By Stephen Downes
July 8, 2005

The Structure and Function of Complex Networks
I'm pretty sure I linked to this in a presentation somewhere (I know I've read it) but never here in OLDaily. But Geoirge Siemens makes up for that lapse with a reference to this excellent and authoritative paper that examines in detail the formal properties of networks. My one remark at this point is that such analyses - and the state of network analysis in general - is such that they focus on structural or syntactic properties of networks - important, to be sure, but nothing compared to the wealth we will obtain when we look at network semantics. By M.E.J. Newman, December 31, 200-31 8:33 p.m. [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Presentations available from 2005 Alt-i-Lab sessions
I haven't had time to review these (meeting yesterday, session today and then off to the flea market - hey, I'm on vacation) but I know, especially with Scott Leslie's recommendation, that these Alt-i-Lab session presentations are well worth passing along. I'll be at Alt-i-Lab in Manchester in September, so you can be sure I'll read these, and if anything really stands out I'll comment on it next week. That said, note well Scott's comment and especially the quote excerpted: "... the lack of practical interoperability has left us in a place not sufficiently different than where we were prior to the IMS specification effort began..." Which, when you think of it, is a really scathing indictment, much more scathing than anything I've written. By Scott Leslie, EdTechPost, July 7, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

This was intended to be a note to myself, partially to comment on discussion list metadata and partially to frame some throughts for my talk in Colorado in August. But it makes some points that bear wider consideration, and in particular, two principles of metadata: metadata for a given entity should never be stored in more than one place; and metadata for a given entity should not contain metadata for a second entity. By Stephen Downes, Half an Hour, July 7, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

RSS Contacts
This is a step in the right direction, but only a step. It recognizes (like FOAF and XFN) that social networking data ought to be distributed, in the form of personal RSS files, and not centralized and bound to a particular environment, as in Friendster and Orkut. But instead of putting your contacts' metadata in your own file, as this system recommends, it should be pointing to your contacts' personal metadata files, stored on their servers. Cf. my post Metadata. By Unknown, July 8, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

God's Little Toys
William Gibson gets it, which is why he has added so much to our culture. "Our culture no longer bothers to use words like appropriation or borrowing to describe those very activities. Today's audience isn't listening at all - it's participating. Indeed, audience is as antique a term as record..." And, "'Who owns the words?' asked a disembodied but very persistent voice throughout much of Burroughs' work. Who does own them now? Who owns the music and the rest of our culture? We do. All of us." By William Gibson, Wired, July, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Bloggers Need Not Apply
It's ironic to see this author warning about your blog making you look like an idiot without any warning about doing the same in a column for the Chronicle. That is probably why the article is published under a pseudonym. The real miscreants are the editors of the Chronicle for publishing this drivel, a screed based neither in an understanding of blogging nor in sound advice for applicants and potential employers. Yes, let's keep our lives secret befor we take a new position; that will make it much more certain the job will be a good fit. Rubbish. By Ivan Tribble, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 8, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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