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Showing posts from October, 2021

Review: Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer

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Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer by Steven Johnson My rating: 4 of 5 stars Johnson returns with another enjoyable and intriguing exploration that considers what are the factors in the last few hundred years that have led to a near doubling of human life. It's not an extensive history nor a history that explores this through the genius model of history (a history that frames it in the solitary figures who did "great deeds"). Rather, Johnson delivers a network history that explores the conditions and structures that created the changes in thinking to introduce practices, tools, and advocates to widened the Overton Window (the range of socially acceptable ideas around a subject) to include these newer ideas.  That's not to say he ignores the more well-known names but places them in a larger context that shows how without other elements, they would not have been able to help shift the paradigm.  Beyond that, Johnson's book prov

Review: No Study Without Struggle: Confronting Settler Colonialism in Higher Education

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No Study Without Struggle: Confronting Settler Colonialism in Higher Education by Leigh Patel My rating: 5 of 5 stars It's a compelling critique about higher education as a place that extends the settler-colonial mentality and practices of ownership, particularly the concept of creditors and debtors. It feels timely and relevant given a range of cultural clashes within higher education over the last decade, not to mention how schools have approached the entire pandemic and student, staff, and faculty safety--often interested in protecting the "investment" of the "live experience" over meaningful support of people in crisis at numerous levels. In essence, Patel asks how the legacy of the European invasion of the Americas, Africa, and Asia has been reinforced through concepts of property, many of which are baked into higher education. For instance, she draws out the ways in which older institutions (particularly Ivy Leagues) thrive thr