21 mars 2019

Technology Lab / Information Technology How Twitter’s new "BotMaker" filter flushes spam out of timelines

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Technology Lab / Information Technology How Twitter’s new "BotMaker" filter flushes spam out of timelines
Lee Hutchinson, Ars, 2014/08/21
I still maintain that it's easier to select for what you do want rather than to filter for what you don't want. But a centralized system, I think, can only attempt the latter. It doesn't help when the business model of the service provider involves sending you unwanted advertising messages. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:52 - - Permalien [#]


Why The Education Economy Is The Next Big Thing For The American Workforce

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Why The Education Economy Is The Next Big Thing For The American Workforce
Brandon Busteed, Fast Company, 2014/08/21
The author, Brandon Busteed, is executive director of education at Gallup. He argues that there should be a tighter commection between education and the economy to create what we calls the educonomy. The article is largely about how education is failing the economy:

  • "no correlation between the grades and test scores of its employees and their success on the job"
  • "we’re more likely to see kids with entrepreneurial talent diagnosed as underperforming troublemakers"
  • "seven in 10 K-12 teachers are not engaged in their work (69%)"

All very well, but is increased involvement of the commercial sector in education likely to change this. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:52 - - Permalien [#]

Robo-readers aren’t as good as human readers — they’re better

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Robo-readers aren’t as good as human readers — they’re better
Annie Murphy Paul, The Hechinger Report, 2014/08/21
When I read that robots are "unable to discern meaning" my first thought is to wonder what the critic thinks it is for a human to discern meaning. Yes, you can fool computers with nonsense - but you can also fool human referees of academic journals with nonsense as well. And - interestingly - it seems that it is becoming less and less easy to fool the computers, while humans remain as fallible as ever. So infallibility is not a criterion for being able to discern meaning. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:51 - - Permalien [#]

Expert performance and training: what we really know

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Expert performance and training: what we really know
Daniel Lemire, 2014/08/21
Sometimes I don't agree with Daniel Lemire at all - this post on the culture of envy, for example, is wrong in so many ways - but in this post he nails it. Expertise isn't simply inherited, and isn't acquired overnight; while it does require some predisposition, it is primarily the result of practice, and not just any practice, but reasonably guided and reflective practice. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:50 - - Permalien [#]

Four-day week will cut absences, superintendent says

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Four-day week will cut absences, superintendent says
Alison DeNisco, District Administration: Education News, 2014/08/21
I have long believed we should adopt what amounts to a 3.5 day week - that is, 28 hours. This allows us to have what amounts to 7-day coverage of any position with two staff, with the work divided between them. It allows for 7-day use of facilities and resources. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:50 - - Permalien [#]


One chart that debunks the biggest myth about student loans

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. One chart that debunks the biggest myth about student loans
Libby Nelson, Vox, 2014/08/18
OK, first of all, people don't actually believe that the average student loan debt is more than $50K, so the supposed 'myth' being busted here is a straw man. Second, by focusing on the average balance the article focuses only on the amount still owing, not the amount that has already been paid back. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:49 - - Permalien [#]

The Future of College?

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. The Future of College?
Graeme Wood, The Atlantic, 2014/08/18
I studied the work of Stephen M Kosslyn back when I was in graduate school. At the time, he was defending a sophisticated 'picture theory' model of mind against cognitivists such as Jerry Fodor and Xenon Pylyshyn (who argue it's all rules, representations and sentences). I had a lot more sympathy with Kosslyn (though I've since before more of an advocate of J.J. Gibson). More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:48 - - Permalien [#]

Highest Security for your Files in the Cloud

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Highest Security for your Files in the Cloud
2014/08/18
So I've been thinking more about data security lately. Not data security in the sense of preventing the NSA or Chinese hackers from getting at my files if they really want to - that's probably not possible. But security in the sense of preventing average criminals and companies like Google from trolling my data and using it for commercial purposes. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:48 - - Permalien [#]

Web Trolls Winning as Incivility Increases

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Web Trolls Winning as Incivility Increases
Farhad Manjoo, New York Times, 2014/08/18
I don't think there's a "war" on trolls, exactly (the last thing the world needs is another war) but it seems  clear that the web is becoming increasingly uncivil. But rather than simply blaming the usual culprits - users and trolls - I invite readers to consider some related items to question whether it's a structural defect:

  • Reddit launches 'pressiquette' guidelines for journalists - "Reddit, the social news site, is encouraging journalists who use it to follow new guidelines on ethical sourcing... Gawker reported that more than 4,000 BuzzFeed posts have been removed from the site."
  • What happens to #Ferguson affects Ferguson - leave aside the presumption that #Ferguson should be international news (it shouldn't). This is nonetheless an important discussion of the idea of algorithms deciding what is important.
  • Twitter vows to 'improve our policies'... - "Internet trolls bullied Robin Williams' daughter off of Twitter and Instagram just days after her father's death."
  • I liked everything on Facebook for two days... - "After checking in and liking a bunch of stuff over the course of an hour, there were no human beings in my feed anymore. It became about brands and messaging, rather than humans with messages... My feed become a cavalcade of brands and politics and as I interacted with them, Facebook dutifully reported this to all my friends and followers."
  • The Internet's Original Sin - "Cegłowski explains, 'We’re addicted to ‘big data’ not because it’s effective now, but because we need it to tell better stories.' So we build businesses that promise investors that advertising will be more invasive, ubiquitous, and targeted and that we will collect more data about our users and their behavior."

 It's not simply that there are trolls and it's not simply that our privacy is now for sale, but rather, it's that the fruits of this surveillance are being put to purposes that are mean, nasty and corrosive. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:47 - - Permalien [#]

Let’s stop trying to teach students critical thinking

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Let’s stop trying to teach students critical thinking
Dennis Hayes, The Conversation, 2014/08/14
This idea surfaces from time to time and is commonly found with the same central tenets as are found here:

  • critical thinking is not a skill - thinking of it as a skill reduces it to second-rate applications of tricks of logic
  • critical thinking means some form of indoctrination, typically feminist or Marxist
  • critical thinking is itself uncritical and typically involves adopting some perspective

As a long-time teacher of critical thinking as well as a student of the ideas behind it, I think I can unequivocally say that these three points are nonsense. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:46 - - Permalien [#]