Poor artists:
Why Are Artists Poor?, a new book published in English last month by the University of Amsterdam Press. You can read parts of the book online. Hans talks about why he wrote the book here.

Pop pods:
An illustrated report on new work from regional environmental artists, seen in the Midlands Sculpture Trail 2002 at this year’s Malvern Show.

Wither eLearning?:
Will eLearning ever amount to anything much? After all the hype and vapourware of the last few years, it strikes me that the way it’s moving now is to reproduce textbooks and distance-learning in an online form. The textbook will be interactive and animated. The class will be an online moderated peer-group. The web will replace the library. The mailing-list of experts will replace the faculty members. And teaching and learning will probably be the poorer. Where forms of eLearning obviously ‘work’ is simulation; a safe virtual environment replaces the costly/dangerous real environment, and the students can tinker around in it. Simulation scales up from the lowly Macromedia interactive tutorials (which essentially create a ‘virtual’ copy of Flash on the screen), to practicing complex multiple aircraft engineering tasks. But simulation also has its dangers, because you must also replicate the gremlins & bugs and all-round contrariness of the real environment, for it to approach the “really” real. Simulating the bombing run on Saddam’s palace is tricky enough, if you’re going to then do it for real. Simulating something more complex – ‘climate change’ comes to mind – is asking for trouble if we assume it simply reflects the real situation.

Capital:
I generally consider ‘London’ to be a dirty word, but here’s an interesting visualisation of a blogging community/topography; the London Bloggers Tube Map.

Dub luv:
Really nice Flash down at the Dub Selector. The Echo Chamber module is especially impressive. Yes, it’s probably part of that perky Mod revival, again. More sightings of Vespas and Lambrettas in the university car-park this week. I might go down to photograph 250 mods & their scooters on 10th August on Broad Street, Birmingham city centre, at the Summer in the City rally, which is followed by a Ska & Northern Soul evening at The Custard Factory.