope, Internet connection — make it the perfect device for the next wave of software — get ready for augmented reality (AR). The introduction to the forthcoming Pity the Billionaire The Hard-Times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right by Thomas Frank. In praise of a second (or third) passport: Multiple identities are natural — citizenship laws should catch up. Hundreds of tiny moons may be orbiting Earth. The first chapter from Strings Attached: Untangling the Ethics of Incentives by Ruth W. Grant. From NYRB, a review of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. From Cracked, a look at the Top 8 of Everything of 2011. Linda Holmes on the 20 unhappiest people you meet in the comments sections of year-end lists.
Learning with video is as effective as the classroom — and that's a problem. By trying to teach children of varying abilities in one classroom, is American society underdeveloping some of its brightest young people? From Time, blame game: Let’s talk honestly about bad teachers; and Kayla Webley on the problem with paying teachers less. Annie Murphy Paul on Salman Khan: The new Andrew Carnegie? Most principals can’t identify or explain what constitutes good teaching, much less help teachers improve, according to a new book. Does it really take a village to raise a child? Jonathon A. Gould on an examination of the relationship between the members of the residence of a middle-school student and the student's satisfaction with school. A review of The Making of Americans: Democracy and Our Schools by E. D. Hirsch, Jr. Why Google is the most important learning tool ever invented: An interview with Tom Vander Ark, author of Getting Smart: How Personal Digital Learning is Changing the World. A look at how it only takes $6 million to educate the world. The Occupy movement has catalyzed rising anxiety over income inequality; we desperately need a similar reminder of the relationship between economic advantage and student performance. Everything you know about education is wrong: A groundbreaking study of New York schools by a MacArthur "genius" challenges the typical understanding of what makes a good school. From Finland, an intriguing school-reform model. Steven Brint on the four kinds of heretics attacking the gospel of education: A review essay. Should public schools raise pay to attract more of the top applicants who tend to go into higher-paying professions?