Saturday, May 2, 2020

Incredible bookshelves

The NYT addresses the important issue of bookshelf backgrounds for online talkers.

My basement office has my desk on one side and my non-fiction books on the other, which means my background for skype / zoom / bluejeans etc. looks roughly like this:

The art is there not to add credibility - I make no claims in the art domain - but just because we have not yet figured out where to put it (a claim whose plausibility is enhanced by the row of yet-to-be-unpacked boxes whose tops can be seen at the bottom of the photo).

Aside / thought question: If the woman in the article whose bookshelf features the title "Irish Erotic Art" were teaching a course at some university, could she be fired like this sad instructor at the University of Miami if the title of the book (but not the cover or any of the contents) was visible to the students during online lectures? The student who thoughtlessly posted the video showing the offending tab should get some of his tuition back from a university that somehow managed to incompletely instruct him in the peculiarities of our current puritan enthusiasms. [And just to be clear, I think the issue merited some response, but firing disguised as resignation seems rather extreme, especially from a university whose associated semi-professional American football team has the history that it does.]

Aside: I am told that some of my daughter's friends tease her that she "lives in a library." I tell her that if this is the best tease they can come up with, life is good for her indeed.

Hat tip on the Miami bit: the tiktoking child of a friend.

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