Two articles today about engagement – and sadly nary a convenience or a proposal in sight. (For more snippets from around the web, see the full Crackers list.)

Engagement Soup: a veritable storm in a soup bowl by Bret Simons, wondering aloud how anyone can confuse optimism with engagement – and fail to distinguish between effect indicators and causal indicators. And, more importantly, questioning what engagement in isolation proves- or do I mean indicates. We’re sorry about the illustration, by the way (not our work).

The Age of Commodified Intelligence: while George Balgobin is writing for the online edition of the Economist’s Intelligent Life about culture and our consumption of it in a broader sense, there is an important point about learning and self-development here too. As he writes “But if we fail to distinguish between attendance and appreciation, we may end up poorer for it, left with a corporate caricature of our cultural richness. The “intelligent” masses will work hard mining the store of culture artefacts, but will they read the texts and learn from them, or only use them as objects for trade?”. And there’s a big difference between reading and turning the pages.

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