Harrison Middleton University
The Raven
Gertrude Stein
astronomical clock
Rachel Carson

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We’re excited that you’ve joined the conversation! At HMU, we want to continue the great authors’ conversations in a contemporary context, and this blog will help us do that. We look back to Aristotle and the early philosophers who used reason and discourse to gain wisdom and now we endeavor to do the same every day.

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December 1, 2023

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

We’ve all done it. Looking for quick information on some random subject, we inevitably turn to Wikipedia. Created in 2001, Wikipedia is an encyclopedia open to edits, a collaborative effort. Merriam-Webster defines “wiki” as “a website that allows visitors to make changes, contributions, or corrections.” Merriam-Webster also claims that the first use of wiki is in 1995 (Wikipedia itself,

 » Read more about: Understanding Wikipedia  »

August 28, 2020

Thanks to Peter Ponzio, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

Over the past few years, the notion that facts are malleable and can be manipulated to support one’s position has gained increasing prominence in this country. As an example, consider the debate surrounding the coronavirus. Many in the medical community advocate the wearing of masks to stop the spread of the disease, yet a group of protestors believe that wearing masks are ineffective.

 » Read more about: Are Facts Malleable?  »

August 31, 2018

Thanks to George Hickman, a 2018 Harrison Middleton University Fellow in Ideas recipient, for today’s post.

For most of us, we experience the role of an audience member far more often than we experience the role of an artist. On our daily commutes, our mood is at the whim of the radio or our playlist on shuffle. We leave the movie theater buzzing with conversation about the actors,

 » Read more about: The Audience as the Artist: LARP’s Place in Media  »

August 24, 2018

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

How do algorithms know which options are right for you? They are purportedly a mathematical calculation based on personal tastes, previous preferences and your own interaction. I will use examples from Pandora and Netflix to express my meaning, but really, I could broaden this discussion to any number of entities. Also, I am using a very broad understanding of algorithms for this general discussion.

 » Read more about: Swing and A Miss  »

May 18, 2018

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s blog.

Conversation: an oral exchange of sentiments, observations, opinions, or ideas.

Discussion: consideration of a question in an open and usually informal debate; or a formal treatment of a topic in speech or writing.

When does conversation become a discussion? According to Merriam-Webster, conversation flows freely between observations, opinions and topic.

 » Read more about: Great Books Chicago 2018  »

April 13, 2018

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

“The difference between the present and the past is that the conscious present is an awareness of the past in a way and to an extent which the past’s awareness of itself cannot show.” – T. S. Eliot

I used to work for a professor who would say: “Without the toaster, we’d have no computers!” Each invention brings about a whole new world of possibilities.

 » Read more about: Rethinking Invention  »

February 9, 2018

Thanks to Carter Vance, a 2018 Harrison Middleton University Fellow in Ideas, for today’s post.

The idea of the “generational conflict”, written in sociopolitical terms, is a notion at once ancient and modern. One can go back to the writings of Plato and find tropes which sound curiously similar to the proverbial old man ranting at about the indolent youth invading his front lawn.

 » Read more about: Fracturing Millennials Reveal Flaws in Generational Political Narrative  »

January 26, 2018

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

Recently, I read an article that claimed museum culture is changing. I have been pondering this idea for some time. Culture is preserved in many ways, and certainly museums play a large role. As with everything else, technology affects all of our capabilities. Therefore, I think we should examine how technology may affect a future generation’s museum experience.

 » Read more about: Museum Culture  »

January 19, 2018

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

Did you know that nearly 70% of social media revolves around food? Seriously, we want everyone to know our favorite recipe, menu, restaurant, table-setting, drink or dinnertime. So many photos of food exist on Pinterest and Facebook it would spin your head. Why do we spend this much time on food?!

There are many answers,

 » Read more about: Kitchen Expert  »

January 5, 2018

Thanks to HMU student, Dave Seng, for today’s post.

“So, let great authors have their due, as time, which is the author of authors, be not deprived of his due, which is further and further to discover truth.” – Francis Bacon, Advancement of Learning

I began my educational journey as a liberal arts student in the late 1990s, about the time when postmodern critical theory was winding down and scholars were trying to figure out whom won the battles of the “canon” and whom lost the “theory wars.” I remember it well.

 » Read more about: Why I Read The Great Books  »

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