September 2011 links: Jobs, leads, feminism, the new pants revue, shoulds and wants, demand for software engineers, plagarism, and more

* This is how you catch someone’s attention with the lead: “I became a feminist the day my sixth-grade math teacher dismembered and spit on a white rose, telling us, ‘This is you after you have sex.’

* The shoulds and the wants, highly recommended and possibly related to the link immediately above. See also the penultimate link.

* One Path to Better Jobs: More Density in Cities.

* My job is to watch dreams die.

* The New Pants Revue, by Bruce Sterling: “Since I’m a blogger and therefore a modern thought-leader type, my favorite maker of pants sent me some new-model pants in the mail.”:

I should explain now why I have been wearing “5.11 Tactical” trousers for a decade. It’s pretty simple: before that time, I wore commonplace black jeans, for two decades. Jeans and tactical pants are the same school of garment. They’re both repurposed American Western gear. I’m an American and it’s common for us to re-adapt our frontier inventions.”

If I didn’t live in Arizona, where pants are appropriate maybe three weeks of the year, I would’ve already ordered a pair. I, too, have too much gear.

(Hat tip Charlie Stross.)

* Demand for software developers is still high.

* Turnitin: Arming both sides in the Plagiarism War. The term “plagiarism war” is part of the problem: it’s not a “war,” and students and instructors shouldn’t be adversaries. I don’t spend a huge amount of time hunting for plagiarism, mostly under the theory that the primary person hurt is in fact the plagiarist, who isn’t developing the writing skills he or she will one day need. The market punishes people without skills harshly enough, as so many of the unemployed have discovered the hard way in the last three years. If I find plagiarism in students papers, I deal with it, but I wonder if schools would be better off adopting honor codes and expecting students to abide by them, rather than militarizing the issue, even metaphorically, and hunting for violators.

* Someone found this blog by searching for “french sex games.” I suspect they were disappointed, although I also wonder what else they found.

* More on that ever-popular topic, “Why does the female orgasm exist? A popular theory has been criticized as male-centric, but it might have unexpected feminist results.”

* Two thousand years in one chart, or, “we make a lot of stuff these days.”

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