Post Academic


Posted in Housekeeping by Arnold Pan on September 7, 2010
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We haven’t done “Footnotes” in awhile, but here we go again.  To refresh our memories, “Footnotes” is supposed to be a semi-regular series that collects some stories and postings that are semi-relevant to the semi-academic focus of the blog.

"Kindle DX Front" by Jon "ShakataGaNai" Davis (Creative Commons license)

1. Books vs. e-Books Grudge Match: You know one of our big interests, especially of late, has been publishing.  Here’s a handy, super stylish chart, courtesy of Digital Inspiration, that gives us the tale of the tape on the coming showdown between print and digital.  Obviously, the cost of production seems to tip to e-Books, but other economic factors favor print: authors get more royalties from real books ($3.90 vs. $2.12 from a download) and sales are still almost ten times greater at this point ($249.2 Mill to $29.3 Mill).  One interesting point of comparison is that the carbon emissions needed to produce one e-Reader is equivalent to those used in making 40-50 books, so I guess the environmental issues depend on how much you use your Kindle or whether it’s a novelty.  Noting that only 15% of e-Book owners will stop buying print, the best point of the chart makes is that both media can and will co-exist, debunking the idea that they are mutually exclusive forms or that virtual books will make hardcovers obsolete.

2. Drake U’s “D+” Ad Campaign: A lot of folks — a surprising amount, actually — are getting their kicks out of a really bad ad campaign put out by Drake University.  Courtesy The Awl,”The Drake Advantage” campaign uses a giant D+ as its logo, explaining that ,”When we talk about D+, that’s what we mean. Every moment at Drake is one that has the power to educate, to transform, to open minds and to unleash potential — to introduce who you are, to who you hope to become.”  The obvious rejoinder is that “D+” idea earns a F grade, but, instead, I’d like to think that the “Drake Advantage” is just doing it’s part to combat grade inflation.

"OutKast 2001" by Joe Goldberg (Creative Commons license)

3.HuffPo College’s Rapper-College Analogies: HuffPo College’s inane photo slideshow polls, we just can’t quit you.  Here’s one of the more absurd but somehow compelling one just in time for back-to-school, analogizing the hip-hop pantheon to higher ed.  Some of the comparisons are pretty good, with gold-standard Jay Z equating to Harvard and the Eminem-Princeton connection tagged as “The whitest of the truly elite.”  And with Tupac repping the west coast from Marin, the Stanford namecheck isn’t bad, though I’d probably go with Berkeley as a point of reference, then bump Lil’ Wayne from Cal to some counter-cultural school in the South, since even a rap know-nothing like me knows enough about the genre’s geographical specificity.  And, in the end, all anyone needs to know about the agenda behind the concept is revealed when Wesleyan student Charlie Alderman matches OutKast to his home institution, with the explanation, “Doing its own thing.  Well.”  Seriously, because Wesleyan doesn’t ring any march-to-the-beat-of-its-own-drummer bells to me?  If that’s the criteria, Andre 3000 and Big Boi would be better off representing Deep Springs or Evergreen or UC Santa Cruz or something.