Steal This Diploma

By Ta-Nehisi Coates
One comment from a recent convert to the horde:

I didn't want to disrupt/hijack the new thread on nation states, but could you do a post on how exactly you can listen to books while gaming? I'm almost 60 years old (with a 16-year-old gaming fool in the house) and I need to know how to do this right quick.

Another from our minister of verse:

I'm starting to think a thread on how to get a college degree-like education by eavesdropping on survey courses through online mp3 downloads would be real informative.

First, the method. For awhile I would run academic earth lectures in the background through my browser. Now I download lectures from iTunes, and either run them through my iPhone jacked into a speaker, or I just play them through my computer. Then I just game while I listen. Generally I have to replay lectures two or three times to really understand what I'm hearing. If the lecturer is really, really good I can get in one sitting. (I haven't really had to rewind Margaret Anderson, for instance.)

Second, the math. Let's start a running thread on really good lecture series. I know there are quite a few out there from Yale, Stanford, Berkley etc. Please list only the ones you've actually sampled, or found useful. It does no good to post links to lectures that blow.

Obviously my bias is toward history. But it doesn't have to be yours. The two I would offer are Anderson's series on modern Europe, and Blight's on the Civil War. 

I would also tentatively offer John Merriman on European Civ 1648-1945. I only say tentatively because I started, and then stopped listening because I wanted to back up and hear something on the 30 Years War. I'll be able to say more once I get back to his series.

Any contributions you have would be greatly appreciated. Audiobooks (which you have listened to) also work well.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/personal/archive/2011/06/steal-this-diploma/240866/