28 mai 2019

Why You Should Write Daily

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Why You Should Write Daily
Leo Babauta, Zen Habits, April 26, 2013
Why do I write daily? This: "Writing daily forces you to come up with new ideas regularly, and so that forces you to solve the very important problem of where to get ideas. What’s the answer to that problem? Ideas are everywhere! In the people you talk to, in your life experiments, in things you read online, in new ventures and magazines and films and music and novels. But when you write regularly, your eyes are open to these ideas." Yes, there are some other reasons that involve audiences and persuasion, but for me this is the big one. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 12:29 - - Permalien [#]


Of Few Letters

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Of Few Letters
Miguel Guhlin, Around the Corner-MGuhlin.org, April 23, 2013
Miguel Guhlin points to an essay by William Zinnsser in The American Scholar on the topic of 'men of letters'. It resonates with me in two ways: first, because I achieved the 'Man of Letters' Boy Scout badge after self-publishing 'The Eagle Report', a mimeographed hand-written town newspaper I authored while in grade 5, and the Book of the Month Club (BOMC), which I signed up for with my father around the same time, and through which I was exposed to, among others, Pierre Berton, Farley Mowat, and  William L. Shirer. So I understand Zinnsser's lament for the passing of men of letters. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 12:28 - - Permalien [#]

The Organization as a Cycling Peloton

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. The Organization as a Cycling Peloton
Dan Pontefract, April 23, 2013
The cycling pelaton is a classic example of cooperation (as opposed to everybody's favourite, collaboration). The members of the pelaton do not have a shared objective: each member wants a different person to finish first. Nonetheless, they individuals have a better chance of succeeding if they work with the group - even with a group of competitors - than they would working on their own. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 12:26 - - Permalien [#]

Is it possible to decolonize the Commons?

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Is it possible to decolonize the Commons? An interview with Jane Anderson of Local Contexts
Jennie Rose Halperin, Creative Commons, 2019/01/30
I admit to having mixed feelings about traditional knowledge (TK) lables. These are lables that denote traditional ownership and limitations on the use of indigenous cultural heritage and artifacts. You can view the lables here. I certainly understand the sentiment behind these lables. As the video accompanying the article makes clear, the colonial past has resulted in the appropriation and debasement of traditional knowledge from around the world, transforming it into Disney princesses or hot yoga. At the same time, I am not comfortable with limitations to the concept of public domain and limitations on access and use based on gender. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 12:00 - - Permalien [#]

Why Can’t the World’s Greatest Minds Solve the Mystery of Consciousness?

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Why Can’t the World’s Greatest Minds Solve the Mystery of Consciousness?
Oliver Burkeman, The Guardian, 2019/01/28
This is generally a good article providing an overview of the contribution of David Chalmers to the consciousness debate. I like the way Chalmers frames the question as "the hard problem". Consciousness is not the sort of thing we can understand by understanding the physical mechanisms that produce it, it seems. But I disagree with the artticle's suggestion that the debate has only recently emerged. The problem of consciousness periodically produces some of the best work in philosophy, such as Thomas Nagel's What is it Like to be a Bat? For those interested in my own position on consciousness, you can always read my paper on the subject here. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 09:13 - - Permalien [#]


Institutional Innovation - I Have a Dream

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Institutional Innovation - I Have a Dream
John Hagel, Edge Perspectives, 2019/01/21
I'm not sure how appropriate it is to use Martin Luther King day in the service of institutional innovation. In any case, the transformation Hagel describes involves something called 'scalable learning ' - "learning in the form of creating new knowledge through action and reflection on results – it’s not about sharing existing knowledge or just coming up with new ideas." Fair enough, though not exactly new or novel. Hagel outlines the process in terms of motivation (away from the financial, toward passion and need), practices (from static and routine, to dynamic and challenging) and environment. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 09:01 - - Permalien [#]

The replication crisis is killing psychologists’ theory of how the body influences the mind

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. The replication crisis is killing psychologists’ theory of how the body influences the mind
Olivia Goldhill, Quartz, 2019/01/17
The 'replication crisis' is the phenomenon afflicting the social sciences whereby research demonstrating significant results can't seem to be replicated by others. We've covered this issue before. The psychological theory called 'embodied cognition', meanwhile, is the idea that our bodies, as well as our brains, are implicated in thought (and learning, and memory). We've covered this as well. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:29 - - Permalien [#]

Wikipedia - told you so!

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Wikipedia - told you so!
Doug Johnson, Blue Skunk Blog, 2019/01/17
The best part of this article is the list of topics covered by Wikipedia that would never find their way into Britannica. " Wikipedia includes fine entries on Kafka and the War of the Spanish Succession, and also a complete guide to the ships of the U.S. Navy, a definition of Philadelphia cheesesteak, a masterly page on Scrabble, a list of historical cats..." and so on. But it also makes the point that Wikipedia has passed the credibility test. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:28 - - Permalien [#]

Learning Electron

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Learning Electron
Stephen Downes, Half an Hour, 2019/01/15
This is a two-part post (Part 1, Part 2) I wrote describing my experiences taking a Udemy course on Electron, which is an application that enables you to create desktop software for Windows, Mac and Linux using only Javascript, CSS and HTML. I made the course my project over the recent holiday break (we all do different things for fun). In these posts I not only describe what I learned and how I leaned it, but also my (not so pleasant) experience taking a course on Udemy.
Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:25 - - Permalien [#]

Higher Education and Identity Issues in Tara Westover’s 'Educated'

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Higher Education and Identity Issues in Tara Westover’s 'Educated'
Eboo Patel, Inside Higher Ed, 2019/01/11
This is a fundamental misunderstanding of diversity: "in an era of higher ed where identity is king... a white middle class Evangelical man ought to be unmoored from his identity, a working class black Muslim female ought to be more deeply anchored in hers."  No. Diversity means that we see people as more than just race, class and religion. For any person, these may be important parts of their identity. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:21 - - Permalien [#]