By Stephen Downes
April 20, 2004

Beyond Just School: Goa Project Tries to Ensure Children Actually Learn
Interview with Marita Adam, the coordinator of this project run out of the health-focussed non-profit organisation Sangath in the Alto Porvorim locality in Goa. She says: "Almost one of every three children come to Sangath Centre with school problems. This project aims to help children with school problems -- academic and behavioral -- develop their full learning potential.... (Children can gain from achieving) success in small tasks and enjoy the fulfillment of having achieved them." By Frederick Noronha, Stephen's Web, April 20, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Fundamental Issues With Open Source Software Development
The five major issues outlined in this article correspond with my own experience, especially bad user interface, poor documentation. The other issues speak more to the functionality of the software: feature glut, programmer centered design, and blindness to good features in commercial software. But for me, the biggest issue so far has been software installation - more than half (more like three quarters) of my attempts at sofwtare installs fail on the first try, leaving me with an appointment with Google and some detective work before this plug-in, or that application, will run. Thanks to Rod for passing this along. By Michelle Levesque, First Monday, April, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Recording Industry Drops Amnesty Program for Online File-sharers
The headlines have disappeared, only 1108 people signed up, and so the recording industry is disbanding its file sharing amnesty program and, as one commentator notes, "it's pretty clear that their main goal is to use the stick of litigation." By Alex Veiga, AP Wire, April 19, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Writing on the Brain
This commentary on Alice W. Flaherty's The Midnight Disease asks the question: why do people write? Perhaps, the author suggests, it's a disease? Certainly the list of great writers has no shortage of manic and drug-addled basket cases. But this explanation, and the mysteries of neuroscience, don't offer any satisfying explanation of why it is that people write. The best the author of this article can come up with is that it is a passion. But this appeal to folk psychology is equally barren. So the answer may not have been found - but it's fun considering the quetion. By Joseph Epstein, Commentary, April, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2004 Stephen Downes
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